Hogtown Eats

Eating all the tacos @ Añejo

So we’re hanging out at Añejo, this funky Mexican joint on King West. Last time we were here, I went to town on this Mexican meat mountain in Flavourtown, which was soooo outta bounds, bro! But you KNOW we can’t go to a Mexican place and not eat tacos — so that’s why it’s time for another visit.

Now, this place has got about a dozen tacos on the menu, but the fancier ones only come in threes. However, you can get their “Tacos Classico” in any combination of one, three or six — and with six different kinds, that means I’m having one of each.

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Forget about saving the best for last — we’ve having this one first, son!  I’m talking Barbacoa, a super tender pulled beef short rib with crunchy bites of raw jalapeños… I could slam, like, six of these alone!!!

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But we’ve moving right along to the Chicken Tinga taco. I usually find chicken tacos to be boring, but this one was a cut above — meat was very tender, although it did not have much of a kick.

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On the other hand, the Braised Mushrooms Taco is both the sauciest and spiciest one so far. Not quite as hot as the mushroom birria at Rosalinda… but I definitely needed a few sips of Michelada after this!!!

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The Chorizo Crumble was not too dry or too spicy. Basically, it was like ground beef — except it’s sausage. Oh, and a bunch of of it fell out the back…

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When it comes to pork tacos, though, I preferred the Pulled Pork. This one gets the job done with a nice little tang, son!!!

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Crispy Fried Tilapia was both crispy and flaky. A bit of the house made crema really kicks it up a notch!!!

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! Last time, I tried the tarta de chocolate, but now we gotta go for the churros. Hot ‘n crunchy, with a whole buncha powdered sugar, and some chocolate sauce on the side for dipping… There’s nothing wrong with that at all!!!

Goin’ all Guy Fieri on fish and pasta @ Fieramosca!!!

Dude, you KNOW this is body by Italian food, bro! So when I heard about Fieramosca Trattoria, this funky little joint on a side street just a meatball’s throw away from St. George, I definitely had to check it out! This place has been dishing out Italian classics since 1980, so you know it’s gotta be good. And while there’s no shortage of pizza, pasta and meat dishes on the menu — they’ve even got not one, not two, but three different versions of veal scaloppini –we decided to go with the Grigliata Mista di Pesce, aka grilled seafood platter:

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You won’t miss Meat Mountain when you’ve got this smorgasbord of seafood, son! There’s three different kinds of fish here — salmon, halibut AND sea bream — plus calamari and tiger shrimp, along with a whole lotta potatoes, peppers, green beans and two baby carrots. Dude, this is enough food to feed at least two people…and since I actually shared this dish, I still had room for pasta:

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I am sooooo trippin’ balls over this mushroom tagliatelle, bro! You’ve got three kinds of shrooms — oyster, porcini AND shitake — on top of thick, chewy noodles in a white wine cream sauce. Shut the front, back and side doors!!!!!!!!

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! This leaning tower of tiramisu tastes just like Nonna makes it — except maybe for that chocolate sauce swirl around the outside. But that didn’t stop me from scarfing it all down, son!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Killin’ a cacio e pepe pizza for breakfast, bro!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Stock T.C., this funky joint at Yonge & Eglinton that’s a collaboration between Sud Forno, Terroni and Cumbrae’s. I am no stranger to any of these places, whether it’s the square pizza at Sud Forno or the rooftop patio at Terroni on Price, where they’re serving up one of my personal favs, the Focu Meu. So it’s pretty safe to say that I’ll be ordering pizza here, too.

Now, Stock T.C. has got 15 different pies in the sky, but it was the last one on the menu that caught my eye: Cacio e Pepe Uova e Tartufo. It’s like a delicious run-on sentence in Flavourtown!!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got a nice, chewy, thin-crust pizza topped with cheese and pepper, with two kinds of cheeses — mozzarella AND Percorino Romano, bro! Then they put not one, but two eggs in the middle, and shred a whole buncha black truffle overtop. Now, the cheesiness of this pizza is pretty good on its own, but when you get some egg yolk in there, and maybe a bite of truffle, that right there is the ticket!!!

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Now, this place only has six beers to choose from — and one of them’s non-alcoholic — so instead I went with a Caesar. I gotta say, this drink was not very spicy, and I couldn’t really taste the booze. I might as well have been drinking a Krombacher 0.0, bro!!!!

3-course Mother’s Day brunch @ Gallery Grill

We may have been raised by wolves on Triple B, but that doesn’t stop us from going to Mother’s Day Brunch, bro! We’re hanging out at the Gallery Grill, this funky joint inside Hart House on the U of T campus, where they’re serving up a three-course Mother’s Day brunch for 50 bucks. Mama, Mama, I’m coming hooooome!!!!

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Now, the starters were all salad, except for this one soup. So I went with the cheesiest salad available, with Buffalo mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes and arugula. I think this would go pretty good on top of a burger, bro!!!

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For the main course, we’re doing steak and eggs, son! Steak is a nice medium rare, with two sunny-side up eggs, a couple pieces of toasted baguette bread and some bland, unseasoned homefries. Oh, and there’s also a side salad. Dude, this has gotta be the most salad I’ve ate all year!!!!

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For dessert, we’re crushing a 70% chocolate sorbet, with crunchy chunks of aquafaba meringue. Apparently, aquafaba is the liquid left over from a can of chickpeas. #TheMoreYouKnow, bro!!!!!

Chowing down on Wynona’s big brown branzino, bro!

Man, I remember back in the day when all you had to eat around Gerrard Square was McDonald’s. But since then, a buncha funky joints opened up in a neighbourhood sometimes known as Gerrones, and just a couple blocks away, across from a new condo under construction, you’ve got Wynona, this cozy little place serving up seafood and Italian comfort food. I mean, it’s not every day you get gabagool on the menu, bro!!!!

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This Italian cured pork product (known as Capocollo to people who’s never watched The Sopranos) is drizzled with honey and topped with a shredded cow’s milk cheddar, along with a couple banana peppers for that added bada bing. But you KNOW this is just an appetizer in Flavourtown…

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While the menu here changes weekly, there’s a good chance they’ve got branzino, a grilled European sea bass served with brown butter, olives and capers. Take me to the river, bro!!!!

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And what better beer to wash this down than Marco Polo, an Italian-style pilsner from Indie Alehouse? These guys run the bottle shop at Eataly, so you know they know Italian — and the crispness of this one is definitely on point.

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Of course, we’ve still got room for dessert, and you’ve got two choices here, creme caramel or chocolate cake. That’s basically a no-brainer in Flavourtown, bro! They kick this cake up a notch with chocolate pastry cream, sour cherries and a dollop of whipped cream — you KNOW they whip it good, De-bro!!!!

Put the absinthe in the coconut, and drink ’em both up, bro!!!!

Now, we don’t usually go to cocktail bars on Triple B. I mean, the name of this blog is NOT Burgers, Bacon and Bourbon…although that would still be a pretty sweet blog, bro. But man, I dunno how many times I have stumbled past BarChef on Queen West in one of my drunken stupors, so I figured it was time to finally go inside and check it out. And let’s just say you do not go here to order a beer…

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Instead, we’re kicking off this shindig with a Coconut & Absinthe Sour. They say it’s a pina colada meets the green fairy, and while I wouldn’t mind getting caught in the rain with a few of these, it tasted more like pineapple than absinthe to me. I’m also pretty sure I didn’t start hallucinating afterwards — so they couldn’t have put too much absinthe in there, could they?

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Up next, we’ve got the Charred Strawberry, with strawberry gin, scotchy scotch scotch, four kinds of bitters, two kinds of Marachinos and some charred caramelized strawberries blended in there somewhere. Although it comes in a manly rocks glass, this drink was quite fruity — you can get Girl Drink Drunk in style with this one, son!!!!

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And now we’re got a BarChef classic, the Four Seven Two, named after the place’s address (472 Queen St West). This one takes a bourbon & coke — or rather, cola bitters — and mixes it with lime and mint for a little bit of mojito and mint julep, all rolled into one! This concoction has gotta be the most crushable of the three — and at $17, it’s also the least expensive. (Hey, their signature Vanilla & Hickory Smoked Manhattan will set ya back 55 bucks… although it does come in a smokey dome, so there’s that.)

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Of course, we ain’t crushing cocktails on an empty stomach, bro! These beef barbacoa tostadas put the small in small plates — but you do get a lotta meat in every bite.

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We’re chasing that with some chicken karaage, or as they call it, Japanese fried chicken. These hot, tender, crunchy fried chickens really hit the spot — I could pound at least 12 of these, bro!!!!!

$25 AYCE Filipino Fiesta Brunch @ Kanto

Now, I’m always up for AYCE, and this is body by buffet, so when I heard that Kanto by Tita Flips, this funky Filipino joint in The Junction, was serving up an AYCE Filipino buffet on Sundays, I shut the back door and bought a 25-dollar ticket. You KNOW I’m gonna get my money’s worth, bro!!!!!

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Now, you won’t find a prime rib carving station at this buffet, but they do have lechon, a roast suckling pig, freshly carved and ready to go. Man, I musta grabbed at least 10 pieces of this here piggy piggy…

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Another famous Filipino pork dish is sisig, with bits of pork belly and jowl mixed with chicken liver, chili peppers, and a poached egg on top. Dude, this dish is magically delicious!!!!

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We may not be at Jollibee…but they’re still serving up some boneless fried chicken, which is nice ‘n crunchy, and tender on the inside. I think I had at least five pieces of this…

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While you can’t get some waffles with that chicken, you can have a made-to-order ube pancake, which is nice and fluffy, with just a bit of purple sweet potato punch.

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And if you like it sweet, give this chocolate porridge a try. Actually, I think this might taste good on top of those ube pancakes…

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And, since it was Easter Sunday, they passed around these little mini ube cupcakes with a chocolate Easter egg on top. Nice little finishing touch…

Of course, this is just barely scratching the surface of all the various soups, stews and sausages we scarfed down yesterday. And did I mention they have a sweet tea station? For 25 bucks, you really can’t go wrong, bro!!!!!

This 24 oz porterhouse is a righteous Easter Feaster!

Now, I’m not saying we won’t be going for Easter Sunday brunch on Triple B…but the real Easter feaster already happened last night. We’re talkin’ steak night at Morton’s, with the biggest cut of meat on the menu — 24 ounces of porterhouse steak, son!!!!!

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Dude, this steak is cooked to perfection — medium-rare, just the way I like it. I also splurged for some bacon-wrapped scallops, which were also cooked perfectly. And because the First Rule of Flavourtown is “Always add bacon” we also went for the Smoked Gouda & Bacon Au Gratin Potatoes, which has got pretty much everything you need in a side dish, right there. Now, this feaster cost me a pretty penny, but it was soooo good to the late bite, bro!!!!

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Of course, you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert — and at Morton’s, that can only mean one thing:

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Dude, Morton’s hot chocolate cake is so legendary, it’s literally right there in the name, bro! The oozy, dripping chocolate goes great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream — I didn’t start feeling full until after I polished this bad boy right off!!!!!

Whole lotta haggis @ The Caledonian

Dude, the last time I had haggis was on Robbie Burns Day at Mackenzie House in 2020 — one of the last Triple B adventures before the pandemic hit. So now that things are starting to feel a lot like normal, we’re chowing down on haggis two ways at The Caledonian, this funky Scottish pub on College St:

Now, the Scots are good at battered, fried things — more on that later — so I had to kick things off with some haggis fritters. These super-crunchy great balls of haggis are kinda like hush puppies on the outside, but they’re filled with some nicely spiced organs for that extra little kick.

Up next, we’ve got a Highland Haggis Burger, topped with blue cheese. Basically, it’s just a beef patty, topped with a haggis, topped with cheese, with no other veggies or condiments whatsoever — a perfect part of any meatatarian’s diet!!!

We’re washing this down with some Elvis Juice, a grapefruit-infused IPA from the Scottish hooligans at BrewDog. Now, I’ve been hearing about BrewDog for a while, dawg, but this is the first time I’ve seen one of their beers on tap — so I totally had to try it. Let’s just say they weren’t kidding about the “grapefruit-infused” part, cuz it tastes just like grapefruit juice. I would totally crush a few of these for brunch, bro!!!!!

But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, and in the dessert department, it doesn’t get more Scottish than a deep-fried Mars bar. I dunno who was the bonnie lad who first decided to drop a Mars bar in the deep-fryer…but to him, I say “You can take my freedom any day, bro!!!!!”

Vegan nachos & tacos and churros… Dios mío!

Now, you KNOW this is body by Mexican food, bro! And while I’ve had a few vegan tacos before, it only happens when I order every taco on the menu and one of them happens to be vegan. But now we’re hanging out at Rosalinda, this funky downtown Mexican joint…where all the food is vegan. So I guess I’ll be eating more than one vegan taco today, bro?

First, we’re starting off with some nachos that are not only vegan, but gluten-free. The chips are definitely extra-crunchy, but they still taste pretty good. Plus, you’ve got pico de gallo, guacamole and some jalapenos on top, which are a few of my favourite plant-based things, right there. The one thing this dish is really missing is cheese, though — while they do have a butternut “queso” drizzled on top (along with a cashew “crema”), it just doesn’t have the same texture or flavour as some shredded cheddar.

Now, I gotta give ’em credit for nailing the texture on these mushroom birria tacos. This is the first time we’ve had birria tacos with the dipping sauce on Triple B, even though I’ve seen ’em popping up everywhere since the pandemic started. Dude, this spicy mushroom stew is hearty enough that you don’t really miss the meat here. But these are some of the most expensive tacos I’ve seen in Toronto — 2 for $19 or 3 for $27. Dude, I could get 27 tacos from Latin World for that price, bro! (Not sure if I could eat them all, though…)

But since we only had three tacos here, that means I’ve still got room for dessert. And even though their Drunken Pineapple was my nickname from that time I went to Hawaii, I still had to go with the churros. I mean, I’m not sure what part of churros aren’t vegan to begin with, but these ones were pretty on-point, just a little on the crunchy side, though. You’ve also got dulce de leche on the inside, and chocolate sauce on the side, which makes for a pretty solid one-two punch in Flavourtown!!!!!

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