Fast Food Confidential

LE BURGER WEEK: Vegan jicama fish burger. Whaa???

Now, as I mentioned off the top, there were only five restaurants near me serving up Le Burger Week deals on DoorDash — and one of them only does dessert. Now, since this other place didn’t confirm my order after like 10 minutes, I was left with just one other option… the vegan jicama fish filet from Parka Food Co.

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Now, I don’t always eat vegan, but when I do, it’s usually something that’s meant to taste like meat — like the pulled jackfruit tacos at Planta. But man, while they’ve put together a pretty decent sandwich here, with tartar sauce, dill pickles, coleslaw and guacamole on a whole wheat bun… this jicama tastes about as much like fish as Guy Fieri looks like Emily Dickinson. OK, so I don’t know who Emily Dickinson is, or even what kinda plant a jicama comes from, but it’s super-duper crunchy, and not even remotely fishy. I mean, you really don’t even need the slaw cuz the jicama is pretty slaw-some on its own, son!!!

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Ain’t nothing wrong with these vegan fries though, bro. They’re pretty similar to Mickey D’s, cept with less salt and more herbs. Oh, and apparently they’re gluten-free…

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We’re washing this all down with a Bleep Bloop, which also happens to be the censored version of what I said when I took a big bite of that jicama burger. This NEIPA, coming straight outta Calabogie, is hoppy and heavy enough to help the vegan food go down, bro!!!!

 

 

LE BURGER WEEK: I’m soooo hot for Priestley, bro!!!

Back when Toronto had its very own Burger Week, from 2012 to 2014, it was pretty awesome. You had all these funky joints all over the city dishing out one-off burgers for charity, and then they all got together on the last day for a Burger Day where they were serving up sliders in an outdoor space — one year it was even AYCE!

But that died in 2015, along with the short-lived alt-weekly that sponsored it, just as Le Poutine Week/Le Burger Week was first picking up steam…in Montreal, anyways. While it has supposedly expanded to every province across Canada, Le Burger Week has never really caught on in Toronto. The last time I tried writing about it, there were so few places participating that I ended up eating at two different Hero Burgers. And not much has changed in the 5 years since.

But last week I got an email from DoorDash offering 6 bucks off 15-dollar orders at participating Le Burger Week restaurants. So I went into the app, only to find there were only five places within delivery distance — plus, one was vegan  and another one only does dessert (cheesecake is NOT a burger, bro!) But hey, six bucks off is six bucks off… so I guess I might as well try the other three burgers, eh?

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We’re starting off with Rudy, this funky little joint on Duncan that’s got some of the best poutine in the city. This Le Burger Week Special is a tribute to the second-biggest Beverly Hills hottie (RIP Luke Perry!) — they’re calling it Hot For Priestley. You’ve got a griddled double cheeseburger topped with pickles and deep-fried jalapenos, plus I paid $2.49 to add bacon — you KNOW the first rule of Flavourtown is always add bacon, bro!!!

Now this burger will already set you back $13.95, so after adding the bacon I saved about 36%. And that would be even less if I ordered a poutine, a milkshake, or any other side dish. So instead I busted out a bag of Hickory Sticks, and reached into the fridge for some Low Hanging Fruit:

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Since this sour beer is brewed with pomegranate and black currants, I was expecting it to be purple or lavender or something. But while it actually looks like a regular beer, you definitely get the tart pucker of pomegranate — I think I remember what pomegranate tastes like? — and there’s probably some black currant in there too; just don’t ask me the last time I had black currant. In any case, it was a highly crushable summer beer that helped cool off the spice of the jalapenos, bro!

 

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Wagyu, the meaning of beef, the way that I want you to dine!!!

Slayer Burger opened its original location in the east end right around the start of Lockdown Number 3, so I never got the chance to check it out. But when I heard they had a second spot on Queen Street East, just South of Heav… erm, East of Broadview, I was all over that like a Dissident Aggressor, bro!!!!

Now, this place has six different burgers to choose from, but you KNOW I had to go with the First Degree Burger. We’re talking Wagyu beef, bacon, foie gras, fried onions, arugula and provolone on a black metal (or more like blackened thrash) charcoal sesame-seed bun, son!!!!!

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Dude, this Angel of Death in Flavourtown is so decadent, you’d hafta be Criminally Insane not to enjoy it! Nice, beefy patty, oozing with cheese, and the signature Slayer sauce gives it a nice little kick. But what really makes it is the bacon. Dude, this is the best bacon I’ve had on a burger in a long time — perfectly thick and crispy, just the way I like it. You KNOW I’m gonna Show No Mercy to this one, bro!!!!!!!!!!!

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But after that Reign in Beef, I gotta Cleanse the Soul with a salad. (Hey, it’s not salad if you yell SLAYER, bro!!!) This Slayed Caesar comes with croutons, real bacon bits and parmesan crisps — dude, this is body by parmesan crisps! And since my Uber delivery bike rider took several Seasons in the Abyss to get here, any fries would haven been as soggy as a Dead Skin Mask by the time they arrived…

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Now, my Slayer Milkshake wasn’t exactly solid after spending 40 minutes in some dude’s delivery bag, but it was still cold ‘n creamy, with a hint of almonds and cherries. Hardening of the Arteries never tasted so good!!!!

 

 

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Angry Shrimp Poke ain’t no joke!!!

When it’s a million degrees outside, the last thing I wanna do is turn on my oven. And if I can find a takeout dish that’s best served cold, all the better! So we’re checking out Poke Guys, this funky little poke place just offa Dundas, where they’re serving up seven different kinds of poke bowls, bro! You can get ’em with salmon, tuna or even tofu, but I knew I had to go with the Angry Shrimp. Dude, Angry Shrimp was the name of my Glenn Danzig cover band, bro!!!!

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The food may be cold, but it’s definitely bringing the heat, son! These sweet and spicy shrimp get an extra kick from the kimchi, with some corn, cucumber and avocado to cool it down (the avocado costs extra though — dude, this is body by avocado!). And did I mention the pineapple???

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While I don’t have a problem with putting pineapple on pizza, it definitely hits different when you pair it with shrimp. You’ve got the sweet with the heat, the acid with the sour and the juice with the succulent seafood… Now, I’m not saying you should put shrimp and pineapple on pizza, but if somebody did, I would probably at least try it.

r/fakehistoryporn - An Italian-American being forced to watch pineapple added to pizza for the first time ever. (1914 Brooklyn, USA)

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Beefy double cheeseburger and cheese fries from The Bullger

Now, when I heard that The Bullger, this funky burger joint at Queen and Parliament, was serving up an eight-dollar double burger with a fried egg on top for the Eggs Anytime deal with Skip the Dishes, I was all over that like beef on a bun, son! They call this the Bull’s Eye, and it totally hits the target!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. We’ve got two beefy six-ounce patties, topped with mozza cheese, lettuce, onions, mushrooms, and just oozing with donkey sauce…and then they put an egg on top!? Shut the front, back and side doors, bro! Now, this burger was really messy — I definitely needed all the napkins that they gave me! But the patties were on point, and when you get a nice bite of egg, and maybe a couple shrooms, that right there is the golden ticket!!!

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And now we’re kicking it up another notch with some cheese fries, bro! These french-fried potaters are topped with real cheese, and then they put some cheese sauce and donkey sauce on top! The only downside is that, while the top layer is nice ‘n cheesy, the fries underneath are pretty much plain. Ya gotta layer on the cheese sauce, son!!!!!!!!!

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Now, they don’t serve beer at The Bullger, so I pulled this bad boy outta the fridge. Hustle Over Hype is a crushable pale wheat ale that doesn’t really have the citrusy kick of a wheat beer or the hoppiness of an IPA. But it does have an old-timey boxing dude fighting a hop monster on the can, bro!!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Four fried chickens and a Coke

Dude, PG Clucks was serving up fried chicken sandwiches before fried chicken sandwiches was cool, bro! This place started out as a takeout window in the Royale Theatre, but when Birreria Volo opened next door, you could order their sandwiches right to your table, washed down with some killer craft beer. Of course, everything is takeout and delivery nowadays, and they’ve even opened a second location on Queen St West, but the OG in Little Italy is still closest to me. So, when I found out they were serving up 2-for-1 fried chicken on Uber Eats, I was all over that like John Belushi on a mission from God, Blues Bro!!!!

Now, you won’t get any chicken wings or chicken legs here — it’s all boneless, bro! Their two piece chicken + one side meal gave you the option of half regular, half Nashville Hot, so I ended up with two pieces of each. They also came with smokey chili and buttermilk ranch sauce…so I saved the smokey chili for the mild pieces. Chicken was nice ‘n crispy, and the boneless factor made it easy for dipping. I wouldn’t fill up on just one order, but 2-for-1 seemed just right for a light lunch in Flavourtown.

Now, their Nashville Hot Chicken wasn’t nearly as spicy as the stuff I’ve had in Nashville — or the best Nashville hot chicken in Toronto, for that matter. But while I loaded up on the buttermilk ranch — dude, this is body by buttermilk ranch — it still had a pretty decent kick. I may or may not have been all Johnny Cash on the toilet after, put it that way…

On the side, I went with macaroni salad, which was probably just the right amount — once you double it, anyways. The creaminess took a bit of the edge off the Nashville Hot, and it’s always good to have another bite in between. One two-piece order is just a light snack in Flavourtown, but when you double down, it’s at least enough for lunch, son!!!

 

 

 

 

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: This smoked duck sushi burrito is a Flavourtown fusion three-way!!!

Dude, I can’t even remember the last time I used Ritual — probably sometime before the pandemic started. But for a limited time, they are taking 50% off your first order at certain restaurants, up to $10, which is perfect for lunchtime. And since it’s warm outside now, I figured I might as well take advantage of one of the few things we’re actually allowed to leave the house for and pick up some takeout instead of having it delivered to me for a change.

So, there’s this funky little joint called Mi’hito Sushi Laboratory serving up Japanese/Mexican fusion from four locations across Toronto and Mississauga. This place has got everything: sushi tacos, sushi burritos, poke bowls and so many rolls to choose from. But when I saw the Spicy Samurai Duck burrito, I was all over that like duck on rice, bro!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. What we’ve got here is smoked duck breast, served cold, with a mix of cabbage, red pepper, seaweed, mandarin orange and a cucumber dill dressing leaking out all over the place. This thing was super messy, bro! I don’t think I’ve ever had duck served cold before, but you still got a nice, rich, meaty texture. But this is a situation where all the meat is on one side, and the veggies are on the other, so you gotta take two bites before you chew, son!!!

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Of course, you KNOW I couldn’t get Japanese/Mexican takeout and NOT order a fried chicken taco, bro! This chicken is super-crunchy, karaage-style, but also seems to be served cold, with lettuce, cabbage, corn, edamame, green onions, and one lonely piece of avocado hanging out the end. Now, this wouldn’t be the best fried chicken taco I’ve ever had, but at 50% off, it only cost me like 2 bucks, and I can go for that…

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: 2-for-1 fish sandos, son!!!

Like I said, it’s 2-for-1 week on Uber Eats till May 24, which means I don’t just get to try new things…I get to try two new things, bro!!! Like Uncle Bill’s Fish and Chips, this funky seafood joint that opened up late last year, with locations at the foot of Yonge Street and another one in Etobicoke. Now, I dunno if this is an actual restaurant, a ghost kitchen, or somebody frying fish in the back of a boat — hey, their downtown address is right where Captain John’s used to be — but either way, when they’re serving up two-for-one fried fish sandwiches for 11 bucks, I really don’t care where they’re coming from!!!

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They call this Bill’s Giant Fillet of Fish, and it’s quite a handful in Flavourtown! You’ve got some nice, beer-battered haddock, topped with American cheese and tartar sauce on a pretty decent bun. Veggies? We don’t need no stinkin’ veggies, bro!!! Fish is light and flaky, and I like that the cheese has some time to melt into it when you order it to go. I only wish I had ordered like a side of fries or something, cuz I wasn’t really full even after I doubled down…

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Now, they don’t serve brewskis at Uncle Billy’s, so instead I grabbed one from the fridge. Mango Fett is a wicked awesome New England IPA from People’s Pint, straight outta The Junction. And no, it ain’t brewed with mangoes, but the combo of lactose, Citra and Michigan Copper hops give it a nice fruity, hoppy taste. All that’s missing is some chowdah!!!

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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."'

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