Hogtown Eats

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: That’s a whole lotta torta, bro!!!

Now, I’ve been known to crush a torta or two in my time, so when I heard that El Charro, this funky Mexican joint at Danforth and Broadview, was serving up not one, not two, not three, not four, but five different tortas, you KNOW I had to check it out! But I couldn’t decide which one to get, so I ended up ordering la Charra, which is like the Meat Mountain of tortas, stuffed with everything but the kitchen sink, son!!!

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This mucho meat monstrosity comes with breaded chicken, breaded beef, al pastor pork, chorizo and eggs… and then they add brown beans, guacamole, onions, tomatoes and cheese. The sandwich was still nice and warm after coming all the way from Greektown, although the bread was starting to fall apart under all that meat. Dude, this belongs in the dictionary next to “sandwich that eats like a meal” — I feel like I could almost skip dinner after destroying this bad boy!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Fully loaded waffles from Starving Artist

Now, I don’t always get out of bed in time for breakfast, but the good news is I don’t even hafta get out of bed to order delivery, bro! So when I heard that Starving Artist, this funky, all-day brunch joint, was serving up fully loaded potato waffles, you KNOW I had to check it out!!!

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These bad boys are topped with everything you want on a baked potato — sour cream, chives, cheddar and bacon! I also paid extra to add avocado, bringing even more creaminess to the party….and it is a party in my mouth, bro, believe me! You also get a choice between fruit salad, potato salad or maple beans, as well as a non-optional green salad. At least, I didn’t see any way to remove the salad from my order. Hey, you don’t win friends with salad, bro!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: There’s pizza sauce on his sweater already…

Now, I’m no stranger to Detroit-style pizza, and you KNOW Eminem is my favourite rapper, bro, so when I heard about this funky little joint called 8mile Pizza, doing takeout and delivery, I definitely had to check it out!

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This here’s the Oh Canada! and it’s like the national anthem of Flavourtown. You’ve got pepperoni, bacon and mushrooms, with the sauce on top — cuz that’s how they do it in the Big D — and then they add some house-made ranch, for that extra creaminess. Dude, this is body by house-made ranch! Who needs mom’s spaghetti when you can have pizza, son???

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: That’s one baaaad motherclucker!

Now, even after demolishing four Popeyes fried chicken sandwiches, I’ve still got a need…a need for fried chicken, bro! So when I heard that Storm Crow Manor, home of the Dungeon Burger, had opened up a fried-chicken ghost kitchen called MotherCluckers, I knew I had to get that mothercluckin’ chicken in my mothercluckin’ mouth, Samuel L. Jack-son! And what better way to do it than with chicken and biscuits???

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Their Chicken & Biscuits Dee-Luxe comes with one chicken thigh, extra-crispy, two soft, buttery biscuits, and a big ol’ side of gravy in a separate container. Plus, I rolled the dice and paid three bucks more for some chickpea fries with a side of donkey sauce. Dude, I’d put that shit on everything!

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Now, those biscuits were TheBomb.gov, the chickpea fries were nice and doughy, and the chicken was plenty tasty…but this meal only comes with one piece of it. What the cluck, bro???

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Cow Tipper with One Ring to Rule Them All…

Dude, Clerks II was my second-favourite Clerks movie, so when I found out that Kevin Smith was bringing Mooby’s to Toronto as a pop-up, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro! Of course, I couldn’t actually go there, cuz we’re in Lockdown II, so I put on my Canadian tuxedo and ordered from Skip the Dishes, son!

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I wouldda just ordered a Skinny Calf with Cheese and a Diet Coke, but I didn’t see it on the menu… so instead I went for their classic double cheeseburger, the Cow Tipper. This was like a donkey show in my mouth, bro!

What we’ve got here are two well-done beef patties with American cheese, pickles and just a little bit of lettuce, along with Mooby’s sauce, which tastes a lot like mustard. Bun was not toasted, so it kinda melted into the meat. Still a pretty decent double cheeseburger, but I was almost looking forward more to the sides…

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Now, the Cow Tipper Burger Meal comes with your choice of sides — but I HAD to go with the Pickle Fuckers, bro! These deep-fried pickles were hot ‘n juicy, and you could finish them in less than four bites!!!

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But because this is body by deep fried things, I ordered another side, some Onion Rings to Rule Them All. Dude, this burning ring of onion looks even better than the one from that scene in the movie! Now, there is only one return — and it’s not of the King, it’s of the Jedi! — but I would eat these at least five times, Bil-bro Baggins!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Octo burger & lasagna sticks from Mission Lasagna

You know me, this is body by Italian food, bro! So when I heard about Mission Lasagna, this funky joint in Little Italy, serving up eight different kinds of lasagnas, along with other pastas, burgers and more, I totally had to check it out. Only I didn’t actually order a lasagna — unless you count these lasagna sticks:

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These crispy flavour nuggets are served cold, like a cracker, with three dipping sauces — pesto, marinara and donkey sauce. Dude, you could put all three of those on the same flip-flop, and it would still taste good! But you KNOW that’s just a light snack in Flavourtown, bro!!!

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Now, I’m no stranger to eating octopus, but this is the first time I’ve ever had it on a bun, son! This Octo Burger is nice ‘n chewy, lightly breaded on a bed of rapini and ricotta — kinda like the Crimson and Clover of Little Italy, Tommy Bro-ndell!!!

 

HEATED PATIO EATS: Last Supper of 2020 @ Positano

When they opened all the heated patios across Toronto, there was always the question of how long this was gonna last. Well, now we have our answer — with the city heading back into lockdown at midnight tonight, there will be no more dining out, inside or outdoors, anytime soon… and my guess is this will be at least until the end of 2020.

So that’s why we treated our meal at Positano Restaurant, this real-deal Italian joint on Mount Pleasant, like it would be our last restaurant visit of the year. We talking a three-course Italian feast, right on the sidewalk with just one heater, scarfing down pizza, cheese, Birra Moretti…and of course, I’ve still got room for dessert, bro!

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We’re starting off with a great big ball of buffalo mozzarella, served on a bed of cherry tomatoes and arugula. This Buffalo Soldier in Flavourtown is creamy, dreamy, to the extremey!!!

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Now, I’ve housed a whole lotta pizzas in my day, but this is one flavour combo I’ve never seen before. They’re packing shrimp, squid and olives on top of their pizza pescatore, with some nice foldable slices and a real crunchy crust. It’s not delivery, it’s delicious!!!!

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Now, dessert was reasonably priced at $8.95, but you don’t get a lotta bang for yer lira — this was a pretty small piece of cake, son! Their torta caprese is a flourless almond cake with a hard chocolate bottom and a whole buncha powdered sugar on top. It was a less than amazing ending to an otherwise almost perfect meal…but hey, it’s probably still gonna be the best dessert I have for the rest of 2020. I mean, you can’t really order dessert for delivery, bro. 😦 😦 😦

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Ethiopian to Ethi-go-pian!

Now, I am no stranger to Ethiopian food in this city…but this is the first time I’ve had it delivered. Rendez-Vous Ethiopian Authentic Cuisine has been serving it up on the Danforth since 2001, so you know it’s gotta be good. And like some other Ethiopian joints I’ve been to, their menu was massive — no less than 70 items to choose from!

Me, I went with Gored Gored, a cubed beef dish best served raw or very rare. It was cold when I got it, so I’m guessing it might have been uncooked…

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But man, this was some of the most tender beef I’ve ever had. It just melted in my mouth, with some of that sour injera bread as a vessel, so I didn’t get my hands (too) dirty. The meat had a pretty good kick to it, too, but the spiciest part was the leftover bread at the bottom!

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You KNOW I wasn’t gonna let it go to waste, though! This dish was enough food for 4 people, and enough bread for 5 or 6… or just another dinner for one in Flavourtown, son!!!

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HEATED PATIO EATS: Portuguese-style surf ‘n turf!

Now, last weekend when we went to Bindia, it wasn’t very warm. But last night was even colder — it was probably my first subzero patio experience, not counting that time I tailgated at a Buffalo Bills game. And now we’re hanging out at Flor de Sal Restaurant, a cozy little Portuguese joint that’s just steps away from the steps that take you up to Casa Loma, at Davenport and Spadina.

They’ve got a little four-table front patio with a heater in the middle and curtains all around — and they even bring you blankets to help keep you out of the cold. But since it was still pretty chilly, I had to warm up with a classic Portuguese/Brazilian comfort dish, feijoada:

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Dude, this is like pork ‘n beans to the extreme, bro! This hearty white bean stew is packed with hunks of pork, potatoes and a couple sprigs of cilantro, for that extra kick. I would eat that off a snow boot!

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But now it’s time for the main event, son! This is not the first time I’ve had Portuguese bitoque steak, but they did give me a much nicer piece of meat than that other place. As you can see, this is pretty much the perfect medium rare, served up with Maitake mushrooms, cassava fries — thicker and crunchier than potatoes — and of course, the fried egg on top. For a few dollars more, they also throw in a jumbo shrimp, for that surf element…

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Surf’s up, bro! I’ve sucked down several shrimp in my day, but very few were as tasty as this!!!

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Of course, you KNOW I’ve still got room for dessert, and when I saw the Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake, it was a match made in Flavourtown Heaven! This triple-layer, quadruple-decker beauty comes with with raspberries, chocolate sauce and caramel, and there’s even a chocolate-covered fig on the side, on top of shaved almonds…so it’s almost like you’re getting two desserts in one, son!!!!

HEATED PATIO EATS: Tandoori Chicken of the Sea @ Bindia

Now, I’ve chowed down on some real-deal Indian food all over this city, from chicken vindaloo to butter lamb, but one dish I’ve never seen is tandoori lobster. I mean, if you can kill it and grill it, you can probably tandoori it, but I don’t think any place has ever thought of doing it before.

But now we’re hanging out at Bindia Indian Bistro, this funky joint right across from St. Lawrence Market, where they’ve got 10 different tandoori dishes on the menu, so you KNOW I’m about to dive in, bro!!!

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So basically, you get two lobster tails to an order, marinated in tandoori masala spices, with a some yogurt on the side. I don’t always eat grilled lobster, but this was cooked nice ‘n tender, without being too chewy. I was expecting this dish to be spicy, but it really wasn’t… Although I still dipped it in that cucumber yogurt sauce — dude, I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!!

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Of course, you can’t really have tandoori chicken of the sea without some tandoori-fried bread, bro! This butter naan came out nice and chewy, with a little crunch from the charred bits. I could probably pound, like, 22 pieces of these…but you don’t wanna fill up on bread, bro!

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Speaking of things I’ve never seen before, this was the first time I’ve come across Sura Panam, an India red ale from Cool India Brewing Company, based in London, Ontario. Normally, I find most Indian beer to be light and watery, meant to cool down the spice of the food, but this one had a bit more flavour to it…plus, they actually pour it on tap!

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