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About greedocatucci

Guy Fieri only wishes he had my hair.

CHITOWN CHOWDOWN: Take me out to the ballgame…buy me some hot dogs and IPAs!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Wrigley Field, 1060 West Addison, home of the Chicago Cubs. This place has always been on my baseball bucket list, and I couldn’t have picked a better day to go — we’re talking 25 degrees Celsius in April, bro!!!

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Now I’ve had a couple Chicago dogs since I came here — but at Wrigley, they let you make your own. You buy a hotdog at the stand, and then you can add all the essentials — mustard, relish, pickles, tomatoes and sport peppers. They even have a ketchup squirter… I thought that was a no-no in Chicago, bro??????

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And unlike Rogers Centre, they don’t just serve Budweiser here. Even the hotdog stand has Lagunitas IPA on tap, which happens to be one of my personal favs. Let’s just say I slammed a couple of these…

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And hey, I couldn’t have asked for a better game, either. The Cubbies won 21-0. Not even making that up, bro!!!!!!!

CHITOWN CHOWDOWN: Chowing down at 5 of the best pizza places in Chicago

Now, you KNOW we couldn’t come to Chicago and NOT eat pizza, bro! This city is known for deep dish, but the locals prefer tavern-style, which is anything but — we’re talking some of the thinnest crust you can imagine. So how do 5 of Chicago’s top pizza joints measure up? You’re about to find out — right here, right now on Triple B:

Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta

Pizano’s is the kinda place you’d see in the movies, with the checkered tablecloths and signed photos from all the local sports teams on the walls.

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This place does both deep-dish and thin crust — apparently the thin crust is Oprah’s favourite.

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Thin crust is crunchy and cheesy, with some nice pieces of sausage scattered throughout. Wish there was more meat here…but when you get a bite of the sausage, that, right there is the ticket.

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The deep dish was more tomato than anything else. Bit of cheese, with a crispy crust. I think I got the veggie one — if you put some of that sausage on here, it would be that much better…

Flo & Santos Pizza & Pub

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Flo & Santos is within stumbling distance of Soldier Field, and there’s no doubt that more than a few Bears fans have stumbled out of this place. They’ve also serving up a Polish-style pizza with kielbasa, bacon and sauerkraut and an Italian Beef pizza — sign me up, bro!

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While I don’t think I got any bacon on this slice, the thick ‘n meaty kielbasa goes great on pizza!

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The Italian Beef pie has got a lot going on. You get lotsa beef, but also some onions and peppers. Doesn’t beat a dipped Italian beef sando, but I would order this again, bro!!!

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They’ve even got a dessert pizza, topped with chocolate and toasted marshmallows. It’s like S’mores Gone Wild, bro!!!!!

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They’ve also got $3 cans of Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale. Goose is a local brewery here, so their beer is plentiful and affordable. This one coulda been a bit more citrusy, though…

Coalfire

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As the name suggests, Coalfire, this West Town joint, cooks their pizza in a coal-fired oven, the hottest oven in Chicago, apparently — so the pizza comes out quick and crispy, in true Neapolitan fashion.

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Their pepperoni & whipped ricotta pie combines the texture of hot pepperoni and cool cheese, which goes on afterwards and you spread it over the top. Ricotta is a pretty mild cheese, so it has good texture, without overpowering the meat.

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This Bacon Jam pie is actually dominated by these big ol slices of soppressata, but with little pieces of bacon on top. It’s sorta like, come for the sausage, stay for the bacon, son!!!!

Bartoli’s Pizzeria

Bartoli’s, this funky little joint near the United Center is bringing back the 70’s style pies from Gino’s East, and they sell em by the slice — cuz you can’t always eat a whole deep-dish pizza, bro!

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I had a picture in my mind of what Chicago deep dish pizza would be, and this was pretty much it.This slice is definitely too thick to eat with your hands. Saucy, cheesy with some nice bites of Italian sausage on a thick, cornmeal crust. This might be the deepest deep dish pizza I’ve ever seen…

Lou Malnati’s

Now, this is the first time I’ve tried to take down a whole deep dish pizza on my own. I did go for the small size, which they say is enough for 2 people… So no problemo, right?

I went with the Malnati Chicago Classic, which has sausage, extra cheese and tomato. Started off with some garlic bread, and washed it down with a Goose Green Line, an APA so light that I wouldn’t even call it a pale ale. (This is not a good thing.) They do not short you on the garlic bread, though…

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Now, when they brought the pizza out, I even asked the guy, “Is this the Small for two people? Cuz it looks like a personal pizza to me!“ (Of course, any pizza is a personal pizza if you try hard and believe in yourself, bro!!!!) in any case, this pie was pretty tasty; nice bites of sausage, and a good crispy crust. If that’s extra cheese, though, I’d hate to see what a normal amount of cheese would be…

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You KNOW I still had room for dessert, though, bro! Lemme tell ya, though, this is NOT your Nonna’s tiramisu. I don’t taste ladyfingers, cocoa powder or cappuccino— instead, they put chocolate chips in it and top it with chocolate sauce. Not sure if that’s how they do it in Chicago…but I am never ordering tiramisu here again, bro!!!!!!!!!!!

CHITOWN CHOWDOWN: Cheezborger Cheezborger Cheezborger @ Billy Goat Tavern

So we’re hanging out in the Windy City for a few days, and chowing down on the best that Chitown has to offer. Of course, our first stop has gotta be the legendary Billy Goat Tavern, the place that put the goat in the curse of the goat, bro! Now, my Blues Brothers from another mother Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi used to hang out here, back in the day, which inspired the famous Cheezborger Cheezborger Cheezborger sketch on SNL…so you KNOW what I’m gonna order, bro!!!!

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This Triple Cheezborger and a bag of chips (no fries, chips, bro!!!!) will only set ya back 11 bucks, after tax. The thin patties and processed cheese remind me of McDonald’s…but these patties are a lot juicier, cooked to order on the flat top. Their condiment bar was running a little low, so I only added pickles and onions — but that was all I really needed anyways.

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Also unlike McDonald’s, you can order beer here, such as their signature Billy Goat IPA. This little old-timey glass of beer is only five bucks — which might make this the cheapest meal I scarf down all week, son!!!

Chowing down on Wynona’s big brown branzino, bro!

Man, I remember back in the day when all you had to eat around Gerrard Square was McDonald’s. But since then, a buncha funky joints opened up in a neighbourhood sometimes known as Gerrones, and just a couple blocks away, across from a new condo under construction, you’ve got Wynona, this cozy little place serving up seafood and Italian comfort food. I mean, it’s not every day you get gabagool on the menu, bro!!!!

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This Italian cured pork product (known as Capocollo to people who’s never watched The Sopranos) is drizzled with honey and topped with a shredded cow’s milk cheddar, along with a couple banana peppers for that added bada bing. But you KNOW this is just an appetizer in Flavourtown…

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While the menu here changes weekly, there’s a good chance they’ve got branzino, a grilled European sea bass served with brown butter, olives and capers. Take me to the river, bro!!!!

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And what better beer to wash this down than Marco Polo, an Italian-style pilsner from Indie Alehouse? These guys run the bottle shop at Eataly, so you know they know Italian — and the crispness of this one is definitely on point.

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Of course, we’ve still got room for dessert, and you’ve got two choices here, creme caramel or chocolate cake. That’s basically a no-brainer in Flavourtown, bro! They kick this cake up a notch with chocolate pastry cream, sour cherries and a dollop of whipped cream — you KNOW they whip it good, De-bro!!!!

Put the absinthe in the coconut, and drink ’em both up, bro!!!!

Now, we don’t usually go to cocktail bars on Triple B. I mean, the name of this blog is NOT Burgers, Bacon and Bourbon…although that would still be a pretty sweet blog, bro. But man, I dunno how many times I have stumbled past BarChef on Queen West in one of my drunken stupors, so I figured it was time to finally go inside and check it out. And let’s just say you do not go here to order a beer…

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Instead, we’re kicking off this shindig with a Coconut & Absinthe Sour. They say it’s a pina colada meets the green fairy, and while I wouldn’t mind getting caught in the rain with a few of these, it tasted more like pineapple than absinthe to me. I’m also pretty sure I didn’t start hallucinating afterwards — so they couldn’t have put too much absinthe in there, could they?

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Up next, we’ve got the Charred Strawberry, with strawberry gin, scotchy scotch scotch, four kinds of bitters, two kinds of Marachinos and some charred caramelized strawberries blended in there somewhere. Although it comes in a manly rocks glass, this drink was quite fruity — you can get Girl Drink Drunk in style with this one, son!!!!

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And now we’re got a BarChef classic, the Four Seven Two, named after the place’s address (472 Queen St West). This one takes a bourbon & coke — or rather, cola bitters — and mixes it with lime and mint for a little bit of mojito and mint julep, all rolled into one! This concoction has gotta be the most crushable of the three — and at $17, it’s also the least expensive. (Hey, their signature Vanilla & Hickory Smoked Manhattan will set ya back 55 bucks… although it does come in a smokey dome, so there’s that.)

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Of course, we ain’t crushing cocktails on an empty stomach, bro! These beef barbacoa tostadas put the small in small plates — but you do get a lotta meat in every bite.

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We’re chasing that with some chicken karaage, or as they call it, Japanese fried chicken. These hot, tender, crunchy fried chickens really hit the spot — I could pound at least 12 of these, bro!!!!!

$25 AYCE Filipino Fiesta Brunch @ Kanto

Now, I’m always up for AYCE, and this is body by buffet, so when I heard that Kanto by Tita Flips, this funky Filipino joint in The Junction, was serving up an AYCE Filipino buffet on Sundays, I shut the back door and bought a 25-dollar ticket. You KNOW I’m gonna get my money’s worth, bro!!!!!

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Now, you won’t find a prime rib carving station at this buffet, but they do have lechon, a roast suckling pig, freshly carved and ready to go. Man, I musta grabbed at least 10 pieces of this here piggy piggy…

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Another famous Filipino pork dish is sisig, with bits of pork belly and jowl mixed with chicken liver, chili peppers, and a poached egg on top. Dude, this dish is magically delicious!!!!

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We may not be at Jollibee…but they’re still serving up some boneless fried chicken, which is nice ‘n crunchy, and tender on the inside. I think I had at least five pieces of this…

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While you can’t get some waffles with that chicken, you can have a made-to-order ube pancake, which is nice and fluffy, with just a bit of purple sweet potato punch.

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And if you like it sweet, give this chocolate porridge a try. Actually, I think this might taste good on top of those ube pancakes…

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And, since it was Easter Sunday, they passed around these little mini ube cupcakes with a chocolate Easter egg on top. Nice little finishing touch…

Of course, this is just barely scratching the surface of all the various soups, stews and sausages we scarfed down yesterday. And did I mention they have a sweet tea station? For 25 bucks, you really can’t go wrong, bro!!!!!

This 24 oz porterhouse is a righteous Easter Feaster!

Now, I’m not saying we won’t be going for Easter Sunday brunch on Triple B…but the real Easter feaster already happened last night. We’re talkin’ steak night at Morton’s, with the biggest cut of meat on the menu — 24 ounces of porterhouse steak, son!!!!!

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Dude, this steak is cooked to perfection — medium-rare, just the way I like it. I also splurged for some bacon-wrapped scallops, which were also cooked perfectly. And because the First Rule of Flavourtown is “Always add bacon” we also went for the Smoked Gouda & Bacon Au Gratin Potatoes, which has got pretty much everything you need in a side dish, right there. Now, this feaster cost me a pretty penny, but it was soooo good to the late bite, bro!!!!

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Of course, you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert — and at Morton’s, that can only mean one thing:

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Dude, Morton’s hot chocolate cake is so legendary, it’s literally right there in the name, bro! The oozy, dripping chocolate goes great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream — I didn’t start feeling full until after I polished this bad boy right off!!!!!

Whole lotta haggis @ The Caledonian

Dude, the last time I had haggis was on Robbie Burns Day at Mackenzie House in 2020 — one of the last Triple B adventures before the pandemic hit. So now that things are starting to feel a lot like normal, we’re chowing down on haggis two ways at The Caledonian, this funky Scottish pub on College St:

Now, the Scots are good at battered, fried things — more on that later — so I had to kick things off with some haggis fritters. These super-crunchy great balls of haggis are kinda like hush puppies on the outside, but they’re filled with some nicely spiced organs for that extra little kick.

Up next, we’ve got a Highland Haggis Burger, topped with blue cheese. Basically, it’s just a beef patty, topped with a haggis, topped with cheese, with no other veggies or condiments whatsoever — a perfect part of any meatatarian’s diet!!!

We’re washing this down with some Elvis Juice, a grapefruit-infused IPA from the Scottish hooligans at BrewDog. Now, I’ve been hearing about BrewDog for a while, dawg, but this is the first time I’ve seen one of their beers on tap — so I totally had to try it. Let’s just say they weren’t kidding about the “grapefruit-infused” part, cuz it tastes just like grapefruit juice. I would totally crush a few of these for brunch, bro!!!!!

But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, and in the dessert department, it doesn’t get more Scottish than a deep-fried Mars bar. I dunno who was the bonnie lad who first decided to drop a Mars bar in the deep-fryer…but to him, I say “You can take my freedom any day, bro!!!!!”

Vegan nachos & tacos and churros… Dios mío!

Now, you KNOW this is body by Mexican food, bro! And while I’ve had a few vegan tacos before, it only happens when I order every taco on the menu and one of them happens to be vegan. But now we’re hanging out at Rosalinda, this funky downtown Mexican joint…where all the food is vegan. So I guess I’ll be eating more than one vegan taco today, bro?

First, we’re starting off with some nachos that are not only vegan, but gluten-free. The chips are definitely extra-crunchy, but they still taste pretty good. Plus, you’ve got pico de gallo, guacamole and some jalapenos on top, which are a few of my favourite plant-based things, right there. The one thing this dish is really missing is cheese, though — while they do have a butternut “queso” drizzled on top (along with a cashew “crema”), it just doesn’t have the same texture or flavour as some shredded cheddar.

Now, I gotta give ’em credit for nailing the texture on these mushroom birria tacos. This is the first time we’ve had birria tacos with the dipping sauce on Triple B, even though I’ve seen ’em popping up everywhere since the pandemic started. Dude, this spicy mushroom stew is hearty enough that you don’t really miss the meat here. But these are some of the most expensive tacos I’ve seen in Toronto — 2 for $19 or 3 for $27. Dude, I could get 27 tacos from Latin World for that price, bro! (Not sure if I could eat them all, though…)

But since we only had three tacos here, that means I’ve still got room for dessert. And even though their Drunken Pineapple was my nickname from that time I went to Hawaii, I still had to go with the churros. I mean, I’m not sure what part of churros aren’t vegan to begin with, but these ones were pretty on-point, just a little on the crunchy side, though. You’ve also got dulce de leche on the inside, and chocolate sauce on the side, which makes for a pretty solid one-two punch in Flavourtown!!!!!

This is the most expensive Greek restaurant I’ve ever been to. But was it worth it???

Now, we’re no strangers to souvlaki here on Triple B, and Greek food has gotta be one of my go-to’s. So when I heard about Myth, this fancy Greek place on King West, that was serving up a 35-dollar chicken souvlaki along with 67-dollar lamb chops, I thought this could be really, really good — I mean, if they’re charging that much for it, it’s gotta be a lot better than Jimmy the Greek, right?

Now, I will say that this was the best-looking Greek restaurant I’ve even been to (both the building and the staff), and the service was very friendly. As for the food, we tried four different dishes, and they were all pretty tasty…

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I’m always a big fan of food that’s literally on fire — and that’s why I’m such a sucker for saganaki, son! This Greek cheese is all lit up like Josh Todd at a KISS concert (back in ’09), and served with a side of warm, tasty pita bread. Man, even the bread here is good! And at 21 dollars, the price of this dish is pretty similar to other fancy Greek joints like Volos or Soulas Modern Greek, so I would say we’re off to a good start here.

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We also went with the kalamari mixto, which combines fried calamari and shrimp for a double down in Flavourtown! While the squid rings were suspiciously small (size doesn’t matter, bro!), they were still quite tasty — but I gotta say, that shrimp stole the show. Dude, it takes Red Lobster out back and chucks it into the ocean, bro! But as good as the shrimp was, this 28-dollar dish was a good $9-$10 more than you’d pay for calamari at some other Greek places. The shrimp was worth at least a couple extra bucks, though…

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When it comes to the famous $35 chicken souvlaki, as you can see, you do get a lot of meat here. I mean, it’s about twice as much as your standard Greek joint, I’ll give ’em that. But on the flip-side, all you get with it is a handful of peppers and onions, and a small puddle of tzatziki. At Soulas Modern Greek, a 23-dollar souvlaki dinner comes with rice, potatoes and salad. Here, the potatoes cost $16 extra — even if they give you enough potatoes for 2-3 people, this just turned into a $50 souvlaki dinner for two, with no rice or salad…

So, I didn’t feel totally ripped off at this point — but then the lamb arrived…

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Don’t get me wrong, this lamb was quite tasty. I didn’t even let a chop go to wastey. But at Myth, 67 bucks gets you a total of four lamb chops, with nothing else but tzatziki. For that same price, you can get both a rack of lamb AND a loin of lamb at Soulas, and one comes with black olive mash, pan seared spinach and garlic roasted carrots, while the other is served over feta scalloped potatoes and more garlic roasted carrots. (I can also tell you from experience that Soulas’ lamb is super-legit!) So if you’re a fan of the lamb, you can definitely get more baaaah for your buck elsewhere.

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But even if the lamb was more than a little overpriced, what bums me out the most about this place is the complete and utter lack of beer here. There’s no Volkan, no Fix, no Hellas or Eos — you’ve only got one option, and it’s Heineken. So instead, I drowned my sorrows in an Apricot Old Fashioned, which was not nearly as fruity as it sounds. At 20 bucks a pop, though, let’s just say I switched to Heineken after this one…

…and it turns out Heineken tastes pretty good with Greek food!

So, was it worth it?

While I would definitely avoid the lamb — and maybe stick with Mr. Greek if I want souvlaki for lunch — I wouldn’t skip Myth altogether. It is a very nice-looking place, and this fancy Greek feast did fill me up (all the dishes were split two ways) quite nicely. Everything tasted good, although I wouldn’t say it was better than some of my go-to Greek spots… it also wasn’t any worse. But be prepared to drop mad dimes if you’re dining here. Even going halfsies on the bill, I spent more on this meal than I did on a three-course dinner of foie gras, pigeon and chocolate souffle at Sash — and we didn’t even order dessert at Myth!!!!

(Sash was totally worth it, by the way.)