Tag Archives: cheeseburger

PATIO LIT EATS: Detroit style pizza and burgers in Parkdale

Now, with some unseasonably warn weather yesterday, we got to enjoy the last day of (unheated) patio season 10 days into October. We’re hanging out in Parkdale, at this funky joint called Gianna’s Patties and Pies, that opened up during the (first) lockdown over where the Tennessee Tavern used to be. Not gonna lie, I’m gonna miss their AYCE pierogis, but when I heard that this new place was serving up Detroit-style pizza, along with a cheese skirt burger,  then you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!!!

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Up first is the Frico Cheeseburger, with its massive fried cheese skirt. You’ve also got tomato, pickles, a couple hot peppers, and then I paid extra to add bacon, cuz the first rule of Flavourtown is Always Add Bacon! This burger was so messy I couldda used more than one napkin, but when you get a bite of that deep-fried cheese, along with the beef, that’s TheBomb.ca, bro!!!

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But you KNOW that burger was just a light snack in Flavourtown, son! Up next, we’ve got a 10″ by 14″ Hawaiian pizza, topped with braised ham, fresh pineapple, basil and this wicked awesome sauce imported from Ono Grinds in San Diego. Now, I definitely don’t mind pineapple on pizza, and this was one of, if not, the best ham & pineapple pizzas I’ve ever had. You’ve got nice chunks of meat, the sweetness of the fresh pineapple, plus, since it’s Detroit-style, that ring of burnt cheese around the edges… The cheese is what makes it, bro!!!

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Of course, we’re not washing this down this ham and pineapple with a pina colada or nothing like that..

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Instead, we’ve got a couple cans of Kizuna, this hazy, Vermont-style IPA from Godspeed. This dry-hopped brew has enough citrusy, hoppy flavour to go good with Hawaiian pizza — or probably any pizza, dude! And at 5.8%, I could definitely crush a few of these before the sun goes down…

PATIO LIT EATS: Celebrating the end of summer @ Belgian Moon Brewery

Just when it looked like summer was over, we get hit with a heatwave, driving temperatures up to the mid 20’s this weekend. So we’re celebrating the last (non-heated?) patio adventure of the summer at the Belgian Moon Brewery at stackt, this funky outdoor market made of shipping containers at Front and Bathurst.

Now, if you think that Belgian Moon is only about Belgian White beer, think again, cuz we’re trying four different brews that don’t even need no orange slice, bro!!!!

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This Mango Wheat beer captures both the smell and taste of mangoes, making it the perfect beverage for the end-of-summertime blues!

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On the other hand, their Iced Coffee Blonde was maybe just a touch too much. I mean, if you blindfolded me for a taste test, I would swear I was drinking coffee, not beer. But hey, at least I don’t hafta worry about the caffeine crash afterwards?

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Unlike the other two beers, this Lemondrop Pilsner didn’t live up to its name so much. I mean, it doesn’t really taste like lemons, but it’s still a nice, crushable pilsner…so I guess I can’t complain!

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We’re saving the heaviest for last with this West Coast IPA, checking in at 6.1%. Another solid beer that lives up to its name, it’s got a decent amount of hops, without being too puckery. Now, this totally goes against what you think when you think Belgian Moon…but that’s what makes it awesome, son!

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Of course, you can’t drink all those beers on an empty stomach, so we’re ordering up some bruschetta fries, topped with basil oil, tomatoes and a whole lotta parmesan — tie yer nonna down, fratello!!!

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And since I couldn’t decide between a cheeseburger and a chicken burger, I went ahead and got both. They call this the JoyDoubleUp, and it’s a double down in Flavourtown, with a smashed beef patty, cheddar cheese, lettuce, pickles and slaw…and then a crunchy, saucy piece of fried chicken on top. Man, all that’s missing is some fish to make it a Land, Sea and Air trio, bro!!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: They made this burger a Triple B just for me!!!

Now, back when Assembly Chef’s Hall first opened, I came and I conquered pretty much every stall in the place. I even checked out their patio a couple years ago, and it was pretty sweet. Now, not every vendor has reopened for business — Cherry St Bar-B-Que is noticeably missing — but they’ve introduced table service out on the patio. So, while you can’t go around and order at the counter(s) anymore, you can order stuff from a few different places, and they’ll bring it right out to you.

This also gave me a chance to check out this funky joint that wasn’t even open the first time I stopped by, but is serving up what Toronto Life once called this city’s best new burger — Resto Boemo! Now, this place had a Single B and a Double B burger on the menu, but I was like, “Dude, can I get a Triple B, bro???”

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These patties weren’t super huge, so I could totally house a triple. (And yes, there is a third slab of beef tucked under there, even if you can’t see it in this photo.) But aside from being super-stacked, this burger was plain and simple — lettuce, onions, pickles, lots of American cheese and an oozy aioli coming out all over the place. Can’t complain about that at all! Paired with a side of Parm Frittes, which are basically just fries, but tossed with herbs and cheese…yes please!!!

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Since this blog isn’t Burgers, Bacon and Shirley Temples, I washed this bad boy down with a couple of Farmer(s) in the Sky, a nice, refreshing, dry-hopped pilsner from True History Brewing. The brewery is based in Toronto, but it says on the back that this beer was brewed in Calgary — either way, it still tastes good to me!

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Of course, you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! This Nutella sundae was six dollars, but you could add a shot of Kahlua for another six dollars. So, basically, you gotta spend the extra six dollars. The booze was the best part, bro!!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: The Caesar that eats like a meal!

Now, I’ve been wanting to check out Score on King for a while, but never got a chance to go until last night. This place is known for its legendary Caesars, and you know my motto’s always been go big or go home, so I’m going for the biggest, tallest, most overloaded of them all — The Checkmate Caesar:

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Now, this bad boy is so big that they can only serve it to (at least) two people, so that’s why I brought a friend…and then I didn’t share. You’ve got a pulled pork sandwich on top of a cheeseburger on top of a Cornish game hen, with a pulled pork mac ‘n cheese hot dog, chicken wings, onion rings and a chocolate brownie sticking out the sides! And all this on top of a drink served in a Hoegaarden pint glass, which, even on its own would be the second-biggest Caesar I’ve ever had…but this one’s got a lot more toppings, bro!

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So, we’re starting off with the pulled pork mac ‘n cheese hot dog, which was probably the most precariously perched piece of food. The dog itself was hot ‘n beefy, but both the mac and the pork were kinda cold, which was a little weird…

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Next up, we’ve got the pulled pork slider. Now, I don’t love pulled pork unless it’s really good, and this one was just OK. The coleslaw inside the sandwich and the pickle on top were a nice touch, though!

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Now, this cheeseburger was pretty basic, but it was definitely above average. Patty was thick and hot, and there were just enough toppings to add support without stealing the show. I might try one of their other burgers next time I come here…if I don’t just go for The Caesar Grande, though!

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These wings were what I like to call sports-bar spicy — they’ve got a decent kick, but not gonna melt your face off. At least by now I had taken enough food off the top that I could actually stick a straw in and drink some of the Caesar!

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Onion rings were pretty good, nice ‘n crunchy, and went well with the wings. If they were a little cold, that’s on me because I ate three whole sandwiches before I got to them!

Now, at this point, I had eaten a pretty decent amount of food. I mean, if I was at a Super Bowl party, I’d have probably stuffed this much down my piehole by the second quarter. But I still had the biggest, most intimidating part of this dish left to go — the full Cornish game hen:

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Even though I left it for last, this chicken was still pretty tasty. Skin was deep-fried and crispy, and the bird was tender and juicy. It’s a good thing that it was so melt-in-your-mouth, cuz I could barely chew at this point…but you KNOW I still ate it all, bro!!!!

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And of course, I still had room for dessert…

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Now, I already had a few bites of this chocolate brownie before I remembered to take a picture, but it was still pretty tasty. At this point, I had eaten enough food to curl up in a ball and go to sleep — but only after watching the Flames shut out the Dallas Stars, son!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Aloette Burger to go, bro!!!

So, it’s come down to this. With sit-down restaurants still shut down all over this province, we’re scrolling now, looking for Toronto’s best meals on wheels — that means takeout and delivery, bro! And we’re kicking it off with the legendary burger from Aloette, one of the toughest tables in town…

Not to be confused with Alo, the award-winning, fancy-schmancy restaurant upstairs, Aloette is a funky little joint serving up fresh takes on comfort food classics. They also don’t take reservations, making it about as hard to get a table as the fancy-schmancy restaurant upstairs. So, when I saw they were delivering through Uber Eats, I was all over that like a coureur de bois on a canoe, bro-sieur!!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. This juicy, beefy patty is cooked to a nice medium, topped with a bit of lettuce and a whole lotta mayo. But what makes it is the beaufort cheese, adding that extra richness in almost every bite. Bun was a little soggy, but with beef this good, you don’t complain about the bun, son…

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What’s even more crucial is that the fries stayed crispy — there’s no soggy spuds in this box, bro! Overall, they say this is one of the best new burgers in Toronto, and it did not disappoint!!!

This vegan black-bean cheeseburger wasn’t LOV at first bite…

Now, I’m no stranger to vegan food — whether it’s mushrooms ‘n waffles, jackfruit tacos or vegan poutine pizza. But I haven’t actually had a vegan burger since A&W first brought out the Beyond Meat. It wasn’t bad…but it definitely wasn’t beef. So we’re hanging out at LOV, this funky vegan joint on King West, and I figured I’d go for a different kind of vegan burger — their black bean Big LOV Cheeseburger:

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Now, there were some good things going on here. The potato bun was warm and squishy, onions were nice and crisp, and the vegan mozzarella was surprisingly cheesy. But the black bean patty really wasn’t the star of the show. I didn’t expect it to taste like beef…but it didn’t really taste like anything. I guess I was expecting a little zip, like a black bean dip, but nada. It was sorta like an unseasoned hockey puck in Flavourtown. So I guess I’m still looking for a really great vegan burger?

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On the other hand, this vegan caesar was quite tasty. I’m not sure what parts of a regular caesar aren’t vegan, but I definitely didn’t miss ’em here. This drink had a nice little kick from some Tia Lupita hot sauce, alongside the usual suspects — vodka, caesar mix, tomato and lime juice. And during Saturday + Sunday brunch, they’re two for $15, so you can totally slam, like, six of these… Happy Family Day, bro!!!

Holy peanut butter jalapeno bacon cheeseburger, Batman!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Allen Burger Venture, this funky little joint on Allen St, right in the heart of the cool part of Buffalo. If your favourite craft beer dive bar only played punk rock and new wave and had 14 different burgers – without counting the non-beef ones – on the menu, it would be this place. And you know me, I had to go with the funkiest of the funky bunch…this is burger number five, Lou Bro-ga!

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Now, this has gotta be the most outta-bounds burger I’ve had since I ordered the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup burger, and made mine a double! You’ve got the salty creaminess of the peanut butter, some heat from the hot peppers, a nice chewy bacon, and a thick and juicy patty – and then you throw down some white cheddar!? Shut the back door!!!

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But the funk train don’t stop there, son! These are some of the biggest, breadiest, crunchiest onion rings I’ve ever seen – and they’re beer-batted in Olde English 800, maybe the one beer I might not drink over Molson Canadian. It sure tastes good on some rings though, bro!!!!

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And when it comes to beer, there ain’t no Canadian here! (They do have Labatt Blue Light though, for some reason.) Instead, you’ve got 24 taps of local craft beer, and even more in cans! This here is Nosferatu, a bloody red ale from Great Lakes Brewing – not the one from Etobicoke, but the one in Cleveland. And rather than the bitter taste of a Crazy Canuck, this brew actually reminds me more of Arch Brewing’s Dinner Jacket O’Red IPA, which used to be my Ottawa Redblacks beer…except that they don’t make it anymore. 😦

Man, this was the best 38 dollar cheeseburger I’ve ever had!!!

What’s the most you’ve ever paid for a burger, bro? Now, I’m no stranger to great big burgers — you could say I’ve had a few in my day. But they don’t usually cost more than 25 bucks…and that’s if they’ve got six patties stacked between three grilled cheeses.

But now we’re hanging out at BlueBlood Steakhouse, this funky, old-school steak joint inside of Casa Loma. This place has got beef from all over the place — Japan, Australia, Alberta…including some real-deal Wagyu. Dude, I’m not gonna pay 200 bucks for a six-ounce Wagyu filet, though — that’s more like a snack, not a steak! But when I saw they had a Wagyu steakburger for $38, I figured I could go for that… But I gotta get some more beef in me first:

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Now, the great thing about this beef short rib ravioli is that they don’t stuff it with short rib — they put the beef on top. More beef for your buck, bro! And this meat is braised until it pretty much falls apart… it even tastes good with peas, and I don’t even like peas!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. In this corner, you’ve got Wagyu beef, topped with perfectly melted cheese, some crispy onion rings, lettuce and tomato, all inside a brioche bun. It’s a little lighter, and more flavourful, than your typical burger, but still has a nice thickness to it. Oh, and it comes with some of the biggest fries I’ve ever seen in my life. Normally, I can eat four or five fries in a handful…but these fries are so huge, I could only eat one in five bites!!!

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Now, after eating a couple pounds of potatoes, I didn’t know if I had room for dessert. But man, their baked Alaska is on fire — literally!!!

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This Blowtorch Betty in Flavourtown is set ablaze with flaming overproof rum, singeing its meringue shell. On the inside, you’ve got dark chocolate ice cream and strawberry sorbet, with some raspberries and chocolate truffles. Probably the best 28-dollar dessert I’ve ever had!!!

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Killer grilled cheese cheeseburger @Montana’s, of all places…

Now, I don’t usually go to Montana’s, unless it’s like AYCE ribs or AYCE fajitas or something, cuz they’re waaaaaay out in the suburbs and I don’t wanna drive the Camaro on the 401, bro! Turns out they actually are doing AYCE ribs right now, and I was just about to rack ’em up…but then I saw this tasty two-hander in Flavourtown, the Grilled Cheese Cheeseburger:

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Man, this sandwich is like two great things rolled into one thing! The patty’s thick and nicely grilled, you’ve got a bed of lettuce between two grilled-cheesy Louise-y buns. There’s supposed to be some bacon in there, and sriracha ketchup, but you don’t really taste it. What you do get is a whole buncha crispy Cajun onion strings. Dude, this is body by crispy Cajun onion strings!!!!

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Now, that mighta looked like a pretty big burger to you, but it’s really just another light snack in Flavourtown! Let’s just say, if this joint ever had AYCE burgers, I could probably pound 4-5 of these… Sheeeet son, somebody at Montana’s betta get on that one–if I had my little way, you KNOW I’d eat burgers every day!!!!

(Picture this, but with burgers.)

Seoul Shakers’ got my soul shakin’ with some funky Korean fusion!

So, we’re hanging out at Seoul Shakers, this funky little Bloordale Village dive where they’re mixing up Mexican, Korean and comfort food classics, like kimchi cheeseburgers and gojuchang tacos al pastor in an old dingy diner that’s so outta bounds, it’s got Tom Jones above the Wu Tang on the jukebox!

Now, you may NOT play the Travis Tritt right above the 2Pac here, but you CAN chow down on some sweet ‘n spicy soy-glazed deep-fried eggplant…so I guess that’s good enough???

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Now, I don’t always eat eggplant, but if you do it up like this, I would eat it every day. You’ve got sweetness, you’ve got spicy, you’ve got crispy and crunchy, with a side of bell peppers, scallions, and a little chili oil for that extra kick. Kick out the Korean jams, bro!!!!

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Now, these signature Seoul Shakers wings definitely kick the heat up a notch. You’ve got a crispy onion batter and a Thai-style chili/garlic/soy glaze, with some sesame seeds, hot peppers and cilantro. And it’s not just spicy hot–I almost burned my digits when I picked this one up!!!

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These Roast Kimchi Chopped Cheese sliders might be this joint’s signature dish, and it’s totally funkalicious. You’ve got a chopped ground beef patty topped with roast kimchi, lettuce, pickles, onions, cheese and special sauce. And they’re serving ’em up in two sizes: Biggie (four to an order) and Smalls (two per order). Man, can I do like a Big Pun and get seven of these????

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But the hip to the hop don’t stop there, bro! The hits keep coming with this cast-iron roasted Cornish hen served on Korean sweet rice porridge, with sides of pickles, onions and potatoes. And believe it or not, but this chicken’s so tender you can slice right through it with chopsticks — they won’t even give you a knife if you ask for one!

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Now, you might be sippin’ on soju and juice at a joint like this, but this is body by craft beer, bro, so I’m going straight for an ice cold Blood Light, an evil pale ale from my Satan-hailing homeboys at Blood Brothers Brewing. Dunno the IBUs on this one, but it’s definitely not too hoppy. Why make it a Bud Light when you can make it a Blood Light???