Search Results for "duck confit"

Meatballs vs. risotto balls @ Pizzeria Libretto

Now, everybody knows that if you want real-deal Italian pizza in downtown Toronto, you gotta go to Pizzeria Libretto. Man, they’ve got all the meats–spicy salami, pepperoni, prosciutto di parma, nduja sausage…even their duck confit pie is too legit to quit!!!

But today, I’m not here for pizza–I’m about to chow down on some balls, bro! And at this funky joint, they’ve got both kinds…meatballs AND risotto balls, aka arancini. Dude, this is body by arancini!

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They actually bring out the rice balls first, which come three to an order, stuffed with stracciatella and smoked scamorza. Try saying that three times fast! But man, the cheese is what makes it, though. It’s ooey, gooey, about to go kablooey all over my face, bro!!!!

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Now, it’s time for some meaty magic. These Round Mounds of Flavourtown are served on a bed of tomato sauce and whipped ricotta, with some peccorino romano oozing out from the inside. That’s right, both kinds of balls are stuffed with cheese. It’s like you’ve got yer Balls Two the Wall, man!!!

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!


SUMMERLICIOUS 2018: French menage a trois @ Cafe La Gaffe

So, we’re hanging out at Cafe La Gaffe, this funky little French bistro in Baldwin Village. This is another place with tons of Summerlicious options, but I decided to stick with a trio of French classics here–and I definitely wasn’t disappointed!

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So, we’re starting off with some escargot, bro! These slippery little snails are swimming in garlic butter and going whee, whee, whee all the way down my piehole!!!

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Now, I’m definitely no stranger to roasted duck legs, but this has gotta be one of the top five duck confits I’ve ever had! The meat is super-tender, fall-off-the-bone, and that brandy cream sauce is outta bounds, bro! Man, I could probably eat six or seven of these…or however many legs that ducks actually have.

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But you know the drill, we’ve still got room for dessert, dude! This creme brulee was crackly on top, creamy on the bottom, with a couple nice bites of blueberries and a cherry on top! Who needs whipped cream when you’ve got burnt cream, mon cheri???

SUMMERLICIOUS 2018: Why settle for hen one way when you can have it two ways?

So, we’re hanging out at The Living Room, this cozy, upscale, British-style pub inside the Windsor Arms hotel. Can’t say I’ve ever been here before, but when I heard they had duck confit spring rolls, I knew I was gonna shake, waddle and roll my ass up to Yorkville, bro!

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Y’know, my least favourite part of spring rolls is all the veggies they put inside…but you ain’t gotta worry ‘bout that here, cuz it’s pretty much all meat. You’ve got tender, shredded duck inside a wonton wrapper, with a ginger garlic glaze? Shut the quack door!


But you know that ain’t the only bird that’s flying down my piehole this evening. Dude, this funky joint is serving up hen not one way, but two ways—stuffed AND deep-fried! Don’t get me wrong, I liked the thyme and apricot stuffed thigh on the right…but the buttermilk fried breast is what makes it!

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Of course, you know the drill. When it comes to Summerlicious, you gotta save room for dessert—cuz it’s included in the price, bro! This here’s a Turtle Brownie Cake with salted caramel ice cream. Ain’t nothing wrong with that at all!!!!

Do you even know escargot, bro???

Now, I wouldn’t say that French food is my favourite foreign cuisine…but it’s probably somewhere in the Top 10. I mean, you’ve got French onion soup, duck confit, and my personal Flavourtown Flava Fav, poutine. OK, I guess that one’s French-Canadian, but hey, they still speak the same language, right?

Of course, they also eat things like snails and frog’s legs, too. Now, I don’t know if we’re still in grenouille season, but when it comes to escargot, you can get ’em for brunch at Le Papillon, this funky French bistro on Front Street, just a short crawl from the St. Lawrence Market.

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These slippery little snails are served up as a six-pack, swimming in a garlic parsley butter. Dude, I would put that on a flip-flop! But you know that’s just a pre-brunch snack in Flavourtown, bro!!!!

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Dude, this bacon apple crepe is! The bacon is cooked perfectly, the right balance between crispy and chewy. Then you’ve got baked apples and mad cheddah stuffed inside a light, fluffy pancake with maple syrup on top. It costs extra for the syrup, but dude, this is body by maple syrup, bro!!!!


12 BEERS OF CHRISTMAS: Wellington Loaded Lager

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


…Wellington Loaded Lager (plus some pierogis)

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Dude, you can only find this local light lager at one place–and that’s the Loaded Pierogi! Actually, make that three places, since they’ve opened a couple new locations since the last time I was there. And man, this place has everything: pulled pork, duck confit, Philly cheesesteak…or you can be like me and get the loaded surf ‘n turf, with lobster, crab and steak, son!

The local house brew has a clean, crisp, easy-drinking taste…kinda like Coors Light, but not quite. But hey, if you’re slamming down 17 pierogis with steak, lobster and crab on top, you don’t really wanna be drinking a heavy Russian Imperial Stout, amirite?

READ MORE: Loaded Pierogi’s serving up surf, turf ‘n earth, son!

There’s no such thing as too much tacos, bro!

OK, so here’s the deal. We’re hanging out at Tacofest, your all-day destination for all things inside a tortilla. Man, this place has everything: mariachi bands, a hot sauce bar, a mechanical bull shaped like an Old El Paso taco…and more tasty tacos than you can shake a stick of deep-fried butter at. Sadly, deep-fried butter on a stick was not on the menu; I guess I’ll hafta wait until The Ex or the Fried Parade for that one. But honestly bro, I had so many delicious tacos today that I probably didn’t have room for any deep-fried butter, anyways.

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Fried-chicken taco with creamy slaw, corn and tomato salsa and pickled jalapenos, served up by my favourite dirty commie, Fidel Gastro. (I put too much habanero sauce on this one.)

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Southern smoked short rib with baha slaw, pico de gallo, guacamole and house hot sauce. These are a few of my favourite things…

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Albacore tuna ceviche with avocado puree and creamy slaw. They were sold out of sea urchin.

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Oyster and button mushrooms with guajillo chili. Still waiting for those mushrooms to work their magic…

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Cardinal Club taco with smoked chicken, double-smoked bacon, tomato, cheddar and a raspberry aioli. I give this one two arteries clogged up!

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Fried Chihuahua cheese with tofu salsita and habaneros. Yo quiero more of this!

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Jerk duck confit taco with pickled red onion, radish and apple slaw, parsley, crispy shallot and ramp aioli. And pickles too, apparently.

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Tuna sashimi taco topped with mango pineapple and greens. This one’s so outta bounds that I ate it upside down!

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This one’s the real-deal, outta-bounds, winner, winner taco dinner right here. Mac ‘n cheese taco with jalapeno Cheetos and Dr. Pepper pulled pork in a Jolly Rancher BBQ sauce. I’ve already called the number on the back of that card and told him to do what you want with my body!

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Deep-fried king fish taco served with cabbage, carrots, pineapple, in-house tamarind and garlic sauce. Tamarind and garlic sauce, tamarind and garlic sauce, tamarind and garlic sauce for meeeeee!

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Crispy cauliflower topped with avocado aioli and pico de gallo. Because I had to have at least one serving of vegetables today.

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Cochinita pibil taco, which is Mexican for a whole pound o’ pork, hombre!

Now, you know me, even after eating all these tacos, I’ve still got room for dessert. Cuz you can’t have tacos without churros, yo!

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And wait, there’s more…

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Blueberry mojito ice pop with real blueberries frozen inside!

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That’s right, I even had a dessert taco. This waffle was topped with cheesecake buttercream, crushed Golden and regular Oreos, with Nutella drizzle and a Swedish berry jalapeno sauce. And yes, you fold it in half and eat it like a taco, bro. No forks allowed!

After going toe-to-toe with so many tacos, I almost had to be airlifted outta there, but I made it home in one piece. I can’t wait to Feel the Bern tomorrow!!!


(I don’t even know which bands these are.)

Loaded Pierogi’s serving up surf, turf ‘n earth, son!

Loaded Pierogi, this funky joint on Church Street, puts almost anything you can think of on these pillows of Ukrainian goodness, including buffalo chicken, duck confit and Philly cheesesteak. What’s better than steak and lobster? How about steak and lobster on top of pierogis?

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OK, let’s break it down. The pierogis are on point—warm and crispy, fried to perfection. (You can get ‘em boiled, too, but why boil food when you can fry it, bro?) You’ve got these thick chunks of peppery steak, a bit of kick from the onion, nice creaminess from the sour cream. The only complaint is that the lobster gets kinda lost here. It’s more stringy than chunky, and can’t really compete with the meat. Now, if they served it up thick and meaty like a lobster roll, this dish would be so far outta bounds that it might break your windshield in the parking lot. But it’s still in my top five pierogis of all time. Pretty sure I could eat 27 of these!

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Cool thing is, though, on Fridays, you can get the loaded surf and turf with a pint of the house brew for just 18 bucks. Dude, that’s less than it costs to park at a Jays game! And hey, the beer’s better, too…

I went to Signs, and it opened up my eyes…

Let’s be honest bro, some of these restaurant trends are stupid and pointless. Dining in the dark? Korean food you hafta cook yourself? All-you-can-eat vegan buffet!? Ixnay on the Hombre, Jose! But Signs Restaurant serves a much greater purpose—and a mean chocolate cake for dessert.

This funky joint opened up at the corner of Yonge and Wellesley in 2014 (where I think it actually replaced a Korean BBQ joint), and it’s the first restaurant in Canada staffed entirely by deaf servers, bartenders, food runners and busboys. The hostess will lead you to your table in English, but from there, you’ll do more hand-talking than a Sunday dinner at the Jersey Shore, capiche?

Their Winterlicious menu offered up some delicious dishes for wicked-low prices, which you ordered in American Sign Language. Even their drink menu was in ASL—turns out the international sign for Steamwhistle is awfully similar to the Alberta Sign Language for “Honk your horn, trucker dude!”


I started off with the veggie spring rolls, which was the awesomest thing to order in sign language—kinda like a gopher coming out of its hole and rolling up a big fat doob. That said, the rolls weren’t really anything special…but the meal only got better from here.

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Turns out, you can order a veal chop by making a chopping motion with your hands. This one was a perfect medium-rare, nice char marks, with some creamy mashed potatoes and slivered veggies on the side. I’m not used to eating veal without the parmesan, but man, I would take this veal chop over Sbarro any day of the week, and twice on Tuesdays!

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And for desert, they’ve got this bomb chocolate cake. Rich, moist chunks of chocolately goodness, with a little chocolate drizzle and some berries on the side. I don’t always eat cake, but when I do…who am I kidding, this is body by chocolate cake, bro!

Honestly dude, chatting with the wait staff wasn’t all that tricky. Turns out the sign for “excellent” is two thumbs up, and I think the sign for “party time” is rocking out on air guitar. Our waitress didn’t get the reference, though. I guess she’s never watched Wayne’s World!

But hey, when it’s not Winterlicious, this place serves up the good stuff, like pork belly bahn mi, duck confit poutine and deep-friend mac ‘n cheese balls. Sign me up for sign-language classes Ah-nold, cuz I’ll be back!

Poutine Hall of Fame

OK, so now that Poutine Week is in the books, it’s time for me to take a look back at some of the funkiest poutines I’ve ever eaten. Hey, I’ve been to the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame—but if this Poutine Hall of Fame actually opened up somewhere, you could sign me up for a season’s pass! Here are some of the greatest cheese curds, gravy and fries of all time:



If you haven’t been to La Banquise, you haven’t had poutine, son! This funky Montreal joint has been serving up some of the tastiest poutines possible since ‘68, including La T-Rex (seen above), topped with ground beef, pepperoni, bacon and hot dog. Yeah, so I had to climb up Mont Royal on a pogo stick to burn off all the calories, and I almost died, but it was well worth the trip!



I don’t always eat poutine for breakfast, but when in Montreal, I head up to Faberge. This place isn’t even open for dinner, but when you put peppers, onions, cheese curds, bacon ‘n egg on top of homefries, you don’t need to eat dinner, bro!


National brunchfast chain Cora has its own take on poutine matinale, with cheese curds, hot dogs, red peppers, onions, bacon ‘n egg topped with hollandaise. Sonnez les matines, son!


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The beef brisket poutine at Bareburger was the star of Poutine Week 2016. Super-tender slices of brisket, extra-crunchy fries, solid squeaky curds and pretty much the perfect poutine sauce. And no, it’s not a one-off, either—you can order it any day of the week (and maybe even twice on Tuesdays)!

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One of the funkiest poutines of Poutine Week was Poutineville’s take on Korean BBQ. You wouldn’t think it would work, but that sweet ‘n tangy sauce really makes it!

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Like I said, this menu item at Tesla Café coulda used some more curds, but it was some of the best braised beef on top of French fries I’ve ever tasted.


I don’t really remember eating this poutine at the Grey Cup in Vancouver, but I’m pretty sure it tasted awesome after a Calgary win, bro!


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You mighta thought that going to Baton Rouge for lobster would be like going to Red Lobster for ribs, but when you put it on top of cheese curds, gravy and fries, the results are magically delicious!


Just as unexpected was that time I walked into a German beer hall in a strip mall in Kanata and ordered this lobster dish. This poutine was bananas, and bananas are good!


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The last time I saw this much duck, I was lying facedown in a wading pond after an all-night tequila bender. A couple other places might have put duck confit on poutine before, but Prohibition Gastrohouse is the only joint I’ve seen putting duck confit, duck crackling and duck gravy on duck-fat fries. Shut the front door and buy a ticket!


Not sure if they do this every year, but this one time, on Thanksgiving, Smokes Poutinerie put turkey, stuffing, peas and cranberry on top of poutine. And I didn’t even have any leftovers!

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They call these chowdah fries. Yes, that’s actually how it’s spelled. And hey, when you put some creamy clam chowder on top of crispy hot spuds, you could call it a vegan’s breakfast, and it would still taste good!


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We’ve got meatballs, chorizo, onions, peppers, cheese curds, fries and gravy, all homemade, all right here! Check it out, bro!



This was the first time I ever tried to make poutine. Pas pire, hein?

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This pizza poutine was a bit of a #poutinefail, since I had to use feta cuz Longo’s didn’t have any curds. But it did not fail to satisfy my appetite, lemme tell ya!


If this tourtière poutine was any more Québécois, it would be voting “Oui!” 😛


Shrimp cocktail poutine. OK, I mighta been getting a little carried away with this one…


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Why McDonald’s, why!?