Now, I don’t always eat at food courts, but when I do, I like to funk it up. And Village on the Grange is probably the funkiest food court in the city–this side of the Urban Eatery! You won’t find any chains here bro, except for Mickey D’s. On the other hand, you’ve got vegan, you’ve got Korean, you’ve got sushi and dim sum and pho, oh my!
Oh, and there’s also this family-run Greek joint called Souvlaki House that’s been there for a million years…and they probably haven’t even raised their prices during that time. Cuz you can get a whole plate of food for just fo’ fiddy–and we’re talkin’ meatballs, we’re talkin’ moussaka, and my personal Greek favourite, gyros:
Nobody really knows what animal gyros come from, but one thing’s for sure, they’re magically delicious! These zesty meat strips go great with tzatziki, and then you’ve got some potatoes, and your choice of side salad. (I went with the coleslaw, which was maybe a mistake.) All that and a can of Arizona will only set ya back about seven bucks…after HST, bro! That’s like a Giannis Antetokounmpo throwdown in Flavourtown!!!!
I pretty much stopped going to Subway after a CBC study found that half of their grilled chicken wasn’t actually chicken. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a steak ‘n cheese sammy sometimes…but y’know, I want my steak to be actual steak and my cheese to be actual cheese, bro!
Anyhoo, I had pretty much sworn off all Subway chicken-related products (except for #CrispyChickenCheatDay)…until I heard about their new Subway Grilled Wraps, what with their “rotisserie style” chicken. Cuz hey, even rotisserie-style soy probably tastes pretty good. But then a funny thing happened on the way to the Flavourtown Forum–this chicken’s actually legit!
This here’s the Chicken Caesar Wrap, and it’s got me singing Hail Caesar like pre-Axl Rose AC/DC, bro! The chicken’s thick, juicy and actually tastes good…unlike their old “chicken,” which tasted like a mixture of vinegar powder, corn starch and tapioca. You’ve got bacon strips, some creamy caesar dressing, lettuce, tomato and…green peppers. Who puts green peppers in a Caesar salad, son?????
So, we’re hanging out at Bud Stage, where my bud Chris Stapleton is taking the stage with Brent Cobb and Margo Price. This place used to be a Molson venue, but now it’s sponsored by the King of Beers. I don’t always drink Budweiser, but a beer and a burger for $21.75 ain’t bad, right?
WRONG! This patty was about as thin as McDonald’s, and basically just as tasty. Even with pickles, onions and green olives on top, we’re a long ways from Flavourtown here. I have literally had a better burger at the ACC, bro!!!!
Now, I dunno if you’ve heard about the new Seriously Chicken sandwich at McDonald’s. The one they say is like the Angus beef of chicken? I mean, calling chicken the Angus beef of something is like saying this is the bacon poutine of quinoa salad–that does not compute, bro! But hey, if you call something the Angus beef of anything, I’m probably still gonna end up eating it.
So, they had two options–Tomato & Mozzarella or Guacamole & Jalapeno. Since I’m Guy Fieri’s second cousin thrice removed, you know which one I went for… holy guacamole and holla-atcha-penos, bro! (Don’t mess with Tex Mex!!!!)
Now, lemme tell ya, that’s some crispy chicken, son! In fact, it’s almost more crispy, less chicken. And the fact that they didn’t even try to melt the cheese is a little disappointing. But I’m digging the red onion and fresh lettuce, and the bun is a step up from what you normally get at McDonald’s. Thing is, the so-called guac is like a great green glob of weaksauce–it tastes like nothing. And for a sandwich with Jalapeno in the name, they sure don’t give you very many, cuz I didn’t find any hot peppers until I had eaten most of this burger already:
Whoomp, there it is!
Now, don’t get me wrong, this burger wasn’t bad…but if I’m paying 11 bucks for a fast food chicken sandwich combo, then I think I’m gonna stick with Wendy’s Bacon Queso Chicken Burger. Pour some queso on me, bro!!!
Now, what if I told you there was a hidden burger joint at the back of a sports bar next to the Hockey Hall of Fame? Dude, that’s like having your beef and eating it, too! So when I heard about Hidden Burger, nestled inside The Bottom Line on Front Street, I was all over that like cheese on two flame-grilled patties, broseph!!!
Now, this place serves up burger combos for lunch for just 10 bucks, but for an extra five, you can make it a double. Dude, this is body by double cheeseburger, bro! You’ve got two juicy, melt-aparty patties, a nice gooey smear of cheese, some fresh crisp lettuce, and a bit of kick from the catsup. Fries are nice and crisp, with a buncha pepper on top. I actually ate most of them before taking this picture—there are quite a few to an order!
This place even makes things more secretive by having a weekly secret burger. I dunno if they even tell you what’s in it before you order—that’s pretty outta bounds, bro! But you really don’t need any secret ingredients when you serve up a classic double cheeseburger like this one. It’s by far the best burger I’ve ever eaten out of the back of a sports bar—and you don’t even hafta be put on double secret probation to get it!
So, Toronto Life just did its Top 100 list of the best cheap eats in Toronto–and I KNOW some of these places are pretty legit, like PG Clucks, Flock, Wvrst and Adamson Barbecue. They also include a whole buncha food court places up in Markham and stuff, all serving up meals for less than 10 bucks. While I’m all for eating good in the neighbourhood, I usually spend more money than that at Adamson’s, son!
And hey, it turns out they left one of my go-to, real-deal, dirty-deeds-done-dirt-cheap joints off their list. What if I told you that you could get enough General Tao Chicken for a family of four (people with small stomachs) for just $5.99, bro????
Fusia Asian Kitchen is in a food court in the basement of the Atrium on Bay, just across the PATH from the Greyhound bus station and that Japanese cheesecake creep. They do a few different chicken dishes, which they toss in the wok as soon as you order, but me, I always go straight to the heatlamp, dudeson!
Now, the texture can be a little off sometimes, kinda overly crunchy, and the breading’s falling all over the place. Plus, there isn’t really any sauce here–there’s a reason they don’t call it General Tso, bro. But man, when you’re girl drink drunk at 7:30 on a Tuesday, there’s nothing better than stuffing your face with enough Chinese chicken to choke a chihuahua*!
(*Or at least some guy on TV told me that once.)
Dude, if there’s one thing I love more than Def Leppard, it’s queso, bro! So when I heard that Wendy’s was rolling out not one, not two but three things with queso on ’em, I knew I had to try ’em all. Man, I would even put queso on a Frosty–why is that not on the menu???
This Bacon Queso Burger was honky-tonk redonkadonk! You’ve got Wendy’s fresh, never frozen beef, some thick strips of bacon, purple onions and a nice slab of that queso sauce. And this ain’t no shitty stadium nacho cheese, neither–it’s got a bit of a kick, with some diced jalapenos in there and everything!
But man, the Bacon Queso Chicken was even better, bro! Pretty much anytime you combine bacon and breaded chicken, you know it’s gonna be good, but the cheese sauce really kicks it up a notch! Now, if only you could get a Bacon Queso Spicy Chicken sandwich…
Now, the move with the Bacon Queso Fries is to let the cheese melt in, adding that extra level of cheesiness to the dish. It wouldda been better if they had broken up the bacon a bit more, but when you get a big ol’ chunk of bacon on your fork, that’s pretty much the perfect bite, right there:
Dude, after devouring all that food, I don’t think I’d have room for that Bacon Queso Frosty anyways…