I’m biting into this sammy, and chewing away… like a Bat Outta Hell!

So, we’re hanging out at Mudgie’s Deli & Wine Shop, this funky little joint in Corktown, next to Downtown Flavourtown in Detroit, Michigan. This place is known for craft beer and killer sammies — like pastrami, beef brisket and corned beef, but when I saw this dish was named after my favourite Meat Loaf album, you KNOW I had to dig in. Rev up yer silver-black phantom bike for the Bat Outta Hell!!!

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This ain’t yer grandma’s meatloaf, son! They make it outta top sirloin, and it’s not exactly square, either…which makes for more optimal munching. Then they top it with thick ‘n chewy bacon, some melty white cheddar, red onion, mustard, and I think there’s some lettuce in there somewhere, too. The house-made pickle is a nice added touch, even though it tastes more like a cucumber, and the side of mac salad is also legit.

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Now, I knew this place was known for craft beer — they’ve got over 100. But I didn’t know how funky they could get until I saw The Hat Gose Blueberry Lemonade, from Michigan’s Witch’s Hat Brewing Co. This light, crushable breakfast beer combines both the flavours of blueberries and lemonade without tasting too sour… It’s magically delicious!

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But now we’re about to funk it up another notch, with the Mango Habanero Oberon, a pale wheat ale from Bell’s Brewery. You’ve got the refreshing, citrusy taste of a wheat beer, but then a nice little kick from the habaneros at the end. Normally you drink beer when the food’s too spicy, but since this beer’s pretty spicy, I need some dessert, bro!!!

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They call this the Fudgie Mudgie, and it’s packing all kinds of flavour! You’ve got a warm chocolate brownie waffle, topped with a scoop of vanilla, whipped cream, hot fudge and some cocoa sprinkles!!?? Dude, I wouldn’t do anything for love, but I’d definitely eat that, Rocky Horror Broseph!!!

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If I had pizza like Henry Ford, I’d have me a buddy on every road…

So, we’re hanging out in Detroit Rock City at Buddy’s Pizza, home of the original Detroit-style pizza since 1946. Now, if you’ve never had Detroit pizza before, well, it’s nice and square, with a crust that’s chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside… and then they put the sauce on top! They’ve got all kinds of signature pizzas and specialty pizzas on the menu, but I figure I had to start with the man who started it all in the Motor City — this is The Henry Ford:

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OK, so what we’ve got here is a Motor City cheese blend — that’s Fontinella, Asiago and Wisconsin brick cheese, bro! — topped with ground beef, bacon, red onion, tomato-basil sauce…and then they add some blue cheese, for that extra cheesiness. And lemme tell ya, you definitely taste the blue cheese! But when you get a good bite of that beef, mixed with the bacon, then that’s the ticket, right there…

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Of course, the Flavourtown Diet says you can’t go to a legendary pizza joint and order just one pie, son! This one’s dedicated to the T-dot-O — it’s named after Lake Ontario. And yes, it’s got pineapple on it — eat your hjarta out, Iceland! But it’s actually not ham & pineapple…that’s Canadian bacon, bro, with cilantro and BBQ sauce. This was easily one of the top five pineapple pizzas I’ve ever had–and I just had spam and pineapple pizza last week!

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Of course, since the name of this blog is NOT Burgers, Bacon and Gluten-Free Ginger Ale, we had to try some of the local brews, as well. This here is the house beer, Bocce IPA. It tasted pretty much like every other IPA I had…but it’s surprisingly strong at 7%. Now, I wasn’t drunk or anything, but I did tell the DJ to kick out the jams!!!

 

Blue cheeseburger (+ craft beer) in paradise…

So, when when that big storm hit Toronto a couple weeks back, I didn’t give a crap, cuz we’re chillin’ like a villain in the U.S. Virgin Islands, bro! Man, this place has everything: sandy beaches, Painkillers, flip-flops, wild donkeys walking down the street… it even has a Wendy’s (in St. Thomas, anyways)! But instead of slamming down a Baconator, we’re hanging out on the island of St. John, at this funky little brewpub called the Tap Room, where they’ve got this killer blue cheese burger named after one of my all-time favourite movie characters. You’re My Boy Bleu — that’s literally what it’s called!

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Dude, this burger totally reeks of funkaliciousness!!!! You’ve got a medium-rare patty that’s as thick as a hockey puck, oozing with blue cheese crumbles… But then we get to the best part–homemade bacon onion jam! I’m about to bacon jam this straight down my piehole, bro!

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Of course, we are hanging out at a craft beer bar–so you KNOW I’m not drinking gin and juice! St. John Brewers is the local beermonger, and this Tropical Mango Pale Ale is their best-seller. It’s a little malty, a little hoppy, with a nice mango finish that’s like a Buffalo Soul-jah for your tastebuds, Bro-b Marley!!!

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Of course, I can’t eat just one potato chip, and I ain’t drinkin’ just one craft beer, neither! This here Toasted Coconut Brown Ale is not too heavy, just a little sweet, with a bit of a coconut aftertaste. Man, if I pound a few more of these, I might be going streaking…

Texas-style BBQ on a muthafuckin boat!!!

So, a couple weeks ago, we were sailing the seven seas of cheese on the Norwegian Bliss. Now they’ve got all kinds of funky joints all over this cruise ship — Mexican, Italian, French, teppanyaki, even a fancy steakhouse…but you KNOW the first place we’re checking out is the Texas BBQ joint! That’s right, Q Texas Smokehouse has got all the meats, and even though I didn’t see a smoker or smell the hickory, I can tell ya this shit is legit!!!!

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What we’ve got here is their signature Pitmaster Platter, with beef brisket, pork spare ribs, smoked chicken, jalapeno cheddar two ways — sausage AND cornbread, and then a couple sides like pickles, potato salad and beans. Now, let’s break it down:

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Now, unlike a real-deal Texas BBQ joint, this place don’t ask ya if you like yer brisket lean or fatty — they just give it to ya lean. But this thinly sliced meat has a perfect pink smoke ring, and tastes nice and tender with a side of Tennessee Whiskey (from the in-house country cover band).

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Now, normally I’d say if you’re eating ribs at a Texas smokehouse, you’re doing it wrong. But them bones are perfectly smoked, with a nice bark and a good chew. I might even order a whole rack of these bad boys next time!!!

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Likewise, a true Texas BBQ joint is more likely to serve you turkey instead of chicken, but man, you could cook anything in that smoker of theirs and it will still taste good!!!

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Now, I’m not a fan of the fact that they cut their jalapeno cheddar hot link in half — smoked sausage is all about the snap, son! But this still wasn’t bad. Not as good as Adamson’s, which is TheBomb.ca, but not bad…

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Now, this might sound crazy, but even with all that meat on the platter, the jalapeno cheddar cornbread almost stole the show. It’s a bit sweet, with a nice chew, and just a little kick from those hot peppers… Dude, this is body by jalapeno cornbread!!!

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Of course, you KNOW that after polishing off that Pitmaster Platter, I’ve still got room for dessert — we’re talking peach cobbler AND a chocolate brownie, bro! And yes, I did eat most of both of these myself…

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San Diego style burrito in Miami, bro!!!

Now, I haven’t actually been to San Diego — the only surfing I do is when there’s five football games on TV, bro! But we’re hanging out in Miami, and I hear there’s this funky little taco chain from SoCal that’s made its way out east, and they’re serving up burritos California-style — with fries on the inside — so you KNOW I gotta check it out. This is the California burrito at The Taco Stand, homes!

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got flame-grilled carne asada steak, french-fried potaters, some fresh guac, pico de gallo and just a bit of cheese in there somewhere. This burrito’s about as big as a baby’s leg, and it’s only 8 bucks–whaaa????

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But you know what I say, the only thing that beats carne asada…is more carne asada!!! These carne asada fries come fully loaded with guacamole, sour cream and cheese sauce–but you know it’s all about that beef, bro!!!

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To get real-deal Cuban food in Miami…you gotta go to Las Vegas!

Now, one of the best things about living in Toronto is that you can pretty much pick any country on a map, and you’ll find at least one real-deal, authentic joint somewhere in this city that’s dishing out some of their righteous grub. (This doesn’t really work if you’ve got a fever for some Finnish food though, bro!) But when it comes to Cuban, you’ll be lucky to find much more than a copycat Cuban sandwich anywhere up here. So we’re heading down to the most Cuban city that doesn’t have socialized healthcare — welcome to Miami, Big Willie Style!!! — right here, right now on Triple B!

OK, this city has got an entire neighbourhood called Little Havana, so you know it’s gotta be good–but we’re all about finding these too-legit-to-quit establishments a little farther off the beaten path…so we’re hanging out at Las Vegas Cuban Cuisine, this friendly neighbourhood joint inside a strip mall up in Pembroke Pines. Man, this place has got everything: yuca frita, papa rellena, pan con lechon, tostones, medianoches and a takeout lineup longer than the line for the men’s room at a Justin Bieber concert, bro!

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So, we’re starting off with some real-deal, Cuban-style empanadas. These empanadas are so good you’ll wanna smack your mama, cabron! They’ve got chicken, they’ve got pork, they’ve got beef… but we’re definitely going with beef, cuz we gotta save room for some pulled pork tamales!

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Dude, this pork is unctious-alla-dunktious, bro! The flavours are amazing, it’s super-tender, and goes great with the masa dough. Dude, this is body by masa dough, bro!!!

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Aaaaand now it’s time for the main event, some real-deal ropa vieja. Normally, if I’m chowing down on some old clothes, it’s because the Camaro stalled out somewhere on Route 66 and my celly is all outta juice from streaming too many Smash Mouth tunes. But when it comes to this Cuban stewed beef delicacy, man, I could eat this morning, noon and night! You’ve got some white rice, black beef and a few peppers mixed in with the beef, but the plantains are what makes it:

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Now, here I thought that deep-fried plantains were only for dessert…but I was so, so wrong. You’ve got the hot, the sticky and the sweet, all mixed in with the meat. Pour some sugar on me, cuz I’m about to slide this dish down a stripper pole right into my piehole, bro!!!!

BBQ chips on a burger!? Brilliant!!!!

We’re hanging out at The Hat on Jasper, the oldest bar in downtown Edmonton. This place has been slinging drinks since 1912, and while they’ve got signature cocktails and draft beers, they also happen to be known for their burgers, like this crunchalicious sandwich, the Mad Hatter:

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Now, what makes this one so insane is they put both barbecue chips and barbecue ranch dressing on it, along with bacon and some hearty Havarti. The patty is nice and thick, a good chewy texture on the bacon, but when you bite into one of those chips, it really kicks things up a notch!!!!

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Of course, you KNOW I’m not gonna walk into a fine establishment such as this and order a ginger ale. Instead we’re going with Yellowhead Premium Lager from local craft brewery Yellowhead. I’m told that Yellowhead is to Edmonton what Big Rock is to Calgary, but I gotta say that down here, we’ve got stronger beer…