Beer & brats @ Steam Whistle Biergarten

Man, nothing beats an ice-cold beer and a hot, greasy sausage on a summer day! We’re hanging out at the Steam Whistle Biergarten, this funky little food hall inside the Steam Whistle Brewery, just a Vladdy Jr. moonshot away from where the Blue Jays play. And this place is serving up all kinds of German classics, like ham hocks, chicken schnitzel and not one, not two, but three kinds of sausage — along with this classic soft pretzel:

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Now, I was kinda hoping with a supersized pretzel twice as big as my head, like the one I had at Blake Shelton’s bar in Nashville. This was not nearly as huge. But it’s still warm and salty, and the Steam Whistle beer cheese is what makes it! (Not really a fan of the spicy mustard, though…)

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I don’t think you’ll find these German fries anywhere in Munich, but they were still pretty legit, You’ve got deep-fried potater discs, topped with thick chucks of bacon, green onion, and drizzled with donkey sauce — I would eat that any day of the week!!!

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It wouldn’t be a sausage party without bratwurst, bro! This German wiener is coming in hot, topped with a ton of onion flakes(!), arugula(!!) and a mango relish(!!!) on a nice, grilled bun. I could probably pound two or three of these…

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Of course, it wouldn’t be a beer hall without the cerveza. This Von Bugle Munich Lager is brewed using German techniques for that perfect balance between malty and bitter. It even upholds the Bavarian Purity Act…even though it’s brewed in Etobicoke!!!

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Now, I probably shouldn’t go to the Steam Whistle Biergarten and not drink a Steam Whistle. This is their unfiltered pilsner, which tastes a little richer and maltier than the one you get at The Beer Store. I think I like it a bit better…although it’s pretty much still the same beer.

 

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Who needs democracy when we’re in a Beerocracy?

Now, I’ve never lived in a dictatorship…but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Dude, you’ve gotta be drunk to buy some of the stuff that these politicians come up with — I mean, whoever thought that Buck a Beer was a good idea??? Good thing that at Beerocracy, this funky craft beer bar on College, you won’t find any PC Brand, Barley Days or Cool Beer on the menu…

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We’re starting off on the lighter side with some Yacht Rock, a sessionable sour beer from Stone City Brewing. This gose goes down easy, at 4.4%, and comes with a hit of pink rock salt. Now, pink rock might not be punk rock, but it’s still heavier than Seals & Crofts, bro!!!

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But now we’re getting a whole lot heavier with Rainbow in the Dark, a winter rye IPA named after my third-favourite Dio song. This brew comes in at an evil 6.66%, and tastes so good, I’d even pay to drink a hologram of it… OK, maybe not.

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Now, I have heard a lot aboot Canadian Breakfast Stout, but being that it’s brewed by Founders in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and our local politicians have decided that we can only buy beer from two places, I have never had a chance to taste it until now. This super-strong (11.7%) bourbon barrel stout tasted a lot like the Trou de Diable I had at Beerbistro, but it’s even more potent… it’s so strong that they only serve it in a 12 oz glass. But that doesn’t mean you can order just one — this is a Beerocracy, after all. 😉

Sassy club sandwich + fries @ Sassafraz

Now, I don’t always wake up in time for brunch, but when I do, there’d better be bacon awaitin’ for me. So, when I heard that Sassafraz, this upscale funky joint in Yorkville, was serving up a brunch club sandwich with house-roasted turkey and peppercorn bacon, I knew I had to come check it out…

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Now, this had to be one of the top five club sammies I’ve ever had, and I’m pretty sure I was partying in da club when it was invented. The turkey was fresh-carved and tender, the bacon was super-crispy, the way it should be, and then you had some crunch from the apples, melty cheese with a bit of sharpness from the brie at the end… You could put that on a flip-flop, sprinkle it with chicken base and garlic salt, serve it with bananas…and it would still taste good!!!

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As you can see, the fries were thin ‘n salty, but I loved the fact that they gave you both mayo and ketchup for dipping. You could go back and forth all day, or even make your own Mayochup… although you might wanna avoid getting shitfaced at 11 am. 😉

AYCE BBQ @ Broadview Hotel

On Sunday, it was finally starting to feel like summer, so we’re hanging out on the patio at the Broadview Hotel for their Ultimate Summer BBQ Series, where they’re serving up all the meat you can eat for 25 bucks, bro! And they’ve got all the backyard classics — burgers, sausage, ribs, chicken legs, pulled pork, and even mac ‘n cheese!!!

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With so much meat and such little time (they only give you 90 minutes), I didn’t know where to start… So I piled some pulled pork, onions and pickles into a sammy. It was maybe a little dry — needs some sauce, boss! — but still quite tasty.

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Now, I’m not a guy who likes a lotta stuff on his sausage — gimme some onions, maybe a little sauerkraut, and I’m happy. But this place was all aut of kraut, and the non-diced onions weren’t optimized for maximum sausage delivery…but that didn’t make this smokie any less tasty!!!

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Unlike pulled pork, I don’t actually need a lotta sauce on my ribs. These ones were just about right…and I can’t complain about the meat ratio on this one, either!

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These chicken legs mighta been the best thing at the BBQ. Hot, meaty, with just enough Cajun seasoning… I could slam, like, 17 of these!!!

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Of course, it wouldn’t be a backyard BBQ without burgers. Tomato, onion, pickles — I’ll leave the leafy green stuff for the cows, bro!

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Now, you KNOW I’m not just having one burger, bro! For round two, I’m talking beef, topped with pulled pork, topped with sliced sausage, on a bed of pickles, onions and coleslaw — it’s a Flavourtown Triple Play, times two!!!

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Hey, you can’t have a BBQ patio party without beer, bro! These ice-cold brewskis came from Eastbound Brewing Co, just a couple blocks down the street. Their Hidden Lake Hefeweizen was light and refreshing, but surprisingly strong at 5.7% — it’s probably outlawed in at least a few States. 😉

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Now, that 25 bucks (plus tax) only gets you one drink ticket, but the last time I only had one beer at a backyard BBQ was that time I sharted on the slip ‘n slide after a bad batch of baked beans. So paying five bucks for another brew was a no-brainer, bro! This Nerve Tonic saison has a nice hint of juniper berries at the end, and it doesn’t seem like 6.1% — I could totally crush a ton of these!!!!

 

Burgermania’s running wild on Yonge-Dundas Square!!!

Now, burgers and bandanas are two of my favourite things, so when I heard that Burgermania was coming back to Toronto, I was all bouncing off the ropes for a big leg drop, brother! They’ve serving up sliders, fries and milkshakes all weekend in Yonge-Dundas Square — I don’t need to cook until Monday, bro!!!

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Now, the biggest line at the whole festival was for Ronto’s Burger, which was all over Instagram with its mac ‘n cheese sliders. But you know how things always look better on Instagram, bro? In reality, this mac wasn’t very cheesy, and most of it didn’t stay between the buns, meaning you had a half-decent double cheeseburger with a side of mediocre mac instead.

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Now, on the other hand, Ronto’s other culinary creation, the Barnyard Burger, was pretty legit. You’ve got a beef burger topped with fried chicken, bacon, drizzled with honey, and then some pickles and coleslaw to balance out the sweetness. Man, I could go for another three of these — if I didn’t hafta wait in line again!!!

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Right next to Ronto’s stall, Good Fortune Bar was serving up this classic cheeseburger with a twist — Hickory Sticks, the greatest chips known to mankind. I’m pretty sure I have eaten Hickory Sticks off a flip-flop before…but when you put em on a burger, they taste even better!!!

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Cherry St Bar-B-Que, home of the best beef brisket you’ll ever find in a food court, was offering up this culinary challenge. You could get their 100% ground brisket Cherry Mac burger for five bucks, or for just two dollars more, you could add another patty, and another, and another… It’s a Flavourtown Quadruple Down, Fieri-san!!! And while the rest of the toppings could not compete with all that meat, who needs lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles when you can have brisket, brisket, brisket and more brisket, broseph????

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Of course, you can’t have four burgers without fries, so we’re hitting up Chef Michael G’s World Fry House, where they’re fresh cutting french fries right in front of your face! These are The Italian, topped with Parmesan and parsley. Who needs Crimson and Clover when you can have Parmesan and Parsley, Bro-an Jett???

 

I’m biting into this sammy, and chewing away… like a Bat Outta Hell!

So, we’re hanging out at Mudgie’s Deli & Wine Shop, this funky little joint in Corktown, next to Downtown Flavourtown in Detroit, Michigan. This place is known for craft beer and killer sammies — like pastrami, beef brisket and corned beef, but when I saw this dish was named after my favourite Meat Loaf album, you KNOW I had to dig in. Rev up yer silver-black phantom bike for the Bat Outta Hell!!!

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This ain’t yer grandma’s meatloaf, son! They make it outta top sirloin, and it’s not exactly square, either…which makes for more optimal munching. Then they top it with thick ‘n chewy bacon, some melty white cheddar, red onion, mustard, and I think there’s some lettuce in there somewhere, too. The house-made pickle is a nice added touch, even though it tastes more like a cucumber, and the side of mac salad is also legit.

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Now, I knew this place was known for craft beer — they’ve got over 100. But I didn’t know how funky they could get until I saw The Hat Gose Blueberry Lemonade, from Michigan’s Witch’s Hat Brewing Co. This light, crushable breakfast beer combines both the flavours of blueberries and lemonade without tasting too sour… It’s magically delicious!

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But now we’re about to funk it up another notch, with the Mango Habanero Oberon, a pale wheat ale from Bell’s Brewery. You’ve got the refreshing, citrusy taste of a wheat beer, but then a nice little kick from the habaneros at the end. Normally you drink beer when the food’s too spicy, but since this beer’s pretty spicy, I need some dessert, bro!!!

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They call this the Fudgie Mudgie, and it’s packing all kinds of flavour! You’ve got a warm chocolate brownie waffle, topped with a scoop of vanilla, whipped cream, hot fudge and some cocoa sprinkles!!?? Dude, I wouldn’t do anything for love, but I’d definitely eat that, Rocky Horror Broseph!!!

Man, this was the best 38 dollar cheeseburger I’ve ever had!!!

What’s the most you’ve ever paid for a burger, bro? Now, I’m no stranger to great big burgers — you could say I’ve had a few in my day. But they don’t usually cost more than 25 bucks…and that’s if they’ve got six patties stacked between three grilled cheeses.

But now we’re hanging out at BlueBlood Steakhouse, this funky, old-school steak joint inside of Casa Loma. This place has got beef from all over the place — Japan, Australia, Alberta…including some real-deal Wagyu. Dude, I’m not gonna pay 200 bucks for a six-ounce Wagyu filet, though — that’s more like a snack, not a steak! But when I saw they had a Wagyu steakburger for $38, I figured I could go for that… But I gotta get some more beef in me first:

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Now, the great thing about this beef short rib ravioli is that they don’t stuff it with short rib — they put the beef on top. More beef for your buck, bro! And this meat is braised until it pretty much falls apart… it even tastes good with peas, and I don’t even like peas!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. In this corner, you’ve got Wagyu beef, topped with perfectly melted cheese, some crispy onion rings, lettuce and tomato, all inside a brioche bun. It’s a little lighter, and more flavourful, than your typical burger, but still has a nice thickness to it. Oh, and it comes with some of the biggest fries I’ve ever seen in my life. Normally, I can eat four or five fries in a handful…but these fries are so huge, I could only eat one in five bites!!!

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Now, after eating a couple pounds of potatoes, I didn’t know if I had room for dessert. But man, their baked Alaska is on fire — literally!!!

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This Blowtorch Betty in Flavourtown is set ablaze with flaming overproof rum, singeing its meringue shell. On the inside, you’ve got dark chocolate ice cream and strawberry sorbet, with some raspberries and chocolate truffles. Probably the best 28-dollar dessert I’ve ever had!!!

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