I dunno McDonald’s, but I don’t think they smoke burgers in Carolina…

Now, I probably shoulda known better. But when I saw all those billboards for the McDonald’s Mighty Angus Carolina BBQ burger, I had so many questions. Is this supposed to be North Carolina or South Carolina BBQ? Do they know the difference between a mustard-based and a vinegar-based sauce? Would either of those sauces even taste good on a burger — much less a McDonald’s burger? And how long are you supposed to smoke a burger, anyways?

Well, after trying the Mighty Angus Carolina BBQ burger, I can tell you that it answered exactly none of those questions.

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Now, I’m not sure this is dramatically different from the Mighty Angus Alberta burger that they rolled out last year…although I never actually ate that one. There is nothing here that really screams Carolina, or BBQ, or Carolina BBQ for that matter. Yes, this is a slight upgrade from a Quarter Pounder; the patty is thicker and the bun has more chew. But now let’s break it down…

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What makes this different from a regular burger are the crispy onions, white cheese (they say it’s mozza but it tasted like nothing) and “golden Carolina BBQ sauce.” Now, to be fair, this is actually a thing…although I didn’t get any of the sauce until I was halfway through the burger. And while its namesake is mustard-based, Mickey D’s sauce was probably straight out of a packet labelled “tangy BBQ.” And no, it really doesn’t go good on a burger…especially not a burger from McDonald’s.

mcdonalds_carolina_bbq_burger (21)As you can see, they saved all the sauce till the end…

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Grilled meats & craft beer @ Melrose on Adelaide

Even though I’m a massive meatatarian, I don’t go for charcuterie very often. I dunno bro, but it’s like why eat a buncha little meats when you can have one great big one? So now we’re hanging out at Melrose on Adelaide, this new funky joint in the heart of the Entertainment District, and this place used to be the Corned Beef House, home of the 16 oz sammy, so I know they’ve got the meats…even if they’re serving ’em up on a cutting board:

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So, we’re starting off with the grilled pastrami.. Call your mommy, that’s a lotta pastrami! Put it on a crostini, with some triple crunch mustard, and I’m all over that like Guy Fieri on garlic salt!!!

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At this establishment, they’ve got both kinds of sausage — jalapeno AND turkey! The jalapeno smokie is nice ‘n juicy, while the turkey has got some extra chunks of cheesiness. And they give you three of both at this crazy sausage party in Flavourtown!!!

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But the best thing on this charcuterie board might not even be meat! Man, when I heard it came with warm pretzels, I was like sign me up, son! Dude, this is body by warm pretzels!!!

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Of course, since this website ain’t Burgers, Bacon and Honey-Spiced Mead, you KNOW we’re diving in to some local craft beers, bro! Symington Saison from Henderson’s was light and refreshing, while Collective Arts’ Jam Up the Mash was even funkier than its Motor City counterpart. Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa, broseph!!!

Why settle for a pancake burger when you can have a double pancake pork burger???

So, we’re hanging out at Lisa Marie, this funky fresh joint on Queen West. Now, we’ve been here before for some real-deal ribs at Winterlicious, and I also scarfed down some spaghetti and massive meatballs here on Toronto Beer Week…but I’ve heard that they’re really killing it for brunch — and they weren’t kidding — this place was packed, bro!

And lemme tell ya, their menu goes right after my bacon-loving heart. They’ve got steak ‘n eggs ‘n bacon, a peameal bacon sammy, and even something called the bacon explosion benedict — but when I saw the double pancake pork burger, I KNEW it was gonna be love at first bite!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got two meaty pork patties, topped with lettuce, tomato and cheese, served between three pancakes with a side of maple syrup. Now, I gotta say, this dish was super messy, even without the extra tree juice. The thin pancakes weren’t really designed to hold together that much meat, and everything was falling apart all over the place… But you KNOW I still ate this all with my hands, bro. Dude, eating a burger with a fork is like a five-year sentence in Flavourtown County Jail!!!

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Of course, you can’t have a burger without fries, and these duck fat home fries were like Breakfast Fries Gone Wild! The potaters were hot ‘n crispy, straight from the fryer, with a good crust and a nice grainy mustard smeared on the plate. Not to mention these things are friggin’ huge — pretty sure I’ve seen ducks at High Park that were not as big as these babies!!!

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Now, I don’t always drink beer for breakfast, but when I heard they were taking one of my all-time favourite brews, Big Rock Grasshopper, and mixing it with lemonade, well, I figured that pretty much counts as a fruit juice, right? This was actually quite refreshing, like a summer shandy wearing a toque or something… Too bad it was like -4 outside, bro!!!

Killer grilled cheese cheeseburger @Montana’s, of all places…

Now, I don’t usually go to Montana’s, unless it’s like AYCE ribs or AYCE fajitas or something, cuz they’re waaaaaay out in the suburbs and I don’t wanna drive the Camaro on the 401, bro! Turns out they actually are doing AYCE ribs right now, and I was just about to rack ’em up…but then I saw this tasty two-hander in Flavourtown, the Grilled Cheese Cheeseburger:

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Man, this sandwich is like two great things rolled into one thing! The patty’s thick and nicely grilled, you’ve got a bed of lettuce between two grilled-cheesy Louise-y buns. There’s supposed to be some bacon in there, and sriracha ketchup, but you don’t really taste it. What you do get is a whole buncha crispy Cajun onion strings. Dude, this is body by crispy Cajun onion strings!!!!

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Now, that mighta looked like a pretty big burger to you, but it’s really just another light snack in Flavourtown! Let’s just say, if this joint ever had AYCE burgers, I could probably pound 4-5 of these… Sheeeet son, somebody at Montana’s betta get on that one–if I had my little way, you KNOW I’d eat burgers every day!!!!

(Picture this, but with burgers.)

Blue cheeseburger (+ craft beer) in paradise…

So, when when that big storm hit Toronto a couple weeks back, I didn’t give a crap, cuz we’re chillin’ like a villain in the U.S. Virgin Islands, bro! Man, this place has everything: sandy beaches, Painkillers, flip-flops, wild donkeys walking down the street… it even has a Wendy’s (in St. Thomas, anyways)! But instead of slamming down a Baconator, we’re hanging out on the island of St. John, at this funky little brewpub called the Tap Room, where they’ve got this killer blue cheese burger named after one of my all-time favourite movie characters. You’re My Boy Bleu — that’s literally what it’s called!

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Dude, this burger totally reeks of funkaliciousness!!!! You’ve got a medium-rare patty that’s as thick as a hockey puck, oozing with blue cheese crumbles… But then we get to the best part–homemade bacon onion jam! I’m about to bacon jam this straight down my piehole, bro!

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Of course, we are hanging out at a craft beer bar–so you KNOW I’m not drinking gin and juice! St. John Brewers is the local beermonger, and this Tropical Mango Pale Ale is their best-seller. It’s a little malty, a little hoppy, with a nice mango finish that’s like a Buffalo Soul-jah for your tastebuds, Bro-b Marley!!!

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Of course, I can’t eat just one potato chip, and I ain’t drinkin’ just one craft beer, neither! This here Toasted Coconut Brown Ale is not too heavy, just a little sweet, with a bit of a coconut aftertaste. Man, if I pound a few more of these, I might be going streaking…

Slaying some shrimp tacos @ Wallace Gastropub

Now, I know what you’re thinking… What would a place with a name like Wallace possibly know about tacos, bro??? And hey, I hear ya. Not gonna lie, I wasn’t so sure myself. But after pulling some core mussels at the Wallace Gastropub last summer, I knew their seafood was pretty legit–so we’re heading back for Taco Wednesdays (yes, Wednesdays), where they’re serving up three fully loaded flour tortillas for just $10.95!!!!

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Now, for that price, you could get chicken or fish, but a legit shrimp taco is something you definitely don’t see every day. And lemme tell ya, these babies bring the heat! You’ve got some mixed greens, cilantro, cheese and add-your-own guac, but man, it’s all about the shrimp, son! These big ‘n meaty sea creatures are served up in a sneaky spicy chipotle sauce that’ll make you order another beer or two. Good thing they’ve got some pretty decent craft beers on tap…

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Speaking of things you don’t see every day, this Muskoka Black Raspberry Thunder IPA combines the tarty sweetness of raspberries with the slight hoppiness of a not-too-bitter pale ale. And at $7.50 a pint, you can probably drink enough of these that you’re totally taking the TTC home, bro!!!!

Steakin’ and bacon @ STK (Winterlicious 2019)

Now, I only made it out to one funky joint for Winterlicious this year, cuz I was somewhere on a beach, Dierks Bro-ntly! But I figured if I was only gonna do one place for Winterlicious, it was gonna be this funky steakhouse right in the heart of Yorkville. We’re gettin’ some, gettin’ some at STK, son!

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Now, when I heard this joint was serving up double-smoked Applewood bacon as an appetizer, you KNOW I was all over that like fat on pork, bro! This steak-sized piece of back bacon totally reeks of unctuousness, with a balsamic BBQ sauce, holy shiitake shrooms and some red hot chili peppers, for that extra kick. Give it away, give it away, give it away now!!!!

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Of course, we’re still saving room for the main event. This 8 oz strip was definitely on the well-done side of medium rare, but it still had some nice juices, with mashed potatoes, black trumpet mushrooms, and onions two ways–agrodolce and crispy-fried. Dude, this is body by agrodolce, bro!!!

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Now, this chocolate brownie was pretty outta bounds. You’ve got rich, moist chocolate, dulce de leche ice cream, dehydrated raspberries and a maple bourbon sauce??? Shut the front, back and side doors, son!!!!