EATIN AUSTIN: I don’t always eat boneless wings, but when I do, I make sure they’re wrapped in bacon!

So, we’re hanging out at The Tavern, this funky neighbourhood bar that’s been down on the corner of 12th Street and Lamar for more than 100 years. When my righteous brosephs at The Thrillest said they had the best damn chicken wings in Texas, I knew I had to check this place out–but these ain’t yer grandpappy’s chicken wings, son!

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They call these the Amazing White Wings, and they’re pretty baller to the max! You’ve got boneless chicken, stuffed with jalapeños, wrapped in bacon, and tossed with wing sauce, dude! Then there’s carrots and celery sticks on the side, some crispy fried onions, and both ranch and blue cheese dressing, bro!

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The chicken is nice ‘n juicy, you’ve got a nice little kick from the hot peppers and the wing sauce, and then the bacon just wraps it all up in a nice little meat sweater. Who needs bones when you’ve got bacon, bro!!!??? (Man, I gotta put that on a t-shirt or something!)

EATIN AUSTIN: Cinco tacos por desayuno, hermano!

Now, there’s some debate over who first started eating tacos for breakfast, with both Austin and San Antonio laying claim to the title. But if you’re in Austin, and you want tacos for desayuno, then you gotta go to Tamale House East, bro!

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Now, I got there right at 8, but they didn’t open till 8:35, at which point a whole pile of people showed up behind me. I got three of the in-house specialties–migas & queso; egg, bacon, cheese and ranchera; potato, egg, bacon and cheese–and then built two culinary creations of yo mismo–a chorizo egg & cheese and a bacon egg & mushroom–cuz you gotta get some chorizo, bro!

It’s also worth noting that the prices on their menu online are off; instead of $1.25 a taco, you’re paying $3.25 for the house specialties–or $2.75 for a build-yer-own with three toppings. But hey, cinco tacos for $16.50 still ain’t a bad deal, though…

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So, we’re starting off with the migas and cheese, a Tex Mex breakfast staple. There’s definitely nothing wrong with crispy fried tortilla strips, eggs and cheese–and when you put ’em in a taco, it’s even better, bro!

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Next up is one of my Triple B creations, the chorizo, egg and cheese. I can now see why they don’t include chorizo in any of their specialties–they don’t give you very big chunks of it here, either. Probably my least favourite one.

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Now, these last three all had bacon, and if I’m every back in Austin, I would just do five with bacon, bro! Their bacon is cooked to perfection, finding the right balance between crispy and chewy. And the potatoes in this one were on point. 5/5

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This Triple B creation was a personal favourite–bacon, egg n mushroom, son! And the mushroom is what makes it–thick, juicy and they totally don’t taste like the come from a can! If I go back here, I’m adding mushrooms to everything!

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Aaaaaand that brings us to the last taco of the morning, the in-house specialty of bacon, egg, ranchera and cheese. I was scared this might be too spicy for me–but the sauce was definitely on the mild side. I normally like salsa on my taco, but it doesn’t work quite as well for breakfast, though. Still, if I ever feel like eating five tacos for breakfast again, then this is definitely the place to be!

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EATIN AUSTIN: An antelope, a rabbit and a pig meat up in a grinder…

Now, Toronto is no stranger to gourmet hot dogs. You’ve got Fancy Franks, Let’s Be Frank (RIP), Wvrst, and probably a couple more places serving up exotic sausages. But one that you won’t find roaming the wild plains of High Park is the jackalope. Pretty sure this here critter has never been spotted east of the Mississippi before, bro!

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Actually, this here hot dog is a mixture of rabbit, antelope and pork, giving it a rich, gamey texture like I’ve never had before. You’ve got equal parts sweet and heat from the cranberry compote and the Sriracha aioli, and then I paid 50 cents extra to put it in a flapjacket, just for the hell of it.

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Now, one thing I wanted to have while in Texas was real-deal Frito pie. I had some at this BBQ joint in Toronto, but I figure they probably fancied it up a bit. This one seemed more authentic, with a rich, spicy chilli and some melted cheese overtop a bed of crunchy Fritos. They call this a side dish, but it’s really more of a meal, dude!!!

EATIN AUSTIN: The early bird gets the brisket, bro!

Now, I knew the lineup at Franklin BBQ would be insane, so I showed up early at 9 am…the place doesn’t open until 11. But I got hit with one of the longest lines they’ve seen in a while–they were already lined up around the building by 7, son!

They actually told me I wouldn’t be getting in before 2pm, at which point they’d be all sold out of turkey, pork and ribs. And they gave a guy six people behind me a Last Man Standing sign–nobody after that was guaranteed any grub!

So, did I wait in line 5 hours for brisket? You know it, bro!

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The waiting was definitely the hardest part. At one point, they called an ambulance cuz one lady was too drunk to stand; another guy got kicked out when he got to the front of the line cuz he’d been shotgunning beers all day–sucks to be you, bro! While some people treated this five-hour odyssey as a tailgate party, I was here for one reason, and one reason only: Show me the brisket!!!!

Finally got to the front of the building around 1 pm. Another 45-50 minutes until I got inside, at which point the wait was another half hour or so, and they’d just sold out of ribs ‘n turkey, so I took what I could get. Was I disappointed, though? Hell no, bro!

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Now, this was probably the best beef brisket I’ve ever had. It was super, fall-apart tender, melt-in-yer-mouth goodness. Pulled pork was nice ‘n chewy, the sausages had a good snap to ’em, but there’s no doubt the brisket was the star of the show, bro! I was kinda running on fumes at this point, but I still put away about two pounds of food–one pound of brisket alone–and you KNOW I still had room for dessert!

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They call this Lemon Chess pie. I dunno why, but it’s pretty tasty. Kinda like a meringue, but without the squishy texture. Oh, and I washed it all down with a Big Red, which is sorta like the Lone Star Beer of sodas…in the best way possible. Didn’t get outta there till just before 3, and I was maybe gonna go to a museum or check out the Capitol, but I didn’t end up doing any of that, cuz I spent the whole day at Franklin’s. At least I got this bitchin’ trucker hat to show for it, though!!!!

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EATIN AUSTIN: Heavy metal dive bars & Texas-sized doughnuts on 6th Street

So we’re hanging out at Casino el Camino, this funky little dive bar on 6th street. This place is cranking AC/DC and Iron Maiden on the jukebox, and I’m not even picking the tunes, bro! It’s like, I walk into a bar, and they’re playing “Blind in Texas” by WASP–how cool is that!?

But the kitchen is where the real magic happens. They’ve got these crazy burgers, hot dogs and fries, and they’re grilling em up right before your eyes! Check it out–that’s three-quarter pounds of beef, bro!

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They call this the Buffalo burger, and it’s like a Leon Lett fumble recovery to the tastebuds, bro! This one’s going Wide Right…into my mouth! You’ve got the thickest burger I’ve seen since that one time, in Cooperstown, a nice tangy blue cheese, grilled with Buffalo wing sauce…and no veggies, cuz who needs veggies, anyways?

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Now, on the side we’ve got some verde chili fries. So, they take some French fried potaters, slather em in cheese sauce, then stick some salsa verde on top. This dish is equal parts cheesy, spicy, and funky, son! I’m pretty sure I could eat this off a flip flop…

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But you KNOW I still had room for dessert, bro! So I headed a couple blocks down the street to Voodoo Doughnuts, the legendary Portland doughnut place…but they’ve got one here now, too. I beat the lineup at Camino’s, but when I got to the doughnut shop, the line was almost out the door! And speaking of tuneage, they were playing Rush, Black Sabbath and Van Halen when I walked in…I should maybe just move here, or something.

Now, they call this the Tex Ass doughnut, and it’s freaking huge! The thing takes up the whole box, and it’s so big, I pretty much need two hands to eat it:

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Take the biggest glazed doughnut you’ve ever seen, and multiply it by three. And lemme tell ya, they put the dough in doughnut here. This pillowy bread cushion practically melts in your mouth–which is good because I could barely even chew it by the end. But you know I did finish it, bro!!!

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Guess I don’t need no breakfast tomorrow…

It’s like Triple B in a pie, bro!

So, I’m heading off to the bank to get some Icelandic koronas, when I spot this funky little Aussie-style pie shop in the food court. At Kanga, they’re serving up nine kinds of savoury pies—and they’ve even got sausage rolls, son! You could go around the world with a Traditional Aussie, a Kiwi Classic, or even a butter chicken pie, but it was the Canadian that caught my eye, for obvious reasons:

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OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got some frickin’ yuuuge pieces of steak, meaty chunks of bacon, braised with Amsterdam Downtown Brown beer, and a savoury gravy, all inside a warm, flakey crust. Dude, this is body by yuuuge pieces of steak, meaty chunks of bacon, Amsterdam Downtown Brown beer, and a savoury gravy inside a warm, flakey crust! Normally, when I get a meat pie at like Longo’s or something, I’m like, where’s the beef bro? Well, it’s right here. All of it. The only thing that could make this place more funkalicious is if they added a lamb pie. Can you say Dirty Deeds Done With Sheep?

Pizza: It’s not just for breakfast anymore!

So, we’re hanging out at 7 West Cafe, this funky neighbourhood joint on Charles Street, just offa Yonge. This place is open 24/7, 365 days a year, and they’ve been serving up classic comfort food for over 24 years—that’s older than some of my Motley Crue tour shirts, bro!

Now, when you’re open all day and all of the night, you know you’ve gotta do all-day breakfast. And while they’ve got the classics like a breakfast bagel, Denver omelette and two eggs any style, they also funk it up with this cross between omelette and crust…the breakfast pizza:

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OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got your ham, you’ve got your mushrooms, you’ve got a whole buncha cheese, and then there’s not one, but two sunny-side-up eggs in the middle. Shut the back door! There is so much stuff on here that it kinda weighs down the crust a bit, but when you get that perfect bite, it’s like breakfast, lunch and dinner—all rolled into one! It comes in personal pan and 10”, but you know I went with the big 10-incher…and I would still have room for dessert, but who eats dessert for breakfast, bro???