Well, I’ll be a blackened Cajun chicken liver!

Now, you know I like my chicken fried, cold beer on a Friday night, and all that other southern stuff. We may not be from the South, but we’re in Southern Ontario, son, hanging out at Southern Accent, this real-deal funky neighbourhood joint serving up Cajun food since 1984–that’s 10 years before Joe Diffie, bro!

Now, this place has got some good ol’ fashioned Cajun cooking, like jambalaya, shrimp ‘n grits and catfish, but what really caught my eye was the blackened chicken livers. Hey, if I eat enough livers, maybe mine will grow back stronger?

blackened_chicken_livers (9)

Now, these are like blackened balls of goodness in Flavourtown, son! It’s sorta like chicken pate with Cajun seasoning, then you’ve got some garlic toast, and a little lemon butter on the side. One of the best appetizers I’ve had all year–and that ain’t no joke, cowpoke!

cracker_crusted_catfish (6)

But one does not simply snack on some chicken livers before calling it a night–and it wouldn’t be my kind of night without a little catfish dinner, dude! This farm-raised filet comes coated with crackers and served with greens, rice, and a holla-at-ya-peno tartar sauce. You may not find this dish in no Luke Bryan video…but gimme Alabama any day, bro!

It’s like a culinary Cuttlefish of Cthulhu in Flavourtown!

So, we’re hanging out at Ebisu, this funky Japanese joint on Queen Street West, just like a block or two from University Avenue. Now, this place has got sushi, they’ve got ramen, but they’re also serving up all kindsa crazy stuff that I’ve never even tried before, like this funkalicious Flavourtown fishfuck—BBQ cuttlefish, bro!

bbq_cuttlefish (4)

Now, the last time I tasted cuttlefish, it was spraying me from the stage of the Opera House. But this was a totally different beast here. It’s got the texture of calamari, grilled up Japanese style, all chewy and rubbery, but the tentacles are totally what makes it. I actually didn’t need to eat more than one of these, cuz they give you like 17 pieces, bro!

crab_and_tongue (1)

Of course, that wasn’t the only seafaring creature I shoved down my piehole. One of their monthly specials was the soft-shell crab, served up crispy with some mushrooms on the side. It was kind of hard to pull this guy apart with just a fork, but once you got to the meat inside, it was well worth the effort!

beef_tongue (3)

But this has gotta be the piece de resistance, right here. Now, my brother from another lover Anthony Bourdain is always going on about beef tongue—it’s pretty much his go-to taco, bro! So when I saw the BBQ beef tongue, I knew I had to try it. But here’s what I wasn’t expecting…they give it to you raw, and then you gotta cook it up yourself like some Fine Young Cannibal! But at least it’s like having your own personal grillsus, with this mini hibachi here. Turns out I like my lengua extra crispy. Who knew?

Frozen butter chicken poutine—what will Loblaws come up with next!?

Now, I only go to the Maple Leaf Garden Loblaws like once a year, on Easter Sunday, cuz it’s the only grocery store that’s open. And they’ve always got some funky finds I never see anywhere else. Last year, I scored some wild boar, and even tried frozen microwavable Chili’s. (It probably wasn’t any worse than regular Chili’s.) But this year, I spotted something so honky-tonk redonkadonk it made all those other dishes go redneck crazy, bro! It’s Quebec meets Indian in a box—PC frozen butter chicken poutine!

butter_chicken_poutine (10)

So basically, there are three elements to this dish. You’ve got your fries and your sauce, which you heat up at 425 for 25-30 minutes, and then your curds, which you’re supposed to let thaw, conveniently, for 25-30 minutes. They say to combine everything in a bowl, but I ain’t got a bowl that’s big enough, so I had to put it all in this big ol’ dish, which is like a culinary hubcap in Flavourtown:

butter_chicken_poutine (37)

Now, this dish actually came together better than I thought. The fries were nice and crispy, the curds were warm enough to melt, although they didn’t really squeak, and the butter sauce was pretty much on point. The chunks of chicken were, well, edible at least, although they didn’t really add that much in terms of texture or flavour. But hey, while I won’t be opening a frozen wing of the Poutine Hall of Fame anytime soon, I will say that this was just as good as I expected, if not better. It’s definitely not the worst thing I ever ate out of a box—that would have to be Swanson Hungry-Man Cheeseburger, bro!

hungryman_prod_pakangleshot_angusbeefcharbroilxxlsandwich

Meaty quadruple decker on the Danforth, dude!

My motto in life has gotta be “Why eat one meat when you can have four?” Real talk, bro. But hey, that’s only because “When it’s right, it’s right” was already taken by Ron Burgundy. So, we’re hangin’ out at Greenwood Smokehouse, this cozy, homestyle BBQ joint just a Will Ferrell fastball away from Pape Station. This is probably the first BBQ joint I’ve been to–and I’m certainly no stranger to barbecue–where they had an open kitchen, so you come out of there smelling like hickory. But that’s the price you gotta pay for eating four meats between two slices of bread sometimes, y’know?

danforth_decker (10)

They call this the Danforth Decker, and it’s like a house party upper decker in Flavourtown–this sandwich is the shiznit, son! You’ve got beef brisket, you’ve got pulled pork, you’ve got ribs, house bacon ‘n cheddar, all between dry white toast. And they don’t just give you one section, or two sections, or three sections, but four whole sandwich sections, dude! Because why eat one meat sandwich when you can have four is pretty much my life story, bro!

Now, I will say that when you get this many meats slathered in the same sauce, you can’t always taste everything. I really didn’t get too many bacon-y notes, and if there’s cheese on this sandwich, it clearly dissolved into the meat tsunami. Not that I’m complaining–meat tsunami was my nickname in high school. It’s sorta like a sharknado, except instead of live sharks, you’ve got beef brisket, bro!

(Actually, I did have a shark sandwich in Cleveland, and hey, it wasn’t bad…)

This Persian-style burger is completely popping with flavour!

So, we’re cruisin’ down Dundas on Saturday, and it’s raining lions, tigers and bears. I forgot to put the top up on the Camaro, probably cuz I was still drunk on tacos from last night, so right now I’m wetter than a widowed wallaby in wintertime, and I need to stop somewhere to get out of the rain. That’s when I spotted this friendly neighbourhood Persian place over by the AGO called Sumac Kabob Kitchen.

Now, they’ve got all kinds of Middle-Eastern comfort food at this place–they even have a Persian poutine!–but it was the nine-dollar burger special that caught my eye. These days, I’d eat pretty much anything for nine bucks, bro…unless maybe it was vegan. And this ain’t no Burger King, two-for-five-dollar deal sammy either, son. Feast your eyes on this thing of beauty:

sumac_burger (5)

The beef was nicely seasoned, with some nice Middle-Eastern spices to it. You’ve got lettuce, tomato and red onions, and those shawarma-style pickle spears that I really dig. Then they poured a buncha garlic sauce on top, and put it in a pillowy potato bun–nothing wrong with that at all! My only complaint is that the sign said it also came with fries, but there were no french-fried potaters on my plate. That’s like Grand Theft Potato in Flavourtown, bro!!!!!!

Imma chugga-chugga choo choo this classic cocktail, dude!

So, we’re hanging out at York Station, this cozy little bar on the second floor of the Royal York Hotel. This place is so small, and hidden around a corner, that most people don’t even know it’s there. But they’ve been serving up classic cocktails and cheap eats since the 70’s–and when I say they, I mean Alina, the bartender, who’s been pouring drinks for 40 years!!!!!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I still slammed a couple Steamwhistles, but in a place like this, you want to get a classic, old-school drink, so I went all Don Draper and ordered an old fashioned, with bourbon:

york_station_old_fashioned (3)

This drink was TheBomb.ca, bro! You’ve got a nice boozy kick from the bourbon, a couple dashes of bitters, a splash of club soda and a cherry on top! I’m pretty sure I could pound three of these and still deliver the winning pitch to Lucky Strike!

york_station_sammies (1)

Now, if you’re not just having a liquid lunch, they’ve got all sorts of homestyle deli sandwiches for just two bucks a pop. You’ve got roast beef, salami and cheese, thickly sliced chicken and smoked salmon, plus a few more not seen here. They definitely don’t short-change ya on the meat though, bro–and the pickle is free!

But hey, if you wanna stop by after work, you gotta get here early–they’re only open from 12 to 7, Mondays through Fridays. Then again, you can always hit up the Library Bar downstairs for a pint or seven of the home-brewed Apiary Ale, son!!!!!

This is northern style barbecue, bro!

Now, I thought I’d had every kind of barbecue I could find in this city, but have you ever had Scandinavian smoked meat, bro? Cuz that’s what’s on the menu at Karelia Kitchen, this funky, homestyle joint on Bloor Street, just a couple blocks west of Dufferin. Their Smokehouse Platter has got smoked salmon, it’s got smoked trout, pork loin, chicken and all kinds of pickled veggies—dude, I even ate some pickled pumpkin!

karelia_smokehouse_platter (8)

karelia_smokehouse_platter (10)

karelia_smokehouse_platter (12)

(Pickled pumpkin FTW!)

karelia_smokehouse_platter (14)

karelia_smokehouse_platter (16)

karelia_smokehouse_platter (22)

Now, when you’ve having Scandinavian BBQ, you can’t just wash it down with a Coors Light. This here is Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale, from Beau’s Brewing. So, this funky Danish brewmaster is hanging out with the Beau’s boys in Eastern Ontario, and they create this crazy, hoppy, fruity brew that’s goes perfect with smoked trout, son!

kissmeyer_beer (1)

Of course, even after polishing off a plateful of food from the fjords, you know I still had room for dessert! And at this place, that means a massive slice of Kvæfjordkake, the national cake of Norway. You’ve got all kinds of crazy flavours going on here, bro! They take a sponge cake, put some meringue on top, then dress it with almonds, and a side of fresh berries and vanilla cream. This will fix your Transilvanian Hunger, Fenriz!

norway_national_cake (1)