Triple B: Burgers, Bacon & Beer

BIG APPLE BITES: Chicago’s best burger…in New York City!?

Now, I’ve heard a whole lot about the double cheeseburger at Au Cheval. But I didn’t get a chance to check it out last time I was in Chicago, so when I heard they had a sister location in NYC, I had to check it out. This one might be *slightly* easier to get a table at; I was able to make a reservation for a Saturday night, although the latest time they had available was 6:15.

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This burger is worth the hype, bro! Super juicy patties, nice bites of cheese, whole lotta donkey sauce, bun is soft and squishy. Of course, I paid almost 7 dollars extra to add bacon — first rule of Flavourtown is always add bacon! And man, this bacon is soooo thick and delicious!!!!

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Now, speaking of bacon, on the side, we’ve got pepper bacon mac ‘n cheese. Sauce is super creamy, nice melted cheese on top… and so many chunks of bacon! I would order an extra large portion of this on its own!!!

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Of course, you can’t have a burger without beer, bro! We’re drinking a Hopewell Ride or Die, a nice pale ale with a slightly citrusy taste. I could pound these all night…

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert! This chocolate cream pie is made in house, and it’s like eating chocolate mousse on a chocolate cookie crust, with whipped cream on top… Nothing wrong with that at all!

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And with that, we’ve got a Mother’s Milk Stout from Keegan Ales. It’s got more vanilla than a Guinness, and goes great with the cream pie for dessert!!!

BIG APPLE BITES: Drinking in a winter wonderland…

Now, ever since I got back from Munich, I’ve been missing German beer halls. And I totally missed out on the Christmas markets when I was over there, too. So when I found out about Loreley, this funky joint a block from the Bowery, serving up German beers in “Eine Maß bier” amounts, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro — plus, they still had their Christmas decorations up last weekend, so that was an added bonus!

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We’re starting off with a litre of Kostrilitzer Schwarzbier, a nice, dark lager from Deutschland. Nice, rich, caramel/chocolate taste, but easily crushable at 4.8%.

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Not only are they still celebrating Christmas at Loreley, but they’re still celebrating Oktoberfest, too. This Hofbrau Oktoberfest is a nice, malty lager, a lot like the ones I slammed in Germany, but a bit stronger at 5.8%. Nothing wrong with that at all!

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When I heard they had soft pretzels, I had to get one of those, too. I haven’t had a proper pretzel since I got back from Munich… but I gotta say, this is just like I remembered. Soft, fresh and chewy — even better than some of the ones across the pond!

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And because it still feels like Christmas, I’m having a Delirium Noel. They don’t serve this one in litres at Loreley — and that’s probably a good thing, since it’s pretty strong at 8%. Not quite as strong as Delirium Tremens, but it’s still a heavy dark ale with rich flavours, halfway between prune juice and chocolate. Worth trying once, anyways.

Havin’ a Folly Jolly Christmas bar crawl!!!

Now, we don’t always celebrate Christmas on Triple B, but when we heard that Folly Brewpub, at College and Dovercourt, was decking the halls and serving up some Christmas cocktails this year, you KNOW we’ll be there with jingle bells on, bro! And we showed up just in time for Happy Hour, where a few of their craft beers were less than six bucks:

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This here Dovercourt Pale Ale, named for their closest cross street, is nice and hoppy, checking in at 5.3%. This kind of reminds me of a few of my favourite IPAs, like Goose Island or Great Lakes Canuck, so I am quite happy here.

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Speaking of IPAs, their Gatekeeper IPA is actually less hoppy than its pale ale counterpart. It’s got a sweet, citrusy taste that’s not too bitter, and doesn’t seem as strong as its 6.3%.

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Now, I’ve been craving soft pretzels ever since I got back from Germany, so when I saw Pretzels & Dip on the menu, I had to order ’em. However, they warned me ahead of time that instead of two giant pretzels, I only get one smaller pretzel — and they also replaced the beer cheese dip with a green salad. But hey, it’s still better than not eating a soft pretzel, I guess?

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I also went with the smoked brisket sando, coming in so hot it almost melted my face off. This is definitely more pot roast than Texas BBQ, with the texture and the sauce tasting more like pulled pork. Still a decent little sando, though…

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And hey, with them donating $1 from every Christmas cocktail to Sick Kids, you KNOW I had to have at least one, son! This here’s a Minty White Russian, with vodka, Kahlua, mint schnapps and cream. You could say it really ties the room together, dude…

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But even though Folly was closing early for a private Christmas party, we ain’t done drinking yet, bro! So we headed down to Steadfast Brewing at Dundas and Lansdowne for an unexpected Mexican Christmas treat — Holy Tamales, Batman! This chicken tamale had a nice little kick from the hot peppers, so you KNOW I’m gonna need a couple beers to wash it down…

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This Lochside Scotch Ale had a similar taste to a British bitter, but a little heavier on the caramel — and just plain heavier, at 6.5%

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Their Going Steady amber ale is very bready, reminding me of Anchor Steam. I’m guessing this one ain’t gluten-free, haha.

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But we’re saving the best for last with White Men Can’t Dunkel, this funky Dunkelweizen. Dude, I’m all over this one like Woody Harrelson, son! This beer tastes bananas like the wheat beers in Germany — can I get seven to go????

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But there’s one last stop before we go — we’re off to see the wonderful Wizard of Gose, bro! Bandit Brewery in The Junction is serving up this blackberry and sour cherry sour that makes me feel like I got at least one serving of fruit today…

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Dude, when I saw they had beer-battered cheese curds on the food menu, you KNOW these were going straight down my piehole! Battered with a dry-hopped pilsner, garnished with bacon bits and served with a spicy donkey sauce, these are a few of MY favourite things, son!!!!!!!!!

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But even after all that commotion back there, we’ve still got room for dessert beer. Cookie Thief is an oatmeal stout brewed with cocoa nibs and Graham crackers — it’s like a liquid s’more in Flavourtown!!!!!!!!!!!










MUCH MORE MUNICH: Dude, they even have a beer hall at the airport!!!

Now, when you’re flying outta Munich, and looking for a place to eat at the Flughafen, you don’t hafta settle for some soggy steak sandwich, son! Right after you take the escalator up from the S-Bahn station you’ll see Airbräu, a beer hall brewing its own beer and serving up local Bavarian favourites.

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Unlike some of the beer halls I’ve been to, your choices aren’t limited to a litre of helles here — you can get a litre of any of their other beers, like this Kumulus wheat beer, bro! I’ve had a couple other weissbiers in Munich, and this one checks all the boxes — dude, a litre of this is only 6.40 Euros!? Shut the front, back and side doors!!!!!

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For dinner, I’m having the Bavarian roast pork, cooked for 12 hours with homemade dumplings and a side of coleslaw with bacon bits. Pork is pretty tender, with nice crispy skin, and both the pork and the dumplings go great with gravy. It’s airport food that doesn’t suck — and it’ll only set ya back 14 Euros, bros. All that plus a litre of beer is just over 20 Euros… I feel like you can barely get a burger for that price at an airport across the pond!!!!

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MUCH MORE MUNICH: Yes, you can get a hoppy beer in Munich…if you know where to look.

Now, I’m all for Helles lager, especially when it comes in a litre glass…but after a few days in Munich, I was looking for something with a little more flavour. Luckily, I stumbled across Higgins Ale Works, this craft brewery owned by an American transplant couple that’s serving up hoppy beers, heavy beers, dark beers… and other stuff you won’t find in your average biergarten.

Their taproom fits maybe 30 people, but it was completely packed when I walked in, with most of the people inside chatting in English, not German.

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For starters, we’re going with this milk ice cream stout by Testbrau. At 6.3%, it’s a lot heavy than a Guinness, but it actually tastes smoother — less coffee, more vanilla. And that works for me…

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Next, we’re going a bit lighter in colour — and a lot lighter in flavour — with this Basecamp Mild Brown Ale. It’s only 3.6%, lighter than Bud Light, but waaaaaay tastier. Nice malty kick that punches above its weight!

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Of course, I couldn’t go this long without ordering a pale ale, so I went with their Alpental American Pale Ale. It’s definitely a hoppy beer, tastes like your favourite NEIPA, with German-grown Amarillo and Cascade hops(!) coming in not too heavy at 5.5%. If you’re in Germany and you’ve been missing the hops, it hits the spot!

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This Green Business Fresh Hop Lager from Munich Brew Mafia is a much better lager than you’ll find in a stein. I have never had a lager that tasted this hoppy, and it’s got a pretty good kick at 6%.

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Not the biggest fan of Belgian beers, so I held off on their Flanders Style Mild Bruin Ale until now. But you know, this one’s not so bad. It does have that rich malty taste of a Belgian, but this one doesn’t go to 11 — it checks in at a mild 4.5%. And I actually kinda like the caramel aftertaste. Might be the best Belgian-style non-wheat beer I’ve had…

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This place has six beers on tap, so we’re saving the most German for last. This Mocktoberfest Marzen perhaps caters more to the local tastes with a slightly reddish lager with a decent amount of malt. Hey, I’d happily drink this at any bierhalle that didn’t have a weissbier…but give me Green Business or Alpental any day!!!

MUCH MORE MUNICH: Drunken Cow goes moo, moo, moo all the way down my piehole, bro!!!!

Now, Munich might be known more for leberkäse than burgers, but when I heard there was this funky burger and cocktail joint called Drunken Cow, within stumbling distance of the Alte Pinkakothek art gallery, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!!!!

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They’ve got like 3 pages of burgers on the menu, so it’s pretty hard to choose. But I went with the Italian Burger, topped with mozzarella, prosciutto, pesto, zucchini, arugula (which they call “rocket” around here, haha), balsamic vinegar and their house DC sauce. Mamma Mia!!!

So, first of all, that burger patty is phenomenal. It tastes more like a backyard burger, thick, juicy and cooked to a nice medium rare. From there it’s a matter of substitution — the zucchini replaces pickles and adds an extra kick, while unfortunately the prosciutto isn’t as good as bacon, and kinda gets lost in the mix. But man, it’s all about the beef here, and this beef is!!!

Seriously, if this ain’t the best burger joint in Munich, I would LOVE to try any place that does it better, bro!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, I would normally have a beer with my burger, but this place doesn’t have pints or litres, cuz they’re more of a cocktail bar… which I think is quite unusual around these parts. So I decided to go with a Munich Mule, with gin, mint, and homemade ginger beer, which definitely gives it a bit of a kick. No copper mug here, but there’s a nice, sour flavour, with a hint of cucumber, and the gin is local, too, so I’m not complaining…

Chased that with a Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, a rum-forward tropical drink that goes great with all the reggae on their playlist. Yeah, we be jammin!!!

MUCH MORE MUNICH: Getting schnitt-faced at Hofbrauhaus on a German beer crawl

Dude, we’re hanging out in Munich, Germany, one of the greatest beer cities in the world — so you KNOW this is my kinda place, bro! And you can bet yer bottom Deutsch mark we ain’t drinking peppermint schnapps!!!!

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We’re starting off with a Paulaner Munchner Hell, cuz we’re raisin’ hell with the hippies and the cowboys, son! This beer goes all the way back to the 30s — the 1630s! — when a buncha monks decided they could brew a better beer than all the breweries at the time. (Turns out that even native Munchners don’t like Lowenbrau…) One cool thing about Munich is you’re allowed to drink on the street, and most people just leave their empties on the sidewalk so someone can collect them for the deposit. Man, if you go to the subway stop before the soccer stadium, with like 6-7 garbage bags, you could make an easy 100 bucks, bro…

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From there, we’re heading to the Oktoberfest Museum, son! The museum might be closed for renovations, but their beerhall is still serving up the finest wares from Augustiner, another local legend. I’m definitely a fan of their Hefeweizen, paired with the hotttest, freshest pretzels I’ve had in town. (They were also the first pretzels I’ve had in Munich…but they won’t be the last!!!!)

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Now, little did I know when I walked into Hofbrauhaus; Munich’s biggest, most celebrated brewpub, that I was walking into a trap. Turns out they were the official Tampa Bay bar for the NFL Munich game, and since I was in town to boo Tom Brady, I did not stay long. I did have time to down a foamy beer and a giant pretzel, which tasted fresher, but not hotter, than the last pretzel I had.

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So, instead we ended the night at Hackerhaus with a German-style charcuterie plate, washed down with a kellerbier.

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What the heck’s a kellerbier? Well, it’s when you take a traditional German lager, but don’t clarify or pasteurize it, leaving you with an easy-drinking beer that’s magically delicious! I think I’ll have 3 more to go… 😉

Funky takes on German beerhall food @ The Golden Pigeon

Now, I’ve never been to Germany (yet), but any place with Beerhall in its name is gonna be on my radar. Dude, this is body by beerhall, bro! So, when I heard that this funky joint called The Golden Pigeon Beerhall opened up on Parliament St, you KNOW I had to come check it out!

And while you can order “Eine Maß bier” here — more on that in a bit — they’re also putting a funky twist on German food with dishes like the Auto Bahn-Mi, Baked Spaetzle Mac ‘n Cheese, and this must-have in Flavourtown, Chicken Schnitzel Double Down!!!!

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Dude, the KFC Double Down is one of the best things that ever happened to me, so when I saw they were givin’er its own Teutonic spin, I knew I needed this in my life. Chicken is coming in hot from the fryer — I needed to keep it in the wrapper cuz it was too hot to touch. And then they put sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and grainy mustard in the middle. All that’s missing is an Oktoberfest ham hock!!!!

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But of course I couldn’t come here and NOT order the baked spaetzle mac ‘n cheese, right? This dish was super-creamy, cheesier than that Poison and Def Leppard tour, and baked in a french onion soup pot, so it’s also coming in hot. Looks like I’m gonna need a few beers to cool this down…

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The Pigeon has 11 beers and two ciders on tap, so you’re not stuck choosing between light and dark lager. But we still started off with a German-style schwarzbier from Muddy York called Black Opal. Even though it’s blacker than a banker’s heart, it goes down nice ‘n easy at 4.6%.

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Speaking of black beer, this Junction Irish Stout gives off major Guinness vibes. I’m pretty sure an Irish stout at a German beerhall is something you’ll only find in Toronto, bro!!!!!!!!

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And yes, you can order a litre of beer here — but it has to be their Golden Pigeon House Lager, which is brewed by Common Good. I was hoping for a nice, crisp helles, but this was more watery and tasteless. I guess a bigger beer isn’t always better.

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So from there I switched to a Hatch pale ale from Slake Brewing in Picton. It’s got the hops of an IPA, without being as heavy, at 5.2%. I think I’ll have a couple more of these…

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For dessert, there’s just one thing on the menu (unless they have a daily special), and that’s this Black Forest Cheesecake Parfait. Now, I like black forest cake — or any chocolate cake, really — but this parfait seemed to be more whipped cream and cherries, and less cake. It did add some flavour to the house lager, though…

13 glasses of craft beer @ C’est What Fall Festival

Patio season is almost officially over, but we’re getting in one last beer festival before the season ends. We’re hanging out at the C’est What Beer Garden where for 20 bucks, you get 10 sample tickets at their Fall Festival of Craft Breweries. Or, if you happen to know someone who can’t use all 10, you might end up with a couple more… 😉

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Little Beasts Tea & Bullshit Belgian Blonde 5.5%
Time to spill the tea, bro! This malty, malty Bosstone had a slight hit of sweetness, but not a ton of taste.

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Chronicle Ales from the Crypt 5.5%
This ruby red ale is sour like a saison with some nice fruit punch flavour.

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Titled Glass Gorgeous Peach Hefeweizen 5%
Maybe more banana but still a little peachy. Not too shabby.

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Town Fresh Pots Coffee Stout 6.5%
This pretty much tastes like coffee. And at 6.5% it’ll wake you up!!!!

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Town Washer Toss Lime Lager 4.6%
Almost like a saison or a Corona with lime. Tony Romo would love it!

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Chronicle Lon Lon Vanilla Milkshake IPA 6%
Very hazy and hoppy with a slight vanilla aftertaste. I could drink at least 3 more of these…

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C’est What Hemp Haze APA 5%
Not hoppy, but more of a funky taste. More of a English style pale ale than American.

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C’est What Oktoberfest Kolsch 5.5%
Nice and crisp but with a very interesting slightly bitter aftertaste that I can’t quite place. (Hey, it’s my eighth beer of the day, bro…)

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Titled Glass Hip Hop Anonymous hazy IPA 6%
Pretty classic IPA. Nice hoppy flavour. Nothing wrong with that at all!

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Little Beasts Wait So Long Tropical Stout 7.5%
Not so much tropical, but definitely tastes like a stout.

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Little Beasts Saehrimnir Grisette 4.5%
Nice, light slightly fruity beer

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Town Little Buddy DIPA 8.8%
Hoppy, hazy and deceptively strong — doesn’t taste any stronger than the 6% IPAs.

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Town Snicklefritz IPA 6.2%
Another hazy IPA that does what it says on the label. What’s up with that name, though?

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And because we’re not drinking on an empty stomach, we’ve got a baked pretzel and homemade beet, onion and tarragon sausage. Pretzel is buttery and crispy(!?) while the sausage has a nice meaty chew and a few crunchy bites of onion.

Storming the all-palace meal @ Prime Seafood Palace

Duuuude, ever since my main man Matty Matheson opened Prime Seafood Palace, this funky joint so outta bounds it doesn’t have a sign on the door and you gotta go around the courtyard to get in, I have wanted to go here — and last night, the wait was finally over, bro!!!!! And you KNOW that here on Triple B, we’re not about to eat a small dog or a medium dog meal… we’re going right for the big dog, with every single one of this palace’s signature dishes, son!!!!!!!!!

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That means we’re starting out with some Palace Bacon. It’s not every day that I eat bacon as an appetizer, but when I do, you KNOW it’s gonna be a good day, bro!!!!!!!!!

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But the hits keep comin’ and they don’t stop comin’, back to the rule and you hit the ground runnin, Guy Fieri wannabe my lover! We’re talking Palace Cut Prime Rib, 20 ounces of the thickest, tenderest, most delicious slab of beef this body has ever known! Dude, I even ate all the fatty bits — this is body by fatty bits!!!!!!!!!!

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We’re pairing that with a side of Palace Potatoes, 27 layers of deep-fried tater goodness, crispy on the outside, soft and chewy in the middle. Come and get you some, son!!!!!!!

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Now, I don’t normally put sauce on steak — and trust me, this prime cut does NOT need it — but it wouldn’t be an all-palace meal without some of their signature Palace Sauce. It’s kinda like HP Sauce, but then they kick it up a notch with some horseradish — I can go for that, Hall and Bro-ates!!!!

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Now, they don’t call this Prime Pudding, and that’s a big-time missed branding opportunity, if you ask me. Still, you KNOW we gotta have Yorkshire Pudding with prime rib, bro — and this one gets the job done, son!!!!

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And we don’t drink champagne in this palace, bro! Their beer list is pretty small, but they’ve got a couple interesting ones, like this Long Lunch Pale Ale from True History. This beer tastes a lot like Blood Light — the champagne of light IPAs — so there’s nothing wrong with that at all!

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But I prefer this Matron Fine Beer, Bobo Farmhouse Wheat. Another super-light one, it’s got a slight aftertaste of bananas — and bananas is good!!!!

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3 strips of bacon, 6 potatoes, 20 ounces of prime rib, one Yorkshire pudding, 3.5 beers and half a ramekin of Palace Sauce later…. and you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro!

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Dude, this place puts the cake in steakhouse!!!! This ain’t no dairy-free, flourless, semifreddo lava cake, son — this is the real-deal Big Kahuna! Best chocolate cake I’ve had since Wildfire Steakhouse in 2018…and unlike Wildfire Steakhouse, this place is still servin’ it up and throwin’ it down, Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown! Man, when you’ve got a place that has not only the best prime rib but also the best chocolate cake of my life, dude, they’re gonna hafta start charging me rent, one $300 all-palace meal at a time!!!! 😉

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