Tis the season for PSR: pumpkin stuffed ravioli, bro!!!

Now, I don’t think I’ve ever had a latte in my life. I don’t even go to Starbucks unless they serve booze. But if you put pumpkin in ravioli, I’ll probably try it at least once. Chef Boyardee taught me everything I know, bro!!!!

So we’re hanging out at Trattoria Nervosa, this funky little Italian joint in Yorkville. I know you hear Yorkville and you go “that’s super expensive,” but this place is serving up pizza and pasta for under 20 bucks–including this dish, ravioli di zucca:

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got some nice, creamy, pumpkin-stuffed squares of goodness, in a brown butter sauce, with pine nuts, sage and some pumpkin seeds, cuz you can never get enough pumpkin. Now, this dish was tasty ‘n all, but I probably could have eaten twice as many raviolis. Dude, this is body by ravioli, bro-li!!!!

(Where can I get me some of those shorts???)

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I want my cheesy back, cheesy back ribs!

Now, I like ribs and I like cheese, so if you put them together, you KNOW it’s gotta be good, bro! We’re hanging out at James Cheese Back Ribs, this funky Korean chain that just opened in Toronto a couple months ago. They’ve got all kinds of funky dishes like chicken wings, deep-fried squid and Korean-style McRib sliders, but it’s all about the cheesy ribs…and the cheesy chicken!

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Now, this tastes a lot like the Korean chicken you get at Hoga, this funky underground food court joint in the PATH…except, you know, with melty mozza cheese on top. And then you’ve got sides like scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, hot cocktail sausage and corn, all of which taste pretty great with some cheese on top.

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Don’t get me wrong, the chicken sets the table, but the signature cheesy back ribs are the star of the show. Nicely marinated in Asian spices, I could eat these on their own–but then you put the cheese on top, and it really kicks it up a notch. Man, I wish I had one of these sick grills at home so I could put melty cheese on everything!!!!

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In case you needed another reason to hit up this funky hangout, they’re serving up six-dollar cocktails on Saturdays, son! This sake Caesar tastes just like the real thing, except it makes you want to lip your stockings…

Kamayan II: Electric Boodle Fight

So, about a year ago, we went for Kamayan at this funky little joint called Platito Filipino. In case you didn’t know, Kamayan is a massive Filipino feast–no cutlery allowed, bro! Now, that place funked it up with fried chicken, tacos, and beef stew, but I heard there’s this other joint in the ghetto that’s doing a more authentic take on the Filipino tradition, so you KNOW I had to check it out. This is Tinuno:

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Now, there’s just so much going on here that I don’t even know where to start! You’ve got three different kinds of grilled fish, along with grilled squid, pork belly and BBQ pork skewers. Then there’s the grilled okra, and some mango slices on the side. But wait, there’s more…

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Can you say peel ‘n eat shrimp, son? These slippery crustaceans are a lotta work, but they’re totally worth the effort. And did I mention the mussels from Brussels? Dude, there is so much food here that I don’t even have room for the orange slices for dessert!

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Who needs Japanese cheesecake when you’ve got a Japanese cheese tart?

Now, I’m not a big fan of Uncle Tetsu’s cheesecake, unless they’re serving it up after some chicken karaage and waffles. But when I saw they had a competitor around the corner, I was curious enough to check it out. Pablo Cheesetart is this funky little bakery serving up all sorts of sweet eats…but you know I gotta go for the original, signature Japanese cheese tart:

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Dude, this was like a festival of funk in a box, bro! You’ve got a rich, cheesy filling with a layer of apricot jam on top. And then there’s the crispy crust–the crispy crust is what makes it! There’s just a lot more flavour here that what you’re getting around the corner–although at 15 bucks a pop, it’s quite a bit more expensive, too. Now, if only they could cook me up some fried chicken, then I’d definitely be back for the sequel, bro!

Beef brisket sandwich two ways @ Smoke Bourbon

So, we’re hanging out at Smoke Bourbon, one of the best BBQ joints in this city. At this place, you can get a whole buncha beef ribs for less than 20 bucks, but sometimes, all I want is a sandwich…wait, make that two sandwiches. Well, they’ve got you covered there too, dude!

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Their corned beef is kinda like a Texas twist on a culinary classic. The meat is thinly sliced, melt-in-your-mouth, but packs a nice smoky kick that you won’t get a Jewish deli!

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On the other hand, their smoked brisket sando is something you won’t see in Laredo, bro! Sorta like their Bloor Street spinoff, Bourbon Street Barbecue, this place pulls their brisket instead of slicing it…although the texture’s a lot thicker over here. It’s definitely a hearty dish in its own right–I could barely eat both of these and still have room for dessert!!!!

Heeeere piggy piggy!

So, we’re hanging out at Beerbistro last weekend, this funky craft brewpub right on King St. in the heart of downtown Toronto. Now, “Free Bird” might be my favourite Lynyrd Skynyrd tune, but the Saturday Night Special at this joint totally reeks of funkaliciousness. Every weekend, starting at 5 pm, they’re serving up this 22-hour applewood smoked suckling pig that puts the “oink” in honky-tonk redoinkadoink!!!!

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OK, let’s break it down. The pig is super tender and smoky. You’ve got a nice parsnip puree, some purple cabbage and these roasted Brussels sprouts that are so outta bounds, bro! I don’t normally eat Brussels sprouts, but when I do, I slam ’em down with a pound of roast pig!!!!

Of course, one does not simply go to Beerbistro to sip spiced honey mead wine. And you KNOW we ain’t drinkin’ Bud Light tonight, neither! Say bonjour to my little ami, Unibroue’s A Tout Le Monde:

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Dude, this is definitely the best beer named after anything Dave Mustaine had a hand in creating! This fruity saison tastes like being kicked outta Metallica before they made it for drinking too much beer. And with just 4.5% alcohol, I could slam 17 of these!

But you KNOW la bière doesn’t stop there, mon frère! We went deep into the Beerbistro cellar for this one, coming straight outta Shawinigan, son!!!

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L’impératrice is probably the heartiest brew I’ve sunk my face into. This imperial stout is aged in a bourbon barrel, giving it a heavy chocolate/caramel kick. With 10% alcohol, it’s meant to be savoured like a fine wine…so I probably shouldn’t have shotgunned this whole glass. Too late now, bro!!!!

This supersized Caesar will wake you dafuq up!

So, we’re hanging out at Kelly’s Landing, this funky Front St. joint where I once scarfed down some first-line tacos before a Leafs loss. But did you know they’re also open for brunch, bro? From 11 till 3 on weekends, they’re waking you up with bennies, French toast…and this massive monstrosity, The Landing Cure:

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Dude, this is like a traffic cone of vodka in Flavourtown! You’ve got 2 ounces of Absolut with Caesar mix, a lobster tail, a thin slice of pizza, a chunk of jalapeno Havarti cheese and a whole buncha veggies—it seems they’ve omitted the bacon though???

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Now, in case you didn’t get your lobster fix already, they’re also serving up this Bomb.ca lobster benny. You’ve got real-deal Atlantic lobster meat, poached free-range eggs and béarnaise sauce on multi-grain with a whole lotta avocado on the side. It also comes with a salad, but we don’t need to talk about that. You DON’T need a bun to bite this benny lava, bro!!!!

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