Tag Archives: craft beer

Whole lotta seafood @ Ivar’s Salmon House

Now, you can’t go to Seattle and not eat seafood. That would be like going to Texas and not eating BBQ, or going to Nashville and not eating hot chicken. So we’re hanging out at Ivar’s Salmon House, this funky little seafood joint that’s right on the water — not the Pacific, but Lake Union…which does flow into the Pacific, though.

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Now, this place is an offshoot of famous local chain Ivar’s House of Clams, so you KNOW we gotta start off with a bowl of clam chowder, bro! This creamy, New England-style soup has some nice little pieces of potatoes, but when you get a chunk of those chewy clams, that right there is the ticket!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event! This Taste of the Northwest platter combines salmon, halibut and scallops for a triple threat in Flavourtown…

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We’re starting off with salmon, which was nice n juicy, with a hint of lemon at the end.

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Cod was so tender you could cut it with a fork… a nice, flaky piece of fish.

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But the scallops are the star of the show. Super soft and tender, they melt in your mouth like butter! I would totally polish off a whole plate of these bad boys!!!!!

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And their beer selection is just as fresh and local as the seafood. This here’s a Scuttlebutt Hefeweizen, brewed in nearby Everett, Washington. Nice and smooth with a slight citrusy aftertaste — reminds me of Big Rock Grasshopper, the brew I was raised on (which you can’t find in Toronto anymore, but that’s another story…)

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But now we’re kicking it up a couple notches with Bad Jimmy’s Habanero Amber. This rich, red beer has a nice flavour profile — but I can’t really taste the habanero though. It’s definitely not spicy, bro, maybe just a bit of an aftertaste when you drink it on its own.

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Now while that seafood trio was pretty tasty, it wasn’t a particularly large portion — so you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert. We’re talking house-made key lime pie, nice and tart with a crunchy graham cracker crust and a bit of whipped cream on top. Again, it was pretty tasty, but a little on the small side. I *might* hafta stop for pizza on the way home…

Football by the lake @ The Dock

Not only can you eat seafood by the seashore in Seattle, but you can also drink beers and watch football, bro! We’re hanging out at The Dock Sports Bar and Grill, this funky joint by the lake, that’s got all the games on flat screen TVs, with plenty of local craft beers on tap (along with lots of, uh, Bud Light…)

And since the early games start at 10 am on the West Coast, we start drinking at 9:30 — I think I could get used to this, bro!

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We’re starting off with an Elysian Dank Dust IPA, and the name is no joke — this beer smells like weed, bro! But once you get past the odour of marijuana, it’s a pretty tasty, hoppy IPA.

Now, maybe there’s no weed in this beer, but I’m definitely getting the munchies over here. So let’s see what they’ve got to eat…

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These Ultimate Cheese Curds are the perfect game day snack. Deep fried balls of cheese that go great with ranch — not so sure about the strawberry sauce though.

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On the other hand, these Dock Totchos sound better than they taste. On paper, there’s nothing wrong with tater tots topped with cheese, ground beef, sour cream, jalapeños, onions, beans and tomatoes — but the tots get soggy pretty quickly, so instead of being the main vessel, they become just another bit player in the mix.

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From there, we switched to Elysian Space Dust, their signature IPA. Not as heavy or as hoppy, but it gets the job done.

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This Fremont Brewing Sky Kraken might be the best beer I’ve had so far. Hazy, slightly hoppy, but still very crushable. I think I’ll have a couple more of these.

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Dude, these Buffalo wings are outta bounds, bro! Beyond the buttery heat, they’ve also got a lemon peppery kick. And the meat is super-tender — I don’t think I’ve had a chicken wing that melts in my mouth before!!!!

On the other hand, while the parmesan fries were hot and crispy, the hardened layer of cheese on top doesn’t really add much. You’d be better off with the plain fries.

Going on a Seattle pub crawl (cuz Russell Wilson sucks balls!)

^^(This was never supposed to happen…)
Now, we’re longtime Seahawks fans right here on Triple B, so when Russell Wilson whined his way outta town, got traded to Denver, and then was scheduled to play the Hawks on Monday Night Football to start the season, you KNOW we had to be there, bro! And suffice to say this is not a game we wanna watch while sober. So before the game started, we made our way down the Link light rail line, grabbing a couple drinks at each stop along the way…
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This craft beer pub is Big Time, unlike the Broncos!

We’re starting off at Big Time Brewery & Alehouse, Seattle’s OG brewpub, brewing it up and pouring it fresh in the U District since 1988. This place only has its own beers on tap, and with 13 to choose from, I could be here all day — if it wasn’t so far away from the stadium.
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But we’re starting off with an Irish breakfast smoothie in the form of their Coal Creek Porter. A nice, chocolatey beer checking in at 5.5%. Nothing wrong with that at all. (It’s probably a safer bet for breakfast than the 8.5% S’moredor Imperial Stout.)
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But alas, one can not drink all these beers on an empty stomach, so I’m going to town on these pork verde tacos, bro! Pork is braised in porter (not the one I just drank), and they put so much meat on here that you need two tortillas to handle it. You’ve also got some salsa verde, onions and Mexican cheese — but the pork is definitely the star of the show.
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From there we’re going for something summery and fruity — Passionfruit Blondeshell Ale. Believe or not, but I’ve had a few passionfruit beers before…and this one comes the closest to capturing that passionfruity flavour, bro!!!
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Lovin’ me some lamb @ Americana

So, we headed a couple stops down the line to Capitol Hill to check out this funky little brunch spot called Americana Restaurant. (It looked like the only place in the area that served beer and was open around lunchtime.) Cuz with all the drinking I’m about to do, I figured I could use a second breakfast, bro.
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Now, while they had Elysian Space Dust IPA on tap, the tap wasn’t working that day or something, so that’s why I ended up drinking a Blue Moon. Hey, it’s not bad for a brunch beer — it basically tastes like orange juice, bro.
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But the main reason we’re here is for the lamb burger. A nice, thick, juicy patty, served simply with tomato and arugula. It comes with tzatziki on the side, but you’re gonna wanna put it on top of the burger. Man, this stuff even tastes good on sweet potato fries — which automatically come with the burger.
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If this place is a chain, it’s the chain I wanna see!!!

We’re hanging out at The Yard House, this funky joint across the street from the Westlake Center in Downtown Seattle. Apparently, this place is a chain with locations across the country…but with 130 beers on tap and classic rock all night long, I’m not opposed to checking this chain out. Man, I was only here for about an hour, but I heard them play Africa by Toto twice…
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We’re starting out with a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA — one of those legendary American craft beers that you can never find up here in Canada. Nice, crisp and only slightly hoppy, it’s super-crushable at 6%.
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Wasn’t planning on getting food, but when I saw the Jumbo Bavarian Pretzel on the menu, you KNOW I needed one of these in my life, bro! This bad boy was coming in so hot, I couldn’t even touch it, but once I finally ripped in, it was worth the burn. Comes with a whole buncha beer cheese and just a bit of Dijon mustard — I’d say the cheese to mustard ratio was about right.
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Here’s another beer you won’t find north of the border — Rogue’s Nitro Chocolate Stout. Smooth and creamy like a Guinness, but with a richer, more chocolatey taste — and noticeably stronger at 5.8%.
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One last stop before the stadium…

At this point, it’s about 90 minutes till kickoff. We’re getting off at Pioneer Square, where all the bars are pretty packed. So we stopped into a place called Shawn O’Donnell’s, where the bar was standing room only.
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Didn’t feel like Guinness after that Nitro Chocolate Stout, so I went with a Drubru Peach Sour. Light, tangy and fruity…this should tide me over until kickoff.
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Crushing a couple craft beers at the ballgame…

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Ya gotta love that there’s a beer named after the old stadium on sale at Lumen Field. This Kingdome Kolsch goes down smoothly like an implosion, with a nice, malty finish. Now how bout them Hawks????

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Manny’s Pale Ale is a Seattle classic. Pretty sure I had one of these at a bar after the Seahawks season opener in 2010 — you couldn’t get craft beer at the stadium in those days. This one’s more like an English pale ale than an American IPA… not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Now, never in my wildest dreams did I actually expect Seattle to win this game. I was just hoping they could keep it close, so I could keep booing Russell Wilson until the end. But with the Hawks up 17-13 at the half, I started thinking they might have a chance. And with the two teams combining for just 3 points in the second, 17-13 turned into a 17-16 win. Uglier than this Tim Tebow tattoo, but we’ll take it!
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(This sign is both mathematically and metaphorically accurate. Better luck in 2026, Russ!!!)

Curryish in a hurryish on Queen West!

Now, we’re no strangers to Indian food on Triple B. Curry, biryani, samosas… I could eat that any day of the week! And there are plenty of great Indian joints all over this city — but this new place on Queen St, just a couple blocks west of Bathurst, is really funking it up a notch. This is Curryish Tavern:

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We’re starting off with some cheese curd samosa turnovers. You KNOW they had me at cheese curds, bro! And these definitely ain’t your average samosas — the pastry is more like an apple pie, and the filling reminds me of empanadas. The only thing is, I didn’t really taste the cheese curds, bro…

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Now, I gotta say, octopus curry is definitely not something you see every day! But the sea monster is nice ‘n tender, with a bit of tangy tamarind in the sauce. And you KNOW we gotta eat it Indian style with some garlic butter roti, bro!!!!

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Not only is the food super-funky, but their craft beer selection is pretty legit, too. They might only have two beers on tap, but one of them happens to be Les quatre surfeurs de l’Apocalypso, a hoppy wheat-beer-meets-IPA from Quebec’s Le Trou du Diable brewery. Dude, can I get like four more of these to go????

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Instead, we’re switching it up with a Burdock Lime Gose. This honestly feels like I’m drinking lemonade, bro…

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And for dessert, we’ve got this Afterglow Singapore Sling from Rorschach’s Tiki Sour series. Despite all the different fruits they pack in here, it’s still got the maltiness of a beer.

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Speaking of dessert, we pretty much had to go with the Screech Rum Soaked Stuffed Gulab Jamun. Now, I was expecting gulab jamun to look a little more like this — what we got instead was kinda like a booze-soaked tres leches cake. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!!!!!

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SUMMERLICIOUS 2022: Super-legit lamb @ The Rabbit Hole

Summerlicious is coming to an end this weekend, but we are going out with a bang, bro! We’re hanging out at The Rabbit Hole, this classy British-style pub in the Financial District, where they’re serving up a 55-dollar dinner menu that has a few of my favourite things — or at least one of them, anyways.

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But first, we’re starting off with some soused mackerel. I thought that might mean this fish was soaked in booze, but the only liquid on this place seems like it might be residue from the pickled veggies, or something. This dish didn’t really blow me away — it’s basically just cold fish with a few veggies and a piece of bread. But hey, at least it’s not salad?

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But now we’re about to kick it up, oh, about 6 or 7 notches with the main course. We’re talking a perfectly-cooked lamb sirloin served in date sauce, with a variety of veggies — oh, and it even comes with a haggis croquette:

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Dude, haggis croquette was my nickname at the College of Piping, bro!!!!

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Now, you know the drill — Summerlicious always comes with dessert! And I gotta go with the flourless chocolate cake. It’s dense and rich like a chocolate bar, topped with meringue, a couple raspberries, and a raspberry sauce underneath. Nothing wrong with that at all!!!!

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Of course, I’m not gonna go to a pub and drink a glass of water, mate! So we’re British-ing it up with this Collingwood Kingpost English pale ale. This is not like an IPA you get in the USA — it’s a little more malty, and not quite as bitter. A few of these will getcha more soused than a mackerel though, bro!!!!

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But speaking of IPAs, we’re kicking it local with a Viaduct IPA from Danforth Brewery. Let’s just say it tastes a lot better than water from under the bridge!!!!

Demolishing the legendary Gramercy Tavern Burger!!!!

Now, it’s been almost 10 years since we’ve had a killer burger in New York City, so you KNOW we gotta take care of that, bro! We’re hanging out at Gramercy Tavern, this funky joint on East 20th Street, where I hear their Tavern Burger is one of the best in town… so we’re definitely gonna check that out. But first, it’s time for some duck liver mousse:

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This duck definitely doesn’t suck! Rich and creamy, like a pate, served on grilled sourdough toast. But what makes it is the cherry compote, adding a nice tartness to balance out the dish.

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But now it’s time for the main event. The Tavern Burger is coming in hot, a nice blend of 70/30 chuck and brisket, cooked to medium. This burger is tender, juicy, with some bacon and an oozy white cheddar cheese. The onion donkey sauce on the side adds a bit of a kick, but it’s better off without it. My only complaint is it was too small — more like a supersized slider. Now if they could make it a triple, I’d be all over that, son!!!!!!!!!

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Washed it all down with a Legendary Shader, this funky German-style Hefeweizen from 3 Floyds. Dude, this tastes bananas (literally), just like a good German wheat beer should. And at 6.2%, it packs a bit of a punch that kinda sneaks up on ya…

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We’ve also got a Sun Up hazy IPA from Talea Brewing in Brooklyn. This one checks all the boxes — hazy, hoppy and just a little fruity. I’ll take 10 of these to go…

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Now, since that burger wasn’t very big, we’ve still got room for dessert. And when in New York, you gotta go for some cheesecake, bro! This caramelized cheesecake comes complete with cookie crumbles, honey strawberry sorbet AND compote on the side. You’ve got the creaminess of the cheese, a nice crunch from the cookies and the tartness of the strawberries. And it’s all over in a New York minute!!!!

EAST VILLAGE BAR CRAWL: From punk rock dive to KGB Bar to OG Irish pub…

CBGB’s may be long gone, but there are plenty of places to grab a drink, and even listen to some punk rock, in New York City’s East Village. So after stuffing our faces full of pastrami, we set out to check out a few of em, all within stumbling distance…

Doubling down on $5 IPAs @ Double Down Saloon

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We’re starting off this adventure at the Double Down Saloon, which is just around the corner from Katz’s Deli on Avenue A at Houston Street. This punk-rock dive bar started off in Vegas, and they’re keeping it hardcore with this badass Black Flag mural on the back patio.
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It just so happens to be Happy Hour until 8 pm, which means you can pound pints of craft beer for just five bucks, bro! We’re starting off with a Founders All Day IPA, which has a nice hoppy taste, but is relatively light at 42 IBU and just 4.7%. What’s more, this beer is only 140 calories, so I can drink, like, 13 of these…
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But instead, we’re switching to Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale. This American IPA is stronger (7%), hoppier (60 IBUs) and more citrusy than its predecessor…which means I *might* only have 3 more.

The Soviet-themed bar that stands with Ukraine…

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Now, the East Village is also known as Little Ukraine (I’ve heard the pierogis at Veselka are so legit!) so it’s not surprising to find a Soviet-themed joint called KGB Bar on East 4th Street, just off of 2nd Ave. As their website makes clear, though, they definitely stand with Ukraine!
The music selection was an interesting mix of punk, goth, and Brian Eno-style ambient music. In Soviet Russia, synthesizer plays you???
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Now, I’ve heard that before the war, you could find a lotta Russian and Ukrainian beers here…but I’m guessing the sanctions against Russia probably put a stop to that. The closest I could find was a Radeberger Pilsner from Germany, dating back to 1872. It’s got a bit of a bite to it, similar to Pilsner Urquell, but not quite as bitter.
(Oh, and they actually have Pilsner Urquell here, too.)

Cozy craft beers at Cooper’s

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Stumbled out of the KGB Bar to find this funky little joint with “Craft” in its name, so you KNOW we had to check it out… This is Cooper’s Craft & Cocktails.
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Starting off with a Mondo Generator from Wild East — Dude, Mondo Generator is my second-favourite Nick Oliveri band, bro! This West Coast IPA is about as bitter as the dude who wrote a song called “Kyuss Dies,” with a nice mix of Citra, Columbus and Simcoe hops. A few of these, and you’ll be loading up your war machine, bro!!!
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Up next, we’re gonna hitch a ride to Rock-Rock-Rockaway Beach with this Eccentrics Welcome from Rockaway Brewing Company. This sour beer is super tropical with apricot and passion fruit, coming in at a crushable 4.8%. I think I’ve only had apricot and passion fruit in liquid form, but the citrusy flavours are definitely on point. The techno pop they were playing at this place? Not so much…

If the Bovine was a sports bar, this is the bar it would be…

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When you think sports bar, you usually think some massive place with big screen TVs, chicken wings, waitresses in referee stripes, etc, etc. But Standings, this funky little joint on East 7th, ain’t like that. This place fits maybe 40 people, and the walls are covered in sports cards, pennants, posters and other memorabilia. The night I went, there was only a handful of people in the place, and everybody seemed to be cheering for the Red Sox against the Yankees. Whaaaa???
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Oh, and they also serve a buncha craft beers, like this Prima Pils from Victory Brewing. A nice, crispy German-style pilsner — this ain’t no Bud Light, bro!!!!
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This Greenport Harbor Black Duck Porter does a pretty good impression of a Guinness. Nice, chocolatey richness, but not too strong or too heavy. Maybe a little heavier on the cocoa than an Irish breakfast smoothie. Not bad for a nightcap, though…

And we’re ending the night at an OG Irish pub…

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If there’s one place to bring this evening to a fitting conclusion, it’s McSorely’s Old Ale House, an OG NYC Irish pub that’s been open since 1854.

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They only have two beers on tap — dark ale or light ale. And when you ask for a pint, they give you these two small glasses, which’ll set you back 7 bucks. Is this the best beer I’ve ever had? Not by any stretch. (I’d say it’s just a little bit better than Molson Canadian…) But the historic aspect of this place makes it a must-see when in NYC!
I mean, what’s the oldest bar in Toronto? The Senator? Imperial Pub? I guess the Wheat Sheaf is about the same age, but it doesn’t have quite as much character as McSorely’s. Slainte!!!
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Trippin’ out over this triple mushroom pizza!!!

You KNOW this is body by pizza, bro! We’re hanging out at Get Well, this funky little dive at Dundas and Ossington that not only has a great craft beer selection, but they’re also making pizza in the back — shut the back door! Last time we were here, in 2018, they had North of Brooklyn supplying the pies, but now they’re going all DIY. Get in the van, Henry Bro-llins!!!!

Now, I had my eye on the al pastor pizza, but it was all sold out when we got there, so instead I set my sights on this festival of funk in Flavourtown, the mushroom pizza:

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Now, I like mushrooms almost as much as I like pineapple on pizza, so this right here is the ticket. You’ve got three kinds of shrooms — cremini, maitake AND honey mushrooms, topped with goat cheese and a little garlic oil for that extra kick. You could make this pizza out of a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!!

But you KNOW I’m not going to a funky joint like this and ordering an iced tea, bro…

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Up first, we’ve got this funky Cherry Banana Lime Sour from Merit. Dude, this beer is bananas — and bananas are good! This liquid fruit salad combines the tartness of cherries with a hit of sour lime. I don’t really taste the bananas in there though, bro…

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And because I’ve only had one serving of liquid fruit today, I’m about to double down with a Dream Pop pineapple peach sour from Fairweather. You definitely get some citrus here, but it’s also kinda hoppy, like an IPA. I can dig it!

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And because it takes more than two beers to polish off a whole pizza, I also went with this Prairie Coast Wheat beer from Indie Ale House. Now, compared to its predecessors, this beer isn’t particularly fruity and has little aftertaste — which is just fine when the last couple slices of mushroom pizza start to not go down so easy.

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Now, they do sell pizza by the slice here — for about 6 or 7 bucks a pop. But I figured I’d get more bang for my buck ordering a whole pie for $29. It was quite a bit bigger than I expected, but you know what we say… Just another light snack in Flavourtown, son!!!!!!!!!

Pai Northern Thai’s taking it to Midtown Flavourtown!!!

Now, Pai Northern Thai Kitchen is already known as one of the best Thai restaurants in Toronto. I’ve had green curry beef here that was too legit to quit, and ordered some takeout where they probably got the spice level wrong. So when I heard they opened a second location in Midtown, just a coconut’s throw from Yonge & Eglinton, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!!!!

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The Uptown menu looks to be about the same as the OG location, so I figured I’d order a couple things I haven’t tried before, starting with these kung tawt garlic shrimp. These super-crispy bad boys go down smooth with a little spicy-sour tamarind sauce on the side. Man, if these shrimp were endless, Red Lobster would be outta business, bro!!!!

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But now it’s time for a different type of beef curry — we be jammin’ this oxtail down me piehole, mon! Meat is super-tender, sauce adds a nice little kick, but you gotta watch out for all them little bones, bro…

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Now, they don’t have as much craft beer here as their downtown joint (from what I remember), but man, whenever I see Blood Brothers on a beer list, I pretty much have to order it. This is the latest installment in their Autopop series, a session sour with cherries. Not gonna lie, I thought I was ordering the Autopop Cherry Cola sour, which I’ve had a couple times before, but this light ‘n tangy fruit punch does go pretty good with Thai food, though.

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But now we’re kicking it up a couple notches with a Black Hand Stout. This rich, dark beer is sorta like Guinness on steroids, coming in strong at 7%…which means instead of slamming six beers, I might only have five.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner @ Taverne Bernhardt’s

Now, we don’t always eat chicken on Triple B — gimme steak any day of the week, son! — but when I heard about Taverne Bernhardt’s, this cozy little joint on Dovercourt serving up chicken so legit it landed in the Top 30 of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants, then you KNOW I’m there with a beret on, bro!!!!

They do have some sides and starters, and maybe another main dish or two, but the star of the show is definitely the rotisserie chicken. You can either get a half chicken or full chicken dinner, which comes with pickles, slaw, a dinner roll and your choice of fries or potatoes. I guess a full chicken could probably feed up to 4 people (maybe more if you order some starters), but the half chicken dinner is a nice meal for one in Flavourtown:

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Dude, this chicken is like Swiss Chalet on steroids, bro! Moist, tender, juicy, it goes great smothered in gravy. And the band’s all here — breast, leg, drumstick, wing — I just can’t stop eating this, son!!!!

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Oh, and while I’m told the potatoes are pretty good, I still say you gotta get the fries. Some of the crispiest, beefiest french-fried potaters I’ve ever had. You don’t even need ketchup, and I always eat ketchup with fries, son!!!!

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Now, there may be a handful of beers on the menu (which isn’t available online), but last night, they only had two.

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We’re starting off with a Matron Summery Landbier, which I believe might be brewed exclusively for Bernie’s (as the cool kids call it). This beer is so light, it’s actually under 4%, and while it does have more flavour than Molson Canadian…I’m pretty sure the dishwater at Taverne Bernhardt’s tastes better than Canadian, too. 😛

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The other beer they weren’t sold out of was True History’s Just a Pils, which is pretty much exactly what it says on the can. It doesn’t go too bad with some rotisserie chicken, though…

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And when it comes to dessert, there are only two options — cake OR ice cream. Since you can’t combine em, I gotta go with the chocolate cake, topped with hazelnuts and cherries. This is so rich ‘n decadent that I wouldn’t even know it was flourless if it didn’t say so on the menu. Man, this might be the best gluten-free thing I’ve ever eaten, bro!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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