Monthly Archives: October 2021

Peruvian pulled beef & grilled shrimp @ Chotto Matte

Happy Day of the Dead, bro! We’re hanging out at Chotto Matte, this funky Peruvian joint in the Financial District, where they’re serving up some scary cocktail and dessert specials for Dia de los muertos. Now, last time I was here, I had the lamb, chicken AND octopus…but the one thing missing was the beef, bro! So when I saw they were serving up a slow-cooked beef short rib, asado de tiro, I was all over that like Machu on Picchu!!!!

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Ain’t got no beef with this beef, bro! Slow-cooked till you can pull it apart with a fork, with a teriyaki au jus and purple mashed potatoes — I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!

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And we’re pairing that with some grilled shrimp — gambas a la parilla, Bobby Bonilla! — they don’t skimp on the shrimp here, bro! These succulent sea creatures are seasoned with cilantro, and served with a mushroom slaw-sa. Plus, you get at least 8 to an order…although I kinda wasn’t counting.

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The only thing I didn’t like about these yuca fries is that they didn’t come at the same time as my meat. Deep-fried, hot and crispy, with a side of Peruvian pepper sauce — I’m pretty sure you could deep-fry a flip-flop, and put it on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!!!

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Now, because this blog isn’t Burgers, Bacon and Yellow Chartreuse Grand Marnier, I did not order one of their fancy Day of the Dead cocktails, which cost anywhere from 18 to 24 dollars. Instead, I went with a freshly poured pint of Burst NEIPA from Great Lakes Brewery. I got a little more hops here than when I drank it from a can the last time — and it’s safe to say Chotto Matte is a lot classier than the last place I had this beer, too…

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But I did still have room for dessert, and here’s where they funk it up, oh, about six of seven notches. This national historic site in Flavourtown is called Machu Picchu Mountain and it’s one of the most elevated desserts I’ve ever had. What we’ve got here is black cherry ice cream inside a ball of caramelized popcorn with a fruity mango coulis poured overtop. Usually, I’m all about chocolate for dessert, but man, that black cherry ice cream was so good, you could mix it with a flip-flop, freeze it into a flip-flop and serve it on a bed of flip-flop…and I’d still eat it off a flip-flop, bro!!!!!!!!!

KFC is bringing back the Double Down in Canada for a limited time…so I ate 3 of them at once.

The KFC Double Down is one of the greatest culinary creations known to man. I mean, it’s got bacon, fried chicken, cheese…three of the essential food groups in Flavourtown!!! And there’s no bun, so it’s even low-carb, son! Now, when I found out it was back in Canada — but only until November 7 — I had to make sure to get my fill while the gettin’ was good. Why only Double Down when you can Sextuple Down, bro???

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Now, let’s just say I could not fit all that chicken, cheese and bacon in my mouth at the same time. In fact, this Leaning Tower of Terror can barely even stand on its own. So I had to eat ’em one by one…

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Dude, this sandwich was even better than the last time I remembered, though! (I only ate two of them that time.) I mean, the chicken was so tender, it practically melted in my mouth — and that’s not something I usually say about KFC. To be fairrrr, the bacon couldda been a bit crispier, and the cheese distribution was a little uneven on a couple of them (this one was probably the best one)…but that didn’t stop me from slaying all three sandos, son!!!!!!!

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Off the hook-o osso bucco @ Caffino, bro!!!

You know me, this is body by Italian food! So when I heard about Caffino, this funky little joint that’s been dishing out real-deal Italian classics on King St since 1996, I was all over that like tomato sauce on pasta, son!!!

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Speaking of tomato sauce, this first course is really swimming in it. We’re talking homemade polenta stuffed with Gorgonzola, topped with sausage and baked in tomato sauce — these are a few of my favourite things, bro!!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. This veal osso bucco is super-tender, braised in red, red wine and served on top of a creamy risotto with peas and Parmesan. They even give you the bone marrow, bro!!!

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert — and it’s no surprise that the first thing on their dessert menu is tiramisu. This classic Italian dolce is nice ‘n creamy, sprinkled with cocoa for that extra kick. Mamma mia!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: French Onion Wagyu Beef Short Rib? Don’t mind if I do…

Welp, I think patio season in Toronto is officially over now. But just the other day, the temperature hit 19 degrees, and it was still nice enough to eat outside in the evening. So we’re ending patio season in style at a really fancy steakhouse — The Butcher Chef on Harbour Street, just a few Raptors missed 3-pointers away from Scotiabank Arena. This place is serving up Wagyu and Japanese Kobe beef that costs up to $1,020…so when I saw the French Onion Wagyu Short Rib for $75, I figured that probably wasn’t such a bad deal.

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But first, we’re starting off with an old-school steakhouse Caesar salad, I know, I know, you don’t win friends with salad, bro — but when we’re talkin’ massive crispy croutons, chunks of Parmesan and entire strips of bacon, dude, you could put that on an Air Jordan, and it would still taste good!!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. What we’ve got here is some braised Snake River Farms short rib, topped with Cipollini onions, served underneath a piece of brioche, where they pour a buncha Gruyère fondue on top. This dish is cheesy, crunchy, big and beefy, bro! I probably couldda used a little more meat, though…

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But you KNOW we still had room for dessert, bro! And not just one dessert, but four desserts! (This mighta meant they screwed up more than one person’s order, but hey…) We’ve got white chocolate cheesecake with pistachio crumbs, pavlova with mangoes and coconut sorbet, sticky toffee pudding topped with vanilla crème brûlée and burnt orange caramel, and a plate of assorted macaroons, truffles, chocolates and berries. Everything but the kitchen sink, son!!!!!

PATIO BEERS: It’s like the fruit salad of beers, bro!!!

Patio season has gone on about a month longer than expected, but I think we’re heading into the last week now. So we’re hanging out at Thirsty And Miserable, this funky little Kensington Market dive where they’ve got punk rock on the stereo and craft beer on tap…as well as in cans. Even during the pandemic, they’re still a cash-only bar — that’s how punk rock they are, bro! And they’re serving up some beers that are pretty outta bounds, like this renegade of funk in Flavourtown that’s literally called It’s a Trap…

This funky collaboration from Indie Alehouse and Dominion City is packing so much fruit, it might actually be healthy for you. We’re talking grapes, lime, pineapple and millions of peaches, peaches for me in a sour beer that comes in at 5.2%. I gotta say, what I taste most is the pineapple, though…

Now, I don’t always drink pineapple, but if you put it in a beer, I think I’ll have another one. This Big Sky pineapple gose from Town Brewing is even more sour than its predecessor…it gives ya a nice pucker!!!

And while this Kiwi IPA from Badlands Brewing does have fruit in its name, don’t judge a beer by its cover, bro! It’s actually called that cuz it’s got three different kinds of hops from New Zealand — Nelson Sauvin, Riwaka, and Motueka… but also gooseberry, lime, tropical fruit and dank berries. It’s definitely more hoppy than fruity, though!

Taking down a 10-pound turkey leg @ Fall n’ Leaves!

So, we’re hanging out at Fall n’ Leaves, this funky, fall-themed pop-up at Richmond and Bathurst, open from October 1st to the 31st. Man, this place has everything — bonfires, inflatable bowling, pumpkins, picnic tables — and some funky fresh food like wood-fire pizza, Thanksgiving poutine and pumpkin spice corn. Now, I’ve already had turkey a couple times this month, but when I saw they were serving up smoked turkey legs, I knew there was one with my name on it, son!!!!!!

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Dude, this thing was so freakin’ yuuuge, I almost needed two hands to lift it! This culinary dumbbell in Flavourtown packs all kinds of meat, along with a whole buncha gristly bits — it’s kinda like an obstacle course to get to the good stuff at the end. But you KNOW this is just dinner for one in Flavourtown, son!!!!!

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Now, I also went with a side of pumpkin spice corn, cuz I had to try it. This combo doesn’t really work though, bro. Pumpkin spice and sour cream on corn on the cob!? Luckily, they only spiced one side, cuz the spice was a little heavy — it was kinda like taking the cinnamon challenge, but with a pumpkin on the table next to you…

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Now, what beer could be better for these festivities than an Oktoberfest Lager from Spearhead, coming straight outta Kingston? This nice, crispy boi is a little heavy at 5.8% — but you don’t really notice when you’re stuffing your face with 10 pounds of meat. In fact, I think I’m gonna need another beer…

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This Kingston-crafted NEIPA was definitely hoppier than some of the other beers of that style that I’ve had lately, but I’m not complaining. It also doesn’t feel like you’re drinking 7% with this one…but that may just be the turkey leg talking.

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Now, it was getting pretty wet by the time we left, so I wasn’t able to go back for dessert. I think I still had room for dessert, though…

 

 

 

 

 

GRAND OPENING: This dry-aged duck definitely doesn’t suck!!!

Now, we don’t always do fine dining here on Triple B, but when we do, you KNOW it’s gonna be honky-tonk redonkadonk, bro! So, we’re hanging out at Joni, this new joint that just opened up in the Park Hyatt on Bloor Street. This place is serving up breakfast, lunch AND dinner, and while I dunno if I’d pay 32 bucks for a Classic Canadian Breakfast, bro, I don’t mind dishing out that much for some bees wax poached lobster:

Now, obviously you’re not getting a whole lobster at that price — pretty sure I’ve seen shrimp that were bigger than this, son! And it doesn’t even take up half of the plate… But while you can totally pig out on two (for one) Typhoon Crispy Lobster Mountains for about as much money, this here lobster is much, much tastier.

Speaking of tasty, it’s time for the main event! This dry-aged duck breast is cooked to a nice medium-rare, with super-crispy skin. Plus, you’ve got pickled cherries, confit turnip and some licorice crumble — definitely my first time eating any of those things!!!!

But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! And all the desserts here have one-word names, like cacao, apple or citrus — of course, I went for the chocolate. Basically, you’ve got some chocolate sponge cake, with two kinds of ice cream — chocolate and lemon! Nothing wrong with that at all, although I think I still had room for another dessert…

This footlong turkey & bacon roll is heading straight down my piehole!!!!

Now, I wasn’t planning on ordering takeout for Thanksgiving, especially after riding on the turkey train, but when I heard that The Rabbit Hole, this British pub in the Financial District, was serving up some funky Thanksgiving Day specials, I was all over that like bubble on squeak, mate! Cuz this ain’t your ordinary turkey dinner — we’re talking a footlong turkey & bacon sausage roll, son!!!

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Dude, this thing’s so big, they had to cut it in half! We’ve got a nice, flaky pastry, stuffed with ground turkey and little bits of bacon…plus there’s this cranberry HP sauce that’s so outta bounds, I’d put it on a flip-flop!!!

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When I decided I was doing Thanksgiving dinner, I had to get a couple brewskis for the occasion. Luckily, my local LCBO had like 5-6 different pumpkin beers in stock, from the likes of Great Lakes, Flying Monkeys and more. But I had to go with The Great Pumpkin by St. Ambroise — just based on the name alone. You can definitely smell the pumpkin when you crack ‘er open and lift up the glass…but it’s actually a pretty smooth, easy-drinking beer.

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Of course, even after sucking down that big 12-inch, we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! This O&B Artisan Pumpkin Pie comes with caramel sauce and a pumpkin spice cream, but it’s a little pricey at 10 bucks a slice. I guess I thought I’d be getting a little more pie for my buck here…

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But dessert time means it’s time for another beer, bro! And on a shelf full of pumpkin ales, this Tales from the Patch Pumpkin Porter definitely stands out. I can say that it doesn’t really taste like pumpkin pie when you’re drinking it with pumpkin pie, but it still had a nice, rich flavour that goes well with dessert.

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All aboard the turkey train, bro!!!!

Now, the last time we celebrated Thanksgiving dinner on Triple B was at STK steakhouse — y’know, back in 2019, before this whole pandemic thing. But now that we’re allowed to go outside again, it still seems like more restaurants are doing Thanksgiving dinner kits than actually serving up turkey dinner this year. But waaay up in Uxbridge, in the heart of Durham Region, they’re dishing out a funky Thanksgiving feast…on an muthafuckin train! Chugga-chugga chew-chew, bro!!!!!

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We’re starting off with a butternut squash soup and a fistful of dinner rolls. Nothing wrong with that at all…

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And now for the main event. Turkey was nice ‘n tender, and the stuffing was like big chunks of bread pudding… I’d put that on a flip-flop! Potatoes, gravy and veggies were nothing special, although I really liked the skin on the piece of squash — it kinda tasted like candy, bro!

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Speaking of dessert, they’re serving up these cute little pumpkin pies with a caramel drizzle and dabs of strawberry jam. Not sure that I got the jam thing, but otherwise, the flavours were on point. The best part of this dinner was that I didn’t have to cook…although I wouldda gone back for seconds if I did!!!

Now, the train kept a rollin’ right until dinner was served — although you really couldn’t see anything out the window, cuz it was dark and in the middle of nowhere. And then after we finished eating, they really sped back to the station. But other than that, it kinda felt like having turkey dinner at a diner. Which I guess is better than eating it at a steakhouse…

Super-tasty seafood tajine @ Sultan’s Tent

Now, we’ve had some real-deal meals from all over the world right here on Triple B — without even leaving Toronto — but I think this might be our first time for Moroccan food. We’re hanging out at The Sultan’s Tent, this funky joint on Wellington, and some of the dishes seem kinda familiar, like something I mighta had at places like Darna or Amal…but there’s also a French influence with some of the food on the menu, like filet mignon or shrimp provencal. Don’t think I’m gonna go the French route here, though…

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Starting off with some hummus and pita. Now, I like hummus, and I like pitas…but it was a bit of a bummer that this dish came with pita chips instead of fresh pita bread. I still ate every last bite of it though, bro!!!!

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But now let’s get to the good stuff. We’re talkin’ seafood tajine, served in a clay pot, with shrimp, scallops and calamari in tomato sauce, rice, bell peppers and a lemon wedge. All the seafood was cooked perfectly — the shrimp was especially tasty — and it’s not every day I get to eat out of a clay pot, bro!!!

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We’re washing it down with a couple Moroccan Brown Ales from the renegades of funk at Spearhead. I mean, if you’re gonna have a Moroccan joint in Toronto, this is the beer you should be pouring — coming straight outta Kingston(!) with dates, figs, raisins and a dash of cinnamon!!!

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Now, just the other day I said the chocolate brownie stack at Vela was the best dessert I’ve had in 2021. But man, this chocolate cake is definitely right up there! I don’t really think chocolate cake when I think Morocco, but I would definitely order this again, bro! Nice and rich, but not too heavy, with some mixed berries and a cream cheese icing on the side…it’s got everything I want in a dessert — except maybe some ice cream?