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Guy Fieri only wishes he had my hair.

Big portions of pork and potatoes at a small plates place!

Now, if I told you there’s a joint called Henry’s on Queen West, you might think it’s a funky dive bar — or maybe even a plumbing company. But it’s actually this nice little wine bar that doesn’t even serve beer… although the plumbing in their bathroom is pretty nice. And when it comes to food, they’re all about the small plates. I mean, this is a little dish called Bubba’s Hot Fried Chicken:

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And hey, there’s nothing wrong with this — except for the fact you only get two small pieces of chicken. Nice ‘n crunchy with a bit of a kick, not nearly Nashville hot, but slightly more than sports bar spicy. Dude, I could eat a whole basket of these, and still have room for dessert! Luckily, there are a couple of dishes here that’ll feed 2-3 people… or just one hungry citizen of Flavourtown. Here’s how you hack the menu:

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Say hello to my not-so-little friend, Pastrami Spiced Pork Chop. This may not taste just like Katz’s Deli, but the pork is nice ‘n tender, and they give you about a dozen pieces, so there’s plenty to go around.

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We’re pairing the pork with a side of Ontario smashed potatoes — I would smash these all day, bros! Taters are hot and crispy, swimming in hot sauce and sabayon (don’t call it hollandaise, son!) Who needs fries when you’ve got these bad boys????

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Now, speaking of menu hacks… When they told me the pork was served in a dark lager sauce, I was like “Dude, you’ve got beer in the pork, but none in the fridge!?” Well, they did not have any in the fridge, but they found this Czechvar Dark Lager in the cellar, and since it wasn’t very cold, they put it in an ice bucket, which really did the trick. You KNOW there’s somethin’ ’bout a beer sittin’ on ice after a long hard day makes it taste just right, bro!!!!!!!!!!!

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But even after scarfing down the biggest meal in Henry’s history, we’ve still got room for dessert. And since there’s no secret King’s Cake on the menu, we ordered both the desserts they’ve got, cuz they’re still pretty small. Like this ube cream puff, topped with toasted coconut. It’s like Profiteroles Gone Wild in Flavourtown!!!!

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We’ve also got this chocolate tart with hazelnut and passionfruit. Now this dessert was more like chocolate mousse in a half shell — while the malted chocolate mousse I had the other day was really just a chocolate bar. So I guess if I want chocolate cake in Toronto these days, I gotta order a chocolate cream pie to get it or something???

Cassoulet all day @ Parquet!!!

Now, we’re no strangers to duck confit here on Triple B. Dude, I’ve even had it in Iceland, bro! So when I heard that Parquet, this funky new French joint on Harbord, was serving up the duck with pork belly and beans in their cassoulet, you KNOW minus-10 degree weather wasn’t gonna keep me away from you!!!!!

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But first, let me bite into these balls, bro. These potato croquettes are kinda like deep-fried poutine, stuffed with cheese curds and served with a side of gravy. At least they say they’re stuffed with cheese curds — I couldn’t taste the cheese, bro. 😦

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Dude, this duck definitely doesn’t suck! Meat is fall-apart tender, skin is super crispy, you’ve got the added unctuousness of the pork belly, and a couple bites of beans — you could put that on a winter boot, and it would still taste good!!!!!

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What makes this place even better is they’ve got my favourite French beer here — Loirette from Brasserie de la Pigeonelle. I’ve had this a couple times before at fancy places like Sorrel and Auberge du Pommier, and I gotta say, it’s probably one of my top five wheat beers. I don’t even mind that it’s 14 bucks a bottle, bro… I mean, it’s not like you can get it at the LCBO!

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But now we’re gonna funk it up about three notches with a Rullquin from Belgium’s Gueuzerie Tilquin. This beer was formerly known as Stout Rullquin, so I was expecting something dark and chocolately — but while it’s a dark beer, it’s also 1/8 lambic, and it’s got the pruney taste of a Belgian trippel. (It’s listed at 7%, but it hit me a lot harder than that.) Just goes to show, you can’t judge a beer by its colour, bro!!!!

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For dessert, your choices were apple tart, chocolate mousse or ice cream — so I had to go chocolate, bro. This looks much more like a chocolate bar, though, with a layer of chocolate cookie on the bottom, and some caramel and walnuts on top. Pretty good, but I just wish there was more of it… Don’t bring me dowwwwwn, mousse!!!

Why settle for a lobster roll when you can have three lobster rolls???

Now, back in 2020, at the height of First Lockdown, I ordered this super-legit lobster burger for takeout from this funky joint called Lobster Burger Bar on King West. And let’s be clear, it wasn’t just a bit of lobster on top of a hamburger — the whole burger was made outta lobster, bro! Well, it mighta taken me a couple years, but you KNOW we gotta check this place out in person. And if you think a burger made outta lobster sounds funkalicious, then you gotta see this!!!!

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They call it the Lobster Trio, and it’s the Atlantic Division first line at the Flavourtown All-Star Game, bro! You’ve got a classic lobster roll, served cold with mayo, a crispy shrimp and lobster roll in the middle, and then they funk it up with their black truffle roll — a dish best served hot, bro!!!

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You can’t go wrong with a classic, and this classic lobster roll is money. Nice meaty chunks of lobster, with a little creaminess from the mayo, on a nice ‘n chewy bun. I’ll take three more to go!!!!

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Up next is the crispy shrimp & lobster roll — Asian fusion on a bun, son! But I gotta say, between the crispy breading and chipotle donkey sauce, I almost don’t taste the difference between the lobster and the shrimp, and that’s a bit of a bummer…

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And we’re saving the most luxurious for last with this black truffle roll. Now, I probably shouldda taken a knife and spread that truffle around more, but after polishing off two lobster rolls, three beers and a shot of Newfie screech, I guess I wasn’t thinking too clearly. But man, that hot lobster is the TheBomb.PEI, and when you do get a bite of that truffle, it really kicks it up a notch!

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Now, all that lobster and a side of truffle fries comes to $69.99 — but we’re kicking it up another notch with some Lobster Fries Supreme, son! You’ve got McDonald’s style fries topped with cheese curds, roasted peppers, and even more lobster, and then it comes with these cheese sauce on the side that you pour over top. Dude, cheese curds and cheese sauce!? Shut the cheese door!!!!

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LBB’s craft beer game is also pretty strong. They’ve got New Belgium Voodoo Ranger IPA on tap, a beer that I hadn’t seen anywhere in town until a couple years ago. At 7%, it’ll sure shiver ye timbers!!!!

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And in the can, they’ve got something I’ve never ever seen before — Velvet Bubble Lord, a tangy blueberry sour from Flying Monkeys. Now, this thing’s only like 4.5%, so it’s practically dessert. Oh, and speaking of dessert…

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Their chocolate lava cake wasn’t exactly molten, but it still got the job done. Dude, this is body by chocolate lava cake!!!!

Le Petit Chef is cooking up some big flavours!!!

Now, we don’t normally go for five-course prix fixe menus on Triple B, but when I heard this one was being made tableside by a 6 cm animated chef, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro! Le Petit Chef just opened up in downtown Toronto a few months ago — they’ve already got one in Richmond Hill, Vancouver, and about 30 other places, including 12 in Germany(!), so you know it’s gotta be good, right?

So here’s the deal. Before each course, you get an animated show projected onto the table about how Le Petit Chef cooked each dish, and then they replace the animated version on the plate with the real thing. You KNOW we never eat salad on Triple B, but after I saw all the trouble this little guy went to in pulling those veggies outta the ground, I felt like it was my duty to chow down on this caprese salad, son!!!

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So, what we’ve got here is some lettuce, thinly sliced radishes, two kinds of tomatoes, with a big ol’ hunka Buffalo mozzarella in the middle and these little balsamic pearls on top. I’d say this is one of my Top 5 salads of 2023 — but it’s only January and I don’t think I’ve had five salads this year, so take that for what it’s worth…

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Up next, we’ve got seafood bisque with one mussel, a nice little piece of lobster and a tiny hunk of octopus that Le Petit Chef chopped off a big ol’ ock who was trying to eat him for dinner. Dude almost gave his life for this dish, so you know it’s gotta be good!!!!

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At this place, you get not one, but two main courses — although they’re both pretty petite. But I gotta say, the little guy makes a mean chicken ballotine, stuffed with spinach, goat cheese and red peppers. You’ve got a couple potatoes on the side, and some demi-glace and red pepper sauce for dipping, along with a sprig of pine needles sticking out of the top. I actually saw someone eat all the pine needles — she must have really fresh breath, bro!!!!

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But now it’s time for the moment de vérité — filet mignon au poivre, mec! This had to be the smaller steak we’ve ever eaten on Triple B, but it’s still a lot bigger than the guy who cooked it, so I will give him that. Nice char on the meat, with a bit of peppery taste, and the mashed parsnips really kicked it up a notch! I’m not sure I needed three spears of asparagus, though… You cuss, I cuss, we all cuss for asparagus, bro!!!!!!!!!

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But even after lighting himself on fire when he was cooking the steak, the little dude really came through with dessert. Although it’s hidden under a whole buncha berries here, this creme brulee had the hardest, crunchiest shell I can ever remember breaking through… and when it comes to creme brulee, that’s a really good thing. Dude was saving the best for last, bro!!!!!

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Who needs cauliflower when you can have beef brisket, bro????

So, we’re hanging out at Fat Pasha, this funky Middle Eastern joint on Dupont. This place is known for its spicy cauliflower…but do you really think we’re gonna eat cauliflower on Triple B, bro????

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Instead, we’re starting off with some halloumi sticks, a funky take on a pizza joint classic. Dude, I am always down for some deep-fried cheese, so you KNOW there ain’t nothing wrong with these!!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event — Linda’s beef brisket. I dunno who Linda is, but I’d eat her brisket any day of the week, bro! Meat is nice n tender, with a thick BBQ sauce and a whole pile of fried onions… dude, this is body by fried onions!!!!!

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But even after all that brisket back there, we’ve still got room for dessert. We’re talking tahini fudge brownie, with a bit of acid cutting through the chocolate mix. Dunno why they cut it into six, cuz this is just a light snack for one in Flavourtown, son!!!!

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BIG APPLE BITES: Well, it’s been a slice…

You KNOW we couldn’t go to NYC and NOT eat pizza, right? We’re hanging out at Joe’s Pizza, this funky little joint serving up some of the best slices in the city, son! Now, the OG location is in the East Village or something, but we’re doing the touristy thing and checking out the one on Broadway, just north of W 40th…

Now, when it comes to pizza, you KNOW I can’t eat just one, so I went with a pepperoni slice along with what I think might be supreme (I just saw it behind the counter and said “I’ll have one of those…”)

Now, this pepperoni is pretty much pizza perfection. Crust is nice and crispy, cheese is melted to perfection, and you’ve got these big meaty bites of pepperoni — can’t complain about that at all!

On the other hand, the onion-to-meat ratio on this supreme slice is a little too high. Some bites, I could only taste the onion. But when I got a bit of sausage or pepperoni in there as well, that is the golden ticket, bro!!!!!

BIG APPLE BITES: Funkalicious southern brunch @ Peachy Keen

Before heading off to a Broadway matinee, we’re heading into Peachy Keen, this funky joint on W 44th where the vibe is cartoon retro, like Austin Powers meets Scooby Doo, with Soul Train videos and modern dance music… and the menu is serving up southern soul food with a twist, son!!!

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What we’ve got here is some pork belly and grits, with fried eggs and red eye gravy. Grits are nice n chewy, with a bit of cheddar cheese, pork is fatty and unctuous, and then you’ve got some of that runny egg action — shut the back door!!!

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But you KNOW I couldn’t just eat one thing, bro! So I also got a FGT — fried green tomatoes, potato salad and bacon sando on tomato ciabatta bread! I have never seen potato salad inside a sandwich before, and it kinda steals the show. Bacon is super crispy, which I like, but the tomatoes get a little lost here. When you get a bit of that tangy crunch though, that right there is the ticket!!!

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Washed it all down with a Mango Beermosa. Instead of orange juice, it’s got beer and Prosecco for double the fun, bro! You can definitely taste the bubbly, while the mango beer is quite fruity, but less citrusy than OJ — which is not a bad thing. A couple of these will get a nice buzz going…

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Still had a bit of time to kill before the show, so I headed down to Junior’s for a slice of their legendary cheesecake. I went with the Brownie Explosion which was creamy, chocolatey, rich and decadent. This is everything a cheesecake should be, bro!!!!

BIG APPLE BITES: The king of beef @ La Grande Boucherie

At West 53rd and 6 1/2th, just a few steps from the Late Night with Colbert studio, sits this busy French bistro, La Grande Boucherie, where the dishes might be French, but the portions are definitively American-sized. We’re talking big cuts of steak, lamb chops, pork chops… even a whole chicken. Better bring your appetite, bro!!!!

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With all the fresh seafood sitting in front of me behind the counter, I couldn’t just eat meat, though. Starting off with Saint Jacques a la Provençale, seared scallops with roasted tomatoes, butter and herbs. Scallops were super fresh, nice and tender with a bit of that saltiness from the sea. Not a lot of excess sauce, but the two big chunks of bread soaked it up nicely.

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But the star of the show is the roast beef au jus — you’ll find it at the top right corner of the menu. Of course, we had to go with the biggest one, Le Roi… although it’s maybe just a Medium in Flavourtown, checking in at 16 ounces.

You know how when you go to a buffet, and they only give you a small sliver of prime rib? Well, this is the opposite of that. Beef needs some of that au jus to warm it up — and there’s not enough of it to go around — but the meat is incredibly tender, and the fresh horseradish adds a nice little kick. And speaking of tender, juicy things, definitely get the side of mushrooms!

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, and I gotta try the crème brûlée, right? The classic French dessert (they also have a signature version with black sesame, but you don’t phoque with a classic, mec!) hits the spot with its crunchy caramel crust concealing the creaminess underneath. They even put a couple fresh berries on top, so I don’t die of scurvy…

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We’re washing it down with a rich, malty Dunkel from Von Trapp in Vermont. Yes, they do have Kronenbourg, but for a dollar less (and still 11 bucks a pint) I will go with this bad boy instead…

BIG APPLE BITES: Chicago’s best burger…in New York City!?

Now, I’ve heard a whole lot about the double cheeseburger at Au Cheval. But I didn’t get a chance to check it out last time I was in Chicago, so when I heard they had a sister location in NYC, I had to check it out. This one might be *slightly* easier to get a table at; I was able to make a reservation for a Saturday night, although the latest time they had available was 6:15.

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This burger is worth the hype, bro! Super juicy patties, nice bites of cheese, whole lotta donkey sauce, bun is soft and squishy. Of course, I paid almost 7 dollars extra to add bacon — first rule of Flavourtown is always add bacon! And man, this bacon is soooo thick and delicious!!!!

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Now, speaking of bacon, on the side, we’ve got pepper bacon mac ‘n cheese. Sauce is super creamy, nice melted cheese on top… and so many chunks of bacon! I would order an extra large portion of this on its own!!!

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Of course, you can’t have a burger without beer, bro! We’re drinking a Hopewell Ride or Die, a nice pale ale with a slightly citrusy taste. I could pound these all night…

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert! This chocolate cream pie is made in house, and it’s like eating chocolate mousse on a chocolate cookie crust, with whipped cream on top… Nothing wrong with that at all!

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And with that, we’ve got a Mother’s Milk Stout from Keegan Ales. It’s got more vanilla than a Guinness, and goes great with the cream pie for dessert!!!

BIG APPLE BITES: Mac n cheese pancakes? Shut the back door!!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Mom’s Kitchen and Bar, this funky joint at W 48th and 9th serving up all day brunch. This place has got your classics like avocado toast, omelettes and even a pancake burrito… but when I saw the mac n cheese pancakes, you KNOW I had to check em out!

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The creamy noodles go great with the fluffy pancake batter, and then you’ve got some extra mac with cheese sauce on top. I paid extra for a side of thick cut bacon, which really kicks it up a notch!

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We’re chasing it with a Dad-mosa, bro! You’ve got UFO White beer, peach liqueur and orange juice, served in a 21 oz goblet. OJ and the wheat beer go together nicely, while the peach flavour is a little more subtle. That’ll wake you up in the morning!!!

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