Fast Food Confidential

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Korean fried chicken on Detroit-style pizza

I’ve been a big fan of Detroit-style pizza, ever since we visited the OG, Buddy’s, in the Big D a couple years back. Since then, it’s totally become a trend, with funky joints popping up all over Toronto like 8mile Pizza and Gianna’s Patties and Pies. But when this joint called Ace’s Pizza opened up earlier this year, you KNOW I had to check it out, cuz they’re serving up this pie in the sky that you won’t find anywhere in the Motor City — we’re talkin’ Korean fried chicken pizza, son!!!!

Now this ain’t your typical KFC — not even the kind you’d find at Yonge & Finch. It actually tastes more like General Tso’s, or at the least the cheap ‘n cheerful version I used to get at the food court. It’s a little sweet, not too crispy, with just a touch of heat. But I kinda wished they’d chopped it up a bit more — those big ol’ chunks of chicken don’t really stay on top of the pizza, especially after you bite into it. The corner pieces weren’t too bad, but the middle pieces were especially messy:

And yes, there is kimchi on that pizza too, which has gotta be a first for me. But even in the bites that didn’t have any chicken, the cheese and sauce was pretty tasty. I feel like I could order a pepperoni, supreme or even Hawaiian next time, and it would be TheBomb.ca. As for the Korean Fried Chicken, though, it’s kinda like when you’re really baked, and ya put chicken nuggets on top of a takeout pizza. I mean, these are both good things on their own, but they just don’t really go together, if ya smell what I’m cookin’…

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????

May be an image of 1 person, dessert and text that says '06 STONECOLD CREAM STEVE ICE CC STDN O Austin 3:16 says: just whooped your ice."'

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!!!

tut's_egyptian_falafel (10)

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!

tut's_beef_sausage (6)

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!!!!!

tut's_grilled_kofta (9)

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.

tut's_pan-fried_liver (9)

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!!!

tut's_dukka_fries (1)

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: 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!!!

brisket_big_mac (30)

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!

wichcraft_mac_n_cheese (7)

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!!!

wichcraft_aftermath (6)

 

 

 

 

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!!!!!!!!!

pi_co_margherita_pizza (41)

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!!!!!

pi_co_aftermath (6)

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Killer chilaquiles from San Cosme

Now, I was pretty bummed out when Torteria San Cosme, a local Mexican sandwich institution in Kensington Market, shut down during the pandemic. But when I heard that they stopped, dropped and opened up a pop-up shop in the Entertainment District, I was all over that like salsa on a tortilla, hermana! And when I saw that they were serving up chilaquiles, a Guy Fieri favourite, you KNOW I had to get me some!!!

san_cosme_chilaquiles (22)

These chilaquiles rojos were fuera del campo, bro! You’ve got tortilla chips covered in roasted chicken, topped with a tomato-chipotle salsa, crumbled cheese and two scoops of crema. Now, like any dish involving nachos, this didn’t hold up well to delivery — most of the chips were pretty soggy by the time they arrived at my piehole. But while the soggy chips were still tasty, the best bites were the ones that still had a bit of crunch to ’em.

san_cosme_cochinita_torta (7)

Of course, you can’t order from a Torteria and not get a torta, cabron! This here’s their torta de cochinita, with tangy pulled pork, refried beans and pickled onions on a well-toasted roll. The chilaquiles were a pretty decent-sized meal on their own…but throw in this killer sammy, and it’s a Flavourtown double down, bro!!!!!!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Katsu sandos with black chicken wings…

Now, over in Tokyo, katsu sandos are everywhere — you can even get ’em at 7/11, son! But they’re not so popular in Toronto… Me, I’ve only ever had one, and that was a couple years ago. So when I heard that Tokyo Sando & Chicken was serving ’em up outta Kinka Izakaya on Church Street, I couldn’t have just one, so I ordered two. Oh, and some chicken wings, too. Hey, it’s right there in the name, so it’s gotta be good, right?

pork_katsu_sando (12)

This here’s the classic pork katsu sando, a big, thick piece of breaded pork served between two slices of plain white toast with cabbage, truffle butter and a Dijon donkey sauce. Dude, this sandwich eats like a meal…and that’s only half of it!

ebi_katsu_sando (9)

But you KNOW I’m not gonna eat just one sando, bro! This here’s the ebi katsu, with deep-fried shrimp, more cabbage, some Japanese tartar sauce and teriyaki. The shrimp’s a little lighter than the pork, but you do get four to a sando, so I can’t really complain, though…

kurugoma_wings (3)

But now we’re gonna kick it up a notch! These Kurogoma wings are smothered in a black sesame sauce for a flavour that’s just nuts, bro! Let’s just say I killed a few napkins downing these bad boys…

tokyo_sando_aftermath (10)

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Greek burger with Greek poutine

Before the pandemic, I’d sometimes head down to Alexandros on Queen’s Quay for some quick and easy Greek food. It was mostly a takeout spot, although they did have a small front patio that was right on the lake, which wasn’t a bad place to sit in the summertime. So when I found out they had another location downtown on Church Street, you know I had to check it out. Only, instead of ordering a Greek classic like gyros or souvlaki, I went with more of a mashup with this Greek burger and a side of Greek poutine.

alexandros_greek_burger (12)

Now, the burger patty had the taste and texture of a frozen burger from like M&M Meat Shop, but then they added Greek toppings like tomatoes, onions, tzatziki and feta cheese, and served it all in a really big bun. I gotta say, the flavour combo works. I mean, it’s like having a gyro, but instead it’s a burger. So I can go for that…

alexandros_greek_poutine (7)

Now, I have had Greek fries before on the Danforth, and maybe somewhere else, like W Burger Bar or something. But Alexandros is kicking it up a notch with this Greek poutine. You’ve got fries, a classic poutine-style gravy… but with feta instead of cheese curds. Now this gravy was actually more authentic than a lot of the poutines I’ve had in Toronto, and the saltiness of the feta didn’t seem outta place, but the problem was with the fries. They either didn’t cook ’em long enough or hot enough, cuz they were soft, and not crispy. A nice, crispy fry couldda tied this thing together, but now they’re making me wish I ordered a Greek salad — and that’s a crying shame in Flavourtown, bro!!!!!

Image result for guy fieri crying

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: This smoked meat pizza is making me swear in French…

Now, we’re definitely no strangers to pizza on Triple B — whether it’s thin crust, Neapolitan or Detroit-style. Dude, I’ve had everything on pizza from duck breast to spam and pineapple, but when I saw that Church of Pizza, this funky joint inside Storm Crow Manor, was piling smoked meat, pickles and mustard onto pizza, I only had one word… Tabarnac!

church_of_pizza_tabarnac (17)

Now, this is definitely not your average pizza, bro. You’ve got a strong smell and taste from the mustard, and they put the pickles on before cooking — cooked pickle really has an atypical texture. But if you get a good bite of that smoked meat, a piece of pickle and just a little hit of moutarde, it’s actually quite tasty. There’s only one thing that could make this better…

molson_dry+pizza (7)

Molson Dry, bro! This Montreal special helps the medicine go down, son! The crisp, not-too-light taste is just the thing to help you house a whole pizza in the middle of a pandemic, and still live to fight another day. Porte-le au sexibus!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!!

Dude, this is body by fried chicken, bro! You KNOW I like my chicken fried, cold beer on a Friday night, pair a jeans that fit just right, and the radio uuuuuuup, so when I heard that Flame & Smoke, this funky little food container down around Dundas and Bathurst, was serving up a Winner Winner Chicken Dinner — it even says so on the menu — I was all over that like Zac Brown on a beanie, bro!!!!

flame&smoke_fried_chicken (7)

Now, this chicken only comes one way, and that’s extra crispy. Both pieces were boneless, like they do at Uncle Ray’s or at Union Chicken, except this chicken is even more crunchalicious, bro!!!

mac_n_cheese_bite (11)

Now, this chicken dinner comes with coleslaw ‘n cornbread, but for a few dollars more, you can upgrade to a mac ‘n cheese bite, which is definitely the way to go. Super crunchy, creamy, with a marinara sauce on the side… I could slam, like, seven of these, son!!!

deep_fried_cheesecake (11)

Now, I easily couldda crushed twice as much chicken…but that just means I’ve still got room for dessert. And we’re talking deep-fried cheesecake, crunchy on the outside, with a soft ‘n chewy centre. I’m all over that like Kid Rock on a tube sock! The only thing that would make this meal better was if the food had been a little warmer when it got to me…but I guess it is, like, -10 outside, so, y’know, I get it.

1 2 13