Let’s go back to Tennessee…you and me!

So, we’re hanging out at Tennessee Tavern, this funky, dingy dive bar serving up Eastern European food deep in the heart of Parkdale. Now, this place does have live country music some weekends, but it’s mostly known as a dining destination–even if it looks like your Polish grandfather’s basement. Man, this place knows all the hits: cabbage rolls, smoked fish, kielbasa, schnitzel, pierogis–they’ve even got ćevapi, for all you Serbians in the house.

Now me, I couldn’t decide between schnitzel and pierogis, so I decided to do both:

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So, we’re starting off with pierogis. This plate of pillowy Polish goodness comes garnished with bacon and green onions, with a big ol’ mound of sour cream–dude, this is body by sour cream–and you can get six for just seven bucks, bro! Man, that’s less than a pint of Molson Canadian at most places…and these actually taste good!

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Now, this super-sized veal schnitzel is about as big as the plate–that’s why they put the mustard in a jar lid on top. And dude, this might be some of the crispiest, crunchiest schnitzel I’ve ever munched. It ain’t no Sign of the Schnitzel Queen, but it’s still pretty doggone delicious!

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Now, when it comes to beer, there ain’t no Molson Canadian here, bro! Instead, they funk it up a notch with Pilsner Urquell on tap along with a whole buncha outta-bounds craft brewskis, like Don’t Kill My Vibe, a tangy peach Berliner from Stone City Ales–all the way from Kingston, Ontario. This beer’s so hip it ain’t even tragic, and you don’t even need a 50 Mission Cap to slam six or seven of these…although they tapped out the keg after I chugged my second one, son!

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Beef tacos two ways @ Grand Electric

So, we’re hanging out at Grand Electric, this funky little taco joint deep in the heart of Parkdale. Man, this place has everything: fish tacos, shrimp tacos, chicken tacos, carnitas tacos…even cauliflower tacos, for some strange reason. But when I saw they were serving up not one, but two types of beef tacos, I was all like “Uno dos tres, quatro cinco, cinco seis,” white guy!

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So, we’re starting off with the beef cheek, piled with onions, cilantro and a spicy serrano chile salsa. Dude, these tacos are loco en la cabeza, homes! Maybe not as loco as la cabeza at Seven Lives, but there’s no shame in being the second-best beef cheek taco in this city, right?

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But then they kick it up a notch with la costilla, beef short rib tacos. The meat is perfectly cubed, with a nice tenderness, and you’ve got pretty much the same toppings, cept I added some chipotle sauce to this one cuz dude, I would eat that off a sombrero, bro!!!

Oh no, there goes Tokyo… Go, go Gosezilla!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Northern Maverick, this funky craft brewpub on Bathurst, where they’ve got eight beers brewed in house on tap, but there’s only one I wanna try…OK, make that two. They’ve actually got two different goses, which they call Gosezilla, and they’re like a funky one-two fruit punch in Flavourtown!

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Up first is the Strawberry & Pineapple Gosezilla, brewed with fresh strawberries, and a little kick of pineapple at the end. Man, who needs Booster Juice when you can slam one of these smoothies, bro???

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Aaaaaand now we’re kicking it up another notch with the Peach & Mango Gosezilla. This one is super-refreshing, with millions of peaches, peaches for me…lookout!

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Of course, with all that fruit in the beer, I don’t even need to order a salad…not like I would have anyways, bro! Instead, we’re talking fried chicken, cornbread, and coleslaw (which counts as a salad, I guess?). The craziest thing about this dish is it’s completely boneless–they just shape it to look like a breast or a thigh. And you’ve got a bit of garlic ranch and some jerk sauce on the side–dude, Jerk Sauce was the name of my Sublime cover band, bro!!!!

This is probably the best place to watch football in Pittsburgh…

So, we’re hanging out at City Works, this funky joint in Market Square, right in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh. Now, since the Steelers were playing on Monday Night Football last week, it meant you could watch any other game on Sunday–and this place was showing pretty much all of them. I mean, they even had the Bills game on, bro!!!!

Not only that, but they’ve got some funky delish dishes, plus over 90 craft beers on tap. Dude, it’s kinda like Real Sports…without all the douchebags. Oh, and they’ve got better beer here, too.

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So, we’re starting off with a Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’, this hoppy pale wheat ale from Lagunitas. Dude, we’re lucky if we get Lagunitas IPA in Toronto, so you know I’m all over this one. It tastes kinda like a strong hefeweizen, but with an apricot aftertaste that explodes all over my face, bro!!!

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Now, you know I love nachos, and I’m also a big fan of duck confit, so when you put ’em together, it’s like bippity, boppity boo, bro! You’ve got some onions, tomato, jalapenos and queso fresco, along with white beans, for that funky fresh Frenchness, all smothered in pepper jack cheese sauce…and served on wonton chips!? Shut the back door!!!

Now, this plate of nachos was actually not that big, so I definitely still had room for  dessert:

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Dude, if this Peanut Butter Snickers Pie was any more rich, it would be throwing dynamite with Maren Morris! You’ve got an Oreo cookie crust, peanut butter mousse, whipped cream and chunks of Snickers, served up on a checkerboard of caramel and chocolate sauce–that’s a checkmate in Flavourtown, bro!!!

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Now what goes better with dessert than another beer? This here’s a nice chocolately cocoa porter called Sweet Baby Jesus from Duclaw Brewing outta Baltimore…and I didn’t even hafta go to Baltimore to get it!

 

This Primanti Bros sando eats like a three-course meal!

So we’re hanging out at Primanti Bros, Pittsburgh’s original gangsta sandwich joint, open since 1933 in the Strip District. This place does one thing, and they do it real well, piling meat, fries and slaw between two pieces of bread, bro! Now, this funky joint is open 24 hours, which means this is my idea of a balanced breakfast:

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What we’ve got is the Roast Beef & Cheese, which is sorta like Pittsburgh’s take on a Philly Cheesesteak. There’s hot, thinly sliced beef, melted provolone, and then a whole pile of fries, coleslaw and some tomatoes on top–y’know, for that one serving of fruit. And this is just half of it…there’s a whole ‘nother side to this sandwich, son!

I can’t say whether I still had room for dessert–they ain’t got no dessert on the menu. But who needs to save room with a sandwich this good? Man, even JuJu Smith-Schuster goes here, bro!!!!

Real-deal Texas BBQ, deep in the heart of…Pittsburgh???

So, we’re crusin’ down Butler Street in Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh’s hottest neighbourhood, when I spot this bitchin’ BBQ joint with a massive outdoor patio, picnic tables, and a buncha people playing cornhole out front. You know I spun a U-ie in the Camaro right then and there, bro!!!

Walter’s Southern Kitchen actually just opened at the end of August, and it’s run by the same folks as Morgan’s BBQ in Brooklyn…but when it comes to meat, they’re definitely doing it up Texas-style:

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Dude, that beef brisket is real-deal, Bomb.com, too legit to quit, bro!!!! The meat just falls apart on your fork, melts in your mouth, and explodes all over your face. And then you’ve got the turkey. I’m more of a fried chicken man myself, but when you’ve got it coming straight outta the smoker, all pink and tender, I could eat about five pounds of that…and probably not have room for dessert?

walters_bbq_turkey (1)Mmm, BBQ turkey…

Now, because I happened to be wearing my Franklin BBQ trucker hat, these dudes knew I knew what’s up, so they offered me some ribs for free. (Well that, and they were also all outta sausage). Feast your eyes on this Flavourtown meat popsicle:

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Dude, these ribs were just as tender and flavourful as the brisket, with a simple salt-and-pepper rub. They were all sold outta beef ribs though, otherwise that wouldda been perfect…

Anyways, they’re still ironing out some of the kinks over there, but the food is super-legit, and I don’t know anywhere else in town where you can do yoga in the morning, play some cornhole and drink beers in the afternoon, and then chow down on BBQ at night. If another place like this does exist…then I might be headed back to Pittsburgh sooner than later, son!!!!

Big Trouble in Downtown Chinatown

So, we’re hanging out at Big Trouble, this funky second-floor joint on Dundas, right in the heart of Chinatown. Normally, if I’m in this part of town, it’s for some real-deal dim sum, but when I heard this place had five-dollar beers and cheeseburger dumplings, I was all over that like white on rice, Lo Pan!!!

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They call this the BT Dumpling Tower, and it’s a tower of power in Flavourtown! You’ve got a whole buncha beefy cheeseburger dumplings, topped with muenster cheese, salsa and arugula, and then smothered in gochujang sauce–everybody gochujang-chung tonight!!!

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And not only do they have a buncha Asian beer bottles for five bucks, but during Happy Hour, all the tall cans are five bucks, too! You KNOW I jumped on a few of these Tiger Beers, bro!!!