I’m high on loving these deep-fried cinnamon apple rings!

So, we’re hanging out at the Holiday Fair in the Square, where they’ve got ice skating, kiddie rides and games, a life-sized cut-out of Ryan Gosling and a funky sock vendor…but you know I’m here for the food trucks, dude! I mean, there’s Poutine Supreme, Bacon Nation, Chimney Stax—and this bro-country gospel hymnal: The Holy Grill.

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Now, you know that sign stopped me in my flip-flop tracks, but I was on my way back from a shopping spree at Walmart and I hadn’t even had lunch yet, so the deep-fried cinnamon apple rings would hafta wait till dessert. And if there’s one thing that can make me wait for deep-fried cinnamon apple rings, it’s poutine. Especially when it’s all dressed up with no place to go except straight down my piehole, bro!

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Man, this butter chicken poutine is packed to the max with so much flavour, you almost forget about the bird. You’ve got shredded chunks of chicken in a rich, creamy butter sauce on top of fries, with both cheese curds AND feta cheese crumbles…and then there’s a crunchy purple cabbage slaw, scallions and crispy onion bits on top! You don’t normally get this much tasty stuff on a little cardboard tray, bro!

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But this is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. They take these thinly sliced apples, envelop them in a chewy, crunchy batter, and then put so much cinaminaminamon on ‘em you couldn’t eat it with a spoon! This dish is too legit to quit—and you get five rings for five bucks!? That’s like a highway robbery in Flavourtown, son! I think I could only eat three of these and not be full…

Five funky food pairings from the Roundhouse Craft Beer Fest

I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Old Style Pilsner. Or gimme six Bud Light Strawberry Daiquiris and the bill, bro. I won’t go outta my way to buy craft beer unless I’m stuck at some hipster dive bar on Ossington where I’ve never heard of anything on tap. Then maybe I’ll order a Steamwhistle, or something…

But when I heard that there was gonna be all kinds of funky food trucks at the Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival, I knew I had to come check it out. It’s 20 bucks to get in, but then the drinks are super-cheap–they’ll fill up your cup for just two beer tokens:

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Now they don’t take craft beer tokens at the local food trucks, so you still gotta have some cash on hand. But with most culinary offerings selling for 10 bucks or less, I really can’t complain. So I started off by hitting up the FeasTO food truck. These cats are known for dumplings, but when I saw they were serving up some popcorn chicken, I knew they’d be kickin’ it up a notch:

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The chicken is crunchalicious, straight from the fryer, and they’ve got a nice sriracha mayo on top. I paired this with a Righteous Rockwell Pilsner, which is so underground, you can’t even Google it, bro! The beer had a nice, rich flavour, with even more bite than Saskatchewan’s national brew. It deserves to be called righteous, for sure!

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Now, I dunno about you, but whenever I see a sign for Bloomin’ Bacon, I always give them my money. This funky Hungarian food truck Chimney Stax makes this crusty, doughy, mass of goodness, then puts a buncha bacon on top. What could possibly be bad about that? And then you’ve got this Forgotten Lake Blueberry Ale beside it. This stuff’s super-strong–7.5 per cent, son! And it’s got a nice tartness from the blueberries, too. I’ve never had a purple beer before, but I gotta say, this shit’s super legit!

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Now, the last time I went to The Pie Commission, I had an outta-bounds beef ‘n beer pie. This time, I switched it up with some smokey steak ‘n cheese…and a side of beer. This pastry is equal parts flaky and steaky, with super-tender beef that just melts in your face. And you gotta have a dark beer with such a rich dish, so I went with Wellington’s Imperial Russian Stout, which tips the scales at 8 per cent. Just three beers in, and I’m already all tipsy like Jon Montgomery after winning a medal in Whistler… Oh, wait!

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So now I’m heading past Dobro Jesti, my favourite Slovenian food truck, when this guy says to me, “Hey buddy, do you want a garlic donut?” Do I want a garlic donut!? Dude, Garlic Donut is my middle name! After devouring his doughy offering, I immediately went and bought more. Can you believe they give you this many for just six bucks?

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These bite-sized garlic bites are outta bounds, bro! You’ve got a hot, puffy pastry, deep-fried to perfection, with enough garlicy goodness to make Guy Fieri cry. Paired with a Little Norway pale lager from Sawdust Brewing Co, which is crisp and refreshing, with just enough hops so you know you’re not drinking Coors Light. Werd to ya mora!

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Now, at this point I was getting pretty full, but when I saw the Koi Gourmet food truck serving up some real-deal Korean meals, you know I had to make room for bulgogi, son! This funkalicious sandwich is served open faced on a scallion pancake wrap, with pickled carrots, mango, daikon, cucumber and cilantro, sorta like an outta-bounds bahn mi. The best way to attack this monstrosity is to fold it up and shove it down like an oversized taco, all while chugging a refreshing Radicle Wheat Beer from Henderson Brewing Co. The citrusy flavours go nicely with the pickled veggies to make this a righteous Korean-German experience, kinda like Psy jamming with Kraftwerk. All that’s missing are the pistachios, bro!

I definitely wouldn’t trade these HotBunzz for a duvet, dude!

So apparently, there’s this new site called Bunz, where you can trade a king-sized duvet for a happy ending, or 18 cinder blocks for your virginity. I just offered to trade a kidney for a bacon double cheeseburger, but when it comes to these HotBunzz, I wouldn’t trade them for anything:

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So, here’s the deal. Front Street Foods, a street food fest that’s dealing out righteous grub in a courtyard on Adelaide, has this funky food stand serving up Asian-style buns stuffed with ingredients from all over this country. And they’re just three for 10 bucks, bro! Let’s zoom in for a closer look:

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What we’ve got here is the Seoul City Beef Short Rib, with kimchi and Korean BBQ sauce on top. Beef is super tender, kimchi adds a nice kick, and the sauce brings it all together. I could eat this one off a flip-flop!

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What’s 10 times better than a pulled pork sandwich at Harvey’s? Pulled pork inside a steamed bun, son! The pork is super fall-aparty, the coleslaw is rich and creamy, and the sauce is boss, hoss!

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Don’t tell my Meat Club (first rule of Meat Club: Don’t talk about Meat Club), but I totally went vegan with this one. They call it The Pharoah’s Falafel, and it’s about as legit as anything you’d get at Ali Baba’s or Lebanon Express. Texture is on point, nicely seasoned and a nice tahini on top. Shut the back door!

If you’re keeping track at home, that’s three delish dishes inside half a cardboard box. Man, I really pounded these buns, and still had room for a dessert one…but I didn’t see any on the menu. I think I could go for The Spiced Granny though!

I love the smell of mac ‘n cheese in the morning!

When I woke up yesterday, I’ve got a smile on my face, cuz I’m gonna take my gut to Ontario Place. The formerly provincially funded theme park reopened for the weekend for the annual Mac ‘n Cheese Festival, Ontario’s ode to cheesy goodness. (No, not “Deep Cuts the Knife,” but you know I was rocking it on the boom box, bro!) And you know I’ve got a VIP pass, which gets me into the park one hour before the public. On Saturday, they started letting VIPs in at 10 am, so I was in line by 9:55!

Of course, there weren’t any food trucks serving up breakfast, so I went straight to the next best thing—dessert. Can you say mac ‘n cheese cone?

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This sweet mac attack is served up in a waffle cone with candied bacon and pop rocks on top. Hey, it’s got bacon, so I’m pretty sure it counts as breakfast food…

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Speaking of breakfast food, this southwest bacon mac ‘n cheesesteak poutine is the Breakfast of Champions, son! You’ve got two kinds of meat, some creamy mac, fries, cheese curds and gravy—that’s all part of a balanced breakfast, bro! I’m glad I only went with a mini order, cuz otherwise, I wouldn’t have had room for this:

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Deep-fried mac ‘n cheese, with creamy carbonara and cheese sauces, tasted almost as good as it looks. This was kindergarten-noodle-craft crunchy with a cheesy, creamy kick. Shut the back door!

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I then went for some pulled duck mac ‘n cheese, which was hot and creamy…but I think they forgot to put the duck in mine.

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Can you say Pig Mac, bao? This is BBQ pork and mac ‘n cheese served up in a steamed bun, son!

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It doesn’t get much more outta bounds than this. Grilled kangaroo served up on macaroni with some spicy cherry sauce on top. The kanga’s got the flavour of chorizo and the texture of ground beef, while the cherry sauce added plenty of sweet heat. I had to chug six Goose Bay IPAs just to chase the aftertaste—otherwise, I would only have had five.

And hey, I was able to fully stuff my piehole before all the strollers showed up. I was outta there by 11:30…just in time for lunch!

FOOD TRUCK FEEDING FRENZY FRIDAY: Winner, Winner, Chicken Lunch!?

(Originally written May 16, 2014)

Another food-truck with a vaguely political-sounding name…although in this case, I’m pretty sure Localista refers to the fact that they get their ingredients from nearby.

The sum of these parts is this crisp and juicy, two-bite-sized fried chicken, with a coating that’s crisp, but not heavy. The biscuit added a doughy chew, and the bed of veggies are certainly healthier than fries. Yeah, I should probably be eating more of the former and less of the latter.

FOOD TRUCK FEEDING FRENZY FRIDAYS: Can corn be a meal in itself?

(Originally written May 8, 2014)

Today, I ate from a food truck that only served corn. Let’s see, they had corn salad, corn soup, Mexican corn—as seen above, topped with feta cheese and a paprika-heavy spice mix. The kernels were sweet and fresh, while the toppings made things interesting. And though that might not look like a very big bowl, I can attest it contains about a full cob’s worth.

Food Truck Feeding Frenzy Friday: Gringos <3 Tacos

(Originally written May 13, 2014)

What, another taco truck? Well, I guess I can’t complain when they’re dishing out beer-battered fish tacos. The crisp batter was wrapped around a light flaky mahi mahi, with some crunchy coleslaw on top, all seasoned with a spicy mayo. It’s kinda like a Mexican fish-stick… Would it be wrong to serve these with a side of chips?