I’m about to go all Untouchables on this cotoletta di capone!!!

Dude, The Untouchables is one of my all-time favourite movies, bro! You’ve got Kevin Costner, Andy Garcia, Sean Connery and Robert muthafuckin’ De Niro wearing Al Capone’s underwear. Talk about a cinematic classic!!!

Now, I’ve never sent one of his to the morgue, but I have slayed a whole lotta Italian dishes in my day. So now we’re hanging out at Giulietta, this funky Italian joint on the west side of Dundas, where you can see people in leather jackets with punk rock patches walking down the street. The neighbourhood might not be gentrified, but that’s not to say this place ain’t fancy — it was just named Canada’s Best New Restaurant of 2019. But you can still walk in there wearing a Judas Priest t-shirt and a Calgary Flames camouflage trucker hat — trust me, I would know. 😉

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Now, before I could get to Capone, I had to go through his henchman, Salsiccia d’Agnello. Talk about a name straight outta a gangster film! This lemony lamb sausage was nice and sweet, with some braised fennel and a whole buncha grilled onions. Not even Prohibition could stop me from scarfing this down, son!!!

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And then I found myself staring down the Big Boss Man, Cotoletta di Capone. (His friends call him “Al.”) This crispy Italian schnitzel was served with some greens, pickled veg and a lemon wedge — and while it’s not quite as massive as the plate-sized pork cutlet at Tennessee Tavern, you might need a whole team of Untouchables to take this one down!

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Of course, since Prohibition is soooo 1920’s, I celebrated my takedown of Capone with a couple of Menabrea Biondas. I first had this Italian beer at Sud Forno, and while it’s nothing worth starting a temperance movement over…I would still drink it over Molson Canadian, any day!!!!

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All You Can Eat Asian @ Spring Rolls

Now, my motto’s always been “Why only eat some, when you can eat all?” So we’re hanging out at Spring Rolls, right at Yonge and Dundas, where you can get all you can eat Asian food for just 28 bucks, bro! And we’re not just talking sushi, we’re talking dim sum, bulgogi, calamari, lamb chops… and a whole lotta cupcakes for dessert! OK, now let’s break it down:

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This plateful of deep-fried goodness includes Japanese gyoza, deep-fried scallop cakes, and a beef satay skewer with a very uneven sauce distribution… But that’s not all we’re frying up here:

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Holy Octopus Balls, Batman! This takoyaki was so hot it almost melted my face off!!!

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Now here’s something I’ve never even seen before — they take a wonton, stuff it with cream cheese, and then drop it in the fryer. Man, the only way this would be better is if they used nacho cheese, bro!

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Of course, we’ve always got room for some calamari. Dude, this is body by calamari!

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Now, I guess we should probably order some sushi. On the right, we’ve got a salmon avocado roll, and then on the left, that’s a green dragon roll — crab meat, avocado and cucumber, with more avocado on top! Who needs a cherry when you can have avocado on top???

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But now we’re about to funk it up a notch, homes! This spider roll, spider roll does whatever a spider roll does — it’s got deep-fried soft shell crab, with some regular crab, avocado, cucumber and mayo… It’s like a Tobey Maguire upside-down kiss in Flavourtown!!!

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Now, I know at this point you’re probably asking “Where’s the beef, bro?” Well, it’s right here, son! This sizzling bulgogi beef is so chewy, you could pull it apart with a fork… Man, I could eat like 17 of these!

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But that’s not the only thing they’re sizzlin’ at Spring Rolls, son! This honey ginger chicken wasn’t quite as spicy as advertised…but you KNOW it’s still heading straight down my piehole!!!

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Now, here’s something I wasn’t expecting. Imagine having steak and lamb, and lamb and steak. Imagine having both of them, on just one plate… OK, so both of these pieces were well beyond medium rare, but they can still tag team my taste buds any day, bro!

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Now, if you like your Chinese food deep-fried and saucy — dude, Deep Fried ‘n Saucy is my dating profile handle! — then this Tango Mango Chicken is for you. You’ve got crunchy, crispy bird, mango, sweet, sweet onion and bell peppers, sauteed in a house special citrus tango mango sauce. Dude, you could put that on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!!

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Of course, even after slamming all those Asian taste sensations, we’ve still got room for dessert. Mini brownies, mini creme brulees, and five different kinds of mini cupcakes. The ones with the Oreos on top were my Flavourtown favourites…

 

Oodles of noodles @ Awas Tea Noodle

Now, neither noodles or soup are normally a part of my diet, but if you put the two together in a bowl with some beef brisket, then I could go for that. We’re hanging out at Awas Tea Noodle, this funky little joint right in the heart of Downtown Chinatown, where they’re serving up some real-deal Taiwanese food that’s heading straight down my piehole. Text me these noods, bro!!!!

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What we’ve got here is a boiled beef bone broth, with some thick ‘n slurpy noodles, baby bok choi and green onion…oh yeah, with some beef brisket on top! Now, this is definitely different from southern smoked BBQ brisket, but any way you slice it, I’m probably still gonna eat it!!!

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Now, as much as I might like to wash down some beef soup with a nice cold beer, you can’t get that here–so I settled for a lemon ice tea, instead. This beverage was fresh and refreshing, and I was surprised to find they actually left the tea bag at the bottom. This might be the only time that getting teabagged ain’t a bad thing, broseph!!!!

You call THAT a dinosaur rib, bro???

You know me, I loves me some beef ribs, bro! I once ate two beef ribs in three days, all in the name of friendly competition. So when I heard there was this new BBQ joint in the east end with Dinosaur Beef Ribs on the menu, I knew I had to come check it out. It turns out the dishes at Blackjack BBQ weren’t exactly as advertised, though…

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Now, I never ate a dinosaur before — I’m still waiting for someone to come up with a real-deal Hot Tub Time Machine — but I would definitely expect it to have bigger ribs. Even in the world of beef ribs, these are really not that big. And there’s a big fat lie right on the menu, where it says you get two to an order…they actually gave you three. But at least that wasn’t a bad lie.

On the other hand, I do not believe them when they say these puppies were hickory smoked. I did not taste any smokiness, nor was there any kind of smoke ring. These tasted more like they were boiled in a pot, and maybe finished in the oven — and I would know, because I tried that once, and it didn’t go that great. But I still think my hometown heroes were a bit better than this?

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Now, you mighta caught a glimpse of some green stuff on my plate. Do not adjust your set, I actually did order a side salad. But that’s only because I also went for some Texas Supreme Fries–what, you thought this was Burgers, Bacon and Greens or something???

Now, this was actually a pretty decent take on chili fries…but what killed it, and not in the way that my Bro-man from another Maman Johnny Gaudreau has been killing it for the Flames this season, was the sour cream. The coldness did not mix well with the hot fries and chili, and there was kind of a salty bitterness to it???

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I dunno bro, but next time I’m hangin’ with my homies in Gerrones, we’ll be chillin’ at Poor Romeo instead!!!

 

 

Big Lebanese Brunch @ The Depanneur

Now, if there’s one thing I love more than shawarma, it’s brunch, bro! And at The Depanneur, this funky little pop-up kitchen on College, they’ve serving up the best of both worlds with their Big Lebanese Brunch:

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got a personal pan pita, topped with halloumi cheese, chunks of salted lamb, scrambled eggs, hash browns and bit of middle eastern fried tomatoes, for that added colour. Man, if this was an actual pizza, I could slam at least seven slices, no problemo!

Now, the portion you see at the top of the page is actually intended for two people, but you know what they say… Just another light snack in Flavourtown, son!!!

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Does pulled jackfruit taste the same as pulled pork? Well…

Now, you won’t find “vegan” next to “BBQ” in the Flavourtown dictionary, but I’ve noticed a few BBQ joints in this city that have a vegan option…and it’s almost always jackfruit. Of course, I would never order BBQ jackfruit if I could get some ribs or beef brisket, bro! But now we’re hanging out at Planta, this funky vegan joint on Bay Street–and since all the food is vegan, I guess I might as well try it?

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They say that jackfruit “deceptively resembles pulled pork in texture” and they’re not completely wrong. Although I’d say it’s a little less stringy, and a little more clumpy. At Planta, they’re serving it up in their Jack of All Tacos with pineapple chutney, tomatillo salsa and a whole lotta cilantro. They also season the jackfruit with some guajillos, so it tastes like it belongs in a taco… but I dunno, it’s definitely missing the unctuousness of pulled pork. Malfunction at the Unction!!!

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On the other hand, their chicken fried mushrooms are pretty much on point. You know I like my chicken fried, cold beer on a Friday night, pair a jeans that fits just right and the radio uuuuup, Zac Broseph Band! And hey, turns out I like my mushrooms fried too…

Japanese katsu sando @ Koi Koi Sake Bar

Not gonna lie, I was pretty bummed out when I found out that Graffiti’s, home of the black metal brunch, in Kensington Market shut down. But now I hear that spot is home to this funky Japanese joint called Koi Koi that’s serving up a convenience store classic from the Land of the Rising Sun. I’ve been seeing katsu sammies all over my Instagram feed, but never had the chance to scarf down this sando until now, bro!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got a pretty thick pork chop, breaded ‘n fried, between two pieces of toasted white bread, with some great big globs of spicy mustard and one sad little leaf of romaine. And then, on the side you’ve got these burdock fries. Dude, what the fuck are burdock fries???

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Turns out that burdock is a root vegetable that’s pretty popular in Asia…but I can’t say I’ve ever had it before, and I’m not sure I would have it again. It sorta tastes like a bitter, chewy turnip–even when french-fried, I would NOT eat it off a flip-flop! In fact, I think I’m gonna need an ice cold brewski to wash this taste down…

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Good thing this place has got a few brews from Godspeed, a local craft brewery that gives all its beers Japanese names…even when they’re not even close to Japanese. Like Irori, a peated scotch lager that’s blended with scotch whiskey, and tastes an awful lot like scotch whiskey. I didn’t even realize this beer was 8% until I started singing air karaoke to Kirsten Dunst’s version of “Turning Japanese…”