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About greedocatucci

Guy Fieri only wishes he had my hair.

Japanese-style steak ‘n squid @ Miku

Now, I’ve always said, if I’m gonna drop three bills on a fancy dinner, I’d rather spend it on steak than on sushi. So we’re hanging out at Miku, this fancy Japanese joint at the foot of Bay St, where they do have some pretty pricey sushi…but they also happen to serve steak. Wanna guess what I ordered?

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But first, we are starting off with some seafood, though — I’m talking tempura calamari, bro! This deep-fried squid is cooked to perfection with a light, crispy batter…and they’ve even got some squid ink on the side for dipping!

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But now it’s time for the main event. In this corner, we’ve got a 10 oz ribeye steak, medium rare, with some miso butter and wasabi veal jus, served with a side of roasted potatoes. The plate also had some hot peppers on it, but I didn’t even touch those. Meat was cooked nicely, with some good flavour. I even ate the fatty bits, and there was actually quite a few fatty bits…

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But you KNOW that even after pounding all that beef, I’ve still got room for dessert, son! They call this the Ichigo Mochi Dome, and it’s sort of a two-men-enter, one-man-leaves situation…which means I’m totally not gonna share. What we’ve got is a brown sugar cookie, topped with condensed milk whipped cream, and then there’s strawberries on the inside, along with a scoop of jasmine tea ice cream, more strawberries, and chunks of chocolate peanut butter brittle. Definitely one of the funkiest desserts I’ve had in a while!!!

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Baby beef short rib @ El Catrin

You know me, this is body by Mexican food, bro! And my motto’s always been, if it’s ribs, make it beef ribs, so when I heard that El Catrin Destileria, this funky Mexican joint in the Distillery District, was serving up El Jefe, a braised beef short rib, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!!!

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Now, when they brought this dish out, I was thinking it was only an appetizer. I mean, this plate’s not even all that big, and it still makes the food looks small! Mind you, the meat was still pretty tasty, smothered in mole, with some nice wild mushrooms and corn…I just wish that there was more of it, though!

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The silver lining to this meat cloud was that I definitely still had room for dessert. And they’re giving you not one, not two, not three, but four churros to an order, with three kinds of dipping sauces — caramel, chocolate AND strawberry, son! And these were actually some of the best churros I’ve ever had; nice and flaky, not too crunchy…and that dark chocolate sauce, dude — I would eat that off a flip-flop!

So maybe next time I’ll just skip dinner and head straight to dessert?

BBQ beef ribs and beers… Oh my!

Now that we’ve reached a point where restaurants have reopened for indoor dining, it’s time for me to check out some funky joints that don’t have a patio. Like C’est What, one of the OG craft brewpubs in the city, at the corner of Front and Church. This place is soooo underground, it’s literally in a basement, bro! And they’re serving up all kinds of local craft beer, along with comfort food classics like poutine, mac ‘ n cheese, and these bad-to-the-bone BBQ beef ribs:

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Now, these ribs were boiled, not smoked, but the meat was still pretty tender. Sauce had a pretty decent kick, especially when you dipped the meat in the extra sauce on the side. Coleslaw and hash-brown potatoes aren’t things I would normally eat with BBQ, but they got the job done. After a few beers, I definitely couldn’t complain!!!

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And speaking of beers, we’re starting off with a Hopping Mad IPA from Granite Brewery. This copper cask beer had a nice punch, at 60 IBU, without being too puckery, and was still very crushable at 6%.

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Speaking of IPAs, this Surround Sound DIPA from Collective Arts kicks it up a notch with Azacca, Amarillo and Comet hops, coming in at 8.2%. Definitely a lot more juicy and citrusy, if you’re into that!

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But now we’re getting into the darker stuff, with a Long Shadow stout from Fairweather Brewing. They brew this one with coconut, vanilla and coffee, giving it a similar chocolately taste to Granville Island’s Lions Winter Ale, a personal favourite…although it’s not quite as rich. Would definitely try this again, though!

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Speaking of dessert beers, this home-brewed C’est What Mocha Porter is a pretty decent one to curl up in front of a fireplace with. Plus, they donate one dollar from every pint to feminism, so I did my good deed for the day, son!!!

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Even after that four-course liquid dinner, you KNOW I’ve still got room for dessert, bro! This chocolate hazelnut brownie, with ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry on top really hits the spot!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: We be lambin’, mon!

So, we’re hanging out at Bymark, this funky joint in the Financial District. When I was here last summer, we ate underground, but now we’re taking advantage of their swanky courtyard patio…and their righteous summer menu, son!

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So, we’re starting off with lobster poutine, which is one of my favourite kinds of poutine. Fries are ridiculously crispy, you’ve got some nice, big chunks of lobster, and a classic Bearnaise sauce on top. Now, technically it’s not a poutine — where’s the cheese curds, bro? — but definitely some of the best lobster Bearnaise fries I’ve ever had!!!

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Now, speaking of things that are a little unusual… I’ve totally had some real-deal jerk chicken before, and a whole lotta lamb shanks, but this jerk lamb shank was definitely a first. I was worried that it might be spicy, but it really wasn’t. Braised meat was super-tender, and you’ve got some stuff on the side that I don’t normally eat, like quinoa and lima beans. But if you put it on the plate with lamb, I’m gonna make it disappear, bro!!!

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Now for dessert, we’re kicking it up another notch with some creme brulee donuts! These creamy little Timbits come with a side of salted caramel and some walnut pralines for that added crunch. This might be the funkiest dessert I’ve had since we came outta lockdown, son!!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: They made this burger a Triple B just for me!!!

Now, back when Assembly Chef’s Hall first opened, I came and I conquered pretty much every stall in the place. I even checked out their patio a couple years ago, and it was pretty sweet. Now, not every vendor has reopened for business — Cherry St Bar-B-Que is noticeably missing — but they’ve introduced table service out on the patio. So, while you can’t go around and order at the counter(s) anymore, you can order stuff from a few different places, and they’ll bring it right out to you.

This also gave me a chance to check out this funky joint that wasn’t even open the first time I stopped by, but is serving up what Toronto Life once called this city’s best new burger — Resto Boemo! Now, this place had a Single B and a Double B burger on the menu, but I was like, “Dude, can I get a Triple B, bro???”

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These patties weren’t super huge, so I could totally house a triple. (And yes, there is a third slab of beef tucked under there, even if you can’t see it in this photo.) But aside from being super-stacked, this burger was plain and simple — lettuce, onions, pickles, lots of American cheese and an oozy aioli coming out all over the place. Can’t complain about that at all! Paired with a side of Parm Frittes, which are basically just fries, but tossed with herbs and cheese…yes please!!!

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Since this blog isn’t Burgers, Bacon and Shirley Temples, I washed this bad boy down with a couple of Farmer(s) in the Sky, a nice, refreshing, dry-hopped pilsner from True History Brewing. The brewery is based in Toronto, but it says on the back that this beer was brewed in Calgary — either way, it still tastes good to me!

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Of course, you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! This Nutella sundae was six dollars, but you could add a shot of Kahlua for another six dollars. So, basically, you gotta spend the extra six dollars. The booze was the best part, bro!!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: The Caesar that eats like a meal!

Now, I’ve been wanting to check out Score on King for a while, but never got a chance to go until last night. This place is known for its legendary Caesars, and you know my motto’s always been go big or go home, so I’m going for the biggest, tallest, most overloaded of them all — The Checkmate Caesar:

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Now, this bad boy is so big that they can only serve it to (at least) two people, so that’s why I brought a friend…and then I didn’t share. You’ve got a pulled pork sandwich on top of a cheeseburger on top of a Cornish game hen, with a pulled pork mac ‘n cheese hot dog, chicken wings, onion rings and a chocolate brownie sticking out the sides! And all this on top of a drink served in a Hoegaarden pint glass, which, even on its own would be the second-biggest Caesar I’ve ever had…but this one’s got a lot more toppings, bro!

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So, we’re starting off with the pulled pork mac ‘n cheese hot dog, which was probably the most precariously perched piece of food. The dog itself was hot ‘n beefy, but both the mac and the pork were kinda cold, which was a little weird…

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Next up, we’ve got the pulled pork slider. Now, I don’t love pulled pork unless it’s really good, and this one was just OK. The coleslaw inside the sandwich and the pickle on top were a nice touch, though!

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Now, this cheeseburger was pretty basic, but it was definitely above average. Patty was thick and hot, and there were just enough toppings to add support without stealing the show. I might try one of their other burgers next time I come here…if I don’t just go for The Caesar Grande, though!

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These wings were what I like to call sports-bar spicy — they’ve got a decent kick, but not gonna melt your face off. At least by now I had taken enough food off the top that I could actually stick a straw in and drink some of the Caesar!

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Onion rings were pretty good, nice ‘n crunchy, and went well with the wings. If they were a little cold, that’s on me because I ate three whole sandwiches before I got to them!

Now, at this point, I had eaten a pretty decent amount of food. I mean, if I was at a Super Bowl party, I’d have probably stuffed this much down my piehole by the second quarter. But I still had the biggest, most intimidating part of this dish left to go — the full Cornish game hen:

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Even though I left it for last, this chicken was still pretty tasty. Skin was deep-fried and crispy, and the bird was tender and juicy. It’s a good thing that it was so melt-in-your-mouth, cuz I could barely chew at this point…but you KNOW I still ate it all, bro!!!!

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And of course, I still had room for dessert…

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Now, I already had a few bites of this chocolate brownie before I remembered to take a picture, but it was still pretty tasty. At this point, I had eaten enough food to curl up in a ball and go to sleep — but only after watching the Flames shut out the Dallas Stars, son!!!!

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: Fish ‘n chips by the sea shore…

Now, Toronto may not be a place where you can eat freshly caught seafood from the ocean next door — but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a waterfront patio scene. While I probably wouldn’t wanna eat anything that comes outta Lake Ontario, I can still enjoy looking out at the lake from the massive back patio at Against the Grain, this funky joint right next to Sugar Beach.

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Now, it feels like it’s been a while since I’ve eaten a burger, so we’re starting off with a trio of prime rib sliders. You’ve got some thinly sliced pickles and spicy mustard on the bottom, and then cheddar cheese and a piece of crunchy, deep-fried bologna on top. The meat is cooked to well done and comes out really hot, so I couldn’t really tell that it’s prime rib…but overall, it was still pretty tasty!

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But you KNOW that was just a light snack in Flavourtown! So we’re moving on to the main course, freshly battered haddock with a whole pile of thin ‘n salty fries. Batter had a nice crunch, goes good with the dill tartar sauce — I kinda wish I couldda made mine a two-piece order, though!

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Of course, I’m not gonna go to a place like this and order a Cranberry White Claw, bro! This here’s a Lemonade Stand, a refreshing lactose sour from Indie Ale House. Just enough citrusy sourness without being too bitter — I totally crushed a few of these!

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We’ve also got a Hopped and Confused Vol. 2 from the Mill St crew. Despite its name, this beer isn’t very hoppy — it’s only got 20 IBU. But I’m always down for a Dazed and Confused reference…it’s a fiesta in the making at the Moon Tower, son!!!

 

PATIO LIT EATS: Duck confit ravioli @ Terroni

Dude, this is body by ravioli, bro! When I was a kid, I would plow through Chef Boyardee’s like it was crack in a can, so when I heard that Terroni, this funky Italian joint on Adelaide, was serving up not just any kind of ravioli, but duck confit ravioli, with not one, but two kinds of mushrooms, you KNOW I had to come check it out!!!!

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But first, we’re starting off with some deep-fried rings of crunchy goodness — Frittura di Calamari, cazzo! And I am sooo on board with the level of breading here… I could crunch ‘n munch these all night long!!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event! These pillows of chewy goodness come in a nice, creamy sauce, topped with fresh Parmesan for that extra kick. The mushrooms are melt-in-your-mouth, but the duck meat is ground down to the point when you’re missing that unctiousness — I mean, this could be beef or veal, and I wouldn’t taste the difference. (I mighta had a few Menabrea beers by this time, though…)

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Of course, you KNOW we always have room for dessert on Triple B, and this flourless dark chocolate lava cake really takes the cake…so it takes itself? You’ve got some warm, chocolately goodness, with a nice oozy centre, on a bed of cream, with some strawberries and blueberries on the side — I’ve eaten my five pieces of fruit for the week, bro!!!!

Croque Madame? Don’t mind if I do!!!

Finally… the brunch has come back to Toronto! With the city moving into Phase 3 this weekend, I now have a reason to get up before noon on Sundays again. So, we’re hanging out at Lapinou, this funky French bistro on King West, that’s serving up a three-course Sunday brunch special for 35 bucks a person — that’s like a five-finger discount in Flavourtown!!!

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We’re starting off with some bread for the table — but this ain’t just any day-old bread, bro! We’re talking warm ‘n crusty Focaccia rolls with some tomato vinegar and olive oil for dunking. Pretty sure I could slam, like, six of these…

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You’ve also got some veggies and dip — a killer bay-leaf aioli with some salsa verde on top. Dude, this is body by salsa verde!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. We’re talking French toast, smoked ham, dijon mustard, Mornay sauce…and a fried egg on top. Crip to the Croque, the hits don’t stop!!!

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And then, at the end, a little amuse-bouche of watermelon sorbet. OK, so I couldda slammed a triple scoop of this stuff, but it was still nice ‘n cold and refreshing!!!