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Guy Fieri only wishes he had my hair.

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: This really nice burger needs some really big rings!!!

Now that Toronto is into State of Emergency No. 3 like a bad Lou Bega number, let’s just say I’m not getting a lot of exercise these days. So when I saw that The Irv, this funky little joint in Cabbagetown, was serving up a Dad Bod Burger, I was all over that like a fat dad on a Smartie, son!!!

These are a few of my favourite things, right here. You’ve got blue cheese, bacon strips, caramelized onions and a whisky-glazed BBQ sauce, all on top of a thick, juicy patty. This burger is sooo outta bounds, it almost held a gathering of more than 10 people, bro!!!

The only thing that brings it down a bit is the thin, weak bun that was completely soggy by the time I opened the box. So instead of a 10/10, it’s maybe like a 9…

Now, when I saw you could upgrade from fries to house-cut onion rings for just two dollars more, I was all over that like a fat dad in a Speedo, bro! And man, these were like, seriously, some of the best onion rings in Toronto. They give you about a full onion’s worth, with a thick, doughy batter that really kicks things up a notch! I mean, like there are 3-4 bites of onion ring for every bite of burger in this takeout box…not that I’m complaining!!!

Man, the last time I had rings this good was in Buffalo…but who knows when I’ll even be allowed to go to Buffalo again, bro??? 😦 😦 😦

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Super-crunchy mac ‘n cheesy!!!

Now, at times like these, I needs me some comfort food — and there’s nothing more comforting than mac ‘n cheese, son! So when I found what I’m guessing is a ghost kitchen called Talk’s Mac serving up five different kinds of mac up on the corner of Bloor and Church, I was all over that like Scottie Pippen at the free-throw line — you KNOW the Mailman don’t deliver on Sundays, bro!!!

This here’s the Crispy Fried Mac, topped with dried onions and jalapenos. As you can see, the toppings come in separate containers, and then you dump ’em on top, for a nice, crunchy bite like this:

Now, they use a thicker kinda noodle, which adds more texture to the bite. Nice and creamy, with a bit of a kick from the dried hot peppers. I also added a bit of hot sauce to kick it up a notch. If there’s one downside to this dish, it’s that it only comes in one size — there wasn’t even an option to order a large — which means I definitely had room for this cheese biscuit:

Dude, this biscuit slays Red Lobster’s, Bro-once! It’s softer, fluffier and doesn’t fill you up, buttercup! Next time, I’m gonna order a whole basket of these…and maybe ask for an extra-large upgrade on the mac ‘n cheese?

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: Sucking on chili dogs at the back of Fancy Franks…

Today is Opening Day for the Blue Jays…although they were in New York today, and will play their “home games” in Florida until at least the end of May. Since it looks like we won’t be heading down to the ballpark anytime soon, we’re bringing the ballpark home with some real-deal Coney Island chili dogs from Francy Franks.

Suck on THIS chili dog, John Bro-gar Bro-llencamp! We’ve got a 100% beef wiener topped with meaty chili, chopped onions and mustard in a warm ‘n toasty bun. And you KNOW I didn’t eat just one, bro!!!

But that’s not all, folks! We’re kicking things up another notch with some chili poutine! This dish is like Chili Cheese Fries Gone Wild — with real-deal cheese curds to top it off. There is even some gravy on here, but it mostly either absorbed into the meat or settled at the bottom. And hey, this dish actually held up OK in delivery!

Now, we won’t have the CN Tower in the background on Opening Day, so instead we’re drinking a beer with the CN Tower on it — Divercity Helles Lager from Lost Craft. And hey, the Jays actually came back in extra innings to beat the Yanks!!!! Can I get a Helles Yeah, bro????

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Born in Arizona, moved to Babylonia… Funky Tut’s Street Food, son!!!

Now, we have savoured flavours from all over the world on Triple B, but one that we’ve never had before is Egyptian. So when I heard about Tut’s Egyptian Street Food, this funky little joint at King and Portland, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!!!!

This place is serving up seven different sammies, about half the size of a hot dog, and since I’ve never eaten Egyptian before, I pretty much wanted one of everything that isn’t vegan. Good thing they have a thing called the Tut’s Plus Combo, which gives you four sammies and a side for $19.99. Now that’s what I call winner, winner, Egyptian dinner — or make that Egyptian lunch!!!

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We’re starting off with the Egyptian Falafel, two great balls of fibre topped with tahini and coriander. This dish not only smells amazing, but it tastes delicious too…and technically, I guess it actually is vegan. My bad, bro!

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Now, while these might all look like little hot dogs, this here sammich is the closest thing to an actual hot dog. We’re talkin’ grilled beef sausage, topped with caramelized onions and a mustard mint sauce. Take me out to the ball game, bro!!!!!

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Now batting third, we’ve got grilled kofta, a Middle Eastern meat stick topped with tahini and parsley. But what really kicks it up a notch is a pair of pickles, giving things a nice little extra tang.

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But now we’re gonna kick it up another two or three notches with something I’ve never had in a sandwich before — pan-fried beef liver, bro! Now, this meat tasted kinda like the shredded beef you’d put in a taco, and the lime wedge added a nice little bit of acid. Plus, there’s some more tahini on top — dude, they put that shit on everything!!!

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With this combo, you also get a choice of sides — tomatoes, pickles or fries. Can you guess which one I went with? These french-fried potaters are seasoned with Dukka, an Egyptian blend of herbs and spices. At first, I was like, this little fistful of fries isn’t gonna be enough for four sandwiches, but it turns out I got about two fries for every bite… Now that’s some culinary rocket science in Flavourtown!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Dirty Deeds… Done. With. Beef.

Now, whenever I get 30% or 40% off with Uber Eats, I’m looking for something that looks good…but I don’t really wanna pay as much as they’re charging for it (especially since Uber pays the difference). Case in point: The Dirty Double, a $32 bacon double cheeseburger from Stout Irish Pub. Now, they’re packing a pair of 8 oz patties on this thing, so you definitely get your money’s worth — but if I can take 14 dollars off, that works out even better!

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Sometimes a burger doesn’t have to be fancy, as long as it’s tasty. You won’t see any pulled pork, potato chips or mac ‘n cheese on top of this big boy — but with two thick ‘n juicy patties, a nice chew from the bacon, bit of crunch from the pickles and onions, and some oozy, schmoozy cheese, that’s all you really need!!!

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And if you want another great deal, get the Chipotle Bacon Cheese Fries. This $18 item can be added as a side for just 3 bucks when you buy a burger, bro! Now, poutine might be more popular — especially up here in Canada, eh? — but when you got a nice pub fry with a melted cheese blend, some green onions and a pretty decent amount of bacon bits, that right there is the winning ticket! Plus, unlike some other places (I’m looking at you, Tragically Maple Poutine), the amount of chipotle sauce on top adds just enough flavour without taking away from everything else.

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Now, speaking of stout, this burger pairs nicely with Unify or Die, a hearty spiced stout from Blood Brothers Brewing. I first pounded one of these bad boys with a very nice steak dinner from Jacobs (RIP), but its message definitely still applies now that we’ve been dealing with this thing for over a year. Dude, if someone comes out with a Vaccinate and Party beer in 2021, I would slam the shit outta that, son!!!!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: 2-for-1 beef brisket Big Macs, bro!!!!

So, technically restaurants are open — for outdoor dining only — in Toronto now, but the rule says you can only eat with people from the same household. Well, the Triple B Krew doesn’t live together — we ain’t no smelly hippies, bro! — so until they let us go back to 10-person pods, like they did last year, I’m just gonna keep ordering enough takeout food for two people…and then eating it all by myself. 😉

Good thing that Uber Eats is doing 2-for-1 deals right now with a buncha local restaurants, like Wichcraft, this funky sandwich joint on Bloor West. (Not to be confused by a place with the same name in NYC, apparently.) This place has got all kinds of 2-for-1 specials going on, like shrimp po boys, fried chicken sandwiches and even veggie burgers. But when I saw the Smoked Brisket Big Mac, I knew this mac attack was heading straight down my piehole, bro!!!

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Now, they say that it’s smoked brisket, but the texture and flavour is more pot roast than Texas BBQ. Still makes for a pretty tasty sammy, though, with lettuce, cheese, onions, pickles and a special sauce that came on the side (even with two sammies, I only used like half the container). But what really makes it are the pickles — these ain’t no skinny, wimpy, fast-food pickles, — we’re talkin’ thick, crunchy, hockey pucks of flavour, which really give this sandwich a big boost!

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Now, what goes better with a brisket Big Mac than some mac ‘n cheese? They even make it with rigatoni for that extra-thick noodle action, son! But here’s where I dun goofed. Instead of ordering the mac as a separate item, I added it as a side with my brisket sandwich. And since they give you two sammies when you order one, I ended up with two sides of mac ‘n cheese…which weren’t 2-for-1, so I had to pay for both. But that’s not to say I didn’t eat both sandwiches AND both mac ‘n cheeses — you KNOW this is just a light lunch in Flavourtown, bro!!!

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: BBQ sandwich, ribs and an Irish Texan…

Now, we already know that Beach Hill Smokehouse has some of the best Texas BBQ in Toronto, so when I found out they opened up a new location on The Danforth that might actually be close enough to deliver, you KNOW I was gonna hit ’em up! I didn’t see any beef ribs on the menu, so instead I went with one of their classic BBQ sammies, along with a couple pork spare ribs and, because I’m still feeling the St. Patty’s spirit, this funkalicious side dish called an Irish Texan. More on that in a minute…

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They call this sandwich The Big D, and it’s a hot one! You’ve got BBQ brisket, turkey and sausage piled onto a bun, along with some slaw, and then they stick a smoked poblano pepper on top! Mind you, the meat really outweighs the heat — it doesn’t really seem spicy at all. But when you’ve got that brisket, some turkey and sausage all in the same bite, that’s Flavourtown Nirvana, Kurt Bro-bain!!!!

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The first time I went to the original Beach Hill Smokehouse, they were all outta ribs by the time I got to the front of the line. So I knew I had to get me some ribs this time! It turns out that a half-pound of ribs only gets you one great big bone and one teeny tiny one, but this is definitely a case of quality over quantity. The rib was super meaty, tender and chewy, with a perfect balance of smoke and pepper — it really doesn’t need any sauce, son! Next time, I could probably eat more than one, though. Will hafta order at least two pounds!!!

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And that brings us to this Flavourtown famine-buster, the Irish Texan. You’ve got a big ol’ baked potato all covered with cheese, brisket and sausage — they let you choose any two meats, but this seemed like the best way to go. Wrapping it in tinfoil and butcher paper kept it warm enough that you still got that meaty, potatoey goodness in every bite — it’s magically delicious!!!!

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And I washed it all down with a tallboy of Harp Lager…cuz I (mostly) ended up drinking AGD Red on St. Patty’s Day instead!

 

 

 

 

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: This Shillelagh Burger is like St. Patty’s Day on a bun!!!

Last year, Toronto went into the first COVID lockdown just a couple days before St. Patrick’s Day, where I remember drinking beers (not even Guinness!) and eating some takeout corned beef and cabbage at home, then maybe watching Contagion with Matt Damon on TV. I didn’t even blog about this, but I think it’s on my Instagram page, if you go back far enough. Now, one year later, we’re celebrating another St. Patty’s in lockdown, which totally guzzles leprechaun farts, bro!!!!!!!!

If there’s any pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, though, it’s that a few local Irish pubs have stepped up their St. Patrick’s Day takeout and delivery game for 2021. Like the Brazen Head, this funky little joint in Liberty Village, that’s offering up a sammich special that’s about to go all Riverdance on my taste buds… This is the Shillelagh Burger!!!

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What we’ve got here is a 6-ounce patty, topped with corned beef AND cabbage, along with lettuce, tomato and onions, oozing with Thousand Islands dressing, all on a pretzel bun, son! Now, I gotta say, Liberty Village is about 4 km away, and my delivery arrived even later than the latest predicted time (Uber didn’t even give me no refund, son!), which means the bun was soggy, the fries were cold and the sauce was all over the bottom of the box. But even in these less-than-ideal conditions, this was still a pretty tasty burger, nice ‘n thick, with just a bit of pink in the middle. I’m sure it would have been a lot better in-person (Kiss me blarney stone, Doug!), but hey, at least I got to have a proper pint of Guinness…

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…even if I had to pour it myself! Speaking of which, the Brazen Head also delivers a four-pack of Guinness, Harp Lager, or two of each for $14 — which means I’ll probably be drinking at least four beers tonight. 😉

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: One Margherita, two Margheritas, $3 Margherita pies!

Now, I don’t always listen to Luke Bryan, but when he’s singing about pizza, I turn the radio up, bro! Yesterday was Pi Day, so Pi Co., this funky local pizza chain, was celebrating by serving up margheritas for just $3.14, limit of two per order. Now, I guess these guys were pretty popular, cuz I ordered mine a few minutes after they opened at 11:30, and they said my pies would not arrive until 12:23, which was no biggie…only they didn’t get here by 12:30, 1:30 or even 1:45. It wasn’t until 2 o’clock that I got a message that my delivery driver was on his way — that’s right, it took two and a half hours to get me some pizza, son!!!!!!!!!

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At least the pizza was hot ‘n fresh when it got here — it definitely hadn’t been sitting out for two hours. I’m guessing what happened was they were making margheritas all day, and then it was first-come, first-served to whoever showed up…including the delivery drivers on their app. (I know that DoorDash changed the driver on me several times before I gave up and stopped checking, so the same guy wasn’t waiting for two hours, either.) And hey, even if I wasn’t super-hungry, I’d still say this was pretty good pizza — nice, thin, chewy crust, with a rich tomato sauce and a few good bites of cheese scattered throughout. Pretty sure I polished off both pies in less than 15 minutes, though!!!!!

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