FLAVOURTOWN OLYMPICS: First we beat the Swiss, then we eat fondue!

So, Canada kicks off the men’s hockey tournament against the Swiss tomorrow, but me, I’m still celebrating after we kicked their ass in mixed doubles curling. I was like hurry, hurry, hard all the way home, big bad broseph!!!!

So now we’re hanging out at Bier Markt, this funky Euro craft beer joint on King Street West. Man, this place has everything: weiner schnitzel, smoked gouda, even some duck wings, bro! But you know I’m here for one reason only. We already beat the Swiss, and now it’s time for fondue:

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They call this one The Big Cheese, and it’s cheesier than that upcoming Poison reunion tour, bro! You’ve got Raclette, you’ve got Emmental and some white wine, along with potatoes, pretzels and baguette bread for dipping. The only thing missing was an ice cold brewski–oh, wait!!!

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Now, I don’t always drink beer from Vancouver, but when I do, I prefer Lions Winter Ale. This seasonal slobberknocker looks like a red beer, but it’s got this totally chocolately taste that would make Count Chocula’s head spin. Man, Team Canada could probably slam a few of these…and still beat the Swiss tomorrow, bro!!!

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WINTERLICIOUS 2018: My oh my, beef brisket pie!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Liberty Commons, the funky Big Rock brewpub in Liberty Village. Now, when we were here for Summerlicious last year, the soup was super tasty, the beer-fried dough for dessert was legit, but the beef brisket was cold and fatty. Dude, cold and fatty is what my ex-wife calls me!!!!

But when I heard they were bringing back the brisket inside a cornish pastry as part of their Winterlicious lunch, you KNOW I was ready to come back, bro! But first, here’s some ale-cured smoked salmon:

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Now, I don’t always eat fish, but when you soak it in beer, I’m all in! You’ve got some house-made creme fresh, pickled onions and a couple sprigs of green stuff, all on a Montreal-style boiled bagel. I could probably have eaten 2-3 of these, but then I wouldn’t be so hungry for the brisket:

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Man, this meat just melts in my mouth, bro! The brisket is super-tender, then you’ve got these carrots and potatoes, all inside a flaky crust. With apologies to The Pie Commission, this might be the best meat pie I’ve ever munched on, Bro-sephus!

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Of course, you KNOW I still had room for dessert, bro! They call this beer-amisu, and I call it magically delicious! You’ve got a chewy, ooey-gooey pumpkin marscapone, soaked in Big Rock Coffee Porter, instead of your regular cuppa joe. This almost tastes like pumpkin pie, but, y’know, with beer on top…

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Of course, one does not simply go to a brewpub to sip honey-spiced mead. This Big Rock Pilsner is much better. Pretty sure I slammed at least four of these… Dilly Dilly, Brozilly!!!!

WINTERLICIOUS 2018: That’s a big ol’ messy burger, bro!!!

Now the Cactus Club is pretty big out west–I’m pretty sure Vancouver runs on Cactus Club, bro! But like a lot of these chains that started off in B.C. or Alberta (Earl’s, Joey’s, Moxie’s), they fancy it up when they hit Toronto. Like their location at First Canadian Place, right in the heart of the Financial District. This place has a rooftop patio that’s open all year round–cuz it’s got a heater and a roof of it’s own! And for Winterlicious, they’re warming things up with burgers, chicken sammies…and like a salad, or something.

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But you don’t win friends with salad, bro, so instead I started off with some butternut squash ravioli. These squares of flavour were super creamy, with a whole buncha shredded parma on top. They only give you two, but of course, the best is yet to come…

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They call this the Feenie Burger, and it’s like a nuclear meltdown in Flavourtown! You’ve got smashed Angus beef, topped with cheddar and a whole buncha mushrooms. Then just add bacon, pickles, a little lettuce and tomato. And then they’ve got this tangy concoction that’s a mix of red relish, mayo, ketchup and mustard! Half the sauce ended up on my lap, but hey…if it ain’t messy, it ain’t tasty, Charles Bro-son!!!

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Now, have you ever said to yourself “Man, I feel like an Oh Henry, but with a dab of caramel, a scoop of ice cream and some little chocolate Smarties for dessert?” Well, today’s your lucky day, bro! I could maybe go for a King Sized next time, though… Dude, this is body by Oh Henry!!!!!

This deep-fried-pickle bacon cheeseburger is totally dill-icious!

So, we’re hanging out at BQM, this funky craft beer and burger joint right in the heart of Little Portland, Ossington just south of Dundas. This place has got one main thing on the menu, and that’s burgers, bro! (They’ve also got wings, poutine, and salad, but I skipped that last part.)

Now, when I go to a place that specializes in burgers, you KNOW I never order a salad! So I went for the funkiest meat on a bun on the menu. They call this one Dill-i-cio, and me, I call it magically delicious:

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OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got a thick ‘n juicy beef patty, with super-crisp and crunchy bacon, just the way I like it. There’s added crispy crunchiness from the lettuce, but you KNOW the panko-battered deep-fried pickle is what makes it, bro! You’ve got a bit of a kick from the sriracha, and some creamy garlic mayo, but man…this might be the crunchiest burger I’ve ever shoved straight down my piehole!!!

This is a Batch of the good stuff, right here!

So, we’re hanging out at Batch, this funky craft brew pub just a guitar pick’s throw away from Massey Hall on Victoria St. Now, this place is run by the fine folks at Creemore Springs, and while they’ve got a buncha Creemore brews on tap, they’re also serving up their own in-house Batch brand, like this here Witbier:

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This light, citrusy, easy-drinking brew tastes perfect when it’s like minus one-thousand outside and you kinda wish it was summer. But while it goes down smooth, it ain’t no light beer, packing a respectable 5.1%. Oh, and it goes great with Welsh rarebit:

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That’s rarebit, not rabbit, bro! This spongey, squishy bread is soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside, kinda like a cross between banana bread and a soft pretzel. And then they just absolutely slather it with a warm cheddar cheese—man, you could put that on a flip-flop and it would still taste good!

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Speaking of tasting good, this pork belly sammy the TheBomb.ca, brosephus! You’ve got a perfect texture on the pork, with some crusty bits on the end, a whole buncha purple slaw, and some spicy, grainy mustard for that extra kick. Plus, their fries are freakin’ yuuuge! I could easily just polish off a plate of potaters alone!!!

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Now, after a pork sammy plus a cheesy pretzel, I like to kick back and relax with a warm, fruity seasonal beer, like this one, the Winter Warmer. This is one of those brews to savour by the fire after you’ve eaten your weight in sausage rolls. It’s got a similar heavy, fruity taste to the imperial stout I polished off at BeerBistro…except this one ain’t 50 bucks a bottle, alco-broski!

Tackling a 22 oz pork chop @ Hogtown Smoke!

So we’re hanging out at Hogtown Smoke, this funky BBQ joint that just opened up a new can of kickass in downtown Toronto. The original smokehouse was a little hole in the wall, but the new place is pretty massive, with a great layout, and plenty of big screens to watch Tom Brady matriculate the football. Man, I would go back here just to watch the game, even if the food wasn’t so righteously funkalicious!

But yeah, they feed you pretty good, too. Last time I was at Hogtown Smoke, I polished off a massive pile of Kitchen Sink Fries, and still had room for a beef rib. So you know I was about to dive head first into their new menu, bro!!!

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These jalapeno poppers were poppin’, son! They take a whole jalapeno pepper, stuff it with cheese, then wrap it in bacon. Dude, you could wrap a flip-flop in bacon, and it would still taste good!

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But one does not simply enter Hogtown Smoke and order only one appetizer, so you know I shoved this Super Bowl of burnt ends straight down my piehole! But that’s still just a second breakfast in Flavourtown…

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Now, I’ve scarfed down a couple steaks that were even meatier (although I didn’t finish one of them), but this was probably the biggest piece of pork I’ve ever pounded. You’ve got 22 ounces of Heritage Berkshire pork, super tender and juicy, with roasted potatoes, greens and pink celery, and then a red-pepper puree. The veggies alone were enough to feed a vegan family, but you KNOW this was just another light snack in Downtown Flavourtown!!!!

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(I will admit that I did NOT have room for dessert afterwards…)

So many cheesecakes, such little time…

So, we’re hanging out at The Cheesecake Factory, the first one to open in Canada, up at Yorkdale Mall. I’ve heard of lineups up the ying-yang for this place, but if you get there right when they open, at 10 am on a weekend, you can be seated around 11:15 and finished eating by 12:45. That’s assuming, of course, you save room for dessert. And who goes to The Cheesecake Factory and DOESN’T save room for dessert!? That’s such a weak move, bro!!!!

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The menu at this place is the size of a Guy Fieri cookbook, and it definitely takes a while to flip through it. But one of the first things I spotted was these Nashville hot chicken nuggets. They’re not quite the same as eating hot chicken in Nashville, but it’s a nice snack to tide you over when you’ve skipped breakfast to get there early!

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Unfortunately, all the cheese from my stuffed cheddar burger leaked out onto the plate before I could take a bite. I had to scrape it up with my knife to give you this ooey, gooey money shot right here…and that meant I didn’t get cheese in every bite. Still, it’s not as painful as having hot cheese squirt out onto your arm, lemme tell ya!

And now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

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Man, it was hard to pick a favourite among so many great cakes. But when the server told me that Chris’ Outrageous Cheesecake tastes like a Nanaimo bar, I knew that was so outta bounds that I had to shut the back door and buy a ticket! What you’ve got here is a chocolate chip coconut cheesecake, with layers of chocolate cake, brownie, coconut pecan frosting and a side of whipped cream. So you’re basically getting three desserts in one. This cake was super rich and decadent…but you KNOW I licked the plate clean, bro!!!!!

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