Flavourtown Roadtrips

Whole lotta seafood @ Ivar’s Salmon House

Now, you can’t go to Seattle and not eat seafood. That would be like going to Texas and not eating BBQ, or going to Nashville and not eating hot chicken. So we’re hanging out at Ivar’s Salmon House, this funky little seafood joint that’s right on the water — not the Pacific, but Lake Union…which does flow into the Pacific, though.

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Now, this place is an offshoot of famous local chain Ivar’s House of Clams, so you KNOW we gotta start off with a bowl of clam chowder, bro! This creamy, New England-style soup has some nice little pieces of potatoes, but when you get a chunk of those chewy clams, that right there is the ticket!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event! This Taste of the Northwest platter combines salmon, halibut and scallops for a triple threat in Flavourtown…

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We’re starting off with salmon, which was nice n juicy, with a hint of lemon at the end.

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Cod was so tender you could cut it with a fork… a nice, flaky piece of fish.

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But the scallops are the star of the show. Super soft and tender, they melt in your mouth like butter! I would totally polish off a whole plate of these bad boys!!!!!

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And their beer selection is just as fresh and local as the seafood. This here’s a Scuttlebutt Hefeweizen, brewed in nearby Everett, Washington. Nice and smooth with a slight citrusy aftertaste — reminds me of Big Rock Grasshopper, the brew I was raised on (which you can’t find in Toronto anymore, but that’s another story…)

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But now we’re kicking it up a couple notches with Bad Jimmy’s Habanero Amber. This rich, red beer has a nice flavour profile — but I can’t really taste the habanero though. It’s definitely not spicy, bro, maybe just a bit of an aftertaste when you drink it on its own.

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Now while that seafood trio was pretty tasty, it wasn’t a particularly large portion — so you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert. We’re talking house-made key lime pie, nice and tart with a crunchy graham cracker crust and a bit of whipped cream on top. Again, it was pretty tasty, but a little on the small side. I *might* hafta stop for pizza on the way home…

A Canadian-themed hockey bar in Seattle!? Take off, eh!!!

Now, hockey season might not start until October, but when I heard about The Angry Beaver, this Canadian-themed hockey bar on Greenwood Ave in Seattle, you KNOW I had to check it out! This place is serving up all the Canadian classics like peameal bacon, Nanaimo bars and six different kinds of poutine — now that’s my kinda place!

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Dude, this is body by back bacon, so you know we gotta go with a PLT. You’ve got peameal bacon on sourdough bread, with lettuce, tomato and a garlic donkey sauce. Bacon has a nice chew, that garlic sauce packs a punch, but what makes it is that fresh sourdough, bro!!!

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Of course, I had to go with a side of poutine, and we funked it up a notch with their beer cheese sauce with bacon and scallions. They still put cheese curds on here, but the beer cheese is definitely the star of the show.

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While they do have lots of local craft beers on tap, you can also get a few bottles and cans from north of the border like Molson Canadian, Labatt Blue and Moosehead. I went for a glacier-fresh tasting Kokanee. It’s the beer out here, bro!!!!!

Football by the lake @ The Dock

Not only can you eat seafood by the seashore in Seattle, but you can also drink beers and watch football, bro! We’re hanging out at The Dock Sports Bar and Grill, this funky joint by the lake, that’s got all the games on flat screen TVs, with plenty of local craft beers on tap (along with lots of, uh, Bud Light…)

And since the early games start at 10 am on the West Coast, we start drinking at 9:30 — I think I could get used to this, bro!

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We’re starting off with an Elysian Dank Dust IPA, and the name is no joke — this beer smells like weed, bro! But once you get past the odour of marijuana, it’s a pretty tasty, hoppy IPA.

Now, maybe there’s no weed in this beer, but I’m definitely getting the munchies over here. So let’s see what they’ve got to eat…

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These Ultimate Cheese Curds are the perfect game day snack. Deep fried balls of cheese that go great with ranch — not so sure about the strawberry sauce though.

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On the other hand, these Dock Totchos sound better than they taste. On paper, there’s nothing wrong with tater tots topped with cheese, ground beef, sour cream, jalapeños, onions, beans and tomatoes — but the tots get soggy pretty quickly, so instead of being the main vessel, they become just another bit player in the mix.

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From there, we switched to Elysian Space Dust, their signature IPA. Not as heavy or as hoppy, but it gets the job done.

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This Fremont Brewing Sky Kraken might be the best beer I’ve had so far. Hazy, slightly hoppy, but still very crushable. I think I’ll have a couple more of these.

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Dude, these Buffalo wings are outta bounds, bro! Beyond the buttery heat, they’ve also got a lemon peppery kick. And the meat is super-tender — I don’t think I’ve had a chicken wing that melts in my mouth before!!!!

On the other hand, while the parmesan fries were hot and crispy, the hardened layer of cheese on top doesn’t really add much. You’d be better off with the plain fries.

Post-game victory burger at Dick’s Drive-In

Man, after the Seahawks’ big win over the Broncos, sending Russell Wilson back to Denver a big loooooser, you KNOW we painted the town green and blue, bro! But after pounding enough Rainiers to make a beer snake about as tall as the Space Needle, we’ve got one last stop before calling it a night.

Dick’s Drive-In is a local legend, serving up super-legit burgers and fries since the 50’s. And while their prices have gone up a bit since then, they’re still fairly reasonable — all the food you see here will only set ya back $12.25!

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Ok, so what we’ve got is a Dick’s Deluxe double cheeseburger with fries and a chocolate shake. There’s no Biggie sizes, either — what you see here is what you get.

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Burger is pretty tasty. Patties are thin, but nicely grilled, and you get a nice tang from the mayo and relish. Definitely hits the spot at 2 am, son!

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Fries are thin, but crispy and just a little salty. I could easily eat three times as many.

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But the chocolate shake is what makes it! Nice and creamy, with a rich chocolatey taste. It takes McDonalds and sacks it for a six yard loss, son!!!!!!

Going on a Seattle pub crawl (cuz Russell Wilson sucks balls!)

^^(This was never supposed to happen…)
Now, we’re longtime Seahawks fans right here on Triple B, so when Russell Wilson whined his way outta town, got traded to Denver, and then was scheduled to play the Hawks on Monday Night Football to start the season, you KNOW we had to be there, bro! And suffice to say this is not a game we wanna watch while sober. So before the game started, we made our way down the Link light rail line, grabbing a couple drinks at each stop along the way…
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This craft beer pub is Big Time, unlike the Broncos!

We’re starting off at Big Time Brewery & Alehouse, Seattle’s OG brewpub, brewing it up and pouring it fresh in the U District since 1988. This place only has its own beers on tap, and with 13 to choose from, I could be here all day — if it wasn’t so far away from the stadium.
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But we’re starting off with an Irish breakfast smoothie in the form of their Coal Creek Porter. A nice, chocolatey beer checking in at 5.5%. Nothing wrong with that at all. (It’s probably a safer bet for breakfast than the 8.5% S’moredor Imperial Stout.)
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But alas, one can not drink all these beers on an empty stomach, so I’m going to town on these pork verde tacos, bro! Pork is braised in porter (not the one I just drank), and they put so much meat on here that you need two tortillas to handle it. You’ve also got some salsa verde, onions and Mexican cheese — but the pork is definitely the star of the show.
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From there we’re going for something summery and fruity — Passionfruit Blondeshell Ale. Believe or not, but I’ve had a few passionfruit beers before…and this one comes the closest to capturing that passionfruity flavour, bro!!!
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Lovin’ me some lamb @ Americana

So, we headed a couple stops down the line to Capitol Hill to check out this funky little brunch spot called Americana Restaurant. (It looked like the only place in the area that served beer and was open around lunchtime.) Cuz with all the drinking I’m about to do, I figured I could use a second breakfast, bro.
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Now, while they had Elysian Space Dust IPA on tap, the tap wasn’t working that day or something, so that’s why I ended up drinking a Blue Moon. Hey, it’s not bad for a brunch beer — it basically tastes like orange juice, bro.
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But the main reason we’re here is for the lamb burger. A nice, thick, juicy patty, served simply with tomato and arugula. It comes with tzatziki on the side, but you’re gonna wanna put it on top of the burger. Man, this stuff even tastes good on sweet potato fries — which automatically come with the burger.
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If this place is a chain, it’s the chain I wanna see!!!

We’re hanging out at The Yard House, this funky joint across the street from the Westlake Center in Downtown Seattle. Apparently, this place is a chain with locations across the country…but with 130 beers on tap and classic rock all night long, I’m not opposed to checking this chain out. Man, I was only here for about an hour, but I heard them play Africa by Toto twice…
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We’re starting out with a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA — one of those legendary American craft beers that you can never find up here in Canada. Nice, crisp and only slightly hoppy, it’s super-crushable at 6%.
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Wasn’t planning on getting food, but when I saw the Jumbo Bavarian Pretzel on the menu, you KNOW I needed one of these in my life, bro! This bad boy was coming in so hot, I couldn’t even touch it, but once I finally ripped in, it was worth the burn. Comes with a whole buncha beer cheese and just a bit of Dijon mustard — I’d say the cheese to mustard ratio was about right.
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Here’s another beer you won’t find north of the border — Rogue’s Nitro Chocolate Stout. Smooth and creamy like a Guinness, but with a richer, more chocolatey taste — and noticeably stronger at 5.8%.
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One last stop before the stadium…

At this point, it’s about 90 minutes till kickoff. We’re getting off at Pioneer Square, where all the bars are pretty packed. So we stopped into a place called Shawn O’Donnell’s, where the bar was standing room only.
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Didn’t feel like Guinness after that Nitro Chocolate Stout, so I went with a Drubru Peach Sour. Light, tangy and fruity…this should tide me over until kickoff.
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Crushing a couple craft beers at the ballgame…

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Ya gotta love that there’s a beer named after the old stadium on sale at Lumen Field. This Kingdome Kolsch goes down smoothly like an implosion, with a nice, malty finish. Now how bout them Hawks????

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Manny’s Pale Ale is a Seattle classic. Pretty sure I had one of these at a bar after the Seahawks season opener in 2010 — you couldn’t get craft beer at the stadium in those days. This one’s more like an English pale ale than an American IPA… not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Now, never in my wildest dreams did I actually expect Seattle to win this game. I was just hoping they could keep it close, so I could keep booing Russell Wilson until the end. But with the Hawks up 17-13 at the half, I started thinking they might have a chance. And with the two teams combining for just 3 points in the second, 17-13 turned into a 17-16 win. Uglier than this Tim Tebow tattoo, but we’ll take it!
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(This sign is both mathematically and metaphorically accurate. Better luck in 2026, Russ!!!)

NYC DINER DUEL: Westway Diner vs. Tick Tock Diner

Now, we may be Triple B, not Triple D, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love a good diner, bro! And when it comes to diners, New York City might be the diner capital of Flavourtown. So we’re chowing down at two classic NYC institutions — which one will come out on top?
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WESTWAY DINER

This Hell’s Kitchen diner is apparently the place where Jerry Seinfeld came up with the idea for a show about nothing in the late 80’s. Up on West 43rd and 9th, it’s a pretty big place — you can probably fit about 200 people in here. I heard there was a line, so I got there early…and marched right in at 8 am, when just a few tables were taken (people started filing in at 8:15.) But hey, the early bird gets the corned beef benedict, bro!!!!
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Dude, these are some of the biggest benedicts I’ve seen, bro! Corned beef is nice n crispy, you get some creaminess from the egg, and there’s even a bit of mashed potato in there. And they’re two for $13.50 — that’s a five finger discount in Flavourtown!
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These also come with a whole lotta hash browns. Crispy on top, but soft in the middle — dude, this is body by hash browns!!!!
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TICK TOCK DINER

The party don’t stop at this classic joint, which is open 24 hours a day, on 34th and 8th, across from Madison Square Garden. It’s also attached to the New Yorker Hotel, so if you’re staying there and too hungover to go outside — not that I would know — this is the place for you!
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Most people think of chicken and waffles as a southern soul food staple, but this dish was actually invented in Harlem, back in the day. We might not be quite that far uptown, but I figured I had to check out the Tick Tock’s take on this classic.
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Now, the waffles were nice and fluffy, but I’m not so sure about the chicken. You can definitely call it crispy (this dish is called “crispy chicken and waffles” on the menu), but it’s not a chicken leg or chicken thigh…or even really a chicken tender, more like this vaguely Batman shaped chicken burger. Ever seen those fried chicken patties you could put in a toaster? (Yes, that was actually a thing.) This is what they remind me of.

Also, the piddly little forks they give you often aren’t big enough to spear both chicken and waffles in the same bite, which is a bit of a bummer…

FINAL VERDICT

Tick Tock might be in a great location, and it gets props for being open all night (Westway closes at 9, apparently), but it is definitely more of a tourist trap. For the real-deal diner feel, head up to Hell’s Kitchen.
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BONUS: Tilly’s Diner in Monticello, NY

Sometimes, to find a real-deal diner, you gotta go upstate. We’re hanging out at Tilly’s Diner, this funky little joint a couple hours north of New York City in Monticello. This is one of those places that used to be an old trailer, until they grew big enough to attach a dining room. And it’s completely packed on a Sunday, with a mixture of locals and post-concert checkout crowd from the Best Western two doors down.
But you can still take a seat at the counter, and watch them crank out diner classics, like this three-meat masterpiece in Flavourtown, the Farmer omelette:
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This bad boy is packed with three little pigs — bacon, ham AND sausage — along with peppers, onions and Swiss cheese. You’ve also got home fries and white toast, Blues Brothers style.
This is not subtle food. It’s huge chunks of meat, barely contained by a thin layer of egg, which cheese in the middle. It’s delicious. And it’s only $10.50…about the same price as a supersized sammy at Colosseo next door!!!!

This Fat Sandwich has my name all over it…

So, we’re hanging out in Monticello, NY, a couple hours north of New York City, and about 10 miles from Bethel Woods, where they had the first Woodstock back in 1969. Now, we’ve got a couple hours to kill before a concert, so we’re heading over to Colosseo, this funky litltle Italian joint serving up all kinds of pizza, pasta, cheesesteaks and hoagies. You KNOW this is my kinda place, bro!!!!

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We’re starting off with some fried cheese ravioli, coming in hot and crunchy, with oozy cheese and some marinara for dipping. Mamma Mia!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. They call this the Fat Sandwich, and it’s definitely not meant for skinny people. You’ve got fried chicken, mozzarella sticks, French fries, mozzarella cheese, lettuce, onion and tomato, all topped with ranch dressing. Shut the front, back and side doors!!!!!!

The fried chicken is definitely the star of the show here, along with the ranch. Veggies are stacked on top, so you don’t get them in every bite, but the lettuce and onion add a bit of crunch. Man, even the bread is good — a nice, chewy baguette roll. And it’s only 10 bucks, bro!!!!!!!

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Now, this might not be an authentic Italian meal, but we’re washing it down with a real-deal Italian beer. Birra Moretti is only 5 bucks at this place, which is about half the price you’d pay in Toronto — so I think I’ll have at least a couple of these…

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But you know me, I’ve still got room for dessert, bro! And this is body by chocolate lava cake, so I gotta go with that. It normally comes with vanilla ice cream, but they were all outta vanilla, so they gave me chocolate ice cream instead. No such thing as too much chocolate, son! While the lava seems to be more on top than inside, it’s still nice and warm, especially once you get to the middle.

And you know you’re not in the Big Apple (or the Big Smoke) anymore when this entire meal costs 50 bucks — after tax and tip!!!!

Demolishing the legendary Gramercy Tavern Burger!!!!

Now, it’s been almost 10 years since we’ve had a killer burger in New York City, so you KNOW we gotta take care of that, bro! We’re hanging out at Gramercy Tavern, this funky joint on East 20th Street, where I hear their Tavern Burger is one of the best in town… so we’re definitely gonna check that out. But first, it’s time for some duck liver mousse:

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This duck definitely doesn’t suck! Rich and creamy, like a pate, served on grilled sourdough toast. But what makes it is the cherry compote, adding a nice tartness to balance out the dish.

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But now it’s time for the main event. The Tavern Burger is coming in hot, a nice blend of 70/30 chuck and brisket, cooked to medium. This burger is tender, juicy, with some bacon and an oozy white cheddar cheese. The onion donkey sauce on the side adds a bit of a kick, but it’s better off without it. My only complaint is it was too small — more like a supersized slider. Now if they could make it a triple, I’d be all over that, son!!!!!!!!!

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Washed it all down with a Legendary Shader, this funky German-style Hefeweizen from 3 Floyds. Dude, this tastes bananas (literally), just like a good German wheat beer should. And at 6.2%, it packs a bit of a punch that kinda sneaks up on ya…

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We’ve also got a Sun Up hazy IPA from Talea Brewing in Brooklyn. This one checks all the boxes — hazy, hoppy and just a little fruity. I’ll take 10 of these to go…

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Now, since that burger wasn’t very big, we’ve still got room for dessert. And when in New York, you gotta go for some cheesecake, bro! This caramelized cheesecake comes complete with cookie crumbles, honey strawberry sorbet AND compote on the side. You’ve got the creaminess of the cheese, a nice crunch from the cookies and the tartness of the strawberries. And it’s all over in a New York minute!!!!

EAST VILLAGE BAR CRAWL: From punk rock dive to KGB Bar to OG Irish pub…

CBGB’s may be long gone, but there are plenty of places to grab a drink, and even listen to some punk rock, in New York City’s East Village. So after stuffing our faces full of pastrami, we set out to check out a few of em, all within stumbling distance…

Doubling down on $5 IPAs @ Double Down Saloon

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We’re starting off this adventure at the Double Down Saloon, which is just around the corner from Katz’s Deli on Avenue A at Houston Street. This punk-rock dive bar started off in Vegas, and they’re keeping it hardcore with this badass Black Flag mural on the back patio.
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It just so happens to be Happy Hour until 8 pm, which means you can pound pints of craft beer for just five bucks, bro! We’re starting off with a Founders All Day IPA, which has a nice hoppy taste, but is relatively light at 42 IBU and just 4.7%. What’s more, this beer is only 140 calories, so I can drink, like, 13 of these…
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But instead, we’re switching to Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale. This American IPA is stronger (7%), hoppier (60 IBUs) and more citrusy than its predecessor…which means I *might* only have 3 more.

The Soviet-themed bar that stands with Ukraine…

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Now, the East Village is also known as Little Ukraine (I’ve heard the pierogis at Veselka are so legit!) so it’s not surprising to find a Soviet-themed joint called KGB Bar on East 4th Street, just off of 2nd Ave. As their website makes clear, though, they definitely stand with Ukraine!
The music selection was an interesting mix of punk, goth, and Brian Eno-style ambient music. In Soviet Russia, synthesizer plays you???
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Now, I’ve heard that before the war, you could find a lotta Russian and Ukrainian beers here…but I’m guessing the sanctions against Russia probably put a stop to that. The closest I could find was a Radeberger Pilsner from Germany, dating back to 1872. It’s got a bit of a bite to it, similar to Pilsner Urquell, but not quite as bitter.
(Oh, and they actually have Pilsner Urquell here, too.)

Cozy craft beers at Cooper’s

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Stumbled out of the KGB Bar to find this funky little joint with “Craft” in its name, so you KNOW we had to check it out… This is Cooper’s Craft & Cocktails.
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Starting off with a Mondo Generator from Wild East — Dude, Mondo Generator is my second-favourite Nick Oliveri band, bro! This West Coast IPA is about as bitter as the dude who wrote a song called “Kyuss Dies,” with a nice mix of Citra, Columbus and Simcoe hops. A few of these, and you’ll be loading up your war machine, bro!!!
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Up next, we’re gonna hitch a ride to Rock-Rock-Rockaway Beach with this Eccentrics Welcome from Rockaway Brewing Company. This sour beer is super tropical with apricot and passion fruit, coming in at a crushable 4.8%. I think I’ve only had apricot and passion fruit in liquid form, but the citrusy flavours are definitely on point. The techno pop they were playing at this place? Not so much…

If the Bovine was a sports bar, this is the bar it would be…

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When you think sports bar, you usually think some massive place with big screen TVs, chicken wings, waitresses in referee stripes, etc, etc. But Standings, this funky little joint on East 7th, ain’t like that. This place fits maybe 40 people, and the walls are covered in sports cards, pennants, posters and other memorabilia. The night I went, there was only a handful of people in the place, and everybody seemed to be cheering for the Red Sox against the Yankees. Whaaaa???
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Oh, and they also serve a buncha craft beers, like this Prima Pils from Victory Brewing. A nice, crispy German-style pilsner — this ain’t no Bud Light, bro!!!!
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This Greenport Harbor Black Duck Porter does a pretty good impression of a Guinness. Nice, chocolatey richness, but not too strong or too heavy. Maybe a little heavier on the cocoa than an Irish breakfast smoothie. Not bad for a nightcap, though…

And we’re ending the night at an OG Irish pub…

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If there’s one place to bring this evening to a fitting conclusion, it’s McSorely’s Old Ale House, an OG NYC Irish pub that’s been open since 1854.

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They only have two beers on tap — dark ale or light ale. And when you ask for a pint, they give you these two small glasses, which’ll set you back 7 bucks. Is this the best beer I’ve ever had? Not by any stretch. (I’d say it’s just a little bit better than Molson Canadian…) But the historic aspect of this place makes it a must-see when in NYC!
I mean, what’s the oldest bar in Toronto? The Senator? Imperial Pub? I guess the Wheat Sheaf is about the same age, but it doesn’t have quite as much character as McSorely’s. Slainte!!!
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I’ll have what she’s having… and then some!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Katz’s Delicatessen, the legendary deli in New York City’s East Village that’s been serving it up since the 1880’s. Man, the food here’s so good it made Meg Ryan cream her jeans, so you KNOW we gotta check it out!!!!

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While there’s no shortage of deli classics here, the sandwich to get is pastrami on rye, with mustard. Picture some of the best beef brisket you’ve ever tasted, brined in that pink salt, with just enough bread to hold it together… This meat just melts in your mouth, bro!!!!

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Pair this with some housemade pickles to kick it up a notch. The dills are decent, but I prefer the fresh ones…

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And we’ve also got a nice helping of creamy potato salad. Nothing wrong with that at all!

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Now, this food is NOT cheap — the sandwich itself will set ya back 26 bucks — but it’s some of the best smoked meat I’ve had this side of Texas. And I didn’t even hafta line up down the street for it!

(There are definitely lines at the meat-cutting stations, but with 6-8 cutters on duty, and free samples to tide you over while you wait, it wasn’t too painful when I was there.)

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