This bacon-wrapped BLT dog is a slice of trailer park paradise!

Now, there’s a whole buncha country bars on Broadway, but Paradise Park Trailer Resort has gotta be the most Red-red-red-red-red-redneck of ‘em all! This place has got a hillbilly band playing on top of a muscle car, local craft beers in plastic cups—not to mention 6-dollar pitchers of Natty Light—and has all kinds of killer redneck fast food, like this culinary creation, the Paradise BLT Dog:

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Ok, so here’s the deal. They take an all-beef wiener, wrap it in bacon, and deep fry it, then serve it up in a bun with lettuce, tomato and mayo. It’s like BLTs Gone Wild, bro!!!

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Of course, you can’t scarf down a deep-fried, bacon-wrapped hot dog with a side salad, so we went with the chili cheese fries. Nothing wrong with taters, meaty chili and all kinds of processed queso, bro!

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Washed it all down with a Portly Stout by local brewer Turtle Anarchy. First time I’ve ever drank a stout in a solo cup…and it was magically delicious!!!

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Meat and three? Could I maybe get a three meat and one?

So, we’re hanging out at Puckett’s Grocery, this legendary local institution in the Nashville area. This place is serving up all kinds of southern comfort food, including a breakfast buffet, but they’re known for their Chalkboard Specials: One meat, 3 sides for just $10.99…but only from 11 am until 3 in the afternoon!

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They switch up their meats everyday, but this time they had a choice of pulled pork, smoked pork chop or fried chicken. Now, I don’t think I’ve ever had a smoked pork chop before, so I went with turnip greens, French fries and Mac n cheese alongside. (The mac was an extra buck fiddy, but no biggie!)

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Dude, that chop was packed with super-smoky flavour in every bite. You’ve got a nice, buttery bowl of greens, and a consistently creamy mac. The fries were really nothing special, but overall, I ain’t complaining!!!

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Washed it all down with a five-dollar Mason jar of Southern Wit, a tasty local wheat beer that I first tried my last time here. All that, and it was still less than 20 bucks—that’s a Tennessee highway robbery in Flavourtown!!!!

COUNTRY SUPERSTAR BAR SHOWDOWN: Blake Shelton’s Ole Red vs Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row

Although there are plenty of classic country bars on Nashville’s Lower Broadway, like Tootsie’s, Robert’s and Nudies, there have also been a few new ones named after big time country stars, like Alan Jackson’s Good Time Bar and Jason Aldean’s Crazy Town. The latest one to hit the strip is Ole Red, which has Blake Shelton’s fingerprints, if not his name, on it.

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When I stepped in off the street, the in-house band was just finishing up a George Jones tune, which is always a good sign. Their repertoire was also heavy on George Strait and Conway Twitty, and I actually heard them play Clint Black’s “Killin’ Time” twice, which might be one of the best country-music drinking songs of the 1990’s…

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Speaking of drinking, this place has got its own signature Ole Red Ale, brewed by Nashville’s Fat Bottom Brewing. It’s a pretty mild red beer, which tastes more or less like Rickard’s Red…but it does happen to be named after a Blake Shelton hit single.

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Ole Red actually has four floors. The second floor is a little more cozy than the first, and features this bitchin’ buffalo head, along with several TV screens showing the NHL playoffs. I definitely spent some time up here, pounding Music City Light beers…

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From there I headed up to the rooftop, where the most country song on the playlist was by Taylor Swift. But it did have a pretty sweet view of Nissan Stadium, along with some tasty snacks.

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Dude, you can’t get much more country than beef jerky and corn nuts in a mason jar, bro! This jerky was nice and tender, not too hard to chew, and the chili-spiced corn nuggets added an extra kick. But the best was yet to come…

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Hot pretzels are pretty much my favourite stadium snack, bro, and this one’s the size of a Marcus Mariota TD gallop! Plus, it comes with this super-creamy queso dip… dude, I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!!

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Washed it all down with a Dogfish Head Sea Quench Ale, this super-citrusy brew from Delaware’s finest brewery. This totally took some of the heat off those corn nuts!!!!

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Now, when I walked into Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, some burly, bearded dude was singing “Any Man of Mine” by Shania Twain. I fucking shit you not. And while there were plenty of screens showing the basketball game, you weren’t gonna get any craft beer here—they had Miller Lite, Bud Light, Coors Light and Michelob Ultra on ice.

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After a couple more songs, I headed up to the second floor, where an all-white band was playing Bob Marley. This floor had a slightly better beer selection—if you consider Blue Moon slightly better beer—but once the drummer started singing Stevie Wonder, I was gone, gone, gone…

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Whiskey Row claims to have the highest rooftop patio in Nashville…where a DJ was playing some crappy rap music. I don’t think I lasted more than 10 minutes!!!

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After grabbing a non-light beer on the second floor, I headed down to Floor One to hear the band play 90’s radio rock staples by Eve 6 and the Gin Blossoms, before launching into the Uncle Kracker version of “Drift Away.” (Trust me, it was the Uncle Kracker version.) But at least I hung around long enough to hear em play “Drink in My Hand,” “Friends in Low Places” and, uh, “Sweet Caroline.” This floor was definitely the lesser of three evils.

FINAL VERDICT: Even though Blake Shelton loses 500 points off the top for recording “Boys Round Here,” his bar still wins by a landslide. Dierks Bentley’s joint is so un-country, it makes “Somewhere on a Beach” sound like “Your Cheatin’ Heart.” Man, I’d rather stick a pink umbrella in my drink at Florida Georgia Line’s FGL House Sundaze Brunch than go back to Whiskey Row, bro!!!!!!

Sometimes, to get the real-deal hot chicken, you gotta go to Nashville…

Happy Nashlorette Party, dudettes! So, we’re down in the Music City, hanging out at Hattie B’s, the most popular hot chicken joint in town. People line up over an hour for this stuff—and that’s just the sweaty lineup for the bathroom, bro!!!

Now me, I wanted to get Redneck Crazy with the Boys Round Here without having to Fire Away, so I just went with the medium:

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I gotta say, this is some of the crunchiest fried chicken I’ve ever had. And the chicken itself tasted like you get at the deli counter when it’s still nice and fresh. Nothing wrong with that at all! As for the heat level, I’d say it was about the same as a good Buffalo wing. You get a nice kick, but it doesn’t melt your face off, unless you decide to kick it up another notch (or three)…

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Still, to play it safe, I went with a couple of cool and creamy sides. I’d give the coleslaw an edge over the tater salad, but I wouldn’t kick either outta my picnic basket! And it’s hard to believe that all this food is just nine bucks, bro!!!

I gotta give Hattie B’s the edge when it comes to value and crunchaliciousness, but I gotta say, the best Nashville hot chicken I’ve ever had has still gotta be at Chica’s Chicken. Now, THAT bird is the word, surfer bro!!!!

This real-deal Ottawa BBQ sure tastes better than a Grey Cup loss!

When the Stamps blow it in the big game for the second year in a row, you KNOW I’m diving face-first into a plate of barbecue, bro!!!! So, we’re hanging out at Meatings, this funky family-run joint on the east end of Ottawa. Dude, this place isn’t New Orleans, it’s in old Orleans, just a 109-yard fumble return from the Place D’Orléans. And they’re smoking their own brisket, pulled pork, chicken ‘n ribs, alongside a whole cheering section of scratch-made sides. Dude, there were more menu items at this place than Argos fans at TD Place!!!!

They may not be serving up a four-meat platter, but for 20 bucks, you get three meats, two sides and dessert–which sure beats giving up a 100-yard TD pass in the snow! 😦 😦 😦

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First up is this BBQ chicken leg. I’m pretty sure I could kick a game-winning field goal with this beauty! Chicken is nice ‘n moist, and it goes great with the caramel sauce that I was supposed to save for dessert. Still, that wasn’t the biggest mistake someone from Calgary made this weekend… 😦 😦 😦

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You know a place knows its BBQ when it asks if you want your brisket lean or fatty. This wasn’t the best brisket I’ve ever had–it was a little bit dry–but it still beats blowing a fourth-quarter lead to a team you beat twice in the regular season! 😦 😦 😦

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Now, these ribs were the star of the show. Nice ‘n smoky, with a good dry rub that had just a bit of a kick to ’em. And unlike another star, they don’t throw an interception in the end zone when all you need is a FG to tie it!!!! 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦

(Not that I’m still upset or anything…)

BEERS OF BALTIMORE

OK, so here’s the deal. Up in Canada, we don’t get a lot of the craft beers you’ll see in the States. Especially when you live in a province where the government’s in cahoots with a couple ne plus macro breweries to control beer prices and distribution.

Anyways, suffice to say that when I head down south of the border, I ain’t drinkin’ Bud Light. Here’s some of the craft beers I had in Baltimore:

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DOGFISH HEAD 60 MINUTE IPA: This “East Coast” IPA was a lot smoother than what I’d expect from a beer with those three letters at the end. And at 6%, it kinda sneaks up on ya!

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FLYING DOG DOGGIE STYLE PALE ALE: You gotta love the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas artwork on the label! This beer was a little more citrusy than I thought it would be, but still left a bitter beer aftertaste.

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ANNABEL LEE WHITE: Happy Hour at Phillips Seafood means 4-dollar draft beers—and that includes all draft beers, bro! I went with this one, a light, citrusy brew that tastes pretty much the same as Unibroue’s Blanche de Chambly.

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NATIONAL BOHEMIAN AKA NATTY BOH: Baltimore’s answer to PBR: it’s cheap, light and it (sorta) gets the job done. Plus it comes in a Baltimore Ravens purple can!!!

EATS OF BALTIMORE: Holy crab fondue on a cracker!

So, we’re hanging out at Watertable, this classy joint in a Renaissance Hotel on top of a mall with fifth floor views of the Inner Harbor. Now, I gotta say this was a bit of a bait and switch—their online menu mentions delicious dishes like crab poutine and a pork belly PB&J, but when I got there, they were nowhere to be found. Dude, you gotta update that website, bro!

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So instead, I went with this funky crab fondue. You’ve got these chunks of fresh crab in a cream sauce, with a bit of Old Bay for that extra kick. They call this a sharing plate, but you KNOW it’s only a light snack in Flavourtown!

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This ain’t no namby-pamby prime rib sammy! You’ve got a pile of thin-sliced prime rib, lettuce, tomato and a nice horseradish donkey sauce on top. Fries on the side are hot ‘n crispy, but the sandwich itself is served cold.

OK, so I might be a little miffed that I paid 19 bucks for deli meat..but it was still pretty good.