Tag Archives: craft beer

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: BBQ ribs combo to go, bro!!!

Although patios are open in Toronto, it’s really hard to get a table right now. I mean, that’s great for the restaurants in this city, but not so good when you’re rolling out, looking for the greatest burgers, bacon and beer. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll still be going out to eat as much as we can…but let’s just say the takeout reviews aren’t going away, either. 😉

Now, I haven’t actually been to The Carbon Bar since that one time, in 2016, when their Pit Master Platter failed to satisfy my hunger. But I’ve heard a few good things about them in the meantime, and when I saw they were part of the Toronto Premium Restaurants deal on DoorDash, where you save 7 dollars when you spend 30 or more, I figured I’d give ’em another shot. As it turns out, their pork ribs combo with two sides was $28, and when you add a side of gravy, it’s an even 30, so there you go…

carbon_bar_ribs (10)

These ribs are served St. Louis style, which means you gotta bite through the gristly bits at the end. But they are still nicely seasoned, with a good, smokey flavour, and taste great with the side of sweet ‘n spicy sauce, which does what it says on the label. Plus, the metal catering tray kept ’em nice and warm on the way over, which is definitely a plus.

carbon_bar_mac_cheese (3)

This mac ‘n cheese is TheBomb.ca, bro! Creamy, crunchy, with a mix of mozza-cheddar and some breadcrumbs on top — again, the catering tray kept it nice and hot till it’s headed down my piehole!!!!

carbon_bar_fries_gravy (4)

Now, the thick ‘n lumpy gravy was probably meant for fried chicken, but it still tasted fine on these fries. And hey, if I’m spending two dollars to save seven, you can pour some gravy on me in the name of lard anytime, bro!!!!

clutch_pale_ale (8)

Now, because The Carbon Bar’s beer selection is basically just Budweiser, I reached into my fridge for a Clutch American Pale Ale from Redline Brewhouse. The light, hoppy flavour goes nicely with some smokey BBQ, I gotta say. And no, this brew has nothing to do with the heavy rock band from Maryland — but that does kinda look like their logo, though…

 

 

 

 

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

I KNOW we are just two days away from restaurants reopening for patio dining, and we are definitely gonna hit up a couple funky joints this weekend, but the latest deal in the delivery world is DoorDash’s Toronto Premium Restaurants, a buncha classy joints where they take $7 off orders of $30 or more until June 30. Now, at a few of these places, it’s pretty easy to drop like $90, which doesn’t make it such a big deal… but if you only spend 30 bucks, you end up saving almost 25%.

Now, you KNOW I loves me a good deal bro, and I’ve found a few of these classy establishments where you can spend no more than 32 dollars on a decent lunch or dinner — which is music to my ears, cuz I’m probably gonna drop much more than that on patio beers this weekend. And of course, we’re starting off with one of the most legendary, famous, iconic burgers in Toronto from Richmond Station, where you can get the Station Burger, fries AND a local craft beer for an even $30…which means that, after the DoorDash discount, the fries are basically free. 😉

richmond_station_burger (29)

Dude, this burger tastes even better than I remembered! Patty is nice ‘n thick, cooked to your liking (although they don’t go below medium), topped with aged cheddar, lettuce, onions and donkey sauce. But the beet chutney is what makes it — that’s not blood on the bun, it’s beet juice, son!!!

richmond_station_rosemary_fries (15)

Now, you could pay a couple bucks more for polenta fries, but if you wanna stick to the 30-dollar limit, then these rosemary fries are the ticket. Nice and crunchy, served with some more donkey sauce — dude, that’s like a donkey sauce double down in Flavourtown!!!!

goodlot_big_head (11)

Now, there are a couple $6 beers that will get you where you need to be, but why settle for Creemore when you can have this delicious amber from GoodLot, a farm-to-can brewery that actually grows its own hops!? It might not have been ice cold by the time I got it home — dude, did you see how hot it is today!? — but it definitely still hits the spot!!!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: We be jammin’ this Jamaican patty double down!!!

Patois has gotta be one of the funkiest joints in the city, serving up Jamaican/Chinese fusion since 2014. I already ordered their jerk chicken and oxtail dinner kit in the early days of the pandemic, but this time, I’m going back for something I only had once, waaaay back in the day — their Jamaican take on a KFC Double Down, with cheese and bacon between two Jamaican meat patties. Is this love, is this love, is this love that I’m feelin’, bro???

patois_double_down (17)

OK, now this is slightly different than the original version, which came in a bun — but it’s still pretty funkalicious. The first few bites are pretty much just patty, but when you get to the cheese and bacon in the middle, that’s what makes it, right there. I kinda wished they doubled down on the bacon, though, bro…

patois_dirty_fried_rice (10)

But you KNOW I’m not just crushing one sando, son!!! This Dirty Fried Rice is packed with peas, Chinese sausage and scrambled eggs, and it’s just 10 bucks with Skip The Dishes — that’s a lot more rice than it looks, bro! Everything was nice ‘n hot, and I won’t say I was full after finishing this…but I maybe only had room for a small dessert.

bear_runner_blonde (7)

Since I’m pretty good at drinking beer, I washed this down with a Bear Runner Blonde Ale, brewed in North Bay by New Ontario Brewing Co. This nice, lighter beer tastes pretty good when it’s 200,000 degrees out and you want to drink something that’ll cool you off, but not overpower you, or when you’re eating a lotta food, and don’t wanna feel too bloated afterwards. Both of those sound like pretty good reasons to me, bro!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Beefy double cheeseburger and cheese fries from The Bullger

Now, when I heard that The Bullger, this funky burger joint at Queen and Parliament, was serving up an eight-dollar double burger with a fried egg on top for the Eggs Anytime deal with Skip the Dishes, I was all over that like beef on a bun, son! They call this the Bull’s Eye, and it totally hits the target!!!

bullger_bull's_eye (9)

OK, now let’s break it down. We’ve got two beefy six-ounce patties, topped with mozza cheese, lettuce, onions, mushrooms, and just oozing with donkey sauce…and then they put an egg on top!? Shut the front, back and side doors, bro! Now, this burger was really messy — I definitely needed all the napkins that they gave me! But the patties were on point, and when you get a nice bite of egg, and maybe a couple shrooms, that right there is the golden ticket!!!

bullger_cheese_fries (14)

And now we’re kicking it up another notch with some cheese fries, bro! These french-fried potaters are topped with real cheese, and then they put some cheese sauce and donkey sauce on top! The only downside is that, while the top layer is nice ‘n cheesy, the fries underneath are pretty much plain. Ya gotta layer on the cheese sauce, son!!!!!!!!!

hustle_over_hype (6)

Now, they don’t serve beer at The Bullger, so I pulled this bad boy outta the fridge. Hustle Over Hype is a crushable pale wheat ale that doesn’t really have the citrusy kick of a wheat beer or the hoppiness of an IPA. But it does have an old-timey boxing dude fighting a hop monster on the can, bro!!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Bacon and egg and cheese…and beer!!!

The George Street Diner, this funky little joint in Corktown, is the kinda place that puts the Diner in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. OK, so Guy Fieri has never been here — but as a matter of fact, Harry Potter actually has. We also hit this place up a couple years back for an Irish take on an English breakfast, so when I found out they were doing the Eggs Anytime deal on Skip the Dishes, you KNOW I had to check it out!!!!

egg_in_a_hole (31)

This Egg in a Hole sandwich has just about everything I want for breakfast. We’re talkin’ grilled cheese on challah bread, with Irish rashers (British style-bacon) and an egg in the middle! Now, you can eat this sandwich with your hands, although it gets a bit messy once you break the yoke…

egg_in_a_hole (49)

Served with your choice of seasonal salad or homemade coleslaw. Me, I couldda gone for some hash browns or potato wedges, but I guess I’ll settle for coleslaw…

george_street_homemade_coleslaw (10)

This slaw is a little stringier and more peppery than what you’d get in a container, which gives it a little more flavour, and a not-unpleasant aftertaste. Man, this would go really good with some fried chicken, or some BBQ, bro!!!

broadhead_blueberry_blonde (9)

And, because it’s Beer O’Clock somewhere, we’re washing this down with a Blueberry Blonde from Ottawa’s Broadhead Brewery. Now, some of the other blueberry beer I’ve had was pretty much purple, but this one has a nice blueberry aroma while still looking like an ordinary beer. And its nice, smooth taste goes good in the morning when we could all use a little Hair of the Dog after that Leafs loss in OT last night, am I right????

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Smoked brisket and smoked salmon Mother’s Day brunch

A few days back, I got an email from Tock saying it’s your last chance to order your Mother’s Day specials. Up until that point, I wasn’t planning on doing anything for Mother’s Day, since we’re still in Lockdown Number 3, and I can’t eat dinner for four by myself. But as I scrolled down the list of Mother’s Day meals, I came across this funky little joint in Parkdale called Noble House that was offering up a Mother’s Day brunch for two with a few of my favourite things — beef brisket, pickles and cake. Oh, and smoked salmon, fruit and veggies, too. Here’s what it looks like with everything unpacked and put together:

mothers_day_brunch (14)

Werd to ya mutha! This smorgasbord board of flavour was meant to feed two comfortably, but it’s more like a light lunch in Flavourtown. We’ve got two beef brisket sammies, with plenty of mustard, four giant pickle spears, a fruit tray, container of coleslaw, apple cinnamon coffee cake and some fully loaded lox. You KNOW I think they’re jiggy, bro!!!!

beef_brisket_sandwich (7)

But first, we’re getting frisky with the brisky. Seeing the smoked brisket on the menu is what made me buy this brunch to begin with. They give you two handfuls of brisket, four slices of bread and more than enough mustard — along with the super-thick pickles and slaw — to make this a decent deli meal by itself. The instructions were to heat the brisket on a low simmer, and while I eventually figured out what a low simmer was, I probably didn’t leave the meat in the pot long enough. Plus, by the time I put everything else together, it wasn’t really warm anymore…but that didn’t make it any less delicious!

smoked_salmon_bagel (6)

This brunch kit also came with everything you needed for some fully loaded lox. You’ve got two sesame seed bagels, plenty of cream cheese, smoked salmon, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, dill sprigs and capers. And I used up pretty much everything, except for some of the cream cheese and dill. Only thing I’d say is that the Montreal-style bagels with the bigger hole in the middle made it harder to put everything together without a bunch of it falling off. Maybe I shouldda tried to make a sandwich? And I still dunno what I’m gonna do with all that extra dill, dough…

live_transmission_ipa (2)

Around here, it wouldn’t be brunch without ice cold beer. This Live Transmission milkshake IPA from the righteous bros at Flying Monkeys is brewed with orange peel, grapefruit and coconut tea, so it’s practically fruit juice…although a lot hoppier, and heavier, at 6.3%.

noble_house_apple_cake (5)

Now the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad, so I had coffee cake for dessert. This rich, dense cake tastes like apples and cinnamon, with some icing on top. It was probably enough for two people, but you KNOW calories don’t count on Sundays, bro!!!

mothers_day_aftermath (13)

And while that was probably the most fruit I’ve ever ate in my life, and I barely even had room for dessert, I gotta say, it wasn’t a bad way to spend Mother’s Day. Mama, I’m Coming Home, Ozzy Os-bro-ne!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Nashville hot shrimp sandwich with PEI lobster poutine

I don’t normally eat spicy food… but I’ve been to Nashville a couple times, and I’ve had the second-best hot chicken in town, along with a couple other places. So here we are, in Second Lockdown, and I’m missing the Music City. Now, some of the best hot chicken in Toronto is too far away to deliver, so when I saw that Coast, this funky seafood popup kitchen, was serving up a Nashville hot shrimp sandwich, I figured that might still hit the spot. And this place is actually so close to me that my food arrived in less than 30 min — beat that, Domino’s!!!

nashville_hot_shrimp_sandwich (10)

Now, they don’t let you choose your heat level, so you know we’re not in Nashville here, but I gotta say, this sammy is still sneaky spicy. Like, at first it didn’t seem too hot, but the heat sorta builds up and then sticks around. It’s maybe only a 1 or a 2 on the Nashville scale…but that’s all I can really handle, anyways!

pei_lobster_poutine (19)

I was a bit bummed out by the tragic poutine I had the other day, so I also decided to order some lobster fries. This PEI lobster poutine was a little light on the gravy and heavy on the herbs — the chives really give this dish a big boost. And while the fries were on the thin side, the combo of fries, real-deal cheese curds and big ol’ chunks of lobster all go together quite nicely.

fisheye_ipa (8)

This Baldwin Street Fisheye IPA from Kensington Brewing Co. also pairs quite well with some spicy seafood. It’s hoppy, but not too bitter, strong (6.5%), but not too overpowering…and it’s even got some fishies on the label, bro!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon Burger, bro!!!

Now, The Works Craft Burgers & Beer has been bringing the beef since 2001 — it’s also where I slayed a (double) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Burger in 2016, so I know they know what’s up! They’re still dealing out some wild and crazy burgs with names like Obi-Wan Kobe’s Man Cave, Gettin’ Piggy With It and Elk on a Beech, but when I saw the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon burger, you KNOW I’m gonna kick off my Sunday shoes, bro!!!!!!!

kevin_bacon_burger (4)

This massively meaty monstrosity is packing back bacon, smoked bacon, maple bacon, and even bacon sticks — which are kinda like Hickory Sticks‘ porkier cousins — on top a slab of well-cooked beef. It comes with lettuce and tomato, but you can also add extra toppings from a list that’s like as long as the menu at The Cheesecake Factory! So I went with pickles (which were free), an onion ring and some Kraft Dinner (each a dollar extra). Also, in a nod to the last time I ate at The Cheesecake Factory, I paid two dollars more for a cheese-stuffed patty…although I don’t see any cheese inside, bro???

kevin_bacon_burger (16)

Dude, this burger’s so outta bounds, it’s gotta quarantine for two weeks when it gets back! I mean, if you like the taste of meat on top of meat, on top of meat, then this is the sandwich for you. Just a little crunch from the lettuce and pickles, but the onion ring kinda gets lost here. And about half the bacon sticks and the KD ended up in the container… Good thing I brought a fork, bro!

tragically_maple_poutine (9)

Now, this place also lets you pick from 12 different sides, so I went with the Tragically Maple Poutine, which is topped with maple bacon, more of those bacon sticks, and then completely drenched in bacon garlic donkey sauce. So much sauce that you can’t even taste the curds ‘n gravy, which makes this dish about as tragic as its name suggests.

autopop_session_sour (9)

Man, even though The Works Craft Burgers & Beer has got beer right in its name, they don’t actually deliver the booze — you can get it for pickup through their website, though. So instead, I reached into the fridge for this renegade of funkalicousness, Autopop (you don’t stop!), a session sour with cherry cola from Blood Brothers. And I gotta say, when you lift the glass to your mouth, you can really smell the Cherry Coke. But in the taste department, it’s much more sour beer than soda pop…not that there’s anything wrong with that.

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Beef short rib wellington with duck fat fries!

So, lockdown’s been extended in Toronto for (at least) a couple more weeks, which eats donkey dick. But the delivery apps have helped to make things a little less painful. Last week, DoorDash gave me two codes for 25% off, which I used at Hungary Thai and Torteria San Cosme. And Uber offered me $20 off a $30 “essentials” order, which happened to include Blood Brothers Brewing, one of my favourite local breweries. Hey, craft beer is essential to me, bro! Now, Uber is giving me three codes for 40% off, which is the biggest discount I’ve ever seen…

But there is a bit of a catch, though. The most money you can save is $30, a rule they put in place after Uber paid $50 of my $200 steak dinner from Jacob’s (RIP) last summer. So, if my math’s correct, I can’t spend more than $70 this time. Good thing I’ve found three meals that cost right at or just under that price, starting with this decadent dinner from BlueBlood Steakhouse!

blueblood_shortrib_wellington (3)

Now, I had definitely seen the beef short rib wellington on the menu before, but I wasn’t prepared to pay 55 bucks for some puff pastry. That’s why it’s the perfect 40% dinner, though! Dude, this thing practically takes up a whole takeout container, and it’s only meat beneath that crust — no veggies or nothing. The crust is nice ‘n flaky, but a bit crusty on the bottom, and the meat is super-tender. Throw in some of that au jus on the side, which was still warm when it arrived, and I would soooo order this again, even at full price, son!!!

blueblood_duck_fat_fries (12)

Now, there was only two sides that would keep this order under $70 — garlic whipped potatoes or these hand-cut, duck fat fries. I already had these fries two years ago when I slaughtered their Wagyu cheeseburger, so I knew they were some of the thickest in the business. Some of ’em were even four-biters, bro! And for 14 bucks, they give you enough for at least two people…if one of those people ain’t me. 😉

kensington_its_a_stout (5)

Of course, if there’s one beer that goes great with this upscale take on a British pub classic, It’s a Stout. Yeah, that’s actually the name of the beer! This blackened brew from Kensington Brewing Co. has all the rich, chocolately flavour you’re looking for — and at 5.8%, it punches harder than a Guinness. So maybe don’t drink it for breakfast, bro?

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Super Bowl party for one!

One of my last memories from before Coronavirus was going out to a Super Bowl party, where they were serving up a buffet spread of game-day eats, showing the game on the big screen, and I even won the grand prize in the raffle. Of course, this year, there was no going out, no big screen and no grand prize — but I did chow down on a pretty solid Super Bowl spread, thanks to Firkin on Harbour and the Kensington Brewing Company!

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to the Firkin, but when I saw that they were serving up a Super Bowl 55 Super Package with two pounds of wings, cheeseburger spring rolls, Buffalo chicken potato skins, fries, tater tots AND deep-fried pickles, I was all over that like the Tampa Bay D-line on Patrick Mahomes, bro!!!

40_creek_bbq_wings (8)

Now, with such a big box of food, the only decision I had to make was what kinda sauce to put on the wings. I went with 40 Creek BBQ, which didn’t taste much like whiskey — or BBQ — but added a little bit of tang to these crispy, meaty wings!

buffalo_potato_skins (7)

Now, I guess there was a piece of Buffalo chicken on top of this potato skin, but it didn’t really add much flavour. Did that stop me from scarfing it down, though, bro? No way Jose!!!!

cheeseburger_spring_roll (3)

These cheeseburger spring rolls were my Super Bowl MVP. They were the only thing that was still really hot when my food arrived — and it was only a seven-minute drive, bro! And while I didn’t really taste the cheese, if you stuff a spring roll wrapper with ground beef and fry it, I’m gonna be all over that like Tom Brady in the red zone!!!!

kensington_market_pils (6)

Now, Kensington Brewing Company, from right in the heart of Kensington Market, was offering up a pretty sweet Super Bowl special of their own — a six-pack of tallboys, with two different beers, for 17 bucks… with free game-day shipping! Mine arrived in plenty of time before kickoff, so they were nice ‘n cold to crack open. This Market Pils was the lighter of the two, at 4.7%, but I gotta say it had to be the hoppiest, fruitiest pilsner I ever had. Clocking in at 23 IBUs, it was almost like a Jr. IPA — albeit without that bitter beer aftertaste.

nasch_vienna_lager (3)

The other beer in the Super Bowl six-pack was Nasch Vienna Lager, named after a big market in Austria. This one’s a little richer and heavier, at 5.3%, and kinda reminded me of a beer I had at the Steam Whistle Biergarten, Von Bugle Munich Lager. Anyhoo, I only slammed a couple of these bad boys with dinner, but polished off the rest of them before the game was over. Dude, I destroyed that spread like the Tampa Bay defence — can you say Chompa Bay, bro???

super_bowl_aftermath (14)

1 2 11