Monthly Archives: February 2023

South of the border bacon & eggs @ Chadwick’s

Now, I KNOW my main man Guy Fieri is all about chilaquiles — but they ain’t so easy to find in Toronto, bro. (I have only actually had them twice.) So we heard that Chadwick’s, this funky little joint on Dupont, that’s serving up all kinds of Tex Mex and Latin American fusion food on its brunch menu, had chilaquiles — but they come with eggs on top. Guy Fieri would soooo not approve!!!!

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Now the eggs might come with this dish, but here on Triple B, we’re kicking things up another notch by adding a side of bacon, and then putting it right on top. (Dude, the First Rule of Flavourtown is Always Add Bacon!) This thick-cut pork belly, along with some runny poached eggs, mixed in with those tortilla chips, a few radishes, cilantro, and two kinds of salsas — verde AND roja — it’s like a festival of funk in Flavourtown! And you’ve got two different textures with this dish — the chips on the outside are still hard and crunchy, while the ones that are soaking in sauce are chewier (and easier to cut, cuz this is kinda messy to eat with your hands). Either way, you can’t go wrong, bro!!!!

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We’re washing ‘er down with a Great Lakes Stout, their best impression of a Guinness. This Canadian take on an Irish breakfast smoothie goes down nice ‘n smoothly, at at 4.3% I can shotgun seven of these and still dance a jig, son!!!!

Seafood Tower of Power @ The Chase!!!

Now, you don’t really see a lotta seafood towers on Triple B. I mean, most places that serve seafood towers are steakhouses…and whenever I’m at a steakhouse, I’m eating steak and taking names, son! But now we’re hanging out at The Chase, this funky seafood joint just offa Yonge St, and this place specializes in seafood, so that means it’s gotta be good right?

And here on Triple B, it’s always go big or go home. So when there are three different seafood towers to choose from, we had to go for the biggest, baddest one of them all. They called this the Diamond, and it’s like a double black diamond skiing straight down my lobster hole. You KNOW the picture’s only begun, bro!!!!!!!!

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This Tower of Power in Flavourtown comes with everything you see here — times five. You’ve got a B-52 chilled rock lobster, snow crab legs, shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon, yellowfin tuna sashimi, rock shrimp salad and an east coast/west coast oyster rivalry going on (I liked the ones from PEI). About the only thing missing are some scallops…

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…which is why I made them my main meal. This might be the purdiest plate of scallops I’ve ever seen, served with roasted sunchokes and crispy chicken skin — dude, the crispy chicken skin is what makes it! But the scallops are cooked perfectly, buttery soft and tender. Now, if they could just put these on the new Double Diamond tower next time we swing by, that would be perfection on a platter, bro!!!!

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Now, this Nordic pale ale doesn’t hail from Scandinavia — it’s coming straight outta Ottawa, which is probably close enough in wintertime. Whitewater Brewing’s North Meets South is hoppy, juicy, but not too heavy, at just 4.6%. Dude, this beer checks Bud Light into the boards and gives it a facewash, bro!!!!!!!!!!

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But even after all those crustaceans back there, we’ve still got room for dessert. And when it comes to dessert, whenever I see something called Chocolate on the dessert menu, it’s guaranteed to be heading straight down my piehole. This one was a little too funky to be considered funkalicious, though. You’ve got a dark chocolate tart with pistachios, cream and mint, and then there’s a scoop of blood orange sorbet on the side. Hey, I like Terry’s Chocolate Orange as much as the next fat guy, but this dish just didn’t do it for me. I shouldda gone with the sticky toffee pudding instead… 😦

These are a few of my favorite things, bro!!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Favorites Thai BBQ, this funky little joint tucked in behind a coffee shop on Ossington (look for the Thai BBQ neon sign) that is too legit to quit! Man, this place is killin’ it and grillin’ it right up front when you come in, and it smells sooooo amazeballs. But here’s the thing — the food tastes even better!!!!

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We’re starting off with a crispy calamari salad. I know what you’re thinking: Fucking salad? On my Triple B!? But hear me out bro — this dish is like 70% calamari, 30% salad. You get about a dozen deep-fried squid rings with just a few green things on the side. So that ratio sounds right to me, bro!!!!

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But now we’re kicking it up a notch with some Northern Thai sausage. This little piggy went to market with a nice blend of herbs and spices. I could eat that all day, bro!!!!

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Here’s where it gets even more ridiculous. You’ve got some super-tender grilled lamb chops, with a spicy dipping sauce — and then hiding underneath them are some potatoes. You KNOW I’m always down for hidden potatoes, bros!!!!

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But t-t-t-t-that’s not all folks! We’ve got a delicious duck breast, dressed to impress on a bed of red curry with asparagus, lime leaf and coconut. Dude, that’s coco-nuts! I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and still have room for dessert… but the only sweet thing they have is a Thai take on tiramisu, so I decided to pass on dessert.

Dude, these are the biggest tortelli I’ve ever seen, bro…

So, we’re hanging out at Piano Piano, this funky little Italian joint that just opened up south of King Street, right where Hogtown Smoke used to be. But while this place might be brand new, we’re no strangers to Piano Piano’s OG location on Harbord, having scarfed down a massive Summerlicious meal in 2019 and ordered veal parm to go in ’21. Although, I’ve never had any of their pasta before, so now it’s time to check it off the bucket list…

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But first we’re starting off with some croquettes alla vodka. Dude, anything deep-fried in vodka sauce has gotta be good, and these bad boys are no exception! These round mounds of Flavourtown are stuffed with prosciutto, potato, Fontina, ‘nduja and dusted with a little Parmesan on top. Mamma mia!!!!

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Now, when they brought out the tortelli con bolognese, I was like “You sure that’s not ravioli, bro?” I mean, they do have egg yolk ravioli on the menu, although that dish is vegetarian, while this one clearly comes with meat sauce. But without the sauce, I’m not sure you could tell them apart — they’re both stuffed with ricotta, cooked in brown butter and dusted with parm. Apparently the ravioli are even bigger than these four-bite babies, though… they’re so big, they only come two to an order!!!

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I was slightly worried about what they called on the menu Nutella Tiramisu. That’s not how Nonna makes it, fratello!  But the layer of hazelnut spread only adds to the traditional tastes of coffee, cocoa and marscapone. I give it three smashed plates outta four!!!!

This beer’s basically got our name on it, bro!!!!

So, we’re hanging out at the Rosedale Diner, this funky joint on Yonge St about a block away from Summerhill (not Rosedale) Station. This place has been serving it up since the 70’s, and they were even on Triple D, so you KNOW it’s gotta be good, bro! But those who know this place, also know they’ve got one of the best selections of craft beer in the city, with a whole buncha funky brews you won’t even find at the flagship LCBO across the street. So, even though it’s only like 10 am, there’s no way I’m NOT drinking…

And at this place, the beer menu is much, much bigger than the brunch menu, so what beer to drink is gonna be the toughest decision I make all day. But about halfway down the first page, I spot something that I KNOW has gotta be my first brewski of the day. This is Triple B:

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OK, so I should maybe mention that this wasn’t some kind of collaboration between us and Burdock Brewery — dude, we’re not that famous, bro! And in this case, Triple B stands for Burdock Best Bitter, an English-style pub ale that barely dents the scale at 3.4%. Dude, if we’re putting our name on a beer, you KNOW it’s gonna be like a quadruple IPA brewed with bacon and beef fat… But hey, this Triple B ain’t bad for breakfast, bro…

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And speaking of breakfast, we’re going Shaq Daddy on some shakshuka! This Israeli morning glory combines eggs, tomatoes, ricotta cheese, onions and basil, with a bit of harissa to give it a nice little kick. It ain’t pretty, but it gets the job done, son!!!!

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But you KNOW we can’t go to the Rosedale Diner and just drink one beer, bro! So for liquid dessert, we’re hitting the Sweet Spot with a mocha marshmallow stout from Left Field Brewery. Now, I might taste more cocoa than mocha, but I would totally drink this over coffee any day!!!!!

 

 

Lamb bacon is takin’ this burger to a new level!!!

So, we’re hanging out at The Dog & Tiger, this funky little gastropub right in the heart of Little Italy. Now, when I saw they had house-cured lamb bacon on the menu, and also a signature cheeseburger, I was like, dude, can I get some lamb bacon on my D&T Burger? Turns out that no one else had ever asked that before… but there’s always a first time for everything in Flavourtown!!!!

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Now, there ain’t no bacon strips here — this lamb bacon is thick like pork belly, with a nice chew. Maybe a bit too thick for them to put two pieces on top, but when you get a bite of that lamb, along with the beef, oozy melted cheese and maybe a little pickle, that right there is the ticket!!!!!

Man, if Christopher Walken walked in to this joint, he’d probably say “Actually, I think there’s enough cowbell.” This place is serving up five different beers from Cowbell Brewing — three on tap, two more in cans. Now, you KNOW we don’t fear the reaper on Triple B, but when I saw they had a couple of German-style beers from True History, I figured I’d try those instead.

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After getting schnitt-faced in Munich, this Mostly Foam Dortmunder definitely had my name on it. Mind you, they kept the foam to the minimum here — and that’s alright with me. This beer kinda reminded me of Germany — a crisp, easy drinking lager. Too bad they don’t serve it in a stein, though…

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But now True History’s taking it up a notch with this Watch Me Dive festbier. This one’s got more of a malty bite to it, kinda like the Hofbrau Oktoberfest beer I had…in New York City, of all places. Man, I should totally check out the True History Brewery one of these days!!!

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But you didn’t think we’d be full after that big burger, didja? Yeah, we’ve still got room for dessert — and this dessert is soooo next-level, bro! Turns out, since we showed up a couple days after V-Day, they still had a couple of these Dulce de Leche S’mores Tarts left over from their Valentines menu. Dude, this is like Campfires Gone Wild in Flavourtown! You’ve got toasted marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs and a hot chocolate ganache, all inside a crispy crust. Happy Guy-intines Day, bro!!!!

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Beer & beef @ Avling Brewery!

Now, waaaaay back in the day, I used to live on Pape and walk to work at Queen and Carlaw. In those days, I probably passed by five or six dive bars in that stretch alone. But now the area’s a lot nicer — instead of actual dives (and not the funky kind, either) they’ve got places like Avling Brewery, almost right at the corner of Queen and Pape, combining Nordic-style beers with Asian-infused flavours. Man, if I had this place along my route back then, I never wouldda made it into work, bro!!!!

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Avling’s beer list is twice as long as the food menu, so you KNOW it’s my kinda place! We’re starting off the evening with a dark Czech lager named after my second-favourite Candlemass album. Nightfall has a nice, wintery vibe with hints of cocoa and hazelnut. You are soooooo bewitched, bro!!!!

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We’re pairing that with an actual smörgåsbord — that’s what it says on the menu! This Scandinavian charcuterie plate combines meat, cheese, bread and some fruits and veggies for a real-deal German breakfast in Flavourtown!

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Speaking of German breakfast, it’s time for another beer. Sangfroid is not just the name of an obscure Ukranian black metal band, it’s also a barrel-aged farmhouse sour aged with cabernet sauvignon grape skins, giving it a blood-red colour. This might be the closest I ever come to drinking wine on Triple B, bro!!!!!

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Now, they say you should drink red wine with red meat, so I almost got that right. Their braised short rib is sliced, not pulled, but the meat is still super melt-in-your-mouth tender. It comes with a whole garden of vegetables like roasted sunchokes, poached winter radishes and seared winter choy. Dude, I’m getting a whole winter’s worth of veggies in this dish!!!!!

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Unfortunately, this place only has one dessert on the menu… and I’m not really down with date cake, so instead I went for some liquid dessert in the form of Pale Fire, a barrel-aged sour with peaches. Now, they musta used millions of peaches to make this beer, so I’m sure this bottle has at least two servings of fruit. But it’s not overpowering, with a nice aftertaste. I wouldn’t have known it was 6.7% if it didn’t say so on the label, bro…

Curry duck that doesn’t suck @ Alma!

The other day, we had some real-deal (non spicy) Chinese food at Mimi, but now we’re switching it up just a bit. Alma, this funky little joint about three doors down from the Burdock Brewery, near Bloor and Dufferin, is definitely more Asian fusion, and their menu changes so often that they don’t even put it on their website. While you can expect some Chinese classics like char siu and shrimp fried rice, tonight we’re gonna funk it up a notch, starting with these morcilla dumplings:

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You definitely don’t see Spanish blood sausage inside a pan-fried dumpling every day, dude! Since this place is pretty small, this dish — along with everything else I ordered — was coming in too hot to touch, so I actually needed a fork to pick it up. Man, this is like Empanadas Gone Wild in Flavourtown, bro! Rich meaty texture inside that nice chewy dumpling skin — I’ll take 20 more to go!!!!

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But you know I gotta save room for (at least) a couple more courses, right? These chili chicken wings are nice ‘n crispy, with a bit of a dry heat — I wouldn’t lick that chili paste off the plate, put it that way…

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But now it’s time for the main event… and it’s all it’s quacked up to be! This duck leg rendang is super-tender, meat just falls off the bone. Served in a tangy curry with literally two potatoes and a side of white rice. The duck is definitely the star of the show here, and it doesn’t disappoint!!!!

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, and this time we’re taking a break from your regularly scheduled chocolatey programming with this coconut peanut crepe brulee. The crepe is nice ‘n thick, and you get a lotta nutty texture from the coconuts and the peanuts. But the caramel sauce on the plate is what makes it. Dude, this is like Pancakes Gone Wild in Flavourtown!!!!!

Eating all the non-spicy things @ Mimi Chinese

Dude, Mimi Chinese has been known as one of the fanciest, funkiest Chinese food places in the city ever since it opened — they’re pretty fly for a white guy, bro! And while my philosophy on food is sharing means you couldn’t finish it yourself, and you weren’t trying hard enough… when it comes to Chinese, you’re really supposed to order more than one thing. I mean, that’s why they put the spinning wheel in the middle of the table, right?

Now, Mimi’s menu has all sorts of spicy Sichuan dishes that would send this white guy straight to the Poo Ping Palace, so we’re gonna avoid the $110 Chef’s Menu that gives you a little bit of everything, and stick to the non-spicy stuff. But that still gives you plenty of options here — and you end up spending a lot less per person in the process!

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Round 1 is all about seafood, with scallops, seabream and shrimp toast (oh my!) along with some pork and scallion dumplings, just to switch things up a bit. The standout has gotta be the shrimp toast, though — you’ve got some greasy greasy frybread stuffed with big chunks of shrimp, topped with sesame seeds and served with a side of hot mustard (I stayed away from the hot stuff).

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But now we’re about to kick it up a notch with char siu pork, stuffed chicken wings and a four-foot belt noodle, which they cut into pieces at the table. The noodle wasn’t spicy, but the the chili oil on top made my tongue tingle (in a good way). And man, if they ever had 25 cent wing night, I’d be there all night long for those wings stuffed with rice and mushrooms, son!!!!

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This Greatest Hits album in Flavourtown keeps going with some black pepper beef, braised eggplant with garlic sauce (Yu Xiang Qie Zi) and a Supreme Fried Rice that’s packing shrimp, scallops, eggs and Chinese sausage. But the star of the show has gotta be the beef, bro! You’ve got an 18 oz boneless ribeye, chopped up into little pieces, cooked in black pepper sauce and topped with onions. This dish alone will cost ya a cool hundred, but split six ways, it’s only $16.34. 😉

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But you KNOW the Triple B Road Krew has always got room for dessert, bro! And we’re ordering everything on the dessert menu — mango pudding, steamed cake with custard and black sesame ice cream. Now, none of these desserts would go in my all-time top 10, but when you pour the custard onto the cake, then I eat them both up!!!!!!!!!

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These fguys also own Sunnys Chinese in Kensington Market, and how’s this for cold tea? Their Sunny G ginger sour is perfect with Chinese food — light, tart and refreshing. The ginger is definitely there, but unlike when you accidentally eat a whole piece of ginger in a beef hot pot, it’s not overpowering at all. Now put that in your lunchbox and drink it, son!!!!!!

Aloette Burger for breakfast, bro!!!!!!!

Man, it feels like a lifetime ago, but back in April 2020, when First Lockdown first started, the very first meal I ordered via Uber Eats was an Aloette Burger from Aloette, this funky little diner downstairs from Canada’s Best Restaurant. It used to be they didn’t take reservations, and it was almost as hard to get a table as the fancypants place upstairs. But since the pandemic, you can actually book a table now, which works for me — the only time I wait in line is for Kid Kentucky tickets at Mercury Ballroom, bro!!!!

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Now, of course I’m gonna order the burger, but first, it’s time for a little light snack. The other thing this place is known for is the Aloette Fried Chicken, and you KNOW I like my chicken fried, Zac Bro-wn Band! Now, you can’t get chicken wings or chicken legs here — it’s all boneless, pre-cut, and comes with crudites, lettuce and hot sauce, so you can make your own lettuce wraps. (The bread is complimentary.)

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Now, if I’m gonna eat lettuce, this is the way to do it! Chicken is nice and crispy, and it’s got this yuzu honey that makes it taste like lemon chicken from a Chinese food court. The crudites add a nice little crunch, while the hot sauce doesn’t give you too much of a kick — but it’s all a nice little bite in Flavourtown.

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But now it’s time for Second Breakfast, Bil-bro Baggins! And here’s where we funked it up a notch. I asked if they could add a fried egg on top — it actually came on the side (at no extra charge), so there was some assembly required. But man, when you add the oozy umami of that egg to that nice juicy beef, with the Beaufort cheese, on the soft, squishy bun… I would eat this three meals of the day, son!!!!!

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And since the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad, I had one more for dessert. This Paradise Lost spiced cherry sour from Blood Brothers smells like Christmas, a cross between mulled wine and cherry pie, but tastes super-tart and puckery. You can’t even get this at the LCBO anymore, but Aloette actually has it on tap, so you KNOW I’ll be back, Bro-minator!!!!