Four fried chicken tacos and a Coke, bro!

Now, I don’t always eat at Taco Bell, but when I do, it’s go big, or go home, bro! So, when I heard they were rollin’ out the Naked Chicken Chalupa–a totally tubular take on a taco with a fricken’ fried-chicken shell–you KNOW I was all over that like Guy Fieri on fajitas, friend-o! Now, when it comes to such a crazy culinary creation, there’s no way Jose that I could eat just one…so I asked myself, what would John Belushi do?

post-35790-four-fried-chickens-and-a-coke-f7wo

Exactamundo, bro! So I ordered up four of these deep-fried lifeboats in Flavourtown…and a Pepsi, cuz you can’t get Coke at Taco Bell or something.

naked_chicken_chalupa (5)

Now, this dish was so far outta bounds, it went straight down to Flavourtown like the Round Mound of Rebound going to town on a churro, bro! The chicken shell was hot and crispy, straight from the deep-fryer, with a hit of Mexican spices. Then you’ve got lettuce, tomato, cheese and border ranch sauce, for that finger-licking goodness.

Dude, this might just be the best thing since the Double Down–and I loves me some Double Downs, son! Pretty sure I could slam another five or six of these…and still have room for Fries Supreme!

naked_chicken_aftermath (3)

The food at Brewhaha ain’t no laughing matter!

So, we’re hanging out at Brewhaha, this cozy neighbourhood basement bar on Prince Arthur Ave, just a stone’s throw from St. George subway station. Basically, they took the downstairs of a Duke of York and made it a bit cozier, with a buncha local craft beers on tap…like this here 8th Sin Black Lager:

8th_sin_lager-1

This Hop City brew is halfway between a lager and a stout, with a chocolately, coffee taste, but a light, easy-drinking finish. It’s like when you’ve had Guinness for breakfast and lunch, and want something else for dinner…try an 8th Sin Black Lager!

mac_n_weiny-1

Now, this was the dish that brought me in the door—the Cheesy Weiny Mac ‘n Dreamy. You’ve got mac ‘n cheese, deep-fried weiners, and then some crispy onions on top, for that one serving of vegetables. The hot dogs are real hot, straight outta the fryer, but the mac is not super cheesy, and does not have much bite. Still, I’ve put worse things in my mouth for $7.99 before…

parm_grilled_cheese-4

Which brings us to the parmesan crusted grilled cheese. Could you tell from looking at it that there was parmesan in the crust? Me neither, even after tasting it. There’s also bacon in here, and some clumpy tomatoes…that kinda overpower everything else. And that’s without mentioning the bowl of lukewarm tomato sauce on the side! They also say this dish comes with ketchup chips, but these tasted more like plain or maybe BBQ to me…

Bottom line with this place is that the price might be right, but the food is wrong, bro!

It’s like Jimmy Buffet in a can, bro!

So, last time I was in Vegas, I walked by Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville at the Flamingo casino…but I did not go inside, cuz I was on my way to Guy Fieri’s funkalicious Vegas kitchen. (I did go to the Flamingo for the brunch buffet though, bro!)

But a couple weeks back, I was hitting up the beer section of my local LCBO for a case of Coors Light, when I spotted a big ol’ display of Jimmy Buffet brand Landshark Lager…so, you KNOW I had to try it:

landshark_lager-8

Now, they only sell this stuff in tallboy cans, which is optimal for a little stab ‘n chug action, son! It says it’s an “Island Style Lager”—but to me, it tastes kinda Mexican, like Sol or Tecate. And at just 4.6%, I could probably chug about seven or eight of these before I’m wasted away again in Margaritaville!!!!

Hey, I’m pretty sure it’s five o’clock somewhere, dude!

12 BEERS OF CHRISTMAS: Beau’s Tom Green Beer

For the 12th beer of Christmas, my Trudeau gave to me…

trudeau_12

…Beau’s Tom Green Beer!

tom_green_beer-1

It may say Royal City on the glass, but this one is brewed by Beau’s, bro! (Blame it on The Only Cafe…) This rich ‘n milky stout actually has Canada’s funniest comedian’s face on the bottle, and I’m sure it goes great with sausages…but I wouldn’t know, because I had it with a back bacon sandwich. (Again, it’s all The Only Cafe’s fault!)

On the plus side, The Only Cafe lets you bring your own food, so next time, Imma slam one of these babies down with a foot-high Subway sammich!

(I might need just a little more lettuce, though…)

READ MORE: TORONTO BEER WEEK: This beer is brought to you by Tom Green

12 BEERS OF CHRISTMAS: Mill St. Distillery Root Beer

For the fifth beer of Christmas, my Trudeau gave to me…

trudeau_5

…Mill St. Distillery Root Beer!

mill_st_root_beer (3)

Christmas Day brings an extra-special gift from Mill St. Brewery. They’ve actually been making non-alcoholic root beer since 2009, but this summer, they decided to mix it with their Vanilla Porter Bierschnaps, and a new brew was born!

This suped-up sarsaparilla is sweet, but not too sweet, and pretty much tastes like your regular root beer…but with a nice, boozy kick to it. I first tried it at the Taste of Toronto, where it went down smooth with an avocado popsicle. Aaaaand then I ate 11 other things.

Anyways, it might not be summer anymore, but you can still find this stuff at a buncha LCBOs, including a suspiciously large stash in Scarborough. Can you say Distillery Root Beer party at the moontower, bro?

READ MORE: I came, I saw, I tasted tons of great Toronto eats!

Twas the first beer of wintertime…

So, last weekend, we got hit with a buncha snow, which was pretty much perfect meat-pie weather, bro! But after scarfing down a mondo delicious beef ‘n beer pie from my homeboys at The Pie Commission, I just wanted to kick back with a nice, cold Teddy Brewski. And I know just the beer to do the trick:

lions_winter_ale-10

Say hello to my little friend Lions Winter Ale, from Granville Island Brewing. Pretty much everything I like about Vancouver is right here, in this bottle. Now, I’m not sure how they do it, but they’ve made a dark-red beer that takes like a nice warm glass of cocoa…if you don’t keep it in the fridge, that is!

But seriously, this beer is legit, bro! You’ve got a nice kick of cocoa, caramel and vanilla, barely any bitterness, and at 5.5%, it sure as shit ain’t Coors Light, Glen! This is pretty much the perfect beer to kick back and chillax in front of the TV, while watching the Calgary Flames skate circles around Winterpeg:

lions_winter_ale-17

Turns out Calgary’s got the hottest team in the NHL right now. Bet they could use some Lions Winter Ale!!!

Actual alcohol history: Russian vodka saves elephants’ lives

(Originally written December 14, 2012)

Vodka may be shortening the lifespan of the typical Russian male, but when it comes to a couple circus elephants stranded in Siberia, it’s actually a lifesaver.  As RIA Novosti reports, “the two Indian elephants, owed by a traveling Polish circus, were transported from Novokuznetsk to Omsk on late Thursday” when the “hay in the truck caught fire from the diesel engine heating the cargo section.”  With their transport going down in flames, the southbound pachyderms were left to hitch a ride in the middle of the highway.

Fortunately, liquid relief was on the way.  The two animals were taken to a nearby garage, where “As an added precaution, the elephants were served two cases of vodka mixed with warm water,” according to the Russian news agency.  Apparently, that really hit the spot.  “They roared like it was the jungle…Must have been happy,” the district official told RIA Novosti.

Mind you, they weren’t necessarily warmer; it’s just that the booze turned all their bad feelings into good feelings.  As the BBC reports, “alcohol can make animals feel warmer but it actually lowers their core body temperature, scientists say.”  But despite the objections of these unnamed scientists, the BBC notes that “Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper quoted Novosibirsk zoo director Rostislav Shilo as saying that the elephants were not harmed or intoxicated by the vodka, and that without it they would have died of hypothermia or pneumonia.”  Note to self: Pack bottle of Russian Standard in outdoor survival kit!