Tag Archives: burgers

SUMMERLICIOUS 2019: Big, beefy burger @ Batch

Now, I’m no stranger to paying 38 bucks for a burger, so when I saw that Batch was serving up its signature Batch burger, plus two other courses, for just 23 dollars, I was all over that like beef on a bun, bro! Their Summerlicious menu starts off with apps like salad, tomato soup, peas on toast…or these fishy flavour nuggets in Flavourtown, fried squid:

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This I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-calamari comes served on a bed of basil and a smoked tartar sauce, and the breading’s got a bit of a kick. They were quite tasty, but aren’t calamari supposed to be round?

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Now, me and this burger are a match made in Flavourtown Heaven, aka Austin, Texas. Patty is nice and thick, cooked to not-quite medium, and topped with swiss cheese, pickles and a bit of lettuce — the meat to veggie ratio on this bun is just the way I like it. And then you’ve got a great big pile of some of the thickest fries I’ve even seen — these are like three-bite French fries, bro!!!

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Now, you know the first rule of Summerlicious is “Always save room for dessert,” and I’m definitely gonna go with the most chocolatey thing on the menu:

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This chocolate tart was packed with dark-chocolate richness and some hazelnut crunch, but I don’t really get the frozen orange stuff on top. (Mine was a little pulpy.) Still, I gotta say, it totally satisfied my sweet tooth!!!

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Of course, because Batch is a craft brewpub, you KNOW I’m not gonna order a Coors Light, bro! This Creemore Springs Boundless IPA was a nice balance of hops and citrus, with just a little bit of sweetness at the end. Maybe they couldda poured some of this on that chocolate tart instead…

AYCE BBQ @ Broadview Hotel

On Sunday, it was finally starting to feel like summer, so we’re hanging out on the patio at the Broadview Hotel for their Ultimate Summer BBQ Series, where they’re serving up all the meat you can eat for 25 bucks, bro! And they’ve got all the backyard classics — burgers, sausage, ribs, chicken legs, pulled pork, and even mac ‘n cheese!!!

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With so much meat and such little time (they only give you 90 minutes), I didn’t know where to start… So I piled some pulled pork, onions and pickles into a sammy. It was maybe a little dry — needs some sauce, boss! — but still quite tasty.

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Now, I’m not a guy who likes a lotta stuff on his sausage — gimme some onions, maybe a little sauerkraut, and I’m happy. But this place was all aut of kraut, and the non-diced onions weren’t optimized for maximum sausage delivery…but that didn’t make this smokie any less tasty!!!

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Unlike pulled pork, I don’t actually need a lotta sauce on my ribs. These ones were just about right…and I can’t complain about the meat ratio on this one, either!

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These chicken legs mighta been the best thing at the BBQ. Hot, meaty, with just enough Cajun seasoning… I could slam, like, 17 of these!!!

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Of course, it wouldn’t be a backyard BBQ without burgers. Tomato, onion, pickles — I’ll leave the leafy green stuff for the cows, bro!

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Now, you KNOW I’m not just having one burger, bro! For round two, I’m talking beef, topped with pulled pork, topped with sliced sausage, on a bed of pickles, onions and coleslaw — it’s a Flavourtown Triple Play, times two!!!

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Hey, you can’t have a BBQ patio party without beer, bro! These ice-cold brewskis came from Eastbound Brewing Co, just a couple blocks down the street. Their Hidden Lake Hefeweizen was light and refreshing, but surprisingly strong at 5.7% — it’s probably outlawed in at least a few States. 😉

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Now, that 25 bucks (plus tax) only gets you one drink ticket, but the last time I only had one beer at a backyard BBQ was that time I sharted on the slip ‘n slide after a bad batch of baked beans. So paying five bucks for another brew was a no-brainer, bro! This Nerve Tonic saison has a nice hint of juniper berries at the end, and it doesn’t seem like 6.1% — I could totally crush a ton of these!!!!

 

Slaying a Monster double burger @ Rally Sports Bar & Smokehouse

Man, if I had a million dollars, I’d open up a sports bar and smokehouse. I mean, you’ve got BBQ in the smoker, sports on the big screen–what else do you need in life? Well, when I found out a place like this already existed, up around Yonge and Sheppard, I knew I had to check it out…

Rally Sports Bar is a pretty classy joint, with a solid lineup of local craft beer. And they’ve got brisket and pulled pork and ribs, oh my! — although the first two only come in sandwich form. You can also put pulled pork on a burger, with this mighty in-house classic, The Monster:

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OK, so what you see is pretty much what you get. Two nice ‘n thick beef patties, with just a bit of pink in the middle, sandwiching some tangy, saucy, unctuous pulled pork–and then they put deep-fried onions on top??? That’s like a game-winning triple play in Flavourtown! The fries on the side are pretty legit, sorta like Swiss Chalet on steroids…and you know I’m gonna need a couple ice cold beers to wash this all down!

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Now, I had never even heard of Shillow Beer Co. before, but when I saw that Rally had a brew called Beer Snob on the menu, I pretty much had to try it. This Belgian rye ale has the fruity taste of Unibroue’s Blanche de Chambly, but with a bit more of a kick at 6%. I wouldda definitely slammed a few more of these…but this was the only can they had left!!!

This deep-fried-pickle bacon cheeseburger is totally dill-icious!

So, we’re hanging out at BQM, this funky craft beer and burger joint right in the heart of Little Portland, Ossington just south of Dundas. This place has got one main thing on the menu, and that’s burgers, bro! (They’ve also got wings, poutine, and salad, but I skipped that last part.)

Now, when I go to a place that specializes in burgers, you KNOW I never order a salad! So I went for the funkiest meat on a bun on the menu. They call this one Dill-i-cio, and me, I call it magically delicious:

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OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got a thick ‘n juicy beef patty, with super-crisp and crunchy bacon, just the way I like it. There’s added crispy crunchiness from the lettuce, but you KNOW the panko-battered deep-fried pickle is what makes it, bro! You’ve got a bit of a kick from the sriracha, and some creamy garlic mayo, but man…this might be the crunchiest burger I’ve ever shoved straight down my piehole!!!

How to make a better Swiss Mushroom Melt than Harvey’s

As far as limited-time offers go, Harvey’s swiss mushroom melt is far superior to its puketastic pulled-pork sandwich. (Trust me, you should be glad you missed it.) But it’s still not next-level, shut-the-front-door, supercalifragilsitic burger bliss, bro. So I’ve decided to make me a better one.

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So, I started with these Butcher’s Cut beef burgers, which were on sale at Longo’s. I don’t always buy frozen burgers, but when I do, I fry ‘em up in a goddamn pan:

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Now, once I got the burgers cooked on one side, I drop the cheese on top, so it melts right in. They don’t do this at Harvey’s, but they should, cuz it makes shit taste better. I also chuck some mushrooms into the pan, although I don’t think it makes much difference, cuz they came out of a can.

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Now, that’s a pair of pretty good burgers right there, but hold on to yer seatbelts, cuz I’m about to kick it into overdrive! I’m adding some jala-at-yer-pino peppers and some crunchy Rold’s Gold pretzels to take these burgers to the next level:

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OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got some nice backyard BBQ flavour from the beef, with some melty, chewy cheese, a little heat from the peppers, and an added crunch from the pretzels. I’ve also added some honey garlic BBQ sauce for just a little bit of sweetness. Dude, this dish takes Harvey’s down to downtown Flavourtown, flips it upside down, and goes back up for the rebound. These burgers are bananas, bro, and bananas are good!

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Assembling the most heroic Hero Burger of all time

So, here’s the deal. In Toronto, we have this local chain called Hero Burger. You can even get ‘em at the ACC. And they offer you no shortage of options—a 4 oz patty, a 6 oz patty, two 4 oz patties—and that’s just the beef! I mean, you could get chicken or turkey or fish, but not in a double. You can even choose from five different buns, dude!

And that’s without talking about all the crazy toppings on top. You’ve got five different cheeses, six different sides, and funky options likes crispy onions, roasted red peppers, a fried egg, guacamole and beef bacon. So I sez to myself, “Dude, what would happen if I added all the crazy add-ons at once?” Well, for one thing, the burger would be freakin’ huge…

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And just wait till I unwrap it, bro! I will say I didn’t double down where it didn’t make sense. So I went with crispy onions over sautéed, and beef bacon over bacon strips (they might hafta take my Epic Meal Time card away). I also didn’t do the guac, cuz hey, who wants to pay 99 cents for guacamole? I don’t even add that charge at Chipotle, son! I did, however, pay 99 cents for a bamboo charcoal bun, cuz, let’s face it, those look pretty badass:

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OK, now let’s break it down. We’ve got goat cheese on top of one patty, and blue cheese on top of the other. And the very first thing I taste when I bite into this is the blue cheese. It’s pretty pungent stuff, and not everybody loves it, but if you don’t put it on your wings when you’re in Buffalo, they’ll deport you to Syracuse…

Next up, we’ve got a nice chew from the beef bacon, which has a little more texture than its porky cousin. The tomato and pickles added some freshness, and the fried egg packed on some extra protein. There was also a nice tangy flavour from the pineapple mango sauce, cuz hey, I had to get some fruit in there somewhere. And the bun had a nice texture; crispier and crunchier than your average burger roll. The one thing I didn’t really remember was the Portobello mushrooms. I hope they didn’t forget to put ‘em on, cuz I know I paid for them—sez so on my receipt, bro:

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Now, you might think an epic burger like this would set you back 77 bucks, or something, but as you see, it was only $24.42—and that’s after HST! (I mean, it’s not like I could ask them to hold the tax when I didn’t say to hold anything else, eh?)

Top 5 Food Cities: 4. New York City

For me, NYC is all about the burgers, baby! 5 Napkins, 67 Burger, Smith & Wollensky’s…this city has some Bomb.Com beef, bro. Sure, you can get other fancy food, like a $25 fried chicken in Brooklyn, a $20 pastrami sammy at the Carnegie Deli, or a $15 shrimp po’ boy at Bubba Gump’s (only 1020 calories!), but when I’m here, I’m eating burgers, son. Unless of course I’m eating at Guy Fieri’s funky joint in Times Square!

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Hell’s Kitchen used to be pretty dangerous, but now, the only thing you gotta worry about is whether you can get a table at 5 Napkin Burger!

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67 Burger lets you pick between beef, turkey, chicken, veggie and tofu patties. But really, why would you choose anything but beef, bro?

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Dude, the Wollensky burger at Smith & Wollensky is big enough to feed a whole team of Dash Riprocks!

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Believe it or not, I actually ate this for breakfast…

I liked the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Burger so much, I made mine a double!

When The Works first introduced its Reese PBC burger, stuffed with peanut butter cups, and topped with bacon, onion rings and chocolate, I knew it was only a matter of time before it made a meeting with my mouth. Mind you, the National Post gave it a collective thumbs-down, and Jimmy Fallon called it “a wrong way to eat a Reece’s,” which briefly made me reconsider if I wanted to eat one…so I ended up eating two:

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Make that two patties, anyways. The server was initially unsure what to charge me, as this was an unprecedented first in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Burger history—no one had ever doubled down on the RPC Burger and lived to tell the tale. In fact, my order took nearly an hour to prepare as the cooks couldn’t stop taking selfies with it, or something. It may or may not have its own hashtag; I dunno, I’m not on Twitter.

In any case, this was quite the culinary adventure. The chocolate and peanut butter melt right into the patties, and it’s the saltiness of the PB that really dominates. The onions give it a bit of a kick, and the bacon adds a nice chew, while the additional chocolate really makes more of a mess than anything. I will say that eating two patties stuffed with Reese’s made me feel like I consumed half a cow. And there may or may not be a napkin shortage at The Works now:

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