Monthly Archives: November 2022

MUCH MORE MUNICH: Yes, you can get a hoppy beer in Munich…if you know where to look.

Now, I’m all for Helles lager, especially when it comes in a litre glass…but after a few days in Munich, I was looking for something with a little more flavour. Luckily, I stumbled across Higgins Ale Works, this craft brewery owned by an American transplant couple that’s serving up hoppy beers, heavy beers, dark beers… and other stuff you won’t find in your average biergarten.

Their taproom fits maybe 30 people, but it was completely packed when I walked in, with most of the people inside chatting in English, not German.

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For starters, we’re going with this milk ice cream stout by Testbrau. At 6.3%, it’s a lot heavy than a Guinness, but it actually tastes smoother — less coffee, more vanilla. And that works for me…

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Next, we’re going a bit lighter in colour — and a lot lighter in flavour — with this Basecamp Mild Brown Ale. It’s only 3.6%, lighter than Bud Light, but waaaaaay tastier. Nice malty kick that punches above its weight!

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Of course, I couldn’t go this long without ordering a pale ale, so I went with their Alpental American Pale Ale. It’s definitely a hoppy beer, tastes like your favourite NEIPA, with German-grown Amarillo and Cascade hops(!) coming in not too heavy at 5.5%. If you’re in Germany and you’ve been missing the hops, it hits the spot!

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This Green Business Fresh Hop Lager from Munich Brew Mafia is a much better lager than you’ll find in a stein. I have never had a lager that tasted this hoppy, and it’s got a pretty good kick at 6%.

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Not the biggest fan of Belgian beers, so I held off on their Flanders Style Mild Bruin Ale until now. But you know, this one’s not so bad. It does have that rich malty taste of a Belgian, but this one doesn’t go to 11 — it checks in at a mild 4.5%. And I actually kinda like the caramel aftertaste. Might be the best Belgian-style non-wheat beer I’ve had…

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This place has six beers on tap, so we’re saving the most German for last. This Mocktoberfest Marzen perhaps caters more to the local tastes with a slightly reddish lager with a decent amount of malt. Hey, I’d happily drink this at any bierhalle that didn’t have a weissbier…but give me Green Business or Alpental any day!!!

MUCH MORE MUNICH: Drunken Cow goes moo, moo, moo all the way down my piehole, bro!!!!

Now, Munich might be known more for leberkäse than burgers, but when I heard there was this funky burger and cocktail joint called Drunken Cow, within stumbling distance of the Alte Pinkakothek art gallery, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!!!!

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They’ve got like 3 pages of burgers on the menu, so it’s pretty hard to choose. But I went with the Italian Burger, topped with mozzarella, prosciutto, pesto, zucchini, arugula (which they call “rocket” around here, haha), balsamic vinegar and their house DC sauce. Mamma Mia!!!

So, first of all, that burger patty is phenomenal. It tastes more like a backyard burger, thick, juicy and cooked to a nice medium rare. From there it’s a matter of substitution — the zucchini replaces pickles and adds an extra kick, while unfortunately the prosciutto isn’t as good as bacon, and kinda gets lost in the mix. But man, it’s all about the beef here, and this beef is!!!

Seriously, if this ain’t the best burger joint in Munich, I would LOVE to try any place that does it better, bro!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, I would normally have a beer with my burger, but this place doesn’t have pints or litres, cuz they’re more of a cocktail bar… which I think is quite unusual around these parts. So I decided to go with a Munich Mule, with gin, mint, and homemade ginger beer, which definitely gives it a bit of a kick. No copper mug here, but there’s a nice, sour flavour, with a hint of cucumber, and the gin is local, too, so I’m not complaining…

Chased that with a Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, a rum-forward tropical drink that goes great with all the reggae on their playlist. Yeah, we be jammin!!!

MUCH MORE MUNICH: Do you even KNOW knödel, bro????

Now, Munich is a very diverse city — you can find pretty much any kind of food here. (The latest trend is Mexican food, apparently — but we’re a long ways from Mexico, so I think I’m gonna pass…) Me, I wanted to try a style of cuisine that I’ve never had before, and I found it at this funky joint called Fink’s Südtiroler Knödelküche. (Try saying that five times fast!)

So, if you didn’t know (and I only found this out like a month ago), a knödel is a type of dumpling from the South Tyrolean region of Italy, which is actually in the northern part of the country. Now, I’ve had a whole lotta Italian food in Toronto, but I’ve never even seen these before… so I went all in with a KnödelQuartet — four knödel for 18 Euros, bro!!!!

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Started off with the Porciniknödel, nice mushroom flavour that cuts through the mix. Goes great with the Gorgonzola sauce (served separately), son!

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Up next, the Greeknödel, with feta, olives and sun-dried tomatoes. You can taste the tang of the olives, while the tomatoes give this one a nice little kick!

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You can tell which one is the Pizzanödel by its bright orange colour. The combo of tomatoes and cheese make it taste kinda like a pizza… A pizza with no meat, that is.

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Last but not least, the Baconnödel — there’s no shortage of bacon in this one, son! The bacon goes quite well with the rich, doughy dumpling… dude, if I lived here, this would be body by bacon dumplings!!!!

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Washed it all down with a Weihenstephan Weizen, which they’ve been brewing since 10-freaking-40! Man, I loves me some German wheat beer, and this one’s on point. Nice, easy drinking, with a bit of bananas at the end — you KNOW bananas is good, bro!!!!!!

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But even after all that knödel-motion back there, we still have room for dessert. This Bitter Chocolate Orange Knödel is coming in hot with a sugary, doughy outside that kinda reminds me of apple crumble. Chocolate is definitely there, but it doesn’t steal the show. One of the most interesting desserts I’ve had all year — you won’t find this at Swiss Chalet, son!!!!!!!!!

MUCH MORE MUNICH: Can I eat on your magic bus?

Dude, Magic Bus is like my third favourite Who song (Baba O’Reilly FTW!), so when I heard that Munich had its own magic food bus — a modified school bus called DinnerHopping with a built-in bar that takes you to three different local restaurants for a three-course meal, I was all over that like Keith Moon on Heminevrin, bro!

Now, it just so happened to be Italian night when I booked, and since Germany’s a lot closer to Italy than Toronto, I was really curious to see whether things would be more authentic here than back home in Il Gran Fumado…

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The first course, from a place called Ristorante Ottantanove, is beef carpaccio…. and there’s more than enough to go around! Beef had a nice chew, topped with grated parm and shredded mozz, plus some arugula for colour. Not too sure about the cheese on top, but anytime you can start a meal with beef, you KNOW it’s gonna be a good day, bro!!!!!!

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While I don’t usually talk about bread, I like how even the Italian restaurants over here tie their bread rolls into little pretzels, hahaha. Dude, this is body by soft pretzels…and they are everywhere in Munich!!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event, seafood risotto from Trattoria Il Cigno. You’ve got fish, mussels and shrimp on a nice, creamy bed of rice. Portion looks a little small, but there’s plenty of mussels to go around, and I managed to shuck the shrimp successfully, which really kicked things up a notch. I don’t usually go for risotto, but I’d put this dish up with any seafood pasta I’ve had in Toronto, bro!!!!

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For dessert, you KNOW I’m having tiramisu, bro! Vi Vadi Rustico is maybe not making it 100% like Nonna, but they do it up right. Yes, there is chocolate sauce drizzled on the plate and a random fruit garnish, but the espresso, marscapone and ladyfingers are on point. Questionable flourishes aside, this tiramisu is quite tasty!

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Of course, you KNOW this ain’t Burgers, Bacon and Pinot Grigio, bro! The only beer on board was Erdinger Helles, which wasn’t bad…it kinda reminds me of Labatt Blue. But man, after slamming some killer wheat beer for like 4.50 Euros at a grocery store, let’s just say that Munich can do much better…

On the tour, they charge an extra fee for beer (I think it was like 13 Euros) on top of the cost of the food. I mean, you could stick with soda, but why??? Now, I dunno how many beers you’re supposed to get for that price, but I had like 5 and they didn’t cut me off, so I’d say I got my money’s worth!!!!

MUCH MORE MUNICH: Beers, brats & booing Tom Brady

Well, we might have missed beer garden season (except for the Viktualienmarkt, which is open year-round) and the Christmas markets aren’t open yet… So why go to Munich in November? Well, it turns out that my Seahawks were in Deutschland to take on Tom Brady and the Bucs in the first-ever regular season NFL game in the country — so you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!!!

But after a 12-course, 3-hour brunch, I wasn’t all that hungry, so I just grabbed a beer, a brat, and got ready to boo Brady.

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Now, for five bucks, these bratwurst aren’t a bad deal. I mean, this thing’s like a foot long, son! Sausage has a nice snap, bun is good and chewy. I woulda liked to put some onions or some sauerkraut on here — but apparently putting sauerkraut on top of sausage isn’t a thing that Germans actually do.

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Speaking of things Germans do, I wanted a litre of beer — but my nearest food/drink stand was all out of litre glasses by halftime, so I settled for a half litre. There are no canned beers here, and they don’t even tell you what brand of beer — although I’m pretty sure it was a helles lager. Let’s just say that after 4 days in Munich, I know a helles when I taste it.


Unfortunately, all my booing Brady didn’t make up for the lack of a Seattle ground game in the first half, and they ended up losing by five. I’m pretty sure I’m the reason he fell down when they tried to throw him the ball on a trick play and it got picked off, though. 😛

MUCH MORE MUNICH: Bohemian brunch at a funky Michelin star French joint

Now, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t watching football on an empty stomach last Sunday, so I was looking for some real-deal brunch before the big game. And about halfway from Marienplatz to Allianz Arena, on the bustling Leopoldstrasse, there’s a two-time Michelin Star joint that’s bringing the buffet to you — this is La Bohème!

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For a set price of 79 Euros per person, they’re serving up a multi-course meal with all the things you see above. They do not seem to have an English menu, and I don’t know what half of these words mean…but everything they brought out was quite tasty.

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We started with a cheese cracker, bruschetta, hummus in a cone, and another cone with crudités and dip. Fancy schmancy!

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This spread was like a whole meal in itself (and could probably feed a table for four) with a variety of breads, meats, cheese, smoked salmon, smoked mackerel, guacamole, marmalade… Let’s just say I made a few interesting open-faced sammies out of this. Smoked fish and marmalade taste better together than you might think!

But wait, there’s more…

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Now here’s an interesting take on eggs benny. It’s practically gluten-free with just a couple croutons on the side. But the egg is nicely poached, bacon is good and crispy… It’s different, but it works.

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Next up, a bit of a break with Caesar salad, Avocado/raisin salad and a shrimp cocktail. Caesar was nice and creamy, shrimp was plump and tasty, and who knew that avocado and raisins went together so well???

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From there, we get a lot of small but mighty plates, like rare roast beef with one sliver of potato…

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This little slider was OK, but nothing special.

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Mushroom risotto was strangely foamy but still quite tasty. Mushrooms were nice and tender and the rice was cooked perfectly.

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More rice, and more foam, along with their catch of the day. It’s good, but I’m over it.

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What I really need is some steak to pick me up — and this meat is literally on fire, bro! Beef is super tender, and that cognac glaze really sets it off!!!!

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Instead of full-sized pancakes, we got a bit of an amuse bouche with these pancake balls. Unfortunately only the bottom one got any syrup, and the top one was pretty dry…

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Just when it looked like I would have to skip dessert to head down to the game, I saw them preparing these crepes and decided to wait. Paper thin and citrusy with lemon and orange, it was a nice end to a very long meal. Like I said, this entire 3-hour feast — including champagne and orange juice — was 79 Euros, tax included. Maybe that’s not so great once you convert it to CAD, but for all this food, I really can’t complain… Alles gut en ze hood!

MUCH MORE MUNICH: Eating all the victuals at Viktualienmarkt

I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, you can’t go to Munich without hitting up Viktualienmarkt. This giant food market, right in the heart of the city, is equal parts groceries, street food and beer garden. And unlike all the other beer gardens that close in October, this one is open all year round! It might only be 8 or 9 degrees outside, but when you pack enough people into the biergarten, you don’t feel cold at all!

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Right when you walk in from Marienplatz, there’s a whole row of butchers. So I gotta stop here for a Munich classic — a leberkase sandwich. Although its name means liver cheese, there is neither liver nor cheese here — it’s more like meatloaf on a bun. And at Metzgerei Schabitz, they’ve got all the meats — pork, veal, beef and even venison. It’s like Bambi’s mom on a bun, son!!!!

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Meat is hot and freshly sliced, so it’s super tender. The bun adds a nice crunch, and you’ve got a bit of a kick from the spicy mustard. And did I mention it’s only three-fifty???

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Speaking of great deals, you won’t find a better one than at Karnoll’s, where they’re serving up Munich’s best pretzel for 60 cents a pop. It’s super crunchy, but soft on the inside… I might hafta go back for seconds!!!!

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But first, it’s time for another Munich classic — currywurst with fries. Sausage is super tender, with a red sauce (not ketchup) and curry powder that really kicks it up a notch! Fries are nice and crispy, and also covered in curry powder. I’d put that shit on anything!!!!

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Washed it down with ein mass bier — a litre of Helles, for less than 10 Euros. You can get other kinds of beer, too, but only the Helles comes in the big glass. (Apparently, you can also get a litre of radler, but you gotta ask. The beer litres are sitting out on the counter, so you can just grab one.) Pro tip: instead of hanging on to the handle, grab the side of the glass beneath it for a stronger grip.

But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! We’re heading across the street to Cafe Frischhut for some traditional German pastries called krapfen and schmalznudel. Say what now?

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Krapfen is like a German jelly donut, topped with powdered sugar. Nothing wrong with that at all!!!

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But the schmalznudel really kicks it up a notch. It’s basically a German Beavertail, hot n crispy with a light, flaky centre. I’ll take 10 to go, bro!!!!!

MUCH MORE MUNICH: Getting schnitt-faced at Hofbrauhaus on a German beer crawl

Dude, we’re hanging out in Munich, Germany, one of the greatest beer cities in the world — so you KNOW this is my kinda place, bro! And you can bet yer bottom Deutsch mark we ain’t drinking peppermint schnapps!!!!

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We’re starting off with a Paulaner Munchner Hell, cuz we’re raisin’ hell with the hippies and the cowboys, son! This beer goes all the way back to the 30s — the 1630s! — when a buncha monks decided they could brew a better beer than all the breweries at the time. (Turns out that even native Munchners don’t like Lowenbrau…) One cool thing about Munich is you’re allowed to drink on the street, and most people just leave their empties on the sidewalk so someone can collect them for the deposit. Man, if you go to the subway stop before the soccer stadium, with like 6-7 garbage bags, you could make an easy 100 bucks, bro…

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From there, we’re heading to the Oktoberfest Museum, son! The museum might be closed for renovations, but their beerhall is still serving up the finest wares from Augustiner, another local legend. I’m definitely a fan of their Hefeweizen, paired with the hotttest, freshest pretzels I’ve had in town. (They were also the first pretzels I’ve had in Munich…but they won’t be the last!!!!)

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Now, little did I know when I walked into Hofbrauhaus; Munich’s biggest, most celebrated brewpub, that I was walking into a trap. Turns out they were the official Tampa Bay bar for the NFL Munich game, and since I was in town to boo Tom Brady, I did not stay long. I did have time to down a foamy beer and a giant pretzel, which tasted fresher, but not hotter, than the last pretzel I had.

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So, instead we ended the night at Hackerhaus with a German-style charcuterie plate, washed down with a kellerbier.

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What the heck’s a kellerbier? Well, it’s when you take a traditional German lager, but don’t clarify or pasteurize it, leaving you with an easy-drinking beer that’s magically delicious! I think I’ll have 3 more to go… 😉

Build your own barbacoa tacos @ Milagro

Now, you might find “beef barbacoa” all over the place, but when it comes to real-deal barbacoa, it’s dirty deeds, done with sheep, son! So when I found out that Milagro Cantina, this funky Mexican joint just south of King St, was serving up barbacoa with roast lamb, you KNOW we had to check it out, bro!


So here’s the deal. They give you a plate full of lamb, with onions, cilantro, beans and a spicy chipotle sauce, and a basket of tortillas on the side to make your own tacos. I’m not sure if the beans were meant to go in the taco, or just as a side dish, but they went pretty well with the tender lamb, which needed a bit of that sauce to kick it up a notch.


But that’s not all, folks! We’ve also got some queso fundido with chorizo — dude, Queso Fundido was the name of my 80’s Rock en Español cover band, cabron! You got some mad cheese pulls from the queso, a little kick from the chorizo…and I even saved a bit to make this Flavourtown creation — cheesy barbacoa taco!!!


I mean, maybe they don’t put cheese tacos in Mexico — but me, I’d put that shit on everything, bro!


Washed it all down with a Michelada Preparada, which is where they take a Michelada and add hot sauce to the mix. Unfortunately, the hot sauce mostly sank to the bottom, so I didn’t get much of it until the end, when I was basically just drinking hot sauce and water. Ay caramba!


Of course, we can’t go for Mexican and not order churros, bro! These ones came six to an order, about three bites each, with some chocolate on the plate for dipping. Hey, they might not compete with Guy Fieri’s churros — but you can never go wrong with churros, homes!!!!!

Classic seafood combo @ Pearl Diver

Now, although they’ve got some pretty good fish on the West Coast, I feel like the East Coast is the best coast for seafood — especially when it comes to the chicken of the sea. So we’re hanging out at the Pearl Diver, this funky little joint on Adelaide, and starting off with some lobster sliders:

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Now, these buns are pretty basic, but they let the lobster do the talking. And between the two of em, you get about as much lobster meat as some of the lobster rolls I’ve had — for the fairly reasonable price (for lobster) of 26 dollars.

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But you KNOW that’s just an appetizer, bro! Now we’re diving in to some fish ‘n chips. Fish is nice and fresh, with enough breading to not be too healthy, but still not too heavy. Fries are thin and salty, and taste better with ketchup.

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Now, the last time we were here, they had some really good beers — and that has not changed at all. Like this Sawdust City Little Norway Pilsner, which goes great with seafood, and has a nice little crisp finish.

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And they’re still bringing a whole buncha Belgian beers across the pond that you probably won’t find anywhere else. Like Orval, a hazy trappiste pale ale clocking in just shy of 7%. Not as heavy as a tripel or quadrupel…but definitely more of a dessert beer.

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And speaking of dessert, this was one of the top five sticky toffee puddings I’ve ever had. It’s super moist, with just enough richness from the caramel sauce. Honestly, it takes Gordon Ramsey’s sticky toffee pudding (that I had in Vegas), puts it between two pieces of bread, and calls it an idiot sandwich, bro!!!!!!!!!!!!!