I didn’t learn to love Indian food until I discovered my first AYCE Indian buffet. But it turns out there’s a few funky Indian joints all over this city–we’ve even got an Indian food festival in the summertime, at Nathan Phillips Square. And now, just a Bollywood shimmy away at the Atrium on Bay, they’ve got some real-deal Indian street food…inside a food court!? This is Chaska Express:
This funky little food stall definitely stands out next to Subway and Feta & Olives (which may or may not still be 10% off). And they’ve got all the meats–chicken tikka, lamb tikka, fish tikka, mint chicken and lamb kebabs. You can get ’em in a roll, with a rice or salad bowl, or even put three on a grill platter. (And FWIW, they’ve got veggie stuff, too.) Now I wouldn’t normally choose just one meat when I could have three, but this is body by lamb, bro, so I’m gonna go with a medium lamb tikka curry in a rice bowl:
Now, first of all, when you order something “medium” at a food-court, you expect it to be white-people spicy, but this definitely had a decent kick. They give you about 7-8 chunks of meat, mixed with curry sauce, basmati rice, and a side cucumber/tomato salad that cools things down a bit. And for $12.99, this is not a small bowl, either! But you know I still had some room for samosa sliders, son!!!
Now, I dunno whose idea it was to put a samosa between two buns, but give that man a Nobel Peace Prize in Flavourtown! These hot ‘n crunchy flavour pockets, stuffed with peas and potatoes, are totally slammable in this hand-held format. They’re two for $8.99–or you could get 20 for 90 bucks, in case you had to feed an entire cricket team, or something…
Now, I probably shoulda known better. But when I saw all those billboards for the McDonald’s Mighty Angus Carolina BBQ burger, I had so many questions. Is this supposed to be North Carolina or South Carolina BBQ? Do they know the difference between a mustard-based and a vinegar-based sauce? Would either of those sauces even taste good on a burger — much less a McDonald’s burger? And how long are you supposed to smoke a burger, anyways?
Well, after trying the Mighty Angus Carolina BBQ burger, I can tell you that it answered exactly none of those questions.
Now, I’m not sure this is dramatically different from the Mighty Angus Alberta burger that they rolled out last year…although I never actually ate that one. There is nothing here that really screams Carolina, or BBQ, or Carolina BBQ for that matter. Yes, this is a slight upgrade from a Quarter Pounder; the patty is thicker and the bun has more chew. But now let’s break it down…
What makes this different from a regular burger are the crispy onions, white cheese (they say it’s mozza but it tasted like nothing) and “golden Carolina BBQ sauce.” Now, to be fair, this is actually a thing…although I didn’t get any of the sauce until I was halfway through the burger. And while its namesake is mustard-based, Mickey D’s sauce was probably straight out of a packet labelled “tangy BBQ.” And no, it really doesn’t go good on a burger…especially not a burger from McDonald’s.
As you can see, they saved all the sauce till the end…
I guess I’ve been eating a lot of fried chicken lately. Whether it’s cheesy Korean style or a serious southern sammy, nothing clogs the ol’ arteries like some deep-fried white meat. Man, my doctor even said I should cut back…so I fired my doctor. And now we’re hanging out at Gdous Juicy Chicken House, this funky Taiwanese fried chicken joint just a stage dive away from Lee’s Palace at Bloor and Brunswick.
Now, I’ve had Taiwanese fried chicken before, and just like Hot Star, this place is known for its chicken steak. So well known, in fact, that it was all sold out at 7 o’clock. So I had to go for a three-piece meal instead. But am I complaining? No way, Jose!!!
Now, this bird was super-crispy, deep-fried to perfection with a thick, crunchy batter…but still nice ‘n juicy on the inside. The fries had just about the same amount of breading, which made for a nice, heavy snack. I ordered mine “hot,” and while it really didn’t have much of a kick, that didn’t stop me from shoving it straight down my piehole, bro!!!
Now, I know what you’re thinking…but no bro, this ain’t a frozen margarita, though! While they don’t put booze in a blender here, they do have a Tea Shop 168 right inside, and you can upgrade your combo to a bubble tea for just one dolla. That’s money well spent in Flavourtown!!!
Y’know, I can’t always be rollin’ out, looking for Canada’s greatest burgers, bacon and beers all the time. Some days, I just wanna get drunk and eat chicken fingers. But there ain’t too many places where you can get chicken strips to go — sure, there’s maybe KFC, but why order chicken fingers when you can do a Double Down, dude??? So when I heard that Tim Hortons was servin’ up chicken strips, I figured I’d pick some up on the way back from The Beer Store:
Now, these bad boys only come two to an order, and it’s like $4.50, but that also comes with dipping sauce. I went with chipotle and ranch — dude, Chipotle Ranch is the name of my weekend getaway! But man, nine bucks for four chicken fingers is kinda lame…especially when the good kind are eight bucks:
Now, it’s pretty safe to say that Triple B isn’t that big on vegan food. After all, two of the three B’s are quite meaty. But y’know, a little while back, we were hanging out at FuBar, this cozy heavy metal dive with a vegan pizza place downstairs, and their vegan poutine pizza was pretty legit, so I figured I’d pop in to Apiecalypse Now for their slice of a fast-food burger classic.
They call this the Fat Mac, and it’s got a lot going on here. First of all, the shredded dill pickle, diced lettuce and their vegan fat mac sauce capture the taste of Mickey D’s to a T. The crust is nice and crispy, and I don’t even mind the plant-based cheddar cheese. But as I’m shoving this down my piehole, I’ve only got one question: Where’s the beef, bro???
Now, they don’t say what their “ground not beef” is made of, but it does not taste like beef–or like much of anything, really. These sad little overcooked crumbs of plant-based protein really don’t cut through the lettuce, the pickle, or even the cheese sauce…they’re just kinda flavourless. If you ordered a Big Mac without the burger, it might taste something like this.
Hey man, I’ll never turn my back on a bar that was playing my favourite Weedeater song when I first walked in…but next time I think I’ll go with their Slayer!!!1!!!11!! pie instead.
And yes, that is actually a thing…
Is it PSL season yet? No way, Jose! The NFL literally just had its hottest game in 15 years, so it definitely doesn’t feel like fall. And the last time I went to Starbucks, I actually bought me a beer. (That one didn’t work out in the long run, for some reason…) But when yer sweatin’ bullets off yer ballsack, good ol’ Tim Hortons has just the thing for you. Say hello to the Pumpkin Spice Iced Capp, bro!!!
Now, I know what you’re thinking–this just looks like a regular old iced capp. Well, that’s because my local Timmies was all out of whipped cream already at 10 am. Kinda makes you wonder what they were doing with all that whipped cream last night… Oh, and they didn’t have any of the pumpkin drizzle, either. Someone musta been all Brown Chicken Brown Cow up in this joint, broseph!
Anyways, you can totally taste the pumpkin in this. It pretty much takes like pumpkin pie in icicle form. And I lost count of how many brain freezes I got before I finished–I guess you’re not supposed to chug it through a funnel???
Now, I know what you’re thinking–you probably couldn’t pay me to eat a veggie burger, bro! But with all the vegans saying that the Beyond Meat burger was the best burger ever, and even some of my meatatarian compadres giving it the thumbs-up…I figured I’d at least give it the old Burger State University try.
And here’s the thing: this veggie burger actually tastes pretty good. This might be the best veggie burger I’ve ever had–but I can’t even remember the last time I had a veggie burger. While it’s nowhere near the pantheon of all-time greatest burgers, the patty is a lot like a beef burger you would get at A&W or at Harvey’s, which are both places I don’t go very often, but if you bought me a Beyond Meat burger from there, and didn’t tell me it was vegan, I would still scarf it down, son!
Of course, because I didn’t want to get toooo healthy, I ordered mine with a side of poutine. This gravy-soaked disasterpiece was…still better than McDonald’s, I guess?