Hogtown Eats

Taking down a 10-pound turkey leg @ Fall n’ Leaves!

So, we’re hanging out at Fall n’ Leaves, this funky, fall-themed pop-up at Richmond and Bathurst, open from October 1st to the 31st. Man, this place has everything — bonfires, inflatable bowling, pumpkins, picnic tables — and some funky fresh food like wood-fire pizza, Thanksgiving poutine and pumpkin spice corn. Now, I’ve already had turkey a couple times this month, but when I saw they were serving up smoked turkey legs, I knew there was one with my name on it, son!!!!!!

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Dude, this thing was so freakin’ yuuuge, I almost needed two hands to lift it! This culinary dumbbell in Flavourtown packs all kinds of meat, along with a whole buncha gristly bits — it’s kinda like an obstacle course to get to the good stuff at the end. But you KNOW this is just dinner for one in Flavourtown, son!!!!!

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Now, I also went with a side of pumpkin spice corn, cuz I had to try it. This combo doesn’t really work though, bro. Pumpkin spice and sour cream on corn on the cob!? Luckily, they only spiced one side, cuz the spice was a little heavy — it was kinda like taking the cinnamon challenge, but with a pumpkin on the table next to you…

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Now, what beer could be better for these festivities than an Oktoberfest Lager from Spearhead, coming straight outta Kingston? This nice, crispy boi is a little heavy at 5.8% — but you don’t really notice when you’re stuffing your face with 10 pounds of meat. In fact, I think I’m gonna need another beer…

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This Kingston-crafted NEIPA was definitely hoppier than some of the other beers of that style that I’ve had lately, but I’m not complaining. It also doesn’t feel like you’re drinking 7% with this one…but that may just be the turkey leg talking.

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Now, it was getting pretty wet by the time we left, so I wasn’t able to go back for dessert. I think I still had room for dessert, though…

 

 

 

 

 

GRAND OPENING: This dry-aged duck definitely doesn’t suck!!!

Now, we don’t always do fine dining here on Triple B, but when we do, you KNOW it’s gonna be honky-tonk redonkadonk, bro! So, we’re hanging out at Joni, this new joint that just opened up in the Park Hyatt on Bloor Street. This place is serving up breakfast, lunch AND dinner, and while I dunno if I’d pay 32 bucks for a Classic Canadian Breakfast, bro, I don’t mind dishing out that much for some bees wax poached lobster:

Now, obviously you’re not getting a whole lobster at that price — pretty sure I’ve seen shrimp that were bigger than this, son! And it doesn’t even take up half of the plate… But while you can totally pig out on two (for one) Typhoon Crispy Lobster Mountains for about as much money, this here lobster is much, much tastier.

Speaking of tasty, it’s time for the main event! This dry-aged duck breast is cooked to a nice medium-rare, with super-crispy skin. Plus, you’ve got pickled cherries, confit turnip and some licorice crumble — definitely my first time eating any of those things!!!!

But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! And all the desserts here have one-word names, like cacao, apple or citrus — of course, I went for the chocolate. Basically, you’ve got some chocolate sponge cake, with two kinds of ice cream — chocolate and lemon! Nothing wrong with that at all, although I think I still had room for another dessert…

This footlong turkey & bacon roll is heading straight down my piehole!!!!

Now, I wasn’t planning on ordering takeout for Thanksgiving, especially after riding on the turkey train, but when I heard that The Rabbit Hole, this British pub in the Financial District, was serving up some funky Thanksgiving Day specials, I was all over that like bubble on squeak, mate! Cuz this ain’t your ordinary turkey dinner — we’re talking a footlong turkey & bacon sausage roll, son!!!

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Dude, this thing’s so big, they had to cut it in half! We’ve got a nice, flaky pastry, stuffed with ground turkey and little bits of bacon…plus there’s this cranberry HP sauce that’s so outta bounds, I’d put it on a flip-flop!!!

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When I decided I was doing Thanksgiving dinner, I had to get a couple brewskis for the occasion. Luckily, my local LCBO had like 5-6 different pumpkin beers in stock, from the likes of Great Lakes, Flying Monkeys and more. But I had to go with The Great Pumpkin by St. Ambroise — just based on the name alone. You can definitely smell the pumpkin when you crack ‘er open and lift up the glass…but it’s actually a pretty smooth, easy-drinking beer.

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Of course, even after sucking down that big 12-inch, we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! This O&B Artisan Pumpkin Pie comes with caramel sauce and a pumpkin spice cream, but it’s a little pricey at 10 bucks a slice. I guess I thought I’d be getting a little more pie for my buck here…

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But dessert time means it’s time for another beer, bro! And on a shelf full of pumpkin ales, this Tales from the Patch Pumpkin Porter definitely stands out. I can say that it doesn’t really taste like pumpkin pie when you’re drinking it with pumpkin pie, but it still had a nice, rich flavour that goes well with dessert.

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All aboard the turkey train, bro!!!!

Now, the last time we celebrated Thanksgiving dinner on Triple B was at STK steakhouse — y’know, back in 2019, before this whole pandemic thing. But now that we’re allowed to go outside again, it still seems like more restaurants are doing Thanksgiving dinner kits than actually serving up turkey dinner this year. But waaay up in Uxbridge, in the heart of Durham Region, they’re dishing out a funky Thanksgiving feast…on an muthafuckin train! Chugga-chugga chew-chew, bro!!!!!

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We’re starting off with a butternut squash soup and a fistful of dinner rolls. Nothing wrong with that at all…

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And now for the main event. Turkey was nice ‘n tender, and the stuffing was like big chunks of bread pudding… I’d put that on a flip-flop! Potatoes, gravy and veggies were nothing special, although I really liked the skin on the piece of squash — it kinda tasted like candy, bro!

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Speaking of dessert, they’re serving up these cute little pumpkin pies with a caramel drizzle and dabs of strawberry jam. Not sure that I got the jam thing, but otherwise, the flavours were on point. The best part of this dinner was that I didn’t have to cook…although I wouldda gone back for seconds if I did!!!

Now, the train kept a rollin’ right until dinner was served — although you really couldn’t see anything out the window, cuz it was dark and in the middle of nowhere. And then after we finished eating, they really sped back to the station. But other than that, it kinda felt like having turkey dinner at a diner. Which I guess is better than eating it at a steakhouse…

Super-tasty seafood tajine @ Sultan’s Tent

Now, we’ve had some real-deal meals from all over the world right here on Triple B — without even leaving Toronto — but I think this might be our first time for Moroccan food. We’re hanging out at The Sultan’s Tent, this funky joint on Wellington, and some of the dishes seem kinda familiar, like something I mighta had at places like Darna or Amal…but there’s also a French influence with some of the food on the menu, like filet mignon or shrimp provencal. Don’t think I’m gonna go the French route here, though…

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Starting off with some hummus and pita. Now, I like hummus, and I like pitas…but it was a bit of a bummer that this dish came with pita chips instead of fresh pita bread. I still ate every last bite of it though, bro!!!!

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But now let’s get to the good stuff. We’re talkin’ seafood tajine, served in a clay pot, with shrimp, scallops and calamari in tomato sauce, rice, bell peppers and a lemon wedge. All the seafood was cooked perfectly — the shrimp was especially tasty — and it’s not every day I get to eat out of a clay pot, bro!!!

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We’re washing it down with a couple Moroccan Brown Ales from the renegades of funk at Spearhead. I mean, if you’re gonna have a Moroccan joint in Toronto, this is the beer you should be pouring — coming straight outta Kingston(!) with dates, figs, raisins and a dash of cinnamon!!!

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Now, just the other day I said the chocolate brownie stack at Vela was the best dessert I’ve had in 2021. But man, this chocolate cake is definitely right up there! I don’t really think chocolate cake when I think Morocco, but I would definitely order this again, bro! Nice and rich, but not too heavy, with some mixed berries and a cream cheese icing on the side…it’s got everything I want in a dessert — except maybe some ice cream?

Iberico Pork Secreto: It’s like a pork secret handshake in Flavourtown…

Normally, when I go to a fancy steakhouse like Vela, this new funky joint on Portland Street, I’m probablt gonna order the steak. But it turns out this place doesn’t have any steaks bigger than 12 ounces — which is literally a light snack in Flavourtown — so when I saw Iberico Pork Secreto on the menu, I kinda wanted in on the secret:

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Now, it may be a mystery as to what part of the pig pork secreto comes from — somewhere between the neck and the shoulder, apparently — but its taste is pretty outta bounds. It’s kinda like a cross between boneless ribs and a nice ribeye steak, grilled up steakhouse style with a hearty romesco sauce and a whole lotta shishito peppers, blistered on the grill for that extra smoky kick. Man, there were almost more peppers than pieces of meat…but I still ate everything but the stems, son!!!!

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Speaking of stems, this meal started off with an order of crispy maitake mushrooms, deep-fried to perfection with a chipotle ranch dip… Dude, I would put that on a flip-flop, and I’m not even wearing flip-flops!!!!

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We washed it all down with some Ransack the Universe, a heavy (6.8%), hoppy (85 IBUs) IPA from my homeboys at Collective Arts. Man, that might be some of the best artwork I’ve ever seen on a beer can…

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And you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! This brownie stack was absolutely delectable, with a double dose of brownies topped with salted caramel, candied pecans and a scoop of cocoa sorbet. This honestly might be the best dessert I’ve had in 2021 — dude, it’s like the KFC Double Down of desserts, bro!!!!!!1!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: Funky Japanese tapas & beers in Little Portland

Just when you thought patio season was over, they pull you back in with a mini heatwave sending temperatures up to 24 degrees at the start of October, son! So, we’re hanging out in Little Portland, around Dundas and Ossington, where some of the most popular patios are already packed — but they still had several tables available at Bar Shozan, this funky little Japanese joint. You can get sushi and ramen here, but for 10 bucks a pop, they’ve also got some real-deal izakaya-style bar food…dude, this is body by izakaya-style bar food!!!!

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These shrimp ‘n corn skewers are coming in hot, bro! These seafood lollipops in Flavourtown pop with nice bites of shrimp and little kernels of corn. Pretty sure I could slam, like, 10 of these…I just need to wait for them to cool down first!!!!

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Speaking of skewers, this pork belly yakiton is too legit to quit! Pork is fork-tender, with a nice, tangy miso sauce and one green onion for that serving of veggies. This was probably my favourite dish, right here…

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Now, when I saw they had wings on the menu, I couldn’t NOT order them, bro! These Tebasaki wings were nice ‘n crispy, a little sweet, with just a bit of a kick at the end. Oh, and there was enough green onions on this plate to feed Booker T and the MGs!!!!

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Now, this place is serving up all three main Japanese beers — Sapporo, Asahi AND Kirin — as well as five different beers from Far Yeast Brewing, including a couple I’ve never even seen before. But I stayed in Toronto with an Otsukaresama from our local Japanese-influences craft brewers at Godspeed. Despite its name, which apparently means something like “good job” (I speak the third most Japanese in the Triple B Posse, bro!), this is actually a German-style lager, with hops and malt straight outta Dortmund. And it goes great with some wings and pork skewers… Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto!!!!

I’m gonna crush these beers like Bo crushes Yankees pitchers, bro!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Rogers Centre, where the Jays are locked into an epic series against the New York Yankees. Last night, my homeboy Bo Bichette went off, with three hits and two homers, including the game-winning blast in the bottom of the eighth. And now we’re back at the ballpark for some footlong franks and victory beers, bro!!!

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What could be better than meat in tube form? How about 12 inches of meat, son!!! This footlong hotdog is so big, it doesn’t even fit into the bun! However, they got rid of the self-service condiment station, and only gave out packets of ketchup, relish and mustard (which I couldn’t open, for some reason)…but that doesn’t make this dugout dog any less delicious!

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Fries were warm and crunchy at the bottom, but the ones up top were cold and soggy. That’s not to say I didn’t eat every last one, son!!!!

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And when it comes to beer, the only options here were Budweiser, Bud Light or Stella Artois. Part of me wasn’t sure it was worth paying two dollars more for Stella…but I don’t think any part of me thinks it’s worth paying anything for Bud Light, so the choice was obvious. 😛

This bar’s alright, if you like IPAs…

Now, unlike my brother from another mother Guy Fieri, we don’t have Dives in our name on Triple B. But that doesn’t mean we only frequent the most upstanding drinking establishments — sometimes, we just want a good, cheap beer in a funky joint with punk rock on the stereo, like Bryden’s on Bloor St or Squirly’s on Queen West. So when I heard about this place called Wasted Youth Bar, just a drunken stumble from Ossington Station, it seemed like my kinda place. And with 6-dollar beers on “Fucked Up Fridays,” well, I just might have a couple… 😉

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We’re starting off with Canuck, a Canadian classic and one of my favourite IPAs. I know they’ve got other beers — more on that in a minute — but when I think of Great Lakes Brewery, this is the first one that comes to mind.

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But now we’re about to funk it up a notch with a Miami Weiss white pale ale from Great Lakes. Dunno the IBUs on this one, but it’s definitely hoppier than its Canuck counterpart. And I’d kinda like to see what it looks like in a glass…but this joint ain’t classy enough for glasses, bro!!!!!

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Speaking of funky, this Burst New England Pale Ale fits the bill. It’s a lot lighter at 4.5% and less hoppy, making it highly crushable. I could probably pound at least seven of these…

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Now, they’ve only got two things on the food menu at Wasted Youth: hot dogs and nacho chips. (No, not nachos, just the chips.) And while those are a few of my favourite things, I just needed something more substantial after slaying seven IPAs. Good thing they let you order takeout from other places. In my drunken stupor, I Ubered up this chicken souvlaki from a nearby joint called East Coast Donair & Grill. Was it the best souvlaki I’ve ever had? No, not really. But I was drunk and hungry, and it got the job done…

Oh, and I paired it with one of the three beers currently on tap — People’s Pint Italian Pilsner. I guess you could say I needed a break from IPAs. 😛

These deep-fried lamb balls are magically delicious!!!

Back at the beginning of First Lockdown, I ordered a whole Pekin duck from R&D…and ate it all myself. Dude, that duck was delicious! So now that they’re open for indoor dining again, we decided to stop by for another funky dish — how bout some deep-fried lamb balls, bro???

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Now, I know what you’re thinking…but we’re NOT nibbling on nutsacks here. These lamb croquettes are stuffed with braised lamb shank, potatoes and onions, served in a sea of lamb curry with some donkey sauce on the side. Dude, you KNOW I love lamb bro, and these tender little flavour nuggets just melt in my mouth!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event: chicken fried karaage style with a seaweed donkey sauce and a some lemon on the side. Man, this chicken was juicy, crispy…and coming in so hot I burned the back of my mouth, bro! And for 22 dollars, you get more than enough to share — unless you’re the type of person who eats a whole Pekin duck to themself. 😉

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And since the name of this blog isn’t Chicken, Croquettes & Coca-Cola, we’re washing this down with a Fountain Green IPA from Furnace Room Brewery in downtown Georgetown. First time I’ve ever heard of this beer, or even this brewery, but it checks all the boxes than an IPA should, so it’s all good in the Flavourhood!!!!

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