SUMMERLICIOUS 2019: Tacos & burgers & churros… Yeah bro!

So, we’re hanging out at Craft Beer Market, where they’re serving up a few of my favourite things for Summerlicious — we’re talking tacos, we’re talking ’bout burgers, we’re talking churros for dessert…and oh yeah, craft beer!!!

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These cubano street tacos come two to an order, but you could almost stuff all of this into one double-shell taco. (I didn’t, though.) You’ve got pulled pork, fried onions, cilantro and a citrusy mustard mojo — shut the back door, bro!

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For the main event, we’re going Classic Burger — two beef patties, pickles, lettuce, tomato, special sauce… Of course, I paid a buck fiddy to add bacon, cuz the first rule of Flavourtown is always add bacon!!!

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Now, for dessert we’re talking churros, sprinkled with icing sugar and sprayed with an imperial-stout infused Nutella. But you KNOW that’s not the only alcohol heading straight down my beerhole, bro!!!

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This Shaggin’ Wagon IPA from Stray Dog is like a boogie van in Flavourtown! It’s got a nice citrus kick, but not too hoppy at 55 IBU…and it kinda sneaks up on you at 6.4%.

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This Electric Unicorn White IPA is basically my spirit animal…if my spirit animal was a beer. It’s surprisingly smooth for 75 IBUs, and at 6.5%, it’s also not for wimps!!!

Bacon burger and a beer for 20 bucks @ Friday Roots and Vibes

Now here’s a Wednesday Night Special that’s after my own heart. We’re hanging out at Friday Roots and Vibes, this funky southern soul food joint on Dundas West, where they’re serving up a double beef brisket bacon cheeseburger, plus a short cold one, for just 20 bucks, bro! Say hello to the Friday Burger:

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Dude, this thing is like a Big Mac on steroids! You’ve got two beef brisket patties, a couple slices of cheddar, maybe like one or two bacon strips and a whole lotta lettuce, all swimming in secret sauce. Bro, this burger was so saucy, I was expecting it to get up on stage and do a striptease or something–but instead it ended up going straight down my piehole!!!

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Now, here’s the deal with their burger and beer deal, though. You can’t choose any beer on the menu — you only get a stubby of Red Stripe. Man, I didn’t even drink Red Stripe when I was in the Caribbean…but as long as there’s burgers involved, I guess it’s irie, mon!

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Of course, you KNOW I still had room for dessert, son! This Mississippi Mud Pie was just chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate… with some whipped cream on top. I easily couldda slammed a slice twice this size though, bro!!!

BBQ chips on a burger!? Brilliant!!!!

We’re hanging out at The Hat on Jasper, the oldest bar in downtown Edmonton. This place has been slinging drinks since 1912, and while they’ve got signature cocktails and draft beers, they also happen to be known for their burgers, like this crunchalicious sandwich, the Mad Hatter:

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Now, what makes this one so insane is they put both barbecue chips and barbecue ranch dressing on it, along with bacon and some hearty Havarti. The patty is nice and thick, a good chewy texture on the bacon, but when you bite into one of those chips, it really kicks things up a notch!!!!

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Of course, you KNOW I’m not gonna walk into a fine establishment such as this and order a ginger ale. Instead we’re going with Yellowhead Premium Lager from local craft brewery Yellowhead. I’m told that Yellowhead is to Edmonton what Big Rock is to Calgary, but I gotta say that down here, we’ve got stronger beer…

Beef brisket bacon breakfast burger @ Craft Brasserie

Now, I don’t always get up in time for brunch, but when I heard that Craft Brasserie was smoking their own bacon, curing their own peameal and making a breakfast burger outta beef brisket, I figured I had to come check it out. This Liberty Village basement brewpub has also got 120 craft beer taps, including a whole buncha limited edition special guest beers. So basically, I’m gonna be moving to Liberty Village tomorrow.

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Dude, this burger is so far outta bounds, it ran into the stands and took out an ice cream man! You’ve got a nice, thick and juicy brisket patty, topped with smoked Gouda, onion rings and that Bomb.ca bacon. Dude, I would braid that bacon into a flip flop, put it on my feet, walk 5,000 miles, then eat it…and it would still taste good!!!!

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Of course, one does not go to a funky joint like the Craft Brasserie and order a chocolate milk. So, we’re starting off with this Bavarian Breakfast Wheat beer, a strong Hefeweizen from Silversmith in the Niagara region. It’s a bit like Blanche de Chambly, but a little less fruity, and a lot more alcoholy.

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But even after pounding a few of these, I’ve still got room for some liquid dessert. This breakfast stout from Town Brewery, straight outta Whitby, is called Breakfast at Timothy’s. And it’s kinda like drinking coffee…if coffee was a beer.

This is TheBomb.ca bacon burger, bro!

So, the last time I was at Rashers, I wanted to eat everything on the menu, but it was a case of so many bacon, such little time. So I scarfed down a scrumptious BLT sammy, but I knew I’d be back for this culinary masterpiece, the bacon burger:

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Now, this is like paradise by the bacon-board light, bro! For starters, they’re putting bacon bits in the ground beef for that extra pork kick. You’ve got fresh, crisp lettuce, a nice, juicy tomato, some zingy chipotle aioli and a toasted bun…but really, it’s all about the bacon. The texture is just perfect, not too crispy, not too chewy, and the pork flavour is utterly redonkulous. If they made me a body bag outta bacon, I would zip myself up in it and eat my way out–it’s just that good!

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Of course, you can’t have a burger without fries, and these ain’t yer grandfather’s spuds, son! At Rashers, they’ve got both kinds: curly AND wedges, and they come with your choice of seasonings. I went with smoked paprika, cuz dude, this is body by smoked paprika! And with the nice kick on that crispy coating, I don’t need no ketchup, bro!!!!

Today, I’m drowning my sorrows in bacon…

So, we’re hanging out at McCabe’s Irish Pub & Grill right here in Kitchener, Ontario. I was in K-town for the CMT country music festival to see my main man “Chief” Eric Church, the greatest country singer since Hank Williams Jr., last night under the hell-hot summer sun. But then it started raining alligators and catfish a couple hours before he was supposed to take the stage. There were thunderbolts and lightning, it was very, very frightening, and they decided to call the whole thing off.

Now, I never minded standing in the rain, but the last thing anyone wants is to be thunderstruck in the purple rain. So I’m a bit bummed out that Church wasn’t in session, but at least I’ve always got bacon:

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They call this the Out of This World Burger, and it’s practically from another planet. You’ve got six strips of bacon, two pieces of peameal bacon, lettuce, onion and tomato on top of a flame grilled burger inside a bakery-style bun. Bro, if there was any more bacon on this burger, it would be on Epic Meal Time!

But even eight pieces of bacon can’t ease my troubles or take away all my sadness today. There’s a tear in my beer as I type this. 😦