Tag Archives: chocolate mousse

GRAND REOPENING: This eggplant schnitzel shook me all night long!!!

Finally… in-person dining has come back to Toronto!!! Now, we missed the two-week window when patios were allowed to open back in March (it wasn’t really patio weather, anyways), so this is the first time we’re actually eating at a restaurant since November 2020. Reunited and it feels so good, Peaches & Bro!!!

First night out on a patio in over six months, so you know we want something real-deal, something super-legit — like Middle Eastern vegetarian food. Say what now??? While it might not be the first thing that comes to mind (and trust me, I AM going for a steak and/or burger tomorrow), I gotta say that Shook, this funky little joint on Portland, just south of King Street, really knocks it outta the park!

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First, we’re starting off with the ultimate Middle Eastern vegan dish, falafel. These goodness gracious great balls of flavour are surprisingly spicy — I think there’s some zhug sauce on there or something. But the creamy tahini and pickled onions balance things out quite nicely. Dude, I could slam, like, 17 of these, bro!!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event, so let’s get ready to rumble! On the menu, they call this eggplant schnitzel, but it’s almost more like eggplant parmesan, topped with tomatoes, basil and buffalo sold-jah mozzarella. And dude, that breading is fantastic! Nice and crispy, soaks up the cheese and the sauce. I almost forgot I was eating veggies! Like seriously, I would put this right up there with the bone-in veal parm from Piano Piano — and that was really, really good!!!

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But the hits keep coming, and they don’t stop coming, Smash Mouth lookalike bro!!! For dessert, we’ve got this tasty gianduja chocolate mousse, with hits of hazelnut and passionfruit, served underneath a deconstructed bakalava crust. I dunno whose job it was to scrape all the crust offa those baklavas, but that man is a hero in my book!!!

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And now, the question you’ve all been waiting for, “What’s your first patio beer of the year, bro???” Well, Shook only has six beers to choose from, and two of them are Coors or Miller. So instead, I opted for this Boundless IPA from Creemore. Not too bitter, not too hoppy, but just right. I think I’ll have another (two or three)…

PATIO LIT EATS: Peruvian lamb, sea and air combo!!!

Now, I’m not drunk or anything, but this one time, after band camp, I went to McDonald’s and ordered a Land, Sea and Air Burger. It was not very good. But on the other hand, if you combine lamb, sea and air, that would probably be pretty tasty!

So, we’re hanging out at Chotto Matte, this funky Japanese/Peruvian fusion joint at Bay and Front. These guys are serving up all kinds of Peruvian style barbecue, and they’re all small plates, so I figured I could eat at least three of them…

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We’re starting off with lamb, which was probably the star of the show. These smoked lamb chops were marinated in a spicy BBQ sauce and grilled to perfection, son!

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From the sea, we’ve got grilled octopus on a bed of purple potatoes with splashes of yuzu/blueberry sauce, for that extra burst of purple. This was another well-cooked dish, with a texture more like steak or chicken than the rubbery chewiness you’d expect from octopus.

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And then from the air, there’s this pollo picante — some nice chunks of chicken served up skewer style with a little green onions on top. Nothing wrong with that at all!

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Now, since I’m eating octopus, I gotta go for an Octopus Wants to Fight, this hoppy, juicy IPA from Great Lakes Brewery. That’ll take some of the heat off those lamb chops, son!

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After all that eating back there, you’re probably wondering, “Did he still have room for dessert?” Well, I wasn’t gonna order it, but when they told me about the Peruvian chocolate crema, I had to check it out!!!

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Dude, this has got to be the best dessert I’ve had all month! It’s kinda like a chocolate mousse, but made with rum — and you can really taste the rum, bro! Then they top it with honeycomb, chocolate sauce and these crunchy little dulce de leche bites — man, I could slam, like, three of these!!!

Funky French/German sausage feast @ Le Sélect Bistro!

Dude, we’re hanging out at Le Sélect Bistro, this funky French joint just south of downtown Chinatown that’s been cranking it out and dishing it up since 1977 — it’s like the Plastic Bertrand of Flavourtown! And with a brunch menu serving all kinds of French comfort-food classics, you KNOW Ça plane pour moi, bro!!!!

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This here’s their choucroute garnie a l’Alsacienne, a quadruple pork party from the German border. You’ve got chunks of bacon, pork hock, and not one, but two kinds of sausages — Strasbourg and Montbeliard, served up on a bed of sauerkraut. But the housemade dijon mustard is what makes it!!!!!!!

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Bro, I would sooo put that on a flip-flop! And of course, because it’s 5 o’clock in France, we’re washing it down with a Belgian beer:

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Now, any beer with both “Grim” and “Bergen” in its name and you know it’s gonna be evil! I first had this double amber at Bodega, and it actually went down a bit smoother this time… A couple more of these and I’d be on my way to kill Euronymous!!!

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Of course, even after scarfing down four kinds of pork and practically a pound of sauerkraut, you KNOW I still had room for dessert. This mini dark chocolate mousse was topped with fresh berries and served with a passionfruit cookie — so at least I got one serving of fruit today.

SUMMERLICIOUS 2019: Real-deal lamb dinner @ Volos

So, Summerlicious ends on Sunday, and we’re going out in style at this fancy Greek joint, Estiatorio Volos, just a Rob Ford backpedal away from City Hall. Now, you KNOW I love lamb, bro, so when I saw they had lamb shank, I was all over that like a Fun Guy on the Greek Freak!!! But Greece is also known for seafood, so we’re starting off with some grilled octopus:

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This crunchy creature of the sea is the one that I want, do-do-do! (Wait, wrong Grease…) Nice, lemony chew to the octopus, with a bit of bite from the black olives, a couple pieces of red pepper and some arugula. Hey, if you put arugula underneath an octopus, I guess I’ll eat it…

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But now it’s time for the main event. Dude, this was probably the most tender lamb I’ve ever had — it falls off the bone, pulls apart with a fork AND melts in your mouth, bro! You’ve got a nice bed of mashed potatoes, some braised greens, and then these crispy leeks on top…man, I could eat that for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!!!

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For dessert, we’ve got an Ouzo chocolate mousse, with strawberries, blueberries and Ouzo-infused Chantilly cream. Now, this little mousse scoop was quite tasty, but after that massive chocolate cake at Piano Piano, it felt like I was ordering off the kid’s menu!

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Washed it all down with a Volkan Blonde, this Greek wheat beer that they’ve got on tap. I guess they’re not pros at pouring beer, cuz that’s a whole lotta head for such a small glass, bro!!!