Tag Archives: cocktails

CHITOWN CHOWDOWN: This 1920’s speakeasy is legit hidden behind a bookshelf in a basement…

Now, the whole idea of a speakeasy started in Chicago during Prohibition, so when I heard that The Drifter was an an actual 1920’s style speakeasy in the basement of a neighborhood pub, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!

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To be honest, I think I was expecting a bit more of a throwback — it kinda seems like a run-of-the-mill hipster bar, albeit one hidden behind a bookcase in true speakeasy style, with a battered wooden bar and an alt rock soundtrack. And I dunno if their cocktails are really true to the 20s — but printing them on tarot cards is kind of a quirky touch.

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Sun’s Out Guns Out has a nice little kick from the ginger beer, and just a touch of spice, leaving a fiery aftertaste. Not sure I taste the bourbon here, though — I guess it really blends in.

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Bye, Felicia is garnished with a pineapple, and you can really taste it in the drink as well. Fruity, citrusy with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

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Sherry Berry Cobler is very tart, with raspberry, lemon and grand marnier. The aftertaste is like something you’d put in a pie and bake it, bro!!!!

Put the absinthe in the coconut, and drink ’em both up, bro!!!!

Now, we don’t usually go to cocktail bars on Triple B. I mean, the name of this blog is NOT Burgers, Bacon and Bourbon…although that would still be a pretty sweet blog, bro. But man, I dunno how many times I have stumbled past BarChef on Queen West in one of my drunken stupors, so I figured it was time to finally go inside and check it out. And let’s just say you do not go here to order a beer…

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Instead, we’re kicking off this shindig with a Coconut & Absinthe Sour. They say it’s a pina colada meets the green fairy, and while I wouldn’t mind getting caught in the rain with a few of these, it tasted more like pineapple than absinthe to me. I’m also pretty sure I didn’t start hallucinating afterwards — so they couldn’t have put too much absinthe in there, could they?

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Up next, we’ve got the Charred Strawberry, with strawberry gin, scotchy scotch scotch, four kinds of bitters, two kinds of Marachinos and some charred caramelized strawberries blended in there somewhere. Although it comes in a manly rocks glass, this drink was quite fruity — you can get Girl Drink Drunk in style with this one, son!!!!

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And now we’re got a BarChef classic, the Four Seven Two, named after the place’s address (472 Queen St West). This one takes a bourbon & coke — or rather, cola bitters — and mixes it with lime and mint for a little bit of mojito and mint julep, all rolled into one! This concoction has gotta be the most crushable of the three — and at $17, it’s also the least expensive. (Hey, their signature Vanilla & Hickory Smoked Manhattan will set ya back 55 bucks… although it does come in a smokey dome, so there’s that.)

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Of course, we ain’t crushing cocktails on an empty stomach, bro! These beef barbacoa tostadas put the small in small plates — but you do get a lotta meat in every bite.

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We’re chasing that with some chicken karaage, or as they call it, Japanese fried chicken. These hot, tender, crunchy fried chickens really hit the spot — I could pound at least 12 of these, bro!!!!!

Mother, tell your burger not to walk my way…

Now, I don’t always drink cocktails, but when I heard about Mother, this funky little cocktail bar named after my second favourite Danzig song (Twist of Cain FTW, bro!), you KNOW I gotta check it out! And it turns out they’re serving up a signature brisket and short rib burger…so I think I’ll have one of those.

Now their Mother Burger isn’t all that big, but sometimes good things come in small packages…like Glenn Danzig. Burger is nice n juicy, with minimal toppings on a soft brioche bun, and you can really taste that the meat is a cut above. Whoa-oh, bro!!!!

I was somewhat disappointed that they were sold out of the Lost Craft Neapolitan Stout, so I had to settle for their Skyline IPA, which was not a bad consolation prize. This brut IPA is light and dry, just a little hoppy, and packs an unexpected punch at 6.2% — kinda like that guy who knocked out Danzig.

Of course, you can’t go to a cocktail bar and not order a cocktail… This here’s called Porcelain, and it’s got all kinds of crazy stuff like dry sake, jasmine baiju and Italian violet liqueur, for a nice, sweet, and totally not evil taste. It can bang heads with me any day, bro!!!!

Oh my god, Icelandic cod… at a Lebanese restaurant???

Now, I don’t always eat fish…but when I do, it’s gotta be something funky. So when I heard that Amal, this fancy new Lebanese joint on Bloor, was serving up Icelandic cod, I knew it had to be outta bounds, bro! I mean, Iceland is a long, long way from Lebanon, right?

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We are starting off with a couple dishes that are a little closer to home…and by home, I mean Lebanon. On the left, you’ve got Bastrema Rakakat, which is kind of a cross between a samosa and a Greek tiropita… basically it’s a flaky pastry stuffed with cheese, and then a bit of beef. I could pound at least five of these — oh wait, I just did!

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And then we’ve also got Amal’s Hummus, served warm with chunks of beef tenderloin, pomegranate and pine nuts. Dude, you could put that on a flip-flop and it would still taste good…but on top of a warm pita, it tastes even better!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. This broiled fish filet is smothered in a cilantro tahini and topped with pine nuts, and then you’ve got some more pomegranate seeds on the side, along with these deep-fried pita chips that you won’t believe it’s not nachos, bro! Fish was flaky and fork tender, and the squeeze of lime added a nice little kick. Man, this has gotta be in the top five Icelandic cod dishes we’ve ever had on Triple B!!!

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Speaking of Triple B, the only beer they serve here is Stella Artois…which I didn’t know was Lebanese, either. So instead I went with a cocktail called Beirut Forever that tastes so much like a Negroni that I think they might have brought me the wrong drink. They’ve both got Campari, Arak and bitters, but instead of gin, this one mixes in cognac, chartreuse and Martini Fiero instead.

Or at least that’s what it says on the cocktail menu. The only mixed drinks I usually drink are a mixture of hops, barley and water, bro!!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: Burger with a view @ Kost

Now, we’ve hit up some pretty nice patios these past couple months. Whether it was in the garden at Casa Loma or down on the waterfront at Cabana, some of these places give you amazing views of the city. But it doesn’t get any better than this — we’re hanging out at Kost, this funky joint on the 44th floor of the Bisha Hotel, where the only thing preventing me from getting a perfect shot of the CN Tower is this freakin’ patio umbrella, bro!!!

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Now, I don’t always take selfies, but when I do, there’s usually alcohol involved. This here’s The Selfie, a refreshing summer cocktail with Tanqueray gin, lychee, elderflower and lemon. You know those drinks that are so fruity that you can’t taste the booze? Yeah, that’s what you’ve got here. All that’s missing is a little pink umbrella, or something…

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But I didn’t come up here for a selfie — I came to crush some beef, bro! This Kost burger comes with lettuce, tomato, lemon donkey sauce, a whole lotta smoked cheddar and some black pepper bacon. Dude, this is body by black pepper bacon! Patty was thick ‘n juicy, you had a nice soft bun… even the fries were on point. This might be the best burger I’ve had all summer, and let’s just say I’ve had a few. 😉