Monthly Archives: April 2020

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Build your own Pittsburgh-style sando from Porchetta & Co

Now, when it comes to takeout, you’ll usually get a buncha beef and chicken, but you don’t often see pork — unless it’s the bacon on yer burger, bro! But that’s not the case at Porchetta & Co, this funky little joint that specializes in Italian roast pork sandwiches. (They’ve also got hot chicken, but I wouldn’t recommend it…) Now, you can order up a porchetta sandwich on its own, but for a couple bucks more, they’ll make it into a plate — or, in this case, a container:

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Now, the toasted sourdough bun comes with every order, but you get to pick two other sides. And while I could get fancy with some roast potatoes and rapini, seeing the fries ‘n coleslaw gave me an idea — I’m gonna build my own triple-threat sandwich just like they do at Primanti Bros in Pittsburgh…with the fries and the coleslaw on top!

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So, I start by spreading some grainy mustard all across the bottom bun, then I pile on every single piece of pork — including the crackling, which is probably the best part!

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And then it’s time to fire up the band in this Flavourtown orchestra, by piling the fries and the slaw right on! Man, I’m gonna hafta hunch extra hard for this one…

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Dude, this sandwich was almost too delish to squish! The pork was unctuous and rambunctious, you’ve got a nice kick from the mustard, some crunch from the coleslaw, and the classic crinkle-cut fries adding a little more texture to this Flavourtown masterpiece. 10 on 10 would eat again!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Holy fuck, I just ate a whole duck!!!

Now, I’ve definitely had a few funky duck dishes in my day, but when I heard that R&D, this Asian fusion joint in downtown Chinatown, was delivering what they call The Best Duck in the City, you KNOW I had to check it out! Thing is, they don’t just give you a duck breast, or a duck leg — they’re serving up the whole thing, which means you need at least two takeout containers just for the duck alone:

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Of course, they aren’t just giving you the bird — there’s also a whole pile of cucumbers, some leeks, a container of garlic hoisin sauce, and a whole buncha steamed baos to stuff ’em in. Put it together, and what do you got? Dippity duckity do, bro!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. This might actually be the best duck in the city — the bird is super-tender, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Then you’ve got some crunch from the cukes, a little kick from the hoisin, and a nice puffy, doughy vessel to pack ’em all into. I could eat at least eight of these — wait, actually I did!!!

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But we’re saving the best for last with a double duck leg takedown! Dude, this meat was so tender, it practically falls off the bone. So much richness, and not very fatty — I was pretty full when I finished all this, but not so much that I was slowing down. Still, even if it didn’t fill me up as much as my BBQ dinner for one, at $90, it was the most expensive takeout order I’ve ever made…

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Now, while I’m scarfing down all that duck, I figured I could use a little goose — we’re talking Goose Island, son!

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So I went for a Dubbel Whammy, this tasty Belgian Dubbel from the Goose Island Toronto Brewhouse. You’ve got a nice, rich, molasses flavour, but not too heavy at a shade under 7%. And Goose Island is doing free same-day delivery for orders over 20 dollars, which makes this another Delivery Double Down in Flavourtown!!!!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: My oh my, that’s some good pad thai!!!

Now, I haven’t actually had any Asian food since this shutdown first started. But I was craving Thai, so I went onto Uber Eats, and ordered from Khao San Road, the most popular Thai place on the app. Unfortunately, this meant I didn’t get my lunch until about 1:20…but I’d say it was worth the wait.

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This here’s their Three Flavours Pad Thai, and it’s like a Boat of Many Flavours in Flavourtown. You’ve got all the classics like tofu, egg, bean sprouts and peppers, with a few chunks of chicken, some rice noodles, and nice mixture of lime and tamarind, for that extra tang. Man, I was so hungry, I could eat a container twice this size, son!!!

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: My all-time favorite burrito, to go!!!

Now, back when I used to live in The Annex, I was almost right next door to a Burrito Bandidos — which was pretty freakin’ awesome, bro! Anytime I didn’t feel like cooking, I’d head on over for my go-to order — halibut burrito on white with everything, hold the spicy stuff!

Well, I don’t live in The Annex anymore, but there is another Burrito Bandidos within delivery range, so it’s time to say hello again to ma lil’ friend!!!

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Dude, this is like Fish ‘n Chips Gone Wild in Flavourtown (minus the chips). You’ve got a nice, deep-fried piece of halibut, a little crunch from the green peppers, some juice from the tomatoes, the rice and beans adding extra texture. And while I didn’t pay more for guacamole, I’m pretty sure I tasted some guac in here, too… Now, put that on your plate!!!

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: This burger’s for Rudy, coach!

Now, I was never a walk-on at Notre Dame, but I know a good burger when I see it. And Rudy, which has three locations across the city, all doing takeout and delivery, makes a pretty darn good burger, bro!

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This is the Tattooed Rude Dude combo, and it has barely a speck of athletic ability. You’ve got a bacon double cheeseburger with a side of poutine — all combos should come with poutine, son!!!

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This Rude Dude is griddled for those extra crispy edges, topped with super-melty cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and bacon. Now, the difference between a regular Rude Dude and the Tattooed Rude Dude is the bacon, which costs an extra $2.50. But you KNOW that the first rule of Flavourtown is Always Add Bacon, bro!!!!

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Now, this poutine is soooo next level! The fries are nice and thick, gravy is on point…but what makes it are the cheese curds. I can’t even remember the last time I had poutine with properly squeaky curds — normally, the cheese is all melty by the time it meets my mouth. But these curds squeaked so hard, they sacked the quarterback, son! No wonder Toronto Life calls it the best poutine in the city

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Dirty Bird is the word!

Now, ordering takeout doesn’t always mean burgers and fries…not that there’s anything wrong with that. But I’m always on the lookout for something a little more funky, and I think I’ve found it at The Dirty Bird, this little joint in Kensington Market serving up northern fried chicken and waffles!!!

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Now, if I’m gonna order from a place like The Dirty Bird, you KNOW I’m gonna go for the biggest, baddest, dirtiest dish they’ve got — and I’m pretty sure I’ve found it with their Big Dirty sandwich and a side of Dirty Fries!

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Now, this has gotta be one of the best fried chicken sandwiches I’ve ever had — and that’s saying something! The chicken is so crunchy it makes its own sound effects, and it’s stuffed between two waffles that stay fluffy, not soggy. The crispy iceberg lettuce adds even more crunch, and they’ve got just enough of their signature Dirty Sauce on the bird to add a bit of kick, without making everything all saucy and messy…

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Speaking of saucy and messy, though, their Dirty Fries definitely fit the bill! They take french-fried potaters and top ’em with shredded cheddar, donkey sauce and some more of that Dirty Sauce — which is sorta like a sweet chili Thai — making this a Northern-Fried Poutine Gone Wild in Flavourtown!!!!!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: BBQ platter for two (but really just for one…)

Dude, I’ve been wanting to check out Meat & Pie Co., this funky halal BBQ joint that’s serving up two of my favourite things — meat AND pie — down on King St, where the Lone Star Grill used to be, for a little while now. Of course, they’ve been closed due to COVID-19…but on weekends, they’re doing free delivery on orders of 50 dollars or more.

Now, it’s not hard to spend 50 bucks on BBQ ’round these parts — a couple meats, a couple sides, and you’re usually set. I wanted to try a few of the best things they had to offer, so I ordered the 2 Person Platter. But the thing is, due to social distancing, there’s only one of me to eat it…

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Dude, this was so much food that I had to put it out on a cutting board, cuz I didn’t have a big enough plate! You’ve got a smoked half chicken with Tandoori seasoning, two big, thick slices of brisket — one on the leaner side, the other more medium — two pieces of jalapeno cheddar cornbread, a tin of mac ‘n cheese, a side of pickles and two little containers of BBQ sauce…and did I mention there’s pie for dessert???

OK, now let’s break it down…

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Now, the brisket wasn’t quite fork-tender — the leaner piece was more like eating steak — but it still had a nice, smoky flavour, good texture and a nice chew. It goes great with the crunch of the pickle, and while I don’t normally like sauce on BBQ, the tangy, smoky sauce on the side was pretty darn good for dipping!

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But the real star of the show has gotta be that smoked Tandoori chicken. Bird’s nice and moist, with just a bit of a kick… I could eat that all day, son!!!

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Mac ‘n cheese was nice and creamy, with a good breadcrumb crust — although it didn’t stay as warm as the meat did. And the cornbread was everything you’d expect, with little chunks of jalapenos and cheese…I can’t complain at all.

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Of course, because the name of the blog isn’t Burgers, Bacon & Unsweetened Tea, we had to wash this all down with an ice cold beer. This here’s a Firefly, a red currant habanero coconut gose from Half Hours on Earth, this craft brewery in the small town of Seaforth, ON…about an hour west of Kitchener. Now, the last habanero beer I had was pretty spicy, but that’s not the case here; if anything, I get more red currants, along with the slightly sour taste of the gose, which goes quite well with the heavy meat platter — and you KNOW I polished it all off, bro!!!!

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Aaaaand after clearing the table, I’ve still got room for dessert…

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This homemade apple pie was absolutely delectable! You’ve got a ton of apples in here, with some cinnamon, sugar, and a nice crunchy crust. And it’s about the right size after such a big meal — I probably couldn’t have eaten any more pie if I wanted to, bro! This also goes well with a nice glass of wine…

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…except that’s not wine, it’s another beer, bro! This Delirious Night sour DIPA, also from Half Hours on Earth, is brewed with Pinot Noir grape juice, Madagascar vanilla and milk sugar. It smells like a whole barrel full of hops, and is surprisingly strong, at 7%. I actually got both of these beers delivered from The Rosedale Diner, which makes this a delivery double down in Flavourtown!!!!