Tis the season for PSR: pumpkin stuffed ravioli, bro!!!

Now, I don’t think I’ve ever had a latte in my life. I don’t even go to Starbucks unless they serve booze. But if you put pumpkin in ravioli, I’ll probably try it at least once. Chef Boyardee taught me everything I know, bro!!!!

So we’re hanging out at Trattoria Nervosa, this funky little Italian joint in Yorkville. I know you hear Yorkville and you go “that’s super expensive,” but this place is serving up pizza and pasta for under 20 bucks–including this dish, ravioli di zucca:

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got some nice, creamy, pumpkin-stuffed squares of goodness, in a brown butter sauce, with pine nuts, sage and some pumpkin seeds, cuz you can never get enough pumpkin. Now, this dish was tasty ‘n all, but I probably could have eaten twice as many raviolis. Dude, this is body by ravioli, bro-li!!!!

(Where can I get me some of those shorts???)

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I want my cheesy back, cheesy back ribs!

Now, I like ribs and I like cheese, so if you put them together, you KNOW it’s gotta be good, bro! We’re hanging out at James Cheese Back Ribs, this funky Korean chain that just opened in Toronto a couple months ago. They’ve got all kinds of funky dishes like chicken wings, deep-fried squid and Korean-style McRib sliders, but it’s all about the cheesy ribs…and the cheesy chicken!

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Now, this tastes a lot like the Korean chicken you get at Hoga, this funky underground food court joint in the PATH…except, you know, with melty mozza cheese on top. And then you’ve got sides like scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, hot cocktail sausage and corn, all of which taste pretty great with some cheese on top.

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Don’t get me wrong, the chicken sets the table, but the signature cheesy back ribs are the star of the show. Nicely marinated in Asian spices, I could eat these on their own–but then you put the cheese on top, and it really kicks it up a notch. Man, I wish I had one of these sick grills at home so I could put melty cheese on everything!!!!

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In case you needed another reason to hit up this funky hangout, they’re serving up six-dollar cocktails on Saturdays, son! This sake Caesar tastes just like the real thing, except it makes you want to lip your stockings…

We three kings of bacon and beef…

Now, it’s been a long time since I last went to Burger King, but I can’t stop seeing ads for this Bacon King sandwich pretty much every time I turn on the TV. (I guess that’s what happens when you watch The Bacon Network 24/7, son!) And hey, it definitely checks all the boxes–beef, bacon, ketchup, mayo, processed cheese on a bun–those are pretty much the five food groups of funk in Flavourtown!

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Now, I don’t really like paying nine bucks just for a burger, but this is not a small sandwich, son! You’ve got a buncha nice bites of beef, with the cheese melting into the meat, and some tang from the ketchup…but where’s the bacon, bro???

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I dunno guy, but I didn’t think six strips of bacon would result in so many small bites. And it’s got kind of a funky texture–not quite crispy, not quite chewy, kinda like a thinner version of beef jerky. Don’t get me wrong, these burgers weren’t bad–and you KNOW I pounded all three of them, bro!–but I would probably take one Wendy’s Baconator over we three Bacon Kings.

Now, if only BK brought back the bacon sundae, then we’d be gellin’ like a felon, Doctor Broles!!!!

This West Coast Red Ale DOESN’T need more Cowbell!

So, I was at the LCBO, picking up some Steamwhistle for the Flames and Leafs game, when I looked up at the top shelf, and spotted this righteous brew. I mean, the name of the brewery is Cowbell, so it’s gotta be good, right?

This beer’s got a bit of an interesting back story, to boot. The small town of Blyth, a couple hundred clicks west of T-Dot, had a vet in the 1800’s with a pet bobcat. One time, when he was out drinking brewskis with his broskis, some dumb bartender cut him off—so he brought the wildcat to the bar! Now that’s badass, bro!!!

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I gotta say, this brew takes Rickard’s Red out behind the woodshed, dude! You’ve got a nice, citrusy finish, not too bitter (30 IBU) with just a bit of an extra kick (5.5%). Man, I could slam sixteen of these before bringing my bobcat back to the bar, bro!!!!

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Kamayan II: Electric Boodle Fight

So, about a year ago, we went for Kamayan at this funky little joint called Platito Filipino. In case you didn’t know, Kamayan is a massive Filipino feast–no cutlery allowed, bro! Now, that place funked it up with fried chicken, tacos, and beef stew, but I heard there’s this other joint in the ghetto that’s doing a more authentic take on the Filipino tradition, so you KNOW I had to check it out. This is Tinuno:

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Now, there’s just so much going on here that I don’t even know where to start! You’ve got three different kinds of grilled fish, along with grilled squid, pork belly and BBQ pork skewers. Then there’s the grilled okra, and some mango slices on the side. But wait, there’s more…

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Can you say peel ‘n eat shrimp, son? These slippery crustaceans are a lotta work, but they’re totally worth the effort. And did I mention the mussels from Brussels? Dude, there is so much food here that I don’t even have room for the orange slices for dessert!

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Who needs Japanese cheesecake when you’ve got a Japanese cheese tart?

Now, I’m not a big fan of Uncle Tetsu’s cheesecake, unless they’re serving it up after some chicken karaage and waffles. But when I saw they had a competitor around the corner, I was curious enough to check it out. Pablo Cheesetart is this funky little bakery serving up all sorts of sweet eats…but you know I gotta go for the original, signature Japanese cheese tart:

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Dude, this was like a festival of funk in a box, bro! You’ve got a rich, cheesy filling with a layer of apricot jam on top. And then there’s the crispy crust–the crispy crust is what makes it! There’s just a lot more flavour here that what you’re getting around the corner–although at 15 bucks a pop, it’s quite a bit more expensive, too. Now, if only they could cook me up some fried chicken, then I’d definitely be back for the sequel, bro!

Beef brisket sandwich two ways @ Smoke Bourbon

So, we’re hanging out at Smoke Bourbon, one of the best BBQ joints in this city. At this place, you can get a whole buncha beef ribs for less than 20 bucks, but sometimes, all I want is a sandwich…wait, make that two sandwiches. Well, they’ve got you covered there too, dude!

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Their corned beef is kinda like a Texas twist on a culinary classic. The meat is thinly sliced, melt-in-your-mouth, but packs a nice smoky kick that you won’t get a Jewish deli!

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On the other hand, their smoked brisket sando is something you won’t see in Laredo, bro! Sorta like their Bloor Street spinoff, Bourbon Street Barbecue, this place pulls their brisket instead of slicing it…although the texture’s a lot thicker over here. It’s definitely a hearty dish in its own right–I could barely eat both of these and still have room for dessert!!!!