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About greedocatucci

Guy Fieri only wishes he had my hair.

I’m about to bite into some bison balls, bro!!!

You know me, this is body by meatballs, son! So when I heard that The Drake Hotel was serving up bison meatballs as part of their fall/winter menu, you KNOW I’m gonna be there with balls on, bro!!!!

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They may not be the same size as the balls on a buffalo, but there’s nothing wrong with these round mounds of meat, topped with grated cheese, swimming in a sea of marinara with some little polenta croutons on the side — dude, Lil’ Polenta Croutons is my rap battle name, bro!!!!

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Now, I probably couldda stuffed at least twice as many balls down my piehole, but I wanted to save room for another fall/winter seasonal classic — pumpkin ravioli. The last time I had this dish was almost four years ago, in Yorkville, and it’s even better than I remembered! Pasta is cooked perfectly, and you get a nice, meaty texture with just enough spice to remind you that you’re eating pumpkin. Plus, they’re topped with all kinds of crazy stuff like fermented cashew brown butter, parsnip purée, crispy sage and hemp-seed parm — shut the front, back and side doors!!!!

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Washed it all down with a couple pints of County Kolsch from Midtown Brewing Company. This light, cripsy boi goes down nice and smooth, with little to no aftertaste — unlike that pumpkin ravioli. 😛

Hummus royale…without cheese.

Now, you KNOW I loves me some Middle Eastern food — dude, this is body by shawarma, bro! So when I heard that Byblos, this funky Eastern Mediterranean joint in the Entertainment District, was fully reopened for business, I had to come in and check it out. They actually don’t serve shawarma here, but you can get a short rib kebab, roasted lamb shoulder or wagyu brisket pide, among other things. But me, I’m gonna go for the wagyu beef in this funky little first course, hummus royale.

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Basically, what you’ve got here is hummus, topped with wagyu ground beef, pine nuts and barberries — say what now? Plus, it comes with these little pieces of Persian barbari flatbread for dipping. These little bread chunks don’t dip as easily as a pita, but I guess they’re more authentic, eh?

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But you know that hummus was just a light snack in Flavourtown — now it’s time for some Middle Eastern fried chicken!!!

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When they told me there were five pieces to an order, I figured it would be a decent-sized dinner — but these are more like boneless chicken bites, bro. Still pretty tasty, topped with tahini, za’atar herbs and with some spicy shug hot sauce on the side — I definitely needed to eat all those pickles to cool my mouth down, son! And hey, you KNOW I still had room for dessert, right?

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Dude, this hazelnut chocolate mousse is some next-level shit. It’s got that rich, chocolately taste, but there’s also some Middle Eastern spices, a bit of coffee syrup, edible flowers and a couple crunchy wafer cookies sticking out of the top. This dessert was the best part of the whole meal, bro!!!!

Who needs porchetta when you can have lambchetta, bro???

Now, if porchetta isn’t my favourite sandwich, it’s gotta be somewhere in the top 10. You’ve got tender pork belly, crispy pork skin, with maybe some mustard or rapini on a bun… You can’t go wrong with that, son! So when I heard that Marked, this funky South American joint around the corner from the Scotiabank Theatre, was serving up something called lambchetta — which is pretty much the same thing, except with lamb — you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!!!!!

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We’re starting off with some guasacaca, a Venezuelan avocado dip. Holy guacamole, bro! But while guac is chunkier, guasa is more creamy, with big bites of onion that make it more like an avocado relish. I’d still put that on a sandalia de playa, though!!!!

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But now it’s time for the lamb event! This lamb belly is grilled on the churrasco till it’s nice and tender, and served on a bed of green olive puree. There’s not a lotta crispy skin here, and you can’t get it as a sandwich, but other than that… I can’t complain!

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They mighta replaced pork with lamb in that last dish, but we’ve got yer little piggy right here, bro! We’re scarfing down a side of feijoada, Brazil’s national dish, a hot ‘n hearty stew with pork hock, chorizo and black beans, bro! Last time I had this dish, it was served with white beans, but me, I like my beans how I like my metal — blackened progressive sludge, son!!!!

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Now, this here’s what they call a Jellyvision. You’ve got a pint of Bellwoods Jelly King dry hopped sour beer, and a shot of Blanco Tequila, infused with toasted cinnamon and szechuan. The sour fruitiness of the beer plays off against the warm, rich kick of tequila…although you only get the full experience for a few sips. (Let’s just say I switched to an IPA after this.)

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro!!! This here’s their crazy spin on alfajores, a South American classic. These are usually sandwich-style cookies, a cross between an Oreo and Jos Louis…but their version is clearly something completely different — a cross between a cake and a chocolate bar. It’s still got a whole lotta layers, though:

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What we’ve got here is chocolate hazelnut cake, buttercream, banana caramel and chocolate mousse, with a scoop of banana ice cream on the side. But even with all these different things, you mostly taste the banana. Dude, that’s bananas… and bananas is good!!!!

Steak & Eggs Benedict, hold the English muffin…

Now, I don’t usually get up in time for breakfast…unless there’s a whole lotta meat involved. So we’re hanging out at Siempre Restaurant, this funky little joint on Front Street, just a Marcus Semien longball away from Rogers Centre. This place is only open for breakfast and lunch — they close at 4 pm, bro! And while they’re serving up all kinds of classics like omelettes, waffles, parfaits and seven kinds of eggs benny, I got my mind set on steak, Bro-rge Harrison!!!!

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OK, so this wasn’t the greatest steak I’ve ever had; it’s pretty much the kinda meat you get at the grocery store. But the eggs were nicely poached, the Hollandaise was super-creamy…and the hash browns are what makes it!!!!

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Dude, I could slam these french-fried potaters any day, Sling Bro-de! Perfectly crispy, lightly seasoned… You could make a flip-flop outta these hash browns, wear it to the beach, put it in the sand and it would still taste good!!!!!

Dim sum for dinner @ Dasha!

Now, you KNOW I loves me some dim sum, bro! Dude, I once doubled down on chicken corn soup, shrimp rolls, shrimp cakes and siu mai from Dim Sum King — and that was just for breakfast! Of course, dim sum is usually the first meal of the day, so when I saw that Dasha, this funky joint on King West, was doing dim sum for dinner, I figured I should probably check it out…

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Dude, these steamed pork buns were actually steaming, bro! (They put some dry ice on the plate below to give all their dim sum dishes that extra-smokey effect.) These were a bit different than your typical BBQ pork buns, though — for one thing, the pork wasn’t BBQ, but rather a ground pork mix that might make more sense in a spring roll. But they don’t actually have spring rolls on the menu, so…

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Ain’t nothing wrong with these har gow, doe! These simple shrimp dumplings were coming in so hot, they’ll melt your face off — you almost hafta take ’em outta the basket to let ’em cool down before you chow down. I guess some people might need 2-3 bites to finish these, but you KNOW they’re heading down my piehole whole, bro!!!!

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Now, it’s time for something a little bit different. Siu mai might be one of the most classic dim sum dishes, but here at Dasha, they’re funking it up a notch with these scallop siu mai. Instead of pork, they double down on the seafood with shrimp and scallops — dude, I don’t think I’ve eaten this much shrimp since that one time, at Dim Sum King

And they don’t even have dessert here, except for fortune cookies. My fortune said “Be open for an exciting opportunity…in bed!” 😛

This Korean BBQ joint actually cooks the meat for you…

Now, I don’t always do Korean BBQ, cuz I’m like, why go to a restaurant that makes you cook your own food, dude? But we’re hanging out at Mapo Korean BBQ, right in the heart of Koreatown, where the servers actually slice and cook the meat for you — I can go for that! Man, this place has got autographs on the wall from all the big Korean baseball stars like Hyun Jin Ryu, Ji-Man Choi and Alek Manoah…who might not be Korean, but I’m sure he can destroy a whole buncha grilled meat, boi!!!

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We went for Combo D, which combines beef brisket, ribeye, pork neck, mushrooms and two kinds of pork belly — this here’s the skinny kind. You also get complimentary cheesy corn, egg, and a whole lotta banchan (side dishes) like kimchi and macaroni salad.

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While you can’t go wrong with pork three ways — Pork Three Ways was the name of my Primus cover band, bro! — the ribeye steak is what makes it. They blowtorch this baby with propane and propane accessories, then cut it into pieces so you can serve yourself. Mine was still a nice medium-rare…

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But there wasn’t quite enough beef to go around, so we also ordered some short ribs a la carte. Unfortunately, the place got really busy, so we were left to grill them ourselves, and they came out extra crispy. But I would still put that on a flip-flop…because even burned beef ribs taste better than a sandal, son!!!!!

BBQ beef brisket burger @ Beertown, bro!!!

Dude, Beertown Public House is pretty much my new favourite place on the planet. Their beer selection is TheBomb.ca, bro! Now, last time we were here, I chowed down on nachos, chips ‘n guac and some soft-baked pretzel sticks…but now I’m heading back to check out their burger selection. Somwhere there’s a BBQ Brisket Burger with my name on it!!!! More on that in a sec, though…

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Now, last time we were here, we discovered that you could get two pretzel sticks with a side of mustard for $1.99. But I even said that next time I was gonna go for the full-sized pretzel…and I did! Turns out that it isn’t actually a whole pretzel though; you just get a handful more pretzel sticks, along with some beer cheese dip — dude, this is body by beer cheese dip! I’d put that on a snow boot, bro!!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event… Say hell to ma lil’ friend, BBQ Brisket Burger. This bad boy is topped with Monterey Jack, coleslaw, chips, chipotle donkey sauce and an ancho chili BBQ sauce — it’s a mess and a half! And of course, there’s the brisket. I wasn’t a big fan of the beef brisket nachos last time, but this brisket had a lot more texture and flavour. I guess sticking brisket in a nacho oven is no bueno, bro! Oh, and I would definitely smash this burger again!!!!!

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Of course, we ain’t about to walk into Beertown and order a Coors Light, son! This here’s Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, coming straight outta England… Not gonna lie, I was expecting more chocolately richness, but it basically tastes like a Guinness — not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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And because There’s Always Room for more beer, this key lime pie sour from Merit, coming straight outta Hamilton, will do nicely for dessert. 😉

It’s a Mexican meat mountain in a bowl, bro!!!

Now, I know we just had Mexican the other day, but there’s no such thing as too much Mexican food, bro! We’re hanging out at Añejo, this funky joint in a basement at the corner of King and Portland that’s so legit, the guacamole is served up tableside!!!

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Dude, it doesn’t get any fresher than this! You’ve got onions, tomato, cilantro, avocado and jalapenos, with a little garlic and lime, served with a side of tortilla chips. Man, I wish I could have somebody follow me around and make guacamole for me everywhere, bro!!!

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But the main reason I’m here is for the molcajete de carne, a sizzling meat stew that’s packing beef, chorizo and chicken, along with roasted veggies, tomato sauce, oaxaca cheese and even a piece of cactus into the pot. Plus, they give you a handful of tortillas, so you can basically make your own tacos, bros!!!!

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But even after all that commotion back there, we’ve still got room for dessert. I’m talkin’ tarta de chocolate, a couple little brownie bites served with brandy, candied serrano peppers and some habanero salt, for that little extra kick. All that’s missing the big stone bowl, bro!!!!!!!!

Mexican breakfast for dinner, bro!!!

Dude, I loves me some Mexican for breakfast… this is body by chilaquiles, bro! But you don’t see it on the menu too often in Toronto — last time I had chilaquiles was for takeout during lockdown — so when I saw they were serving em up at El Catrin, this funky joint in the Distillery District, I had to get me some…even if it was 7:30 in the evening, son!

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Now, in addition to your traditional chilaquiles — tortilla chips, cheese, onions and cilantro, topped with a fried egg — you can also add chicken, chorizo…or both. So you KNOW I had to double down, bro! But little did I know, I’d be climbing Meat Mountain — they sure don’t shortchange ya on the carne! In fact, when this dish arrived at the table, I didn’t even know there were nachos under there… And I dunno if it was the chicken or the chorizo, but one of them was pretty spicy!

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Now, maybe those chilaquiles would be enough for breakfast, but since it’s dinnertime, I need a bit more. So I also went and ordered a trio of tacos al pastor, fully loaded with seasoned pork, pineapple, onions and cilantro. These were not the biggest or the best al pastor tacos I’ve ever had, but they did make for a pretty decent side dish. 😛

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And hey, since it’s breakfast for dinner, I had to wash it down with a Mexican-style Caesar. This michelada mixes Motts Clamato, Worchester-chester-chester-shire, Cholula hot sauce and a little salt ‘n lime with the in-house El Catrin lager. Served in an eight-ounce glass, it’s enough to get you through breakfast for dinner!

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Now, I didn’t really have room for dessert after all that Mexican goodness…but you KNOW there’s always room for a churro, bro!!!!!

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!!!!!!!!!

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