So, we’re hanging out at Yueh Tung Restaurant, this classy Chinese cuisine cookout just offa Dundas St in downtown Toronto. This place is known for its hot and spicy Hakka dishes, but whenever I see BBQ on a menu, I am contractually obligated to eat it–even if I did just stuff my face full of beef ribs the day before. Luckily, they don’t do BBQ beef here, but they do have chicken, and pork, and duck…oh my!!!
Unfortunately, they were all out of duck, I’m so lost without you–but I’m about to dive head-first into a pile of char siu. This might not have been the best Chinese BBQ pork I’ve ever had; it was a little on the fatty side, but dude, Fatty Char Siu was my nickname in Mandarin school!!!!
On the other hand, this sweet soy chicken was so far outta bounds, it’s taking my tastebuds down to Chinatown (which is only, like, a couple blocks away)! The chicken is cooked perfectly, nice and tender, and just melts in your mouth. And then you’ve got a little bit of that sweet soy sauce over top. Man, I could eat this off a tennis shoe! But you’re gonna wanna eat that chicken slow, baby, cuz like my homeslice Gord Downie once told me, it’s full of all them little bones!!!!
Man, I love the smell of grilled meat in the morning! And this weekend, at Yonge-Dundas Square, they’re all fired up like Pat Benatar from 11 am until 11 pm for the Northern Heat Series Yonge Dundas Square Ribfest. At this place, they grill ’em all–chicken, ribs, pulled pork, and this tender nugget of beef-love in Flavourtown, served up in a slab for 23 bucks and change, son!
Now, we got our ribs from Oak & Barrel straight outta Chilliwack, and lemme tell ya, they weren’t gone gone gone too long straight down my piehole, bro! They’ve got this wicked-awesome whiskey-soaked BBQ sauce that takes this dish straight down to Downtown Flavourtown. We scarfed down so many of these suckers that my body is at least 5% beef rib right now. Good thing I don’t hafta take a Beefalyzer before getting behind the wheel of the Camaro!!!!
Now, I’ve scarfed down lobster nachos, a lobster burger and even some surf, turf ‘n earth pierogis all over this city, but I’ve yet to find me a real-deal, full-course-meal lobster roll in Toronto…until now. So we’re hanging out at Smoked & Cracked, this funky, smoky seafood joint in Mount Pleasant Village, and lemme tell ya, this place is all it’s cracked up to be, and then some, son! We’re talkin’ bout the Big Crack, a roll so rolltatious that they put an entire 1.5-pound lobster inside! It’s like a seafaring submarine sandwich in Flavourtown!!!!
Now, this has gotta be the freshest, tastiest lobster roll I’ve ever eaten. The bun was buttery and delicious, the huge chunks of lobster just melt in your mouth, and the potato salad was super-legit. When you’ve got lobster this good, you almost don’t wanna use the tartar sauce and lemon on the side, cuz it only detracts from the deliciousness. The coleslaw was freshly made too, although it had maybe a couple too many veggies for my meatarian tastes. But you know I still ate it all bro, cuz I wanted to get my money’s worth…65 bucks plus tax and tip!!!!
So, we’re hanging out at Birreria Volo, this funkalicious back-alley brewpub next to The Royal on College Street. But more importantly, it’s also right next to PG Clucks, this little hole-in-the-wall chicken shack that’s serving up the best fried chicken sandwich in the city. I had never been there before, cuz it’s like, where I am suppose to sit and eat, bro? But when I found out they were serving up their sammies next door at Volo—with five-dollar pints of local craft beer, to boot—I was all over this like Hootie from the Blowfish gone country!
At Volo, they call this the Miele, but PG Clucks just calls it jalapeno honey chicken. Either way, I call it delicious. You’ve got big, thick, crunchy, juicy chicken, with a whole lotta sweetness from the honey, a little spicy kick from the jalapenos, and a super-soft and squishy bun. It’s like a festival of funk in Flavourtown Market!
Now, I only speak the third-best Italian, but I now know that sottacetti fritti means deep-fried pickles. These fried flavour nuggets of awesomeness are hot ‘n juicy, with a nice crispy breading. Pretty sure I could slam 17 of these, but they only come four to an order!!!!
And you know I wasn’t gonna go to a place like this and NOT drink beer, bro! So I opted for some Vim and Vigor, a nice, German-style pilsner from the righteous bros at Tooth and Nail in the nation’s capital. I’m pretty sure Sens fans are slamming some of these after that big win last night! It goes down nice and smooth, with just enough of an aftertaste, so you know you’re not drinking water or Coors Light or something. And hey, did I mention that it’s five bucks a pint on Tuesdays!? Shut the side door, dude!!!
So, we’re hanging out at Wvrst, the funky craft-beer sausagefest on King St. West. Last time I was here, I went for the thunder down under, with a tie-me-kangaroo-down-sport sausage and some dirty duck done dirt cheap. But tonight, it’s all about the Top Gun, son! We’re taking you right into the Danger Zone with these bacon-wrapped Danger Dogs:
Now for me, hot dogs are like potato chips–there’s no way I can eat just one. So the one on the left is sweet ‘n sour with sauerkraut and sweet peppers, and the one on the right kicks it up a notch with onions and fresh jalapenos. None of that pussy pickled shit! The dogs are grilled perfectly, hot and juicy, and the bacon adds that crispy crunch. I could probably slam another three of these, bro!
So now, we’re cranking the Kenny Loggins, we’ve got our aviator shades on, and Kelly McGillis riding shotgun…all that’s missing is the need for speed. So how’s this for a speed racer?
This B.C. craft beer packs a punch, with 6.5% alcohol and 80 IBUs. It’s about as bitter as it gets when Tom Cruise is cruising on a Kawasaki and you’re stuck on a 10-speed. But it sure helps all the hot peppers go down smooth, son!!!
So, we’re back at Drake One Fifty, this funky fresh financial-district joint—only this time it’s for dinner. Now, this place has got pizzas, burgers and even eggplant parm, but I wanted something I couldn’t get anywhere else…like this righteous dish, venison paccheri, cuz you know I speak the third-best Italian, broseph!
Now, this is probably one of the top three deer dishes I’ve ever had—and it’s the only one that wasn’t served up by a good ol’ boy in a trucker hat. The venison is rich and tender, over a bed of big-ass noodles and some cheese on top. The paccheri weren’t exactly al dente, but hey, a crunchy noodle probably wouldn’t work well beneath slow-cooked Bambi, amirite?
So, the last time I was at Rashers, I wanted to eat everything on the menu, but it was a case of so many bacon, such little time. So I scarfed down a scrumptious BLT sammy, but I knew I’d be back for this culinary masterpiece, the bacon burger:
Now, this is like paradise by the bacon-board light, bro! For starters, they’re putting bacon bits in the ground beef for that extra pork kick. You’ve got fresh, crisp lettuce, a nice, juicy tomato, some zingy chipotle aioli and a toasted bun…but really, it’s all about the bacon. The texture is just perfect, not too crispy, not too chewy, and the pork flavour is utterly redonkulous. If they made me a body bag outta bacon, I would zip myself up in it and eat my way out–it’s just that good!
Of course, you can’t have a burger without fries, and these ain’t yer grandfather’s spuds, son! At Rashers, they’ve got both kinds: curly AND wedges, and they come with your choice of seasonings. I went with smoked paprika, cuz dude, this is body by smoked paprika! And with the nice kick on that crispy coating, I don’t need no ketchup, bro!!!!