TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: The spiciest “mild” dish I’ve ever eaten…

So, Skip the Dishes is doing this Eggs Anytime deal where they take 5 bucks off egg-based dishes at a buncha different local restaurants. Unlike Guy Fieri, I actually like eggs — just about as much as saving money — so I figured I’d check out a few of these places before this offer expires.

Up first, we’ve got PAI Northern Thai Kitchen, a place where I once had some of the best beef curry in my life. For Eggs Anytime, you can get five bucks off their signature pad thai, or this Thai-style stir fry, pad gra prow:

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got rice and your choice of protein — pork, chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu — stir-fried in basil with a fried egg on top. It probably goes without saying, but I went with the beef. This dish also ranges in spice from no spice all the way to Thai spicy (which is obviously hotter than Farang, aka white-guy, spicy). Well, I didn’t wanna be a total wimp and ask for no spice, so I went with mild. And man, if that’s mild, I don’t even wanna know what Thai spicy tastes like!

I mean, I’m not the type who puts raisins in potato salad to cool off the spice of the mayo, but to me, this has gotta be at least a medium in my books. I’m pretty sure I’ve had some hot wings that were less spicy than this. But while I’m probably gonna be feeling the burn for a while, the combo of rice, beef and egg was not a bad lunch for $12.50. I gotta say, though, if they were doing 2-for-1 on Uber, I could easily finish both of these and still have room for dessert, bro…

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: 2-for-1 deep-fried lobsters, son!!!

Uber Eats ended its 2-for-1 specials on Monday, and you KNOW I like to go out with a bang, bro! Now, the last time I ordered lobster on Uber, it was like 80 bucks. So, when I saw that Dine & Dim, this funky joint in East Chinatown, was serving up two Typhoon Crispy Lobster Mountains for $29.99, I knew I had to get me some! And they both come with Typhoon Crispy Fries? I don’t even know what those are, but I want them already…

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Now, this hits different than your average Atlantic lobster supper, no doot aboot it. Rather than getting one long piece of tail, these babies were all chopped up, breaded with a crispy coating, and into the fryer, which meant they were still nice ‘n warm when my delivery finally got here. I started off with a regular fork, before digging out a plastic lobster fork (which broke), and by the end, I was pretty much just cracking claws with my hands and biting off meat with my teeth. So yeah, it was pretty messy… Oh, and those Typhoon Crispy Fries? Pretty sure they were just McCain Crinkle Cut Superfries, bro.

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Now, the thing with lobster is that it’s a lotta effort for not a lotta food. It took me about 40 minutes to get finished with these bad boys, and while I wasn’t super-full afterwards, I didn’t really have room for dessert. In the end, the meat wasn’t as tender and succulent as an Atlantic lobster, and the deep-fried tactics made getting it out of some of the little claws almost next to impossible. But this Crispy Lobster Mountain was at least as good as the 15-dollar prime rib and lobster at Woodbine Casino, if not better, and twice as fun to eat. So, it wouldn’t be my go-to if I had a hankerin’ for crustacean…but if I happened to see it on special again, I might be inclined to order it.

(Aaaaand it looks like you can get a Typhoon Double Lobster for pick-up for $42.99, so if I’m ever in East Chinatown, I might hafta look into that…)

 

 

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Celebrating Victoria Day with a poutine burger!!!

Since Toronto is still shut down for indoor and outdoor dining, I can’t even go for some AYCE wings at St. Louis Bar & Grill, which they’re normally serving up this time of year. Dude, right about now, I could really go for AYCE anything…as long as it’s not vegan. But in 2021, I still can’t even celebrate Victoria Day except by getting drunk at home, which is really just another Monday afternoon in Flavourtown. So when I heard that St. Louis had a special poutine burger for the occasion, well, I think I’m still allowed to head down the street and pick it up???

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Now, their All Canadian Burger is pretty basic — they take a frozen beef patty, cook it till it’s hockey-puck grey, and top it with fries, curds and gravy. I even made sure to check if this burger came with bacon before paying extra to add bacon — the menu says it does, but I didn’t really see or taste it until halfway through…and that’s because they use bacon bits, not bacon strips. So that’s a bit of a bummer, bro!

And while Harvey’s Bacon Poutine Burger circa 2017 let you add all the toppings you want, you can’t put anything else on this burger unless you pay extra for it. So if you wanna make it, like, a smoked meat poutine burger, you’ll hafta order that smoked meat from somewhere else…

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Now, I couldda laid down a buck-fiddy for a side of poutine — and then maybe put some more poutine on the burger — but I thought that might be a touch too much, BroC/DC! And besides, their Signature Golden Fries are one of the things St. Louis does really, really well. Hot ‘n crispy, with just the right amount of crunch… Dude, if they ever did AYCE fries, I could pound like seven pounds of these, son!!!!!!!

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And what better beer to wash down this All Canadian Burger than a Canuck IPA from Great Lakes Brewing, a beer so Canadian it even has an apology on the can? In Flavourtown (with a U), we drink this brewski instead of Molson Canadian during the North Division playoffs, bro!!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Double stacked mac ‘n cheese attack!!!

2-for-1 week on Uber Eats continues until the end of the long weekend, so you KNOW we’ve still got time to double down, bro! And when I heard that The Pilot, this funky old tavern in Yorkville, was serving up two mac ‘n cheeses for the price of one, I definitely had to get me some!!!!!

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Their tasty spin on this comfort food classic takes cavatappi pasta in a bechamel sauce, and adds bacon, tomato and green onions, for that extra kick. Food arrived in under half an hour, and the plastic containers with the vented lids kept everything nice and warm. I gotta say, though, just one order would be a light lunch in Flavourtown — but two is at least a decent-sized dinner. I wasn’t really full, or anything, but I don’t think they even have dessert, so, y’know, I’m good.

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Washed it all down with a Settebello, this nice Italian-style pilsner from People’s Pint. If you like a refreshing pils with more flavour than, say Labatt Blue, then this is the beer for you! I probably needed more than one beer with two macs ‘n cheeses, though…

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Four fried chickens and a Coke

Dude, PG Clucks was serving up fried chicken sandwiches before fried chicken sandwiches was cool, bro! This place started out as a takeout window in the Royale Theatre, but when Birreria Volo opened next door, you could order their sandwiches right to your table, washed down with some killer craft beer. Of course, everything is takeout and delivery nowadays, and they’ve even opened a second location on Queen St West, but the OG in Little Italy is still closest to me. So, when I found out they were serving up 2-for-1 fried chicken on Uber Eats, I was all over that like John Belushi on a mission from God, Blues Bro!!!!

Now, you won’t get any chicken wings or chicken legs here — it’s all boneless, bro! Their two piece chicken + one side meal gave you the option of half regular, half Nashville Hot, so I ended up with two pieces of each. They also came with smokey chili and buttermilk ranch sauce…so I saved the smokey chili for the mild pieces. Chicken was nice ‘n crispy, and the boneless factor made it easy for dipping. I wouldn’t fill up on just one order, but 2-for-1 seemed just right for a light lunch in Flavourtown.

Now, their Nashville Hot Chicken wasn’t nearly as spicy as the stuff I’ve had in Nashville — or the best Nashville hot chicken in Toronto, for that matter. But while I loaded up on the buttermilk ranch — dude, this is body by buttermilk ranch — it still had a pretty decent kick. I may or may not have been all Johnny Cash on the toilet after, put it that way…

On the side, I went with macaroni salad, which was probably just the right amount — once you double it, anyways. The creaminess took a bit of the edge off the Nashville Hot, and it’s always good to have another bite in between. One two-piece order is just a light snack in Flavourtown, but when you double down, it’s at least enough for lunch, son!!!

 

 

 

 

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: This smoked duck sushi burrito is a Flavourtown fusion three-way!!!

Dude, I can’t even remember the last time I used Ritual — probably sometime before the pandemic started. But for a limited time, they are taking 50% off your first order at certain restaurants, up to $10, which is perfect for lunchtime. And since it’s warm outside now, I figured I might as well take advantage of one of the few things we’re actually allowed to leave the house for and pick up some takeout instead of having it delivered to me for a change.

So, there’s this funky little joint called Mi’hito Sushi Laboratory serving up Japanese/Mexican fusion from four locations across Toronto and Mississauga. This place has got everything: sushi tacos, sushi burritos, poke bowls and so many rolls to choose from. But when I saw the Spicy Samurai Duck burrito, I was all over that like duck on rice, bro!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. What we’ve got here is smoked duck breast, served cold, with a mix of cabbage, red pepper, seaweed, mandarin orange and a cucumber dill dressing leaking out all over the place. This thing was super messy, bro! I don’t think I’ve ever had duck served cold before, but you still got a nice, rich, meaty texture. But this is a situation where all the meat is on one side, and the veggies are on the other, so you gotta take two bites before you chew, son!!!

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Of course, you KNOW I couldn’t get Japanese/Mexican takeout and NOT order a fried chicken taco, bro! This chicken is super-crunchy, karaage-style, but also seems to be served cold, with lettuce, cabbage, corn, edamame, green onions, and one lonely piece of avocado hanging out the end. Now, this wouldn’t be the best fried chicken taco I’ve ever had, but at 50% off, it only cost me like 2 bucks, and I can go for that…

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: 2-for-1 fish sandos, son!!!

Like I said, it’s 2-for-1 week on Uber Eats till May 24, which means I don’t just get to try new things…I get to try two new things, bro!!! Like Uncle Bill’s Fish and Chips, this funky seafood joint that opened up late last year, with locations at the foot of Yonge Street and another one in Etobicoke. Now, I dunno if this is an actual restaurant, a ghost kitchen, or somebody frying fish in the back of a boat — hey, their downtown address is right where Captain John’s used to be — but either way, when they’re serving up two-for-one fried fish sandwiches for 11 bucks, I really don’t care where they’re coming from!!!

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They call this Bill’s Giant Fillet of Fish, and it’s quite a handful in Flavourtown! You’ve got some nice, beer-battered haddock, topped with American cheese and tartar sauce on a pretty decent bun. Veggies? We don’t need no stinkin’ veggies, bro!!! Fish is light and flaky, and I like that the cheese has some time to melt into it when you order it to go. I only wish I had ordered like a side of fries or something, cuz I wasn’t really full even after I doubled down…

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Now, they don’t serve brewskis at Uncle Billy’s, so instead I grabbed one from the fridge. Mango Fett is a wicked awesome New England IPA from People’s Pint, straight outta The Junction. And no, it ain’t brewed with mangoes, but the combo of lactose, Citra and Michigan Copper hops give it a nice fruity, hoppy taste. All that’s missing is some chowdah!!!

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: 28 problems, but a perogy ain’t one!

Dude, this is body by pierogis, bro! Whether we’re talking Polish-style, Hungarian or even pierogi poutine, you KNOW it’s heading straight down my piehole. So when I heard that Heavenly Perogy, this funky Ukranian joint on Bathurst, was offering 2-for-1 pierogis on Uber Eats, I was all over that like a babushka at a folk dance! And when I saw they had 2-for-1 dessert pierogis, I had to get some of those too, which means four orders of pierogis, or 28 pierogis in total. Just another light snack in Flavourtown?

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Now, this place has two kinds of pierogis, not including the dessert ones. Potato + cheddar has always been my go-to, but I thought I’d give their sauerkraut and mushroom flavour a try as well. Well, lemme tell ya, you definitely get the bitterness of the kraut — but I didn’t really taste the mushrooms so much. So I think I’ll just stick with the classic potato and cheese:

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Dude, these potato cheddar pierogis were definitely on point. Nice cheesy chew, boiled but not fried, with some sauteed onions and bacon bits — nothing wrong with that at all. You do hafta pay extra for toppings and sides like sour cream, but from what I can tell, I only got charged once for putting them on both orders, so it’s all good in the Flavourhood!

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Now, here’s where they funk it up a notch. At first, I thought these blueberry dessert perogis would be kinda weird, but it’s actually sorta like eating blueberry pie, just with a softer, chewier crust. I will say that this is a dish best served warm, though. Since I literally saved these for dessert, the second batch wasn’t quite as hot or quite as good. Also, while these ones come with sour cream included, I found that I didn’t need to put as much on as I do with regular, mealtime pierogis. So that’s why the only thing left standing at the end of this meal was one unopened container of crème sûre.

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P.S.: Keep it locked on Triple B as we check out more 2-for-1 specials over the next two weeks!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Smoked brisket and smoked salmon Mother’s Day brunch

A few days back, I got an email from Tock saying it’s your last chance to order your Mother’s Day specials. Up until that point, I wasn’t planning on doing anything for Mother’s Day, since we’re still in Lockdown Number 3, and I can’t eat dinner for four by myself. But as I scrolled down the list of Mother’s Day meals, I came across this funky little joint in Parkdale called Noble House that was offering up a Mother’s Day brunch for two with a few of my favourite things — beef brisket, pickles and cake. Oh, and smoked salmon, fruit and veggies, too. Here’s what it looks like with everything unpacked and put together:

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Werd to ya mutha! This smorgasbord board of flavour was meant to feed two comfortably, but it’s more like a light lunch in Flavourtown. We’ve got two beef brisket sammies, with plenty of mustard, four giant pickle spears, a fruit tray, container of coleslaw, apple cinnamon coffee cake and some fully loaded lox. You KNOW I think they’re jiggy, bro!!!!

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But first, we’re getting frisky with the brisky. Seeing the smoked brisket on the menu is what made me buy this brunch to begin with. They give you two handfuls of brisket, four slices of bread and more than enough mustard — along with the super-thick pickles and slaw — to make this a decent deli meal by itself. The instructions were to heat the brisket on a low simmer, and while I eventually figured out what a low simmer was, I probably didn’t leave the meat in the pot long enough. Plus, by the time I put everything else together, it wasn’t really warm anymore…but that didn’t make it any less delicious!

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This brunch kit also came with everything you needed for some fully loaded lox. You’ve got two sesame seed bagels, plenty of cream cheese, smoked salmon, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, dill sprigs and capers. And I used up pretty much everything, except for some of the cream cheese and dill. Only thing I’d say is that the Montreal-style bagels with the bigger hole in the middle made it harder to put everything together without a bunch of it falling off. Maybe I shouldda tried to make a sandwich? And I still dunno what I’m gonna do with all that extra dill, dough…

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Around here, it wouldn’t be brunch without ice cold beer. This Live Transmission milkshake IPA from the righteous bros at Flying Monkeys is brewed with orange peel, grapefruit and coconut tea, so it’s practically fruit juice…although a lot hoppier, and heavier, at 6.3%.

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Now the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad, so I had coffee cake for dessert. This rich, dense cake tastes like apples and cinnamon, with some icing on top. It was probably enough for two people, but you KNOW calories don’t count on Sundays, bro!!!

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And while that was probably the most fruit I’ve ever ate in my life, and I barely even had room for dessert, I gotta say, it wasn’t a bad way to spend Mother’s Day. Mama, I’m Coming Home, Ozzy Os-bro-ne!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Cinco de Mayo Tacos from Pico de Gallo

Now we’re getting to that weird part of the year where, thanks to COVID, we’ve started celebrating holidays under lockdown for the second time. Not that we really celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Toronto — kinda like how St. Patrick’s Day isn’t much more than an excuse to day drink, Cinco de Mayo is pretty much just a reason to eat tacos. Lots and lots of tacos, bro! So when I saw this funky little joint called Pico de Gallo all over Instagram with their Combo for 2, you KNOW I had to check it out…even if there’s only one of me.

What we’ve got here is your choice of five tacos, either a burrito or a torta, and chips with guacamole, all for 40 bucks. Or, what we call a light lunch in Flavourtown. Now, let’s break it down…

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La fiesta empieza with a chicken adobo taco. I know this looks like it’s about 50% lettuce, but once you get down to the meat, it’s pretty tasty.

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Now, I was gonna get one taco of every different animal on the menu, except that they messed up my order a bit. More on that later. For now, feast your eyes on one of the Top Five fish tacos I’ve ever had, bro! Fish was light and flaky, with a nice crunchy batter, and the pour-your-own donkey sauce really kicked it up a notch!!!

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We’re staying under the sea with a grilled shrimp taco, topped with coriander, peppers and a spicy, smoky salsa. Now, they put four sauce containers on the platter, each one next to a taco, so I figured those were the sauces they were supposed to go with. But man, I probably shouldda tasted this one before pouring the whole thing onto the shrimp. This sauce was so hot, I needed several sips of Honey Habanero beer to cool it down!!!

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Picked this bad boy up from The Beer Store especially for this occasion. Now, I’ve already had a couple habanero beers south of the border in 2019, and one of them was like the spiciest thing I’ve ever drank. So I was expecting at least a little heat from this beer…and I didn’t get any. I didn’t really taste the honey, either. I mean, it was still a nice, light, crushable brew, but if you don’t taste the two things on the label, then I dunno, bro. Maybe I’ll try another can without any spicy Mexican food to see if it tastes any different.

UPDATE: OK, there is definitely more habanero heat when you don’t drink this with spicy Mexican food. Still not as overpowering as the Mango Habanero Oberon, but I am definitely feeling the bern right now…

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But now we’re back on the taco attack, with the best beef tongue taco I’ve ever had, bro! For me, good lengua should taste like the well-done beef at the edge of a prime rib roast, and this tongue was totally on point. Plus, the salsa I dumped on top wasn’t nearly as spicy as the last one…

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Now, here’s where Pico de Gallo dun goofed. I asked for a Taco Al Pastor in my order, but instead of sweet ‘n spicy pork with pineapple, I got a beef brisket taco instead. I dunno if they were sold out, or if they got mixed up cuz I had also ordered a beef brisket burrito, but that’s the breaks, little man.

Adding to my disappointment, this taco was not very good. The brisket was really dry, and all bunched up in a great big clump. Did it help that I had already eaten four tacos, all the chips with guac, and half a burrito before I even bit into this one? Probably not. But if there’s one taco from this combo that I would avoid ordering next time — even by accident — it would definitely be the brisket.

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Speaking of brisket, this burrito suffered from the same predicament as its taco bro. Meat was really dry, but at least the rice, cheese and chipotle donkey sauce made for a bit of a better bite. Of course, I still ate it all…but I kinda wished I had gone for a Burrito Al Pastor instead!!!!

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