Search Results for "octopus"

Tangy tzatziki & grilled octopus @ Soulas Modern Greek

Man, when I heard that Pan on the Danforth shut down last summer, I was breaking plates like Nia Vardalos, bro! But the good thing is that the owners just opened up this new funky joint a few doors down in Greektown called Estiatorio Soulas, so I know they know what’s up. This place looks like a cozy, neighbourhood gastropub…if your local gastropub served Greek food. And lemme tell ya, their tzatziki is totally on point:

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Now, that’s the real-deal cucumber spread, son–it’s even got a cucumber garnish! The tzatziki is super creamy, with a nice tang, and it goes great with some fresh hot pita bread… Dude, I’m about to get freaky with this tzatziki!!!

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But you KNOW we’re not here to fill up on bread, bro! This grilled octopus gets down with the tangyness in a white wine grape vinegar dill sauce, with spinach, onions and peppers. This might only be on the appetizer menu, but after enough tzatziki to feed a small army, it totally eats like a meal!

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When I walked into this funky joint, I saw they had a few Woodhouse taps at the bar…but when you’re in Greektown, you gotta go with the Greek brews! Now, they were all outta the Volkan Wheat beer, so instead I went with Volkan Blonde, which is kinda like a slightly better Heineken…cept you won’t find this one at the LCBO, bro!!!

Green shells & octopus at Union Station

So, we’re hanging out at Amano, this funky underground pasta joint beneath a train station in downtown Toronto. For people who don’t speak Eye-talian, they use words that you can understand like Little Ears, Black Trumpets and Pope’s Hat. It’s actually kinda cute. Me, I went with the Green Shells, aka conchiglie. Conchi-whaa???

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OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got a perfectly cooked, al dente pasta, with some spicy sauce, a bit of basil, chunks of black olives…and a whole lotta octopus, son! Nice chewy, rough ‘n tender octo-meat is what makes it bro! And you know I chowed down this entire dish and still had room for dessert—can you say holy cannoli?

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Holy octopus balls, Batman!

Lately, Dundas Street has been turning Japanese. You’ve got ramen, izakaya, curry, sushi burritos, green tea ice cream…oh, and that overhyped cheesecake. Now, I loves me some sushi, and just about anything katsu, but when it comes to takoyaki, I’m all like that sounds wacky—until I put these balls in my mouth, bro:

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I know what you’re thinking—tacowhatty? This Japanese snacky is made from wheat flour, cooked in a pan, and stuffed with some good old Doc Oc; diced, minced octopi. You know this is heading straight down my piehole, so let’s break it down. You’ve got a buncha nice, hot balls, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, with a good chew from our octofarian friends. Topped with spicy mayo and a sesame vinaigrette, green onions and Japanese chilis, all on a bed of purple rice, purple rice. I only want to see you lapping up some purple rice…

Now, this dish gets an F for funkaliciousness. And that’s the same grade I got in Home Ec, son!

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!!!!!!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Final Four fusion food feast!

Now, the last time Gonzaga was in the Final Four, I flew to Phoenix, Arizona for all the festivities. But this year, I can’t even cross the border without isolating for 14 days…and who wants to spend 14 days in Indiana!? So while I had to watch Jalen Suggs hit one of the greatest shots in NCAA Tournament history at home, at least I didn’t go hungry, bro!

Kinka Izakaya, this funky Japanese joint on Church St, is serving up a March Madness special that was meant for two…but it’s really just a light snack in Flavourtown. You’ve got two pounds of wings with fries, salmon oshizushi, takoyaki and gyoza dumplings, along with a six-pack of Sapporo to help the medicine go down. And since I had another 40% offer from Uber Eats, I took almost 30 bucks off — which means Gonzaga wasn’t the only winner, winner, chicken dinner last night!!!!!

Of course, we gotta start with the wings. These babies were nice ‘n crispy, with a Taiwanese-style crunchy batter. They came in two flavours, Original or Spicy, and since I figured a Japanese joint probably wouldn’t be dishing out face-melting heat, I went with the Spicy…and I was right. A decent little kick, but nothing two outrageous. I could easily slam two takeout boxes of these without being bound by wild desire the next day…

Now, these deep-fried gyoza dumplings were a nice little side dish. They’re basically two-biters, and you get four to an order, so they’re not gonna fill you up, buttercup. Pretty sure they were vegan, though — I’m like, where’s the beef, bro???

This was not my first time tackling takoyaki, the Japanese fried dough balls with a piece of octopus inside. These ones were very saucy, which left ’em a little soggy — but you KNOW I still put all them balls in my mouth, bro!!!!

Now, while you might not find gyoza dumplings or octopus balls at your local sports bar, I can still dig them as game-day eats — pretty much anything that’s battered and deep-fried will do it for me! But now, this is something that I’d never think to order for the big game… salmon oshizushi, or pressed sushi, with layers of fish squished together on top of some rice. Now, there was nothing wrong with this dish at all, it’s just that next time I’m watching sports, I don’t see myself chowing down on sushi. But hey, if you put it in a combo meal, I mean, it’s not like I won’t eat all of it…

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Octo burger & lasagna sticks from Mission Lasagna

You know me, this is body by Italian food, bro! So when I heard about Mission Lasagna, this funky joint in Little Italy, serving up eight different kinds of lasagnas, along with other pastas, burgers and more, I totally had to check it out. Only I didn’t actually order a lasagna — unless you count these lasagna sticks:

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These crispy flavour nuggets are served cold, like a cracker, with three dipping sauces — pesto, marinara and donkey sauce. Dude, you could put all three of those on the same flip-flop, and it would still taste good! But you KNOW that’s just a light snack in Flavourtown, bro!!!

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Now, I’m no stranger to eating octopus, but this is the first time I’ve ever had it on a bun, son! This Octo Burger is nice ‘n chewy, lightly breaded on a bed of rapini and ricotta — kinda like the Crimson and Clover of Little Italy, Tommy Bro-ndell!!!

 

PATIO LIT EATS: Killin’ it and grillin’ it @ Piri Piri Grill

Dude, if there’s one thing I love about eating outside, it’s grilled meat and seafood. I might not be throwing shrimp on the barbie, but you KNOW I can throw it down, bro!!! And when I saw that Piri Piri Grill, this funky Portuguese joint in The Junction, was grilling just about everything on the menu, I definitely had to come check it out:

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Now, we’re starting off with an all-time Portuguese classic — grilled, smoked chourico, aka Portuguese Flaming Sausage. Dude, whenever I’m at a Greek restaurant, I gotta get the flaming cheese, and at a Portuguese joint, Imma definitely order the flaming sausage. The last time I had this dish, they had both chourico and blood sausage, but here they double down on the chourico…aaaand now I know what a full order means!!!

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But even after polishing off those two little piggies, you KNOW I’m still hungry like the wolf, bro! So we’re headed under the sea for some grilled octopus. This baby’s a little chewier than the ock I had at Chotto Matte, and it’s also got a lot more char…but I definitely can’t complain about the portion size. Man, even these veggies were melt-in-your-mouth tender — I think this is the most vegetables I’ve had all month, son!!!!

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Of course, the name of this blog isn’t Burgers, Bacon and Vinho Verde, so we’re washing it down with a Super Bock, this well-known Portuguese beer. Is it better than Sagres, the other popular Portuguese brew? I dunno, they both kinda taste the same to me…

PATIO LIT EATS: Crushing a 14 oz pork chop @ Cabana Waterfront Patio

Now, because nobody is allowed to go clubbing anytime soon, Cabana Pool Bar on Polson St had to switch up its business model — bringing in food from O&B for its new venture, Cabana Waterfront Patio. Dude, you can’t get any closer to the lake than this place…unless you’re on a boat, bro!

And when it comes to food, they’re not just serving up burgers and fries. Instead they’ve got fresh summer eats like grilled octopus, Miami short ribs, and this hunka, hunka burning meat — the 14 oz BBQ pork chop:

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Now, this is not the biggest pork chop I’ve ever slammed, but it might be the second biggest. Meat is nice and tender, with some good grill marks. You’ve got a nice Napa cabbage slaw, some tangy pineapple salsa…but what makes it are the garlic buns, son!

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These little two-bite flavour nuggets are melt-in-your-mouth buttery goodness. You KNOW I don’t want none unless you’ve got buns, hun!!!!

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Now, the name of this blog isn’t Burgers, Bacon and Fruity Drinks, but I had to make an exception here. What we’ve got is a Frozen Jack Honey Lemonade, with ginger syrup, lemon juice and Jack Daniels if you please… The only downside to this drink is that it started melting before I could finish it!!!

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Of course, even after pulverizing that pork chop, you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert! We’re talking frozen key lime pie on a stick, dipped in chocolate, on a bed of whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Shut the port, aft AND starboard doors, Sailor Bro!!!

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PATIO LIT EATS: Peruvian lamb, sea and air combo!!!

Now, I’m not drunk or anything, but this one time, after band camp, I went to McDonald’s and ordered a Land, Sea and Air Burger. It was not very good. But on the other hand, if you combine lamb, sea and air, that would probably be pretty tasty!

So, we’re hanging out at Chotto Matte, this funky Japanese/Peruvian fusion joint at Bay and Front. These guys are serving up all kinds of Peruvian style barbecue, and they’re all small plates, so I figured I could eat at least three of them…

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We’re starting off with lamb, which was probably the star of the show. These smoked lamb chops were marinated in a spicy BBQ sauce and grilled to perfection, son!

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From the sea, we’ve got grilled octopus on a bed of purple potatoes with splashes of yuzu/blueberry sauce, for that extra burst of purple. This was another well-cooked dish, with a texture more like steak or chicken than the rubbery chewiness you’d expect from octopus.

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And then from the air, there’s this pollo picante — some nice chunks of chicken served up skewer style with a little green onions on top. Nothing wrong with that at all!

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Now, since I’m eating octopus, I gotta go for an Octopus Wants to Fight, this hoppy, juicy IPA from Great Lakes Brewery. That’ll take some of the heat off those lamb chops, son!

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After all that eating back there, you’re probably wondering, “Did he still have room for dessert?” Well, I wasn’t gonna order it, but when they told me about the Peruvian chocolate crema, I had to check it out!!!

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Dude, this has got to be the best dessert I’ve had all month! It’s kinda like a chocolate mousse, but made with rum — and you can really taste the rum, bro! Then they top it with honeycomb, chocolate sauce and these crunchy little dulce de leche bites — man, I could slam, like, three of these!!!

This Japanese joint is Guu Guu guuud!

So, we’re hanging out at Guu Izakaya, this funky Japanese joint just east of Vegandale. But you KNOW we didn’t come here to eat veggies, bro! This place has a whole lotta tapas, served up Japanese style, so we’re diving right in with some Angus beef sashimi:

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Now, I don’t always eat steak cold, but when I do, I prefer beef sashimi. I could easily slay several servings of this dish…but then I wouldn’t have room for takoyaki!

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Dude, these deep-fried octopus balls are one of my go-to Japanese dishes. It’s all about the bonito flakes, bro!!!

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Speaking of bonito, I see your takoyaki and raise you okonomiyaki! This crunchy squid pancake is slathered in Japanese donkey sauce with even more flakes on top!

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And when it comes to classics, you can’t go wrong with chicken karaage. These great balls of fryer explode in my mouth with their juicy, crunchy goodness. I could probably pound, like, 22 of these!!!

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Now here’s one you definitely don’t see every day. These baked oysters are stuffed with cheese, mushrooms and a spinach/garlic mayo — I would put that on a flip-flop!!!!

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Now, since we’re switching to seafood, it’s time for some shrimp tempura. These babies are smothered in so much donkey sauce that the donkey won’t be making babies anytime soon, son!!!!

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Holy fuck, it’s Japanese duck!!! This aigamo tataki is sous vided and served cold with scallions, onions and a sauce that’s equal parts ponzu AND yuzu!

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And now we’re taking a little detour to Flavourtown Koreatown, where the bibimbap don’t stop!!!!

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We’re washing it all down with a Far Yeast Tokyo White, a beer that’s actually brewed in Tokyo, bro! This dry, unpasteurized saison is equal parts fruity and wheaty, for a taste that’s killa like Godzilla!!!

Now, after all that commotion back there, you KNOW we still have some room for dessert — but this banana tempura oughtta do’er!

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Bro, these deep-fried bananas are bananas — and bananas is good! It even comes with a scoop of green matcha ice cream… How do you say “Shut the back door!” in Japanese???