Tag Archives: beer

GRAND REOPENING: Smoked eggplant ravioli and smoked beer @ Il Covo

Now, you know an Italian restaurant is Super Mario legit when they import their beer straight from the old country. We’re hanging out at Il Covo, this funky little joint in Little Italy, that’s pretty much next door to Trattoria Taverniti. Sure, they serve wine here, but they’ve also got five different beers straight outta Italy, including this Anais smoked beer from Birra Flea. It’s like a funky bassline in Flavourtown, bro!!!

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Now, it’s been a while since I’ve had a proper German rauchbier, or smoked beer — a little over 4 years ago, actually. I can tell you it was definitely a lot darker than this one, though. But you do still get the smokey taste with Anais, and while it’s a little strong, at 6.4%, and slightly hoppy (28 IBU), it still goes down pretty smooth. Even at 15 bucks a bottle, I still went back for another round…

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But that’s only after going toe-to-toe with a fistful of lamb skewers. Now, I love lamb in all shapes and sizes, but I had never seen these arrosticini at any Italian joint before. This kinda reminded me of Taste of the Danforth, walking around with some grilled meat on a stick… I guess I probably can’t ask for tzatziki here, eh?

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But now it’s time for the main event, son! These smoked eggplant ravioli are ready to rumble with cherry tomatoes and basil, along with some strips of salty ricotta. These ravioli were pretty tasty, but I couldda easily eaten three times as many…

Fastest Time To Eat 6.75 Pounds Of Canned Ravioli For A YouTube Video |  World Record | Naader Reda

GRAND REOPENING: Nachos and draught beer @ Madison Avenue Pub

Now, some food just doesn’t work well for takeout or delivery. Case in point: nachos. If you don’t eat ’em right away, the chips get thin and soggy, and they don’t hold up well in a takeout container. Even the amazing nachos at Sneaky Dee’s aren’t as great when you get them delivered. And yes, this is something you could make at home, although my make-at-home nachos tend to be made in a microwave. So you’re definitely not getting the full restaurant experience.

All of this is to say that I haven’t actually had nachos since like November. So now that restaurant patios are open again, we’re hanging out at The Madison, this funky little joint just east of Spadina, where they’ve got a three-level patio serving up pub classics like burgers, wings…and these Buffalo chicken nachos:

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Now, let’s be honest, these nachos weren’t really that great. They only put cheese on maybe 10% of the chips, the chicken was tough, and not spicy, and there weren’t many other toppings to speak of. But man, I’m just happy to be having nachos again, bros!!!

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Dude, I can’t even remember the last time I ordered a pitcher of draught beer. I mean, even a lot of restaurants that reopened are only serving it in cans or bottles right now. So, never mind that The Maddy only had three beers on tap — two Amsterdams and a Stella — I’m about to get my drink on, son!!!!!!!

 

 

20 BEERS BETTER THAN CORONA: 20. Dos Equis

So, it’s come down to this. 20 days into Ontario’s restaurant and bar shutdown, with no end in site. Is it gonna be May before you cash me outside, or are we stuck in here until July? Either way, I know when this is over, I’m gonna need a beer — or 20, bro!!!!

20. Dos Equis

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I don’t always drink Mexican beer, but when I do…I’ll take Dos Equis over Corona any day of the week! The ol’ Double-X helped me wash down a carne asada burrito with carne asada fries at The Taco Stand when I was in Miami last year!!!

Get the full story here.

 

20 BEERS BETTER THAN CORONA: 19. Menabrea Bionda

Y’know, I kinda blame Italy for getting us into this mess. When the Coronavirus came, they did nothing — and now their hospitals are overloaded, they’ve got the highest COVID-19 death rate in the world, and every other country is in lockdown, too. But even if I wouldn’t wanna visit Italy anytime soon…I’d still chug this Italian beer before taking a single sip of Corona.

19. Menabrea Bionda

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You know those European beers that all kinda taste the same, whether they’re from Poland, Portugal or Greece? This is also one of those beers. It’s tastier than, say, Molson Canadian, but you don’t remember much about it the next day. It does go pretty good with pizza, though — and I ain’t talkin’ bout Delissio, bro!

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20 BEERS BETTER THAN CORONA: 17. Hazed and Confused

Man, if Dazed and Confused, my favourite Matthew McConaughey movie, happened today, it would totally suck! They’d be like “Parties at the Moontower are cancelled until further notice. Aerosmith’s concert this summer will be rescheduled for next year.” It would be a lot cooler if you didn’t, bro!!!

But what doesn’t totally suck is this hazy Vermont-style IPA, which happens to be named after my favourite Matthew McConaughey movie…

17. Hazed and Confused

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This hazy, juicy beer has a whole lotta hops, with a nice, citrusy finish. They had it on tap two summers ago at Poor Romeo, this funky 70’s rock bar in Gerrones that has a portrait of Phil Lynott right next to its beer list! Man, I really hope that place reopens before the end of summer…

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20 BEERS BETTER THAN CORONA: 15. Sam Roberts Band Ale

Now, I’m not a huge Sam Roberts Band fan — there were a couple songs on their first album that I liked, but I haven’t listened to much of them since. However, drinking their beer is probably the closest thing I’ll come to seeing Sam Roberts, or any other band, in the flesh for the next little while…

15. Sam Roberts Band Ale

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Now, this beer might be as close to an English pub ale as Sam Roberts is to Pete Shelley (RIP), but it’s still got a pretty decent finish. I pounded a couple of these at the Black Bull, a legendary Toronto dive with a massive patio…that currently sits empty, like every other bar in the city. 😦 😦 😦

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20 BEERS BETTER THAN CORONA: 14. Tropical Mango Pale Ale

Dude, I wish I was off on vacation somewhere on a beach, on an island in the sun…not cooped up in the Catucci Cave with nothing but takeout to tide me over! That’s why today we’re looking back at a craft brewery and brewpub straight outta the Caribbean!!!

14. Tropical Mango Pale Ale

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St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, is mostly beaches, forests and national park. But not too far from the ferry dock, there’s this funky little brewpub where they’re making their own beer — and this here’s the in-house special, Tropical Mango Pale Ale. Not too heavy or too hoppy, it’s brewed with real mangoes for a nice, fruity finish. Man, I think I’m starting to forget what fresh fruit even tastes like…

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20 BEERS BETTER THAN CORONA: 4. Landshark Lager

With all the bars and restaurants shut down across Ontario, I’m not wasting away in Margaritaville — or anywhere else, for that matter. But until life returns to normal, I’d rather chug this Island Style Lager than even take a sip of Corona…

4. Landshark Lager

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I’m really just a dolphin, ma’am! This light, easy-drinking, Jimmy Buffet branded beer tastes kinda like the Caribbean — as opposed to Corona, which tastes like the urinal at a Taco Bell. And you can actually buy it at The Beer Store…if they haven’t run out already!

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20 BEERS BETTER THAN CORONA: 1. Guinness

Coronavirus has shut down all bars and sit-down restaurants in Ontario as of midnight this morning, making it the worst viral outbreak named after a shitty beer since Saskatchewan came down with a bad case of Pilsner Fever on November 29, 2009. This really changes the game for Triple B, with funky joints all over this province closing their doors for now, and we don’t even know when they’ll be open again…

We’ll still be ordering takeout and delivery (Dude, this is body by takeout and delivery!), but in the meantime, we’re counting down 20 beers that are better than Corona until we can actually go out and crush some killer Burgers, Bacon and Beer again!

1. Guinness

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You KNOW I wish I was in some Irish pub slamming pints of Guinness for St. Patty’s today, bro! Especiallt at a funky joint like Bushwaller’s in Frederick, Maryland, where they’ve got a killer corned beef Reuben omelette and an Old Bay-seasoned crab dip pretzel. Did I mention all their Irish beers are 2 bucks off on Sundays???

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Beer and nachos for just 10 bucks, bros!!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Squirly’s Bar & Grill, this funky little dive on Queen Street West. Man, this place was playing punk bands on the stereo I’ve never even heard of, bro! And you gotta get there early, cuz from 4 to 7 pm you can get a pint of beer and a plate of nachos for just 10 bucks!

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Now, despite what it says on the glass, this beer is NOT from Great Lakes Brewery. This is Stratford Pilsner, straight outta the home of Justin Bieber. I will never say never to another one of these brewskis, bro!!!

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So, now we’re going nachos. These tri-color chips are topped with cheese, green onions, tomatoes…and green olives, for some reason. OK, so they’re not the best nachos I’ve ever had. Probably not even in my Top 10. But did I mention that all this, plus any pint of craft beer, is just 10 bucks until 7 pm? That’s a Honky-Tonk Redonkadonk Happy Hour Hoedown in Flavourtown, Dean Bro-dy!!!!

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So, now that it’s after 7, we’re sa-sa-switchin to Side Launch Wheat, son! This light, slightly citrusy local craft beer tastes like gold to me–even in a Woodhouse Brewing glass…