Monthly Archives: February 2022

Chowing down 8 courses at the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy…

Now, we don’t usually do tasting menus on Triple B — my motto’s always been why go for a buncha small plates when you can get an XL pizza, bro??? — but when we heard that Don Alfonso 1890, this funky joint inside of Casa Loma, was officially named the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy, you KNOW we had to check it out! And when you eat here, there are only two options: a three-course a la carte menu for 120 dollars, or an eight-course tasting menu for $180. I may not be good at math, but I think that getting more than twice as many things for 50% more money seems like the better way to go, bro!!!!

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After a bread plate and some canapes, they kick things up right away with this playful, mysterious little dish called L‘Anguilla. Believe it or not, but that’s eel gelato, topped with sturgeon caviar, with a side of wild-rose tagliatelle on a dollop of fresh herbs. Now, when it comes to gelato, my go-to is gianduja, but this fishy variety makes for a very interesting appetizer…

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Speaking of seafaring creatures, this rolled-up Muscovy duck breast is served with mashed apples and baby spinach, with a balsamic vinegar and demi-glace. Dude, this duck definitely doesn’t suck!!!!!!

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Of course, you can’t be the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy without making a mean pasta, and this vermicelli dish definitely fits the bill. Noodles are cooked perfectly, with a couple pieces of mackerel on the side and topped with Sicilian pine nuts, which give it a nice crunch. Man, I couldda slammed three times as much pasta — but I had to save room for snapper:

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This roasted red snapper has a nice, citrusy seasoning, on a bed of organic asparagus — the best kind of asparagus, bro! — red radishes, and a cauliflower puree. While I don’t normally go for fish, this dish was delish!!!!

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But they’re saving the best for last with Il Bisonte! You’ve got Manitoba bison tenderloin wrapped in a Swiss chard and Buffalo mozzarella crust, with salsa verde and red chili sauce for dipping. The meat was perfectly cooked, super-tender… dude, you could put that cheese crust on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!

And it turns out the bison was the same size portion as the one on the a la carte menu. It’s just that the a la carte version comes with veggies, so it looks like I made the right choice…

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Now, when you’re dining at the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy, you don’t just get one dessert to choose from, son! Served on top of dry ice, we’ve got little baby cannoli, raspberry mousse on a raspberry wafer topped with a raspberry… and the star of the show, Pistachio Semifreddo (which sounds like a bad guy on The Sopranos, bro!) But that’s not all, folks…

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Say hello to ma lil’ friend Trionfo Alla Nocciola! They’re packing a whole lotta hazelnut in here, with hazelnut parfait, hazelnut sponge cake, hazelnut crumble and a hazelnut mousse wrapped in chocolate on top. Dude, that’s hazel-nuts!!!!!

Now, while I didn’t go for the wine pairing, my personal beer pairing (Blood Brothers Inner Eye IPA) along with the tasting menu, tax and tip set me back nearly three bills. So I might hafta stick with frozen pizza for the rest of the week — not that there’s anything wrong with that… 😛

Ah-ah-ah-ah, Jerk Lobster!!!

Now, we’ve had lobster a few different funky ways on Triple B, whether it was the 1.5-pound lobster roll at Smoked & Cracked (RIP), the Typhoon Crispy Lobster Mountain from Dine & Dim or the grandpappy of them all, Fishman Lobster Clubhouse’s 15 pounds of flavour. But one thing we haven’t tried until now was jerk lobster. I didn’t even know that was a thing, bro!

So, we’re hanging out at Patois, the legendary Jamaican Chinese joint on Dundas, which is now back at full capacity. I’ve already ordered takeout from dem a couple times during lockdown, so I know the food’s legit…and now they’re about to kick it up a notch!!!!

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With jerk in the name, I figured it’s gotta be spicy — the waiter even warned us — but there wasn’t really any heat in this dish. Turns out it’s cooked with jerk butter, which definitely adds flavour, but not much of a kick. Now, what puts this ahead of other crispy lobster dishes we’ve destroyed is they pair it with tater tots instead of frozen french fries. You KNOW I gotta have my tots, bro!!!!!!!!

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But that’s just the first act of this festival of funk in Flavourtown, son! We’re going to town on this $169 feast for four, starting off with Jamaican patties, kale salad and crispy Brussels sprouts. OK, so this wasn’t my favourite part of the feast — but hey, those Brussels sprouts weren’t too shabby…

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These Caribbean side dishes ain’t no side chick, son! We’ve got coleslaw, rice & peas, shrimp chips and my personal favourite — Trini Mac Pie. Dude, any dish that combines mac ‘n cheese and pie has gotta be one of the all-time greatest culinary creations in Flavourtown, bro!!!!

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But you KNOW this party’s just getting started in here, Bro-k Eyed Peas! Here come the hotsteppah — jerk chicken, fried chicken, and a pair of double smash burgers served on a Chinese pineapple bun!!! Oh, and they happen to have an extra-special secret ingredient…

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Now, I dunno if you can tell from this angle, but they actually put Hickory Sticks, my all-time favourite chips on top of this burger! Patties are pretty tasty, too, and the pineapple bun adds some extra sweetness… Can this night even get any better, bro!!!!!!???????

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You can totally order some fruity, tropical cocktails at this place — but since this blog ain’t Burgers, Bacon, Wray & Ting… I had to order a beer. Patois’ beer selection is pretty solid, too, with craft brews from Beaus, Blood Brothers, Cowbell and Fairweather alongside your Red Stripe and Dragon Stout. They’ve even got this Cowbell Citra Smash juicy IPA on tap, which is actually more fruity than hoppy at 40 IBU, and goes pretty great with Jamaican food, if I don’t say so myself…

It’s a pizza… It’s a calzone… It’s Batman, bro!!!!

Now, I dunno if I even wanna see Rob Pattinson in the new Batman movie — especially after Christian Bale absolutely killed it and grilled it in that role, son! (At least he can’t be any worse than Ben Affleck, right?) But when I heard that Little Caesars was putting out a new, limited-edition Batman Calzony in honour of the movie, you KNOW I had to buy a ticket for that one, bro!!!!

I didn’t even think I had a Little Caesars anywhere near me, but it turns out there’s one at Coxwell and Gerrard — which isn’t super-close, but only about a 15 minute drive if you order from Skip the Dishes. (Uber probably wouldda sent a bicycle delivery guy, and had him make 3 other stops along the way…) So while this Calzony wasn’t quite Hot-n-Ready when it got here, it was still warm enough to make for some good eatin’.

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Now, one thing that makes this different from your typical delivery pizza is that the slices are are square, or at least vaguely rectangular, in order to make the shape of the Batman logo. Otherwise, this is decent pizza, with a good, chewy crust and pretty good pepperoni distribution.

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The calzone section is pretty basic. It’s just stuffed with cheese, with a few pieces of pepperoni thrown in. And I think that might be Crazy Bread — although I haven’t had Crazy Bread since Batman Forever, bro! It also came with a tub of marinara, but unlike the pizza, the dipping sauce was as cold as Mr. Freeze, son!!!!

Still, that didn’t stop me from destroying this whole thing in one sitting. Holy Acid Reflux, Batman!!!!!!!!

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Oodles of octopus @Joso’s

Restaurants are now back to full capacity in Toronto, so we’re hanging out at Joso’s, this legendary local Italian seafood joint at Av & Dav dating back to 1967, son! This place is one of Drake’s favourite restaurants, so you know it’s gotta be good — he’s even got his own special chair upstairs — but we had actually never been here before despite living in Toronto for quite a while. Time to check this one off the bucket list, John Bro-tucci!!!!

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Now, Joso’s doesn’t actually have an appetizer section on its menu, but that doesn’t mean you can’t order some mains as starters — at main course prices, mind you. These Grilled Gamberoni come four to an order, some decent-sized prawns cut in half and served in the shell with lemon, garlic and a bit of butter. Can’t go wrong with any of that, son!

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But one of the main draws at this place, aside from the market-priced whole fish, is this dish — Octopus Schiavona. Schia-what-now? I have eaten octopus more than a few times before, but never served like this, steamed and thinly sliced with olive oil, capers and olives. It’s almost more like octopus poke, but with a prettier presentation. And I can’t really complain about the portion size…

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Now, if I’m eating at an Italian joint, you KNOW I’m gonna be judging them on their tiramisu — and this one totally passed the test! It was super moist, almost creamy even, with a nice dusting of cocoa poweder. Only questionable thing was the whipped cream on the side… I didn’t have to eat it, but I couldn’t just leave it sitting there, y’know?

French onion soup + French beef dip @ this funky French bistro

When we went to Cluny in 2020, I discovered that their coq au vin poutine for two was really just a light snack for me — and it was the only thing I ordered, too, except for dessert. So this time, I’m heading back to check out the ne plus français of French food, starting off with some French onion soup:

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Now, this dish looks really nice when it hits the table, with all that cheese on top. And the ingredients are all on point — melted gruyère, glazed onion, rich beef broth. Only thing that’s missing are the croutons… I guess that makes it gluten-free or something?

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Since the bread was missing from my French onion soup, I pretty much ordered the sandwich version of the same dish. French dip ain’t actually French — it was invented in Los Angeles, of all places. But the version they do here is pretty decent, with an onion loaf that’s flaky like a croissant. Problem is, that onion loaf falls apart too easy, which isn’t great when you’re trying to dip it in au jus. And the fries are super-seasoned, too, but since they don’t come with ketchup, that works for me.

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How better to wash down all that French food than with an English beer? Well, English-style, anyways — a Cobblestone Stout from just down the street at Mill Street Brewery. I have never drank a stout out of such a tall glass before, and it was served much colder than a proper pint of Guinness…but hey, it still gets the job done, son!!!!

Destroying DIY Cincinnati 5-way chili during the Super Bowl, bro!

Now, the Cincinnati Bengals might not have won Super Bowl LVI — but as a Seahawks fan, there’s no way in hell I was gonna cheer for the Rams. So I decided to kick my Super Bowl party up a notch with Cincy’s finest culinary creation — 5-Way Skyline Chili. We’re talking spaghetti, kidney beans, chili, onions and cheese, all on one plate, son! Just another light snack in Flavourtown?

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Now, since we don’t really know how to cook on Triple B, I went and got the five ingredients from my local grocery store. Basically, all that’s left to do is boil the pasta, dice the onion, heat up the chili and drain the beans, and we’re good to go…

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I used about half the box of spaghetti, which was a perfect al dente after 10 minutes. And since I dunno when I’ll ever need kidney beans again, I put the entire can on top. While they did cover the plate perfectly, I probably used too many…

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Now, the chili selection at my local Metro was pretty limited — it was basically just Campbell’s or one other brand, and both of them had beans. As I was pouring it on, I thought a whole can of chili might be too much, but it doesn’t quite cover the plate and gets pretty much absorbed into the other ingredients.

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While I only used about a quarter of the onion I bought at the store, that was plenty of onion to go around. And probably a lot more than I needed, too…

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Final step is to cover the whole thing in cheese, which works for me. While the cheese is cold at the beginning, it does warm up and melt a bit after the first few bites.

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Now, when you do get all the ingredients into one bite, it really comes together. I mean, it’s less like chili, and more like spaghetti nachos, with the onions, beans and cheese adding a bit of southern comfort. The only problem was that I did not get my ingredient ratio right — the last 10-15 bites were mostly just onions and beans, with the odd noodle thrown in. And the cold beans and cold cheese kinda takes away from the hot noodles and chili. But my biggest mistake was not having enough chili to go around. If I ever make this again, I’m gonna need a bigger can…

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And while I did polish off this whole plate of (less than) perfection last night, I am really paying for it today. Let’s just say that, in the words of The Great Cornolio, I need TP for my bunghole right about now…

Image of TP for my bunghole?

LA POUTINE WEEK 2022: 10 pounds of poutine in a 9-pound bag…

We’re coming up to the end of La Poutine Week, so we’re saving the biggest and baddest for last, bro!  Now, most places on the list were serving up poutines for 10-15 bucks… but Smoke’s Poutinerie, the friendly neighbourhood poutine chain that’s been dishing it out since 2009, was going all out with the Slaughterhouse, a 28-dollar dish that’s packing not one, not two, not three, not four but five different meats on top of fries, curds and gravy — shut the front, back, side, rear, aft, port and starboard doors, mighty mighty broseph!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Now, you could double, triple, quadruple or even quintuple down on any of the five kinds of meat they had here, but I decided to do one of everything: bacon, pulled pork, chicken, steak and “prime beef” (which I think is just ground beef, bro). Man, this meaty monstrosity was like The Song that Never Ends in Flavourtown — no matter how much I ate, this box still seemed like it was full. I did eventually get to the bottom, though…

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When they say this baby is not for your average poutine eater, they definitely weren’t kidding. Although I think they were lying about the weight — they said 3 pounds, but I had to carry this thing home, and I swear it weighed more than I lift at the gym, bro! Between all the meats, the bacon, pulled pork and steak were what stood out. I guess I saw some chunks of chicken, and I’m still not sure what prime beef is. But the cheese curds were the stars of the show, staying perfectly squeaky all the way home. In fact, as I was getting full, they became the hardest thing to chew… but a can full of Canuck brew helps the poutine-icine go down, Mary Bro-ppins!!!!!!

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LA POUTINE WEEK 2022: Ain’t no thing but a chicken…tender?

Back in the day, it was an old-timey sales tactic to price something at, say, $14.99 instead of $15 so that folks would think they were getting a better deal. But when it comes to food delivery apps, places that do this are a real pain in the ass. Let’s say there’s a promotion where you hafta spend $30 to save 20% and you order something that costs $29.99. Well, even though it’s basically 30 bucks, you’re still one cent short, and you have to add another item to get the discount. Bad news, broseph!!!!

So, to recap, DoorDash’s La Poutine Week discount kicks in when you spend at least 15 bucks, including the special poutine. Now, most places are charging at least 15 bucks for their Poutine Week special — except for the Duke of York, which charges $14.99. Whether they are using old-timey sales tactics or just wanna make people add something else to their order, this really grinds my gears, bro! So that’s why you see a bottle of ice tea (which costs $2.49, natch) in the photo above. But hey, they did throw in a free cookie and a decent-sized container of ranch dressing, so I guess I can call it even…

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Now, the DoorDash description calls this Wing Poutine, but it’s pretty clear that these are chicken tenders. (To be faiiiiiir, they are described as “boneless breaded chicken” on the listing, although I guess I was expecting them to be chunkier or something.) They also let you choose your sauce — I went with “Hot,” figuring it would only be sports bar spicy — and I was right. It had about as much kick as a decent Buffalo wing. And hey, there is plenty of chicken to go around…

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Now, here’s the weird thing. My first few bites, the fries were still crispy…but the cheese curds weren’t melted at all. Then it hit me — did they even put any gravy on here? Well, I dunno if the gravy went on first, or if the chicken just weighed it down, but there was plenty of gravy at the bottom of the container. And the best bites were when you got some of that gravy, with the properly melted cheese, a couple fries and a piece of chicken. Just not sure what happened up top, bro???

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LA POUTINE WEEK 2022: Pour some gravy on me…in the name of love!!!

Just like how DoorDash brought Le Burger Week in Toronto back from the dead last year, it’s now doing the same with La Poutine Week, by taking 8 dollars off orders of 15 bucks or more from participating poutineries. Man, the last time I even bothered to cover this week was in 2016, so it’s been a while. And they do have a few more options than Burger Week, too, with 10 places to order from — although one appears to be permanently closed and another joint is serving up pho instead of poutine, which is kinda weird…

In any case, we are kicking off La Poutine Week 2022 with a tasty little dish from Loaded Pierogi. Now, I’ve had some funky surf ‘n turf pierogis from this place before, so I know they’re outta bounds, but this is the first time I’ve even been served poutine with gravy on the side. I guess they didn’t want the fries to get soggy in delivery — although the 17 other things they put on this poutine already took care of that. And while I’m all aboard this gravy train, I don’t think there was enough good gravy to go around:

Now, they call this The Queso-Rizo Poutine, and it’s pretty redonkulous. You’ve got fries covered in queso, topped with big ol’ chunks of chorizo, shredded cheddar, crispy jalapenos, caramelized AND green onions and that gravy served separately. That’s what I call starting Poutine Week off in style, son!!!!

Dude, that chorizo is TheBomb.ca, and they don’t shortchange ya, either! Queso adds a nice creaminess, and there’s a bit of a kick from the onions and hot peppas. You might have noticed that there aren’t actually any Quebec cheese curds here — so maybe you can’t call it poutine — but in that case, these were some of the best chorizo cheese fries I’ve ever had, bro!!!!!

I’ll be porking my troubles away with this pork chop…

Right now, the Raptors are only allowing 500 fans inside Scotiabank Arena, making it the toughest ticket in town. But it’s much easier to get a seat at Aria Ristorante, this funky Italian joint that’s so close to the arena, you can watch the game on the giant screen in Jurassic Park, son!!!

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The price of admission starts at 25 dollars for Il Frito, a tasty plate of fried calamari and shrimp, served with a smoked tartar sauce. I’m not used to eating shrimp with their heads on, but like John Daly says, just grip it and rip it, bro!!!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. We’re talking 12 ounces of Berkshire pork chop tomahawk, with swiss chard, smoky bacon and sour cherries. Dude, this pork is cooked to perfection, and when you get a little bite of bacon in there, too, that’s the ticket — although it still won’t get you into the game, bro. 😦 😦 😦

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Just as the Raptors are putting a hurtin’ on the Atlanta Hawks, we’re putting the finishing touches on this meal with a real-deal tiramisu, topped with chunks of chocolate, and three fully intact ladyfingers out back. For dessert, it was either this or cannoli — I think I made the right choice. 😛