TORONTO’S TOP TAKOUT: Takin’ and bakin’ some real-deal Jamaican!!!

Now, I’ve never been to Patois before… but I did have their Jamaican patty double-down sammy at Union Market a few years back, so I knew their food’s legit. And when I found out they were delivering care packages of heat-‘n-eat Jamaican classics, you KNOW I had to get in on that, bro!

Now, their half pack was meant for two people, but if you’re stuck in self-isolation, there’s probably enough food here for two full meals — in fact, that’s just what I did.

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So, we’re starting off with a Jamaican takeout classic — jerk chicken with rice and peas and coleslaw. And lemme tell ya, there was more than enough coleslaw for two people here! Now, the chicken leg was alright ‘n all, but when I bit into the breast, that’s when the magic happened…

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Dude, this breast is the best! The meat was super tender and juicy, the skin gets a little extra char from being reheated in the oven, and there’s a little bit of spice, but not too overpowering. Of course, I washed it all down with a Jamaican ginger beer…

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And even after slaughtering a half-chicken, rice and peas, and at least a pound of crunchy coleslaw, you KNOW I still had room for dessert, bro!!!!

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Now, I’m guessing they don’t chow down on this dish in Trenchtown — but it doesn’t get much more Toronto than rum cake tiramisu! You’ve got cocoa, you’ve got marscapone…but instead of ladyfingers, it’s a real-deal Carribean rum cake underneath! I’ve had rum cake from the Bahamas, and this one was definitely on point!!!

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Now, since we went with the Jamaican classic dinner on Friday, tonight was more of a buffet of flavours from the rest of the delivery order. You’ve got stewed oxtail in a rich gravy, a couple itty bitty beef patties, Trinidadian-style mac pie, a side of plantain chips with garlic sauce…oh and some kimchi brussels sprouts. Yeah, I dunno how those got here, either.

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Now, even though I probably needed to reheat it longer than they suggested, the oxtail meat still came right off the bone — these are like little baby beef ribs in Flavourtown! The patties were nice ‘n hot after 15 min in the oven, the plantain chips with the garlic sauce was a nice, tasty snack and that mac pie, man…I wish I could have mac ‘n cheese shaped into a pie with every meal — there’s nothing wrong with that at all!

On the other hand, I wasn’t as much a fan of the kimchi brussels sprouts, a dish served cold like revenge. Now, I don’t mind kimchi with Korean BBQ, but the bitterness kinda clashed with the oxtail gravy and everything else — one of these tings was not like the other, mon!

Oh, and speaking of Ting…

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This Jamaican 7-Up goes pretty good with spicy food — although the only thing that was really spicy about tonight’s meal was the pineapple scotch bonnet sauce on the side. (I still got a bunch of it left to make some hot wings, or something…) For an extra 25 bucks, Patois will add a six-pack of Red Stripe to your order, but I gotta say, I’m glad I stuck with the Jamaican soda. Yeah, we be jammin!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Build your own Pittsburgh-style sando from Porchetta & Co

Now, when it comes to takeout, you’ll usually get a buncha beef and chicken, but you don’t often see pork — unless it’s the bacon on yer burger, bro! But that’s not the case at Porchetta & Co, this funky little joint that specializes in Italian roast pork sandwiches. (They’ve also got hot chicken, but I wouldn’t recommend it…) Now, you can order up a porchetta sandwich on its own, but for a couple bucks more, they’ll make it into a plate — or, in this case, a container:

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Now, the toasted sourdough bun comes with every order, but you get to pick two other sides. And while I could get fancy with some roast potatoes and rapini, seeing the fries ‘n coleslaw gave me an idea — I’m gonna build my own triple-threat sandwich just like they do at Primanti Bros in Pittsburgh…with the fries and the coleslaw on top!

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So, I start by spreading some grainy mustard all across the bottom bun, then I pile on every single piece of pork — including the crackling, which is probably the best part!

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And then it’s time to fire up the band in this Flavourtown orchestra, by piling the fries and the slaw right on! Man, I’m gonna hafta hunch extra hard for this one…

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Dude, this sandwich was almost too delish to squish! The pork was unctuous and rambunctious, you’ve got a nice kick from the mustard, some crunch from the coleslaw, and the classic crinkle-cut fries adding a little more texture to this Flavourtown masterpiece. 10 on 10 would eat again!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Holy fuck, I just ate a whole duck!!!

Now, I’ve definitely had a few funky duck dishes in my day, but when I heard that R&D, this Asian fusion joint in downtown Chinatown, was delivering what they call The Best Duck in the City, you KNOW I had to check it out! Thing is, they don’t just give you a duck breast, or a duck leg — they’re serving up the whole thing, which means you need at least two takeout containers just for the duck alone:

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Of course, they aren’t just giving you the bird — there’s also a whole pile of cucumbers, some leeks, a container of garlic hoisin sauce, and a whole buncha steamed baos to stuff ’em in. Put it together, and what do you got? Dippity duckity do, bro!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. This might actually be the best duck in the city — the bird is super-tender, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Then you’ve got some crunch from the cukes, a little kick from the hoisin, and a nice puffy, doughy vessel to pack ’em all into. I could eat at least eight of these — wait, actually I did!!!

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But we’re saving the best for last with a double duck leg takedown! Dude, this meat was so tender, it practically falls off the bone. So much richness, and not very fatty — I was pretty full when I finished all this, but not so much that I was slowing down. Still, even if it didn’t fill me up as much as my BBQ dinner for one, at $90, it was the most expensive takeout order I’ve ever made…

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Now, while I’m scarfing down all that duck, I figured I could use a little goose — we’re talking Goose Island, son!

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So I went for a Dubbel Whammy, this tasty Belgian Dubbel from the Goose Island Toronto Brewhouse. You’ve got a nice, rich, molasses flavour, but not too heavy at a shade under 7%. And Goose Island is doing free same-day delivery for orders over 20 dollars, which makes this another Delivery Double Down in Flavourtown!!!!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: My oh my, that’s some good pad thai!!!

Now, I haven’t actually had any Asian food since this shutdown first started. But I was craving Thai, so I went onto Uber Eats, and ordered from Khao San Road, the most popular Thai place on the app. Unfortunately, this meant I didn’t get my lunch until about 1:20…but I’d say it was worth the wait.

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This here’s their Three Flavours Pad Thai, and it’s like a Boat of Many Flavours in Flavourtown. You’ve got all the classics like tofu, egg, bean sprouts and peppers, with a few chunks of chicken, some rice noodles, and nice mixture of lime and tamarind, for that extra tang. Man, I was so hungry, I could eat a container twice this size, son!!!

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: My all-time favorite burrito, to go!!!

Now, back when I used to live in The Annex, I was almost right next door to a Burrito Bandidos — which was pretty freakin’ awesome, bro! Anytime I didn’t feel like cooking, I’d head on over for my go-to order — halibut burrito on white with everything, hold the spicy stuff!

Well, I don’t live in The Annex anymore, but there is another Burrito Bandidos within delivery range, so it’s time to say hello again to ma lil’ friend!!!

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Dude, this is like Fish ‘n Chips Gone Wild in Flavourtown (minus the chips). You’ve got a nice, deep-fried piece of halibut, a little crunch from the green peppers, some juice from the tomatoes, the rice and beans adding extra texture. And while I didn’t pay more for guacamole, I’m pretty sure I tasted some guac in here, too… Now, put that on your plate!!!

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: This burger’s for Rudy, coach!

Now, I was never a walk-on at Notre Dame, but I know a good burger when I see it. And Rudy, which has three locations across the city, all doing takeout and delivery, makes a pretty darn good burger, bro!

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This is the Tattooed Rude Dude combo, and it has barely a speck of athletic ability. You’ve got a bacon double cheeseburger with a side of poutine — all combos should come with poutine, son!!!

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This Rude Dude is griddled for those extra crispy edges, topped with super-melty cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and bacon. Now, the difference between a regular Rude Dude and the Tattooed Rude Dude is the bacon, which costs an extra $2.50. But you KNOW that the first rule of Flavourtown is Always Add Bacon, bro!!!!

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Now, this poutine is soooo next level! The fries are nice and thick, gravy is on point…but what makes it are the cheese curds. I can’t even remember the last time I had poutine with properly squeaky curds — normally, the cheese is all melty by the time it meets my mouth. But these curds squeaked so hard, they sacked the quarterback, son! No wonder Toronto Life calls it the best poutine in the city

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Dirty Bird is the word!

Now, ordering takeout doesn’t always mean burgers and fries…not that there’s anything wrong with that. But I’m always on the lookout for something a little more funky, and I think I’ve found it at The Dirty Bird, this little joint in Kensington Market serving up northern fried chicken and waffles!!!

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Now, if I’m gonna order from a place like The Dirty Bird, you KNOW I’m gonna go for the biggest, baddest, dirtiest dish they’ve got — and I’m pretty sure I’ve found it with their Big Dirty sandwich and a side of Dirty Fries!

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Now, this has gotta be one of the best fried chicken sandwiches I’ve ever had — and that’s saying something! The chicken is so crunchy it makes its own sound effects, and it’s stuffed between two waffles that stay fluffy, not soggy. The crispy iceberg lettuce adds even more crunch, and they’ve got just enough of their signature Dirty Sauce on the bird to add a bit of kick, without making everything all saucy and messy…

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Speaking of saucy and messy, though, their Dirty Fries definitely fit the bill! They take french-fried potaters and top ’em with shredded cheddar, donkey sauce and some more of that Dirty Sauce — which is sorta like a sweet chili Thai — making this a Northern-Fried Poutine Gone Wild in Flavourtown!!!!!!!!