Tag Archives: calamari

It’s a cheese pie and a spinach pie, all rolled into one…

Now, we’re no strangers to Greek food here on Triple B. So when we heard this funky joint called Petros82 opened up in the Entertainment District, right where Montecito used to be, you KNOW we had to check it out, bro!
This place has a massive menu full of Greek comfort food classics, but one thing that caught my eye was the spanakotiropita. Now, I’ve had spanakopita and I’ve had tiropita before, but I’ve never seen both of them in the same pie, son!
petros82_spanakotiropita (10)
This dish is coming in hot and flaky, and it really tastes like equal parts cheese and spinach. The cheese is what makes it, though!
petros82_fried_seafood (1)
But you KNOW that’s not all, bro! Coming up next, we’ve got a fried seafood medley of crispy calamari and tender, crunchy shrimp. I could eat that all day and all of the night!!!!!
petros82_moussaka (5)
And now it’s time for another Greek god in Flavourtown — we’re talkin moussaka, son! Calling it Greek lasagna does not do this dish justice. You’ve got some cheesy mashed potatoes, tender veggies and some tasty, delicious braised lamb. Shut the front, back and side doors!!!
salonika_honey_pilsner (18)
Another thing that’s on point about this place is they’re serving up some Greek craft beers that I’ve never even seen before, like this Salonika Honey Pilsner. Nice, malty taste with just a little sweetness from the honey — I think somebody musta shook the bottle though.
skinipa_lady_beer (4)
So instead of another one of those, I went with a Skinipa Lady. This is tangy like a saison, but still pretty strong at 5.5%. I like this a lot more than the first beer…
petros82_chocolate_torta (7)
But of course, we’ve still got room for dessert. This chocolate torta comes complete with a pistachio crust, chocolate drizzle and a variety of fresh berries. The only thing that’s bad about this is it’s way too small!!!!!

This is the most expensive Greek restaurant I’ve ever been to. But was it worth it???

Now, we’re no strangers to souvlaki here on Triple B, and Greek food has gotta be one of my go-to’s. So when I heard about Myth, this fancy Greek place on King West, that was serving up a 35-dollar chicken souvlaki along with 67-dollar lamb chops, I thought this could be really, really good — I mean, if they’re charging that much for it, it’s gotta be a lot better than Jimmy the Greek, right?

Now, I will say that this was the best-looking Greek restaurant I’ve even been to (both the building and the staff), and the service was very friendly. As for the food, we tried four different dishes, and they were all pretty tasty…

myth_flaming_saganaki (3)

I’m always a big fan of food that’s literally on fire — and that’s why I’m such a sucker for saganaki, son! This Greek cheese is all lit up like Josh Todd at a KISS concert (back in ’09), and served with a side of warm, tasty pita bread. Man, even the bread here is good! And at 21 dollars, the price of this dish is pretty similar to other fancy Greek joints like Volos or Soulas Modern Greek, so I would say we’re off to a good start here.

myth_calamari+shrimp (6)

We also went with the kalamari mixto, which combines fried calamari and shrimp for a double down in Flavourtown! While the squid rings were suspiciously small (size doesn’t matter, bro!), they were still quite tasty — but I gotta say, that shrimp stole the show. Dude, it takes Red Lobster out back and chucks it into the ocean, bro! But as good as the shrimp was, this 28-dollar dish was a good $9-$10 more than you’d pay for calamari at some other Greek places. The shrimp was worth at least a couple extra bucks, though…

myth_chicken_souvlaki (6)

When it comes to the famous $35 chicken souvlaki, as you can see, you do get a lot of meat here. I mean, it’s about twice as much as your standard Greek joint, I’ll give ’em that. But on the flip-side, all you get with it is a handful of peppers and onions, and a small puddle of tzatziki. At Soulas Modern Greek, a 23-dollar souvlaki dinner comes with rice, potatoes and salad. Here, the potatoes cost $16 extra — even if they give you enough potatoes for 2-3 people, this just turned into a $50 souvlaki dinner for two, with no rice or salad…

So, I didn’t feel totally ripped off at this point — but then the lamb arrived…

myth_lamb_chops (2)

Don’t get me wrong, this lamb was quite tasty. I didn’t even let a chop go to wastey. But at Myth, 67 bucks gets you a total of four lamb chops, with nothing else but tzatziki. For that same price, you can get both a rack of lamb AND a loin of lamb at Soulas, and one comes with black olive mash, pan seared spinach and garlic roasted carrots, while the other is served over feta scalloped potatoes and more garlic roasted carrots. (I can also tell you from experience that Soulas’ lamb is super-legit!) So if you’re a fan of the lamb, you can definitely get more baaaah for your buck elsewhere.

apricot_old_fashioned (10)

But even if the lamb was more than a little overpriced, what bums me out the most about this place is the complete and utter lack of beer here. There’s no Volkan, no Fix, no Hellas or Eos — you’ve only got one option, and it’s Heineken. So instead, I drowned my sorrows in an Apricot Old Fashioned, which was not nearly as fruity as it sounds. At 20 bucks a pop, though, let’s just say I switched to Heineken after this one…

…and it turns out Heineken tastes pretty good with Greek food!

So, was it worth it?

While I would definitely avoid the lamb — and maybe stick with Mr. Greek if I want souvlaki for lunch — I wouldn’t skip Myth altogether. It is a very nice-looking place, and this fancy Greek feast did fill me up (all the dishes were split two ways) quite nicely. Everything tasted good, although I wouldn’t say it was better than some of my go-to Greek spots… it also wasn’t any worse. But be prepared to drop mad dimes if you’re dining here. Even going halfsies on the bill, I spent more on this meal than I did on a three-course dinner of foie gras, pigeon and chocolate souffle at Sash — and we didn’t even order dessert at Myth!!!!

(Sash was totally worth it, by the way.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRAND REOPENING: Xango Burger Unchained, bro!!!

Just a couple weeks back, we were hanging out at Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit! this funky new Tex-Mex joint on King West. And now we’re just a few more steps down the alley at Xango, a Latin-Asian fusion joint with some really loud music and not-so-spicy squid:

xango_spicy_squid (4)

Don’t worry, these calamari were totally Instagram-worthy, with red peppers, tortilla strips and some squid ink underneath. But for a dish that’s called Crispy Spicy Squid on the menu, there was literally no heat at all, bro!!!!!!!!

xango_burger (23)

But now it’s time for the main event… This Xango Burger is coming in hot with lettuce, tomato, onions, a cream of mushroom sauce and some of the most overcooked bacon I’ve ever seen in my life. Dude, this bacon was so hard, I could barely bite into it, bro! But hey, at least they didn’t put bacon bits on the burger like that one place, on Simcoe…

rodenbach_classic_belgian_sour (8)

Now when it comes to beer, this joint is serving up something I’ve never seen before…even though it’s been brewed since 1821. This Rodenbach Classic isn’t as tart or as tangy as your typical sour beers — instead, it tastes more like a Belgian dubbel, just without nearly as much alcohol. Man, even a Belgian quadrupel couldn’t wash away the taste of that burnt bacon, though… 😦 😦 😦

GRAND REOPENING: Squid stuffed with sausage? Don’t mind if I do…

Man, we’ve eaten so much Italian food all over this city on Triple B that it’s pretty rare when we come across an Italian dish that I’ve never seen before. But that’s what just happened at Capocaccia Trattoria, this funky little joint on Yonge St, just a penalty kick south of St. Clair. We’re talking calamari ripieni, a sausage-stuffed squid, served on a bed of couscous. Dude, Sausage-Stuffed Squid was my nickname at swim camp, so you KNOW I gotta check this out!!!!

capocaccia_calamari_ripieni (15)

Now, I normally like my calamari like my chicken — fried — but this texture totally works here. Nice, chewy calamari with a pretty good kick from the sausage… And they even give you the little tentacles, too!

capocaccia_margherita_pizza (5)

Of course, we can’t go to a real-deal Italian joint and NOT order pizza, bro! I gotta say, their margherita is on point, with a nice, crispy crust, some ooey-gooey, flor di latte… I could slam, like, 16 slices if I wasn’t saving room for squid!!!!

peroni_on_tap (5)

And you can’t have patio pizza without patio beers, bro! This place not only has Peroni on tap, but they’re even serving it in a Peroni-branded glass! I’m not sure that makes the beer taste any better…but at least it looks good on the blog, eh? 😉

The most interesting ham in the world…

Now, right before all restaurants in Toronto shut down for indoor dining again, we headed out to Madrina Bar y Tapas, this funky Spanish joint in the Distillery District. I don’t always eat tapas, but I heard that this place was serving up some high-end ham, like Joselito Gran Reserva, which even comes with its own identity card, so you know it’s gotta be legit…

gran_reserva_joselito_ham (16)

Suffice to say, it also comes with a hefty price tag — 42 bucks a plate — but dude, I am trying to keep Toronto restaurants in business, even if I gotta do it all by myself…and I was pretty intrigued to try it, anyways.

gran_reserva_joselito_ham (9)

Now, to call this ham would be like calling Pliny the Elder beer. It’s more like a fine-aged, cured Italian meat — like a nice prosciutto, or something. Man, this would be amazeballs on a thin-crust pizza, bro! But it’s still pretty excellent on its own, although I couldda used some bread, or some cheese to go with it. Bread and cheese sold separately…

madrina_ham_croquetas (17)

Of course, you KNOW I can’t go to a tapas joint and only order one thing, bro! And since one good ham deserves another, I’m about to go ham on these Iberian ham croquettes. These bad boys are super hot and crispy, straight outta the deep-fryer, with a nice creamy centre and some little bits of meat. I don’t think they’re stuffed with Joselito Gran Reserva, though…

madrina_patatas_bravas (1)

Now, I’ve had patatas bravas before, but these aren’t your ordinary brave potatoes, bro! They serve ’em up millefeuille style, topped with great big globs of sriracha brava and wasabi donkey sauce — shut the front, back and side doors!

madrina_spanish_omelette (5)

And because two good potatoes deserve more potatoes, I ordered up a Spanish potato omelette, topped with even more donkey sauce, onions, and a chili oil caviar. Dude, this dish is potatoes…and potatoes is good!!!

madrina_bocata_calamares (9)

But we’re saving the most funkalicious for last, with this pair of crispy calamari sammies with pickled peppers, all covered in squid ink. Dude, I got so much squid ink on my face eating these that you couldn’t even see the bleach in my soul patch, son! But this was definitely one of the top five squid ink calamari dishes I’ve ever had!!!

madrina_machego_cheesecake (12)

But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, and we’re funking it up another notch with this Manchego cheesecake, topped with raspberry sorbet. This dish is more cheese than cake, with a sugary coating that’s like Babybel Gone Wild, bro! Definitely one of the most outta bounds desserts I’ve had this year…

…I just hope they can find a way to stay open after this month, though. 😦

Japanese-style steak ‘n squid @ Miku

Now, I’ve always said, if I’m gonna drop three bills on a fancy dinner, I’d rather spend it on steak than on sushi. So we’re hanging out at Miku, this fancy Japanese joint at the foot of Bay St, where they do have some pretty pricey sushi…but they also happen to serve steak. Wanna guess what I ordered?

miku_tempura_calamari (3)

But first, we are starting off with some seafood, though — I’m talking tempura calamari, bro! This deep-fried squid is cooked to perfection with a light, crispy batter…and they’ve even got some squid ink on the side for dipping!

miku_ribeye_steak (3)

But now it’s time for the main event. In this corner, we’ve got a 10 oz ribeye steak, medium rare, with some miso butter and wasabi veal jus, served with a side of roasted potatoes. The plate also had some hot peppers on it, but I didn’t even touch those. Meat was cooked nicely, with some good flavour. I even ate the fatty bits, and there was actually quite a few fatty bits…

ichigo_mochi_dome (5)

But you KNOW that even after pounding all that beef, I’ve still got room for dessert, son! They call this the Ichigo Mochi Dome, and it’s sort of a two-men-enter, one-man-leaves situation…which means I’m totally not gonna share. What we’ve got is a brown sugar cookie, topped with condensed milk whipped cream, and then there’s strawberries on the inside, along with a scoop of jasmine tea ice cream, more strawberries, and chunks of chocolate peanut butter brittle. Definitely one of the funkiest desserts I’ve had in a while!!!

ichigo_mochi_dome (9)

PATIO LIT EATS: Duck confit ravioli @ Terroni

Dude, this is body by ravioli, bro! When I was a kid, I would plow through Chef Boyardee’s like it was crack in a can, so when I heard that Terroni, this funky Italian joint on Adelaide, was serving up not just any kind of ravioli, but duck confit ravioli, with not one, but two kinds of mushrooms, you KNOW I had to come check it out!!!!

terroni_fried_calamari (6)

But first, we’re starting off with some deep-fried rings of crunchy goodness — Frittura di Calamari, cazzo! And I am sooo on board with the level of breading here… I could crunch ‘n munch these all night long!!!!

duck_confit_ravioli (34)

But now it’s time for the main event! These pillows of chewy goodness come in a nice, creamy sauce, topped with fresh Parmesan for that extra kick. The mushrooms are melt-in-your-mouth, but the duck meat is ground down to the point when you’re missing that unctiousness — I mean, this could be beef or veal, and I wouldn’t taste the difference. (I mighta had a few Menabrea beers by this time, though…)

flourless_chocolate_cake (8)

Of course, you KNOW we always have room for dessert on Triple B, and this flourless dark chocolate lava cake really takes the cake…so it takes itself? You’ve got some warm, chocolately goodness, with a nice oozy centre, on a bed of cream, with some strawberries and blueberries on the side — I’ve eaten my five pieces of fruit for the week, bro!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Whole pile of Thai-style squid!!!

Now, to be honest, I’ve been ordering a lot more delivery than takeout… hey, I don’t wanna get the Camaro dirty, bro! But when Uber Eats gave me a code for $10 off an order — as long as I pick it up — that means I’m heading on over to Salad King, this funky local Thai joint that’s been serving it up since the early 80’s.

This place is known for super-spicy food, with its choose-your-own-chili level of heat. So when I saw that this squid dish called Sea Queen was “already a bit spicy,” well, I’m just glad they put the sauce on the side!!!

salad_king_squid (12)

Now, it might not look like much in those little containers, but this is actually quite a lot of food. Squid is nice and chewy, lightly breaded and seasoned, and it turns out the sauce isn’t too spicy. And then, for another six bucks, I got three super-sized spring rolls. You definitely get your money’s worth here, bro!!!

salad_king_spring_rolls (3)

 

PATIO LIT EATS: Three-course, real-deal Italian meal!

Man, it feels like Toronto is the last place in the world to reopen after this Coronavirus! But finally, last night, restaurants were allowed to open across the city — for patio dining only. So, it’s time to bust out the Kim Mitchell, cuz you KNOW I’m gonna be the first to eat, bro!!!

We’re breaking the seal at Blu Ristorante, this classy Italian joint in Yorkville. They actually just moved into new digs on Avenue Road, in a space that used to be Estia (another Italian joint), with a great front-porch patio. Now, especially for a Wednesday night, this place was packed — we had to wait about 20 mins to get a table. But what’s 20 minutes when I’ve been waiting three and a half months for this???

blu_grilled_calamari (8)

We’re starting off with one of my personal favourites, grilled calamari, on a bed of mixed greens with olives, capers and pepperonata. These actually came with seedless olives, so you didn’t have to spit the pits out onto the plate — that’s some solid social distancing in Flavourtown! But the squid was cooked perfectly; not too firm, but not too chewy. I usually like my calamari like my chicken (fried), but I definitely can’t complain about this dish!

blu_osso_buco (5)

And then we’re going for another real-deal Italian meal… say hello to ma lil’ friend osso buco, served over risotto with a chunky tomato sauce. Now, the last time I was here, I had a killer veal chop, so I know they know their way around baby beef — but this meat was so fall-apart tender, you didn’t even need a knife to cut it! And don’t let the super-close-up fool ya — that’s a pretty big hockey puck of flavour in Flavourtown!!!

blu_panna_cotta (3)

Now, the sun went down before dessert, so the patio lights really added an extra spark to this picture. They were all sold out of my first choice — tiramisu — so I went with panna cotta instead. I think I ate this little slab of gelatin in 4-5 bites…but after all that osso buco, I really didn’t need much more than this.

Kamayan III: Kamayan with a Vengeance

Now, it’s been a couple years since I last had Kamayan, the Filipino feast you eat with your hands. But when I heard about this new funky joint called Bagnet Bros, I knew I had to come check it out! This place is serving up stuff like milkfish, tilapia, mussels, shrimp and crispy pork belly, all for just 16 bucks. They’ve even got both kinds of calamari — grilled AND fried!!!

both_kinds_of_calamari

Now, the pork skewers were outrageous, the milkfish was creamy and delicious, and the peel ‘n eat shrimp were the most fun you can have with plastic gloves on…but what makes it is the bagnet:

bagnet_bros_pork_belly (4)

Dude, this deep-fried crispy pork belly is sooo outta bounds, bro! It’s kinda like a chicharron, but with the meat still attached! Man, I could pound these all day…but then I might not have room for dessert.

bagnet_bros_turon (6)

They call this a turon, and they tu-ron-ron, son! Picture a sweet ‘n sticky spring roll, stuffed with deep-fried platanos — this dish is bananas, and bananas is good! The 16-dollar dinner comes with your choice of ice cream or turon, but for just a dollar more, you can have both…

ube_ice_cream (3)

No way Jose, that’s ube!!!