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…

Carne asada Alberta beef tacos @ Tres Carnales

Man, if there’s one thing I missed the most about living out west, it’s Alberta beef. Whatever they put in it, it’s just so much tastier over there. So, we’re hanging out at Tres Carnales, this funky little taco joint, right in the heart of downtown Edmonton, and there’s just one thing on my mind…carne asada, son!

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Now, at this place, tacos come four to an order, and they don’t let you mix and match. So while I might have liked to try the Alberta pork shoulder cochinita pibil or the local, farm fresh guisado de pollo, instead I’m all in on the steak.

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Now, these tacos might be in danger of being crushed by a dwarf, but what they lack in size, they more than make up in flavour. Meat is super tender, melts in your mouth. You’ve got a nice crunch from the onions, a little cilantro, lime, and a generous dollop of chipotle sauce… You could put that on a cowboy boot, and it would still taste good!!!!

12″ Dutch pancake stuffed with meat? Sounds like a balanced breakfast to me!!!

Last weekend, we were in Edmonton for the Grey Cup, looking for a place to eat a big breakfast before the big game…and we found just the place on Jasper Ave. We’re hanging out at De Dutch, an Edmonton institution and West Coast classic since 1975 putting a Dutch twist on breakfast and lunch. (They’re only open till 3, so ya gotta get there early!) This place specializes in 12″ personal pan pancakes, and they’re serving up a Dutch-Style pannekoek with all the meats:

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The Meat Lovers Pannekoek is totally outta bounds, bro! You’ve got Dutch-style back bacon, turkey bacon, ham AND sausage baked right into this thin ‘n fluffy pancake the size of a medium pizza…and then they put tomatoes and Dutch cheese on top!? Dude, this is breakfast, lunch AND dinner—or at least enough food to tide me over till kickoff!

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Grey Cup victory beers + beef dip @ The Undergound Tap & Grill

So, after Calgary crushed Ottawa in the Grey Cup last night, we’re partying it up in Edmonton, son! And what could go better with a Grey Cup victory than some Calgary craft beer and Alberta beef???

We’re hanging out at The Undergound Tap & Grill, this funky craft beer sports bar right in the heart of downtown Edmonton. This place has got over 70 beers on tap, but there’s only one that will quench my thirst after such a vicious beat down: Red Rage by Tool Shed Brewing Company.

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This amber ale is coming straight outta Calgary with an easy drinking taste and a just a hint of coffee at the end. And what goes better with Alberta beer than Alberta beef, bro????

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This beef dip was nothing fancy—roast beef, provolone cheese and sautéed onions, with a side of au jus for some dunkalicous action. But man, that Alberta beef sure is darn tootin’ tasty. I definitely missed this meat!!!!

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So, after slamming that roast beef sammy, I’ve still got room for a liquid dessert. This Rye Porter, also from Tool Shed, is nice and smooth, with just a bit of that coffee taste, but they brew it with rye malt to give it a bit of an extra kick. Man, if I ever come back to Calgary, I’m moving right across the street from the Tool Shed brewery!!!!!!!!