Beef brisket bacon breakfast burger @ Craft Brasserie

Now, I don’t always get up in time for brunch, but when I heard that Craft Brasserie was smoking their own bacon, curing their own peameal and making a breakfast burger outta beef brisket, I figured I had to come check it out. This Liberty Village basement brewpub has also got 120 craft beer taps, including a whole buncha limited edition special guest beers. So basically, I’m gonna be moving to Liberty Village tomorrow.

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Dude, this burger is so far outta bounds, it ran into the stands and took out an ice cream man! You’ve got a nice, thick and juicy brisket patty, topped with smoked Gouda, onion rings and that Bomb.ca bacon. Dude, I would braid that bacon into a flip flop, put it on my feet, walk 5,000 miles, then eat it…and it would still taste good!!!!

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Of course, one does not go to a funky joint like the Craft Brasserie and order a chocolate milk. So, we’re starting off with this Bavarian Breakfast Wheat beer, a strong Hefeweizen from Silversmith in the Niagara region. It’s a bit like Blanche de Chambly, but a little less fruity, and a lot more alcoholy.

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But even after pounding a few of these, I’ve still got room for some liquid dessert. This breakfast stout from Town Brewery, straight outta Whitby, is called Breakfast at Timothy’s. And it’s kinda like drinking coffee…if coffee was a beer.

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Chowin’ down in East Chinatown @ AAA Bar

Now, you know there’s lotsa great BBQ joints all over this city, but I did not expect to find one in East Chinatown. So, we’re hanging out at AAA Bar at Gerrard and Broadview, right across from a Chinese grocery store. But there ain’t no chickity China, the Chinese chicken here, Barenaked Brodies! Instead, they’re serving up the classics like beef brisket, dry rub ribs, pulled pork…and even chicken and waffles!

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But you know that right here on Triple B, we’re all about that beef. Their beef brisket was more au jus than Texas BBQ, mind you. Good thing it came with a slice of bread on the side–now where’s the beef dip?

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This coleslaw was pretty Crunchasaurus Rex. They give you a big bowl of it for just four bucks, so I probably had at least 2-3 servings of veggies today…

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Now, the mac and cheese wasn’t exactly cheesetastic, but this Bomb.ca smoked sausage more than made up for it! You’ve got quite a bit of kick from the holla-atcha-penos, and then some oozy queso in every bite. It’s like the Tag Team Champions of Flavourtown Sausagefest!!!!

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Of course, you can bet your bottom dollar there ain’t nobody drinking Bud Light at this backyard cookout. This place has actually got Alberta Genuine Draft on tap–that’s right, all the way out in Toronto–but we’re getting into the good stuff… Big Rock Traditional. This malty brown ale goes pretty darn good with some BBQ sausage, Stampede Broseph!!!!

Brews from the Six

So, we’re hanging out at The Six Brewing Co, this funky local craft brewery on Dundas, just a Hotline Bling dance away from Bathurst. This places brews its own craft beer, and serves it up alongside burgers, wings, nachos…oh, and like a salad, or something.

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So we’re starting off with a Streetcar Delay IPA, the hoppiest brew on the menu. The citrusy aroma of this American-style bitter beer sure smells a lot better than the 504 King Street at rush hour, bro!!!

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Now, we’re moving on over to the Trash Panda Porter, a chocolatey coffee beer brewed with Ethiopian beans. I could exterminate six or seven of these!!!

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And then we’ve got the True North Stout, which is kinda like a Guinness, except it’s Canadian. Also, I don’t think it takes them 20 minutes to pour it…

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Of course, you KNOW we don’t go to a craft brewpub to eat salad, bro! This Gorgonzola Burger comes topped with caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato and a tangy tomato jam, all on a focaccia style bun. Plus, you know we paid two dollars extra to add bacon—dude, this is body by paying two dollars extra to add bacon!!!!!

A lifetime in Burgatory ain’t a bad place to be!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Burgatory, this funky little burger joint on College, just a Hell’s Bell’s chime away from the Mod Club. And this place is serving up burgers named after not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, but six of the seven deadly sins. There’s no Lust Burger, cuz I guess that’s what the Mod Club’s there for?

Now, I was gonna go with the Gluttony Burger–dude, this is body by gluttony!–until I saw the extra-special ingredient they’re putting on this super-slow-mo special, the Sloth Burger:

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got a nice, thick ‘n juicy patty, topped with lettuce, tomato, Velveeta and some special sauce made in house. But then they add a little extra crunch by putting Hickory Sticks on the burger. Dude, Hickory Sticks are pretty much my all-time favourite snack food, and I once made a homemade Hickory Sticks chicken sammy that sorta looked like Guy Fieri. So, it looks like I’ve got a new favourite deadly sin now…

 

This bacon-wrapped BLT dog is a slice of trailer park paradise!

Now, there’s a whole buncha country bars on Broadway, but Paradise Park Trailer Resort has gotta be the most Red-red-red-red-red-redneck of ‘em all! This place has got a hillbilly band playing on top of a muscle car, local craft beers in plastic cups—not to mention 6-dollar pitchers of Natty Light—and has all kinds of killer redneck fast food, like this culinary creation, the Paradise BLT Dog:

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Ok, so here’s the deal. They take an all-beef wiener, wrap it in bacon, and deep fry it, then serve it up in a bun with lettuce, tomato and mayo. It’s like BLTs Gone Wild, bro!!!

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Of course, you can’t scarf down a deep-fried, bacon-wrapped hot dog with a side salad, so we went with the chili cheese fries. Nothing wrong with taters, meaty chili and all kinds of processed queso, bro!

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Washed it all down with a Portly Stout by local brewer Turtle Anarchy. First time I’ve ever drank a stout in a solo cup…and it was magically delicious!!!

COUNTRY SUPERSTAR BAR SHOWDOWN: Blake Shelton’s Ole Red vs Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row

Although there are plenty of classic country bars on Nashville’s Lower Broadway, like Tootsie’s, Robert’s and Nudies, there have also been a few new ones named after big time country stars, like Alan Jackson’s Good Time Bar and Jason Aldean’s Crazy Town. The latest one to hit the strip is Ole Red, which has Blake Shelton’s fingerprints, if not his name, on it.

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When I stepped in off the street, the in-house band was just finishing up a George Jones tune, which is always a good sign. Their repertoire was also heavy on George Strait and Conway Twitty, and I actually heard them play Clint Black’s “Killin’ Time” twice, which might be one of the best country-music drinking songs of the 1990’s…

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Speaking of drinking, this place has got its own signature Ole Red Ale, brewed by Nashville’s Fat Bottom Brewing. It’s a pretty mild red beer, which tastes more or less like Rickard’s Red…but it does happen to be named after a Blake Shelton hit single.

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Ole Red actually has four floors. The second floor is a little more cozy than the first, and features this bitchin’ buffalo head, along with several TV screens showing the NHL playoffs. I definitely spent some time up here, pounding Music City Light beers…

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From there I headed up to the rooftop, where the most country song on the playlist was by Taylor Swift. But it did have a pretty sweet view of Nissan Stadium, along with some tasty snacks.

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Dude, you can’t get much more country than beef jerky and corn nuts in a mason jar, bro! This jerky was nice and tender, not too hard to chew, and the chili-spiced corn nuggets added an extra kick. But the best was yet to come…

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Hot pretzels are pretty much my favourite stadium snack, bro, and this one’s the size of a Marcus Mariota TD gallop! Plus, it comes with this super-creamy queso dip… dude, I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!!

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Washed it all down with a Dogfish Head Sea Quench Ale, this super-citrusy brew from Delaware’s finest brewery. This totally took some of the heat off those corn nuts!!!!

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Now, when I walked into Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, some burly, bearded dude was singing “Any Man of Mine” by Shania Twain. I fucking shit you not. And while there were plenty of screens showing the basketball game, you weren’t gonna get any craft beer here—they had Miller Lite, Bud Light, Coors Light and Michelob Ultra on ice.

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After a couple more songs, I headed up to the second floor, where an all-white band was playing Bob Marley. This floor had a slightly better beer selection—if you consider Blue Moon slightly better beer—but once the drummer started singing Stevie Wonder, I was gone, gone, gone…

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Whiskey Row claims to have the highest rooftop patio in Nashville…where a DJ was playing some crappy rap music. I don’t think I lasted more than 10 minutes!!!

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After grabbing a non-light beer on the second floor, I headed down to Floor One to hear the band play 90’s radio rock staples by Eve 6 and the Gin Blossoms, before launching into the Uncle Kracker version of “Drift Away.” (Trust me, it was the Uncle Kracker version.) But at least I hung around long enough to hear em play “Drink in My Hand,” “Friends in Low Places” and, uh, “Sweet Caroline.” This floor was definitely the lesser of three evils.

FINAL VERDICT: Even though Blake Shelton loses 500 points off the top for recording “Boys Round Here,” his bar still wins by a landslide. Dierks Bentley’s joint is so un-country, it makes “Somewhere on a Beach” sound like “Your Cheatin’ Heart.” Man, I’d rather stick a pink umbrella in my drink at Florida Georgia Line’s FGL House Sundaze Brunch than go back to Whiskey Row, bro!!!!!!

Real-deal Tex Mex @ HotMess

Don’t get me wrong–I loves me a super-authentic Mexican taco joint just as much as the next Guy (Fieri). But I can also dig it when a joint says “No, we’re not Mexican, we’re Tex-Mex.” And HotMess, this funky little joint in Little Italy, is definitely not ashamed to say they serve Tex-Mex food. Dude, this place has everything: hard-shell tacos, chimichangas, chili con queso, hotdogueros…and of course, you can’t have Texas food without Frito pie:

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Now, I have had Frito pie in Toronto before. Heck, I’ve even had it in Texas. But this is the closest I’ve come to the real-deal, down-home Frito pie experience, where they open up a bag of Fritos, and pour some chili and cheese in the name of love. OK, so they fancy it up a bit with onions, tomatoes and holla-atcha-penos, and they use shredded cheese instead of queso, but I double-dog dare ya to find me anything closer to a Friday Night Lights Frito pie this far north of the border, hombre!!!

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But you KNOW that’s just a light snack in Flavourtown, Texas, bro! So we’re following it up with a green chile patty melt. You’ve got poblanos, serranos and roasted onions on top of a ground-chuck burger with Monterey Jack and even some bacon jam–and it’s all swimming in a green big glob of greasy, grimy donkey sauce! I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!!

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Now, the one spot where they come up short of the full Texas experience is on the beer list. You won’t be able to slam some Lone Stars or Shiners here–hell, I don’t think you can even buy those brews in Ontario, bro! But they do have a pretty decent selection of local craft beer cans, like this light, crisp, Huron County Lager. One thing’s for sure, this joint doesn’t need too much more cowbell!!!