Fast Food Confidential

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: After this chicken sandwich, who needs Popeyes?

Now, I’m familiar with a whole lotta burger joints in this city, but when I come across one I haven’t tried yet, you KNOW I gotta check it out, bro! So I heard about this funky little joint in The Annex serving up an African take on burgers and fried chicken, and they deliver on Uber, so I’m definitely gonna order from Aunty Lucy’s Burgers!

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They call this The Nima Sandwich, and if it goes anywhere Nima face, Imma hafta eat it, bro! You’ve got a boneless battered chicken thigh, topped with garlic sauce and just a bit of lettuce on a potato roll. And then they’ve got this mango scotch bonnet hot sauce, which adds a bit of a kick without melting your face off. Dude, I could slam at least three of these!!!

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But let’s not sleep on the fries, now. These spuds are hot ‘n crispy, and go great with some ketchup. Plus, they give you a pretty decent-sized bag of ’em for like four bucks… That’s like a five-finger discount in Flavourtown!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Take me out to the ballgame with some Korean rice hotdogs!

Nobody could go out to the ballpark this year, as just about every game was played without fans in the stands. But now it’s the World Series, and I’m craving some ballpark food, like corndogs, pretzels and stadium nachos. Well, nachos maybe aren’t so great for delivery (more on that later), but when I heard that Chung Chun Rice Dog, this funky joint serving up Korean-style rice dogs, had just opened up a new location on Yonge Street, now I know what I’m gonna chow down on when watching the game, bro!

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Now, these ain’t your typical corn dogs, son! While they might be deep-fried just the same, they’re coated in a rice-flour batter, which gives it that extra chewy inside. Plus, they’ve got all kinds of funky flavours like squid ink, ramen, and my new personal favourite, the potato dog:

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Now, this dish is some next-level thinking in Flavourtown. Instead of just a hotdog on a stick, you’ve got a hot dog AND fries on a stick, with these crispy little pieces of potato baked right in! The dog itself is super-tasty, maybe one of my top five meat-on-a-sticks, but the potatoes really take it up a notch!!!

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But you KNOW I can’t eat just one, bro! This double cheese dog doubles down with all sortsa mozza oozing out the top, and then a more subtle cheddar blending in with the hotdog on the bottom. And yes, there is a hotdog in here — you just gotta take about three cheesy bites to get to it!

Dude, Cheesy Bites was the name of my 80’s only Judas Priest cover band, bro!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Hasta la vista, patties!!!

Now, you KNOW that I have destroyed some pretty massive burgers on this blog, whether it’s the triple-double cheeseburger at Holy Chuck or the multiple layers of flavour in The Burger Priest’s 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I even took down a double fried-chicken, double beef burger a couple months back… this is definitely not my first rodeo, bro!

So when I heard that The Burgernator, this funky little joint in Kensington Market, was serving up its signature, namesake triple cheeseburger, with mushrooms and onions, between two grilled cheese buns, I was like, bring it on, son!!!

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This burger was like a Fistful of Dynamite in Flavourtown! You’ve got not one, not two, but three patties, oozy American cheese, mushrooms, onions and special sauce — plus I paid an extra $2.50 to add beef bacon, the only kind of bacon they have, cuz the Number One Rule of Flavourtown is Always Add Bacon, bro!!!

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As if I didn’t already have enough on my plate, I topped off my order with a side of Burgernator Fries, with chili, cheddar cheese and sour cream. These fries could be a meal on their own for most people, but let’s just say that between the Burgernator Fries and The Burgernator burger, I didn’t have room for dessert!!!

(Their deep-fried Mars bar explosion does look pretty legit, though!)

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: This stacked deli sammy is a delight-mare on Elm St!

That’s right, with restaurants shut down for indoor dining again, it’s back to takeout and delivery. And this gives me an opportunity to check out this funky little sandwich shop, serving up all kinds of Italian classics, the Elm Street Deli.

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Now, with sandwiches that eat like a meal such as the Sergio Leone, Il Capo, Paulie Porco and Double WOP Burger, it’s hard to pick just one. But I had to go with The Godfather of Italian sanguiches… this is the Don of Elm Street:

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OK, now let’s break it down. This sandwich is fully loaded with mortadella, pepperoni, salami, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onions & peppers, along with a basil aioli and some muffaletta spread, served on a crusty, fresh bread. Now, I gotta say, this sammy was a mess and a half — I took one bite, and everything slid out the back! But 27 napkins later, I kinda got the hang of things — you gotta hold it from behind, bro!

elm_street_home_fries (6)Of course, the name of this blog isn’t Burgers, Bacon & Small Green Salad, so instead I went with a side of home fries, these crispy, twice-fried potatoes, nicely seasoned with some donkey sauce for dipping. Cuz why settle for salad when you can have some great big potatoes, capiche?

 

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: $7 pizza shaped like Garfield’s head!

Now, Skip the Dishes is probably my third choice of delivery apps, even though they’ve got my homie Jon Hammie in all their ads (Rabbity Babbity Doo, bro!) But that might be about to change, since I just discovered their $10 lunch category of places offering lunch specials for just 10 bucks. And, when I was scrolling through the list, I found a place that’s servingup pizza not for 10 bucks, but only 7…so you KNOW I was all over that like Garfield on lasagna, son!

Speaking of Garfield, that’s what this pizza place is all about — Garfield EATS is dishing out pizzas that are shaped like his face. Since their pies are normally 13 to 17 bucks, I figured this was a pretty sweet deal. And the craziest thing about this offer is you could add any (non-meat) toppings for freakin’ free!!!!

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So, I kept it simple with their Garfield Peroni pizza, only adding mushrooms and extra cheese — dude, Extra Cheese is the name of my 80’s cover band! I also went with the Garfield Secret BBQ Sauce over the regular tomato, which added a nice sweetness. Obviously, this pie was super cheesy, with a  meaty beef pepperoni, and it was still nice ‘n hot, coming in all the way from Bloor and Dovercourt!!!

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Now, I wouldn’t say this was the best delivery pizza ever…but for seven bucks, I definitely can’t complain. I mean, if given the choice between, like, two slice of pepperoni at Pizza Pizza, or an entire pizza shaped like Garfield’s head, then I gotta go with Garfield, any day of the week!!!!

Garfield Eating GIF - Garfield Eating Hungry GIFs

4 Popeyes Fried Chicken Sandwiches…and a Coke!

The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich is finally available in Canada, bro! And you know I like my chicken fried, so I’m all over that like a top hat on Zack Brown! Now, I’m not someone who eats just one taco, one cheeseburger or one Waffle Double Down, so I just walked into Popeyes and dropped this epic order:

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OK, I dunno why they put that down as a Barqs, but I swear to John Belushi that was four fried chickens and a Coke, Blues Bro! And hey, at just $5.99, I can probably finish four of these, right?

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Now, it’s time for the six-dollar question: Does the Popeyes chicken sandwich live up to all the hype? Well, I’d be lying if I said it was the best fried chicken sandwich I ever had. I mean, it’s pretty basic — just chicken, a couple pickles, and some mayo on a bun. And it’s really not that big; I mean, it’s definitely no Double Down, or even a Big Crunch. But the weirdest thing was how inconsistent they were from one sammy to the next — the one you see here was the thickest, while a couple were super-crispy, and I randomly managed to save the juiciest one for last:

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Did I really need to eat four of these babies? Well, without any sides, I could easily crush two, no problem…maybe three if I’m hungry. If I wasn’t channeling my inner Joliet Jake, I probably wouldn’t have four. But what can I say, I was on a mission from god, son!!!

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Italian flag pizza from Eataly

Now, I never got the chance to check out Eataly Toronto when it opened late last year — they always had some crazy lineups, bro! I guess the grocery store’s still open…but who needs groceries when you can have pizza? And at this place, they’re serving up not one, but two kinds of authentic Italian pizza: Roman AND Neapolitan!

Now, it’s hard to pick a favourite among so many great pies, but since I can really only eat one pizza at time, I had to go for the one that’s like three pizzas in one — this is the Tricolore:

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This rectangular pie was made to look like the Italian flag — with rows of red, white and green. Now, I’m not gonna get all three flavours in one bite, so I gotta make like Dexter Holland and keep ’em separated!

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So, we’re starting off with the green side, which has mozzarella and pecorino topped with a basil pesto. Dude, this crust is crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and this cheesy combo is TheBomb.it — then the tangy pesto really kicks it up a notch!

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The white slice in the middle also doubles down on cheesy goodness with Goronzola flor di latte and grana padano. While this is still, like, 10 times better than Pizza Pizza, I actually liked the cheesiness of the basil slice a bit more…

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Now, we’re saving the most legit for last with a classic slice of Margherita: tomato sauce, Buffalo mozzarella and one lonely leaf of basil. Now, while the foil-lined pizza box kept the pizza at a decent temp (delivery took about 30 min), it was getting a little cold at this point. But that sauce was super-legit, cheese was pretty tasty, and the crust was on point. Even after scarfing down that whole pie in less than 15 minutes, I would totally order another Marg pizza — I’d just hafta keep it warm in the oven, or something…

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: You ululate, I ululate, we all ululate for Halal Guys!!!

In case you didn’t know, The Halal Guys made a name for themselves as one of the most popular food trucks in New York City, before branching out all over the world. They’ve had one in Toronto for a couple years now, right around Yonge and Wellesley, but I never got the chance to check it out…until now!

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At this place, their menu is nice and simple — you can order chicken, gyros or falafel, either on a pita or in a platter. Now you KNOW I went with both kinds of meat, bro — chicken AND gyros!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. The meat is clearly carved off a spit shawarma-style, and then piled on top of a whole lotta veggies, like carrots, lettuce, tomato, onions, jalapenos and green peppers. You get a nice kick from the hot sauce and the garlicky white sauce — man, I only used one packet of white sauce, and I got it all over everything!!!

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Now, the trick with this dish is to layer the meat so that you’re not just left with a big pile of lettuce and carrots at the end. But man, when you smother it in white sauce, even lettuce and carrots taste pretty gangster! And did I mention I’ve still got a whole ‘nother packet? Man, I’m gonna spread some white sauce on everything I eat now — that sauce is the boss, hoss!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: We’re taking poutine to the extreme!!!

Now, if there’s one food group I could eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s gotta be poutine. And there’s no shortage of funky poutineries all over this city — even during lockdown, bro! Like Poutine Mountain, this pop-up kitchen in the 6ix Food Hall, that’s serving up poutine so outta bounds, they gotta dare you to eat it:

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This I Dare You poutine is like a 2 a.m. drunk dial in Flavourtown, bro! You’ve got french fries, mozza cheese, mozza sticks, a piece of fried chicken, and then a buncha pepperonis at the bottom. The menu said there were chicken tenders, but I actually think the pepperoni works better, cuz it lets me do this:

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Now, I gotta say right off the bat that there are no cheese curds in this poutine, which is kinda like a cardinal sin in Flavourtown. But when you get some fries, some gravy, a bit of cheese, half a mozza stick and then a pepperoni on top, that’s pretty much the perfect bite, bro!!!!

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Now, on the other hand, the fried chicken was a bit of a miss with this dish. I’m not used to eating fried chicken with a fork, so pulling pieces of chicken off to stack on top of the FCG — fries, cheese ‘n gravy — did not go so well. But hey, while none of the ingredients were perfect, or even very good, when you put ’em all together, it’s pretty much what the doctor ordered after back-to-back-to-back virtual happy hours, bro-rantine king!!!!

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Hot dog for breakfast? Don’t mind if I do…

Y’know, if there’s one thing I’ve been missing the most during The Great Restaurant Shutdown of 2020, it’s brunch. I mean, I’ve ordered everything from mac ‘n cheese to Pekin duck to go, but I didn’t see any places doing brunch deliveries…not until I came across Ramona’s Kitchen, this funky little joint inside the Annex Food Hall, that’s serving up all three meals of the day — with a special brunch menu on weekends.

Now, we’re not just talking French toast and eggs benny, bro — this place is offering all kinds of funkaliciousness, like a green egg omelette, schnitzel benedict and this sausage party in Flavourtown, the Morning Frankfurter:

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Now, this has gotta be one of the most off-the-hook hot dogs I’ve ever had. You’ve got a thick, all-beef wiener, topped with scrambled eggs, holy guacamole, cheddar cheese slices, cherry tomatoes and some great big strips of bacon, all swimming in a spicy donkey sauce. This dog was super messy, but you know what I say — if it ain’t messy, it ain’t tasty!!!

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Now, I don’t wanna sleep on the fries, either. These fresh-cut taters tasted just like something you’d get from a chip truck, and they were still hot and crispy when I started shoveling them down my piehole, cuz the streets were so quiet on Sunday morning that my order was barely 20 minutes from start to finish, making it the fastest delivery since this whole shutdown started!!!

Man, I know there are so many other funky joints offering takeout and delivery all over this city…but I might hafta order from here again, maybe even before restaurants reopen. That chicken schnitzel benny sounds soooo outta bounds, bro!!!!

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