Tag Archives: craft beer

PATIO BEERS: It’s like the fruit salad of beers, bro!!!

Patio season has gone on about a month longer than expected, but I think we’re heading into the last week now. So we’re hanging out at Thirsty And Miserable, this funky little Kensington Market dive where they’ve got punk rock on the stereo and craft beer on tap…as well as in cans. Even during the pandemic, they’re still a cash-only bar — that’s how punk rock they are, bro! And they’re serving up some beers that are pretty outta bounds, like this renegade of funk in Flavourtown that’s literally called It’s a Trap…

This funky collaboration from Indie Alehouse and Dominion City is packing so much fruit, it might actually be healthy for you. We’re talking grapes, lime, pineapple and millions of peaches, peaches for me in a sour beer that comes in at 5.2%. I gotta say, what I taste most is the pineapple, though…

Now, I don’t always drink pineapple, but if you put it in a beer, I think I’ll have another one. This Big Sky pineapple gose from Town Brewing is even more sour than its predecessor…it gives ya a nice pucker!!!

And while this Kiwi IPA from Badlands Brewing does have fruit in its name, don’t judge a beer by its cover, bro! It’s actually called that cuz it’s got three different kinds of hops from New Zealand — Nelson Sauvin, Riwaka, and Motueka… but also gooseberry, lime, tropical fruit and dank berries. It’s definitely more hoppy than fruity, though!

Taking down a 10-pound turkey leg @ Fall n’ Leaves!

So, we’re hanging out at Fall n’ Leaves, this funky, fall-themed pop-up at Richmond and Bathurst, open from October 1st to the 31st. Man, this place has everything — bonfires, inflatable bowling, pumpkins, picnic tables — and some funky fresh food like wood-fire pizza, Thanksgiving poutine and pumpkin spice corn. Now, I’ve already had turkey a couple times this month, but when I saw they were serving up smoked turkey legs, I knew there was one with my name on it, son!!!!!!

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Dude, this thing was so freakin’ yuuuge, I almost needed two hands to lift it! This culinary dumbbell in Flavourtown packs all kinds of meat, along with a whole buncha gristly bits — it’s kinda like an obstacle course to get to the good stuff at the end. But you KNOW this is just dinner for one in Flavourtown, son!!!!!

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Now, I also went with a side of pumpkin spice corn, cuz I had to try it. This combo doesn’t really work though, bro. Pumpkin spice and sour cream on corn on the cob!? Luckily, they only spiced one side, cuz the spice was a little heavy — it was kinda like taking the cinnamon challenge, but with a pumpkin on the table next to you…

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Now, what beer could be better for these festivities than an Oktoberfest Lager from Spearhead, coming straight outta Kingston? This nice, crispy boi is a little heavy at 5.8% — but you don’t really notice when you’re stuffing your face with 10 pounds of meat. In fact, I think I’m gonna need another beer…

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This Kingston-crafted NEIPA was definitely hoppier than some of the other beers of that style that I’ve had lately, but I’m not complaining. It also doesn’t feel like you’re drinking 7% with this one…but that may just be the turkey leg talking.

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Now, it was getting pretty wet by the time we left, so I wasn’t able to go back for dessert. I think I still had room for dessert, though…

 

 

 

 

 

This footlong turkey & bacon roll is heading straight down my piehole!!!!

Now, I wasn’t planning on ordering takeout for Thanksgiving, especially after riding on the turkey train, but when I heard that The Rabbit Hole, this British pub in the Financial District, was serving up some funky Thanksgiving Day specials, I was all over that like bubble on squeak, mate! Cuz this ain’t your ordinary turkey dinner — we’re talking a footlong turkey & bacon sausage roll, son!!!

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Dude, this thing’s so big, they had to cut it in half! We’ve got a nice, flaky pastry, stuffed with ground turkey and little bits of bacon…plus there’s this cranberry HP sauce that’s so outta bounds, I’d put it on a flip-flop!!!

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When I decided I was doing Thanksgiving dinner, I had to get a couple brewskis for the occasion. Luckily, my local LCBO had like 5-6 different pumpkin beers in stock, from the likes of Great Lakes, Flying Monkeys and more. But I had to go with The Great Pumpkin by St. Ambroise — just based on the name alone. You can definitely smell the pumpkin when you crack ‘er open and lift up the glass…but it’s actually a pretty smooth, easy-drinking beer.

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Of course, even after sucking down that big 12-inch, we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! This O&B Artisan Pumpkin Pie comes with caramel sauce and a pumpkin spice cream, but it’s a little pricey at 10 bucks a slice. I guess I thought I’d be getting a little more pie for my buck here…

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But dessert time means it’s time for another beer, bro! And on a shelf full of pumpkin ales, this Tales from the Patch Pumpkin Porter definitely stands out. I can say that it doesn’t really taste like pumpkin pie when you’re drinking it with pumpkin pie, but it still had a nice, rich flavour that goes well with dessert.

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Super-tasty seafood tajine @ Sultan’s Tent

Now, we’ve had some real-deal meals from all over the world right here on Triple B — without even leaving Toronto — but I think this might be our first time for Moroccan food. We’re hanging out at The Sultan’s Tent, this funky joint on Wellington, and some of the dishes seem kinda familiar, like something I mighta had at places like Darna or Amal…but there’s also a French influence with some of the food on the menu, like filet mignon or shrimp provencal. Don’t think I’m gonna go the French route here, though…

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Starting off with some hummus and pita. Now, I like hummus, and I like pitas…but it was a bit of a bummer that this dish came with pita chips instead of fresh pita bread. I still ate every last bite of it though, bro!!!!

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But now let’s get to the good stuff. We’re talkin’ seafood tajine, served in a clay pot, with shrimp, scallops and calamari in tomato sauce, rice, bell peppers and a lemon wedge. All the seafood was cooked perfectly — the shrimp was especially tasty — and it’s not every day I get to eat out of a clay pot, bro!!!

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We’re washing it down with a couple Moroccan Brown Ales from the renegades of funk at Spearhead. I mean, if you’re gonna have a Moroccan joint in Toronto, this is the beer you should be pouring — coming straight outta Kingston(!) with dates, figs, raisins and a dash of cinnamon!!!

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Now, just the other day I said the chocolate brownie stack at Vela was the best dessert I’ve had in 2021. But man, this chocolate cake is definitely right up there! I don’t really think chocolate cake when I think Morocco, but I would definitely order this again, bro! Nice and rich, but not too heavy, with some mixed berries and a cream cheese icing on the side…it’s got everything I want in a dessert — except maybe some ice cream?

Iberico Pork Secreto: It’s like a pork secret handshake in Flavourtown…

Normally, when I go to a fancy steakhouse like Vela, this new funky joint on Portland Street, I’m probablt gonna order the steak. But it turns out this place doesn’t have any steaks bigger than 12 ounces — which is literally a light snack in Flavourtown — so when I saw Iberico Pork Secreto on the menu, I kinda wanted in on the secret:

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Now, it may be a mystery as to what part of the pig pork secreto comes from — somewhere between the neck and the shoulder, apparently — but its taste is pretty outta bounds. It’s kinda like a cross between boneless ribs and a nice ribeye steak, grilled up steakhouse style with a hearty romesco sauce and a whole lotta shishito peppers, blistered on the grill for that extra smoky kick. Man, there were almost more peppers than pieces of meat…but I still ate everything but the stems, son!!!!

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Speaking of stems, this meal started off with an order of crispy maitake mushrooms, deep-fried to perfection with a chipotle ranch dip… Dude, I would put that on a flip-flop, and I’m not even wearing flip-flops!!!!

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We washed it all down with some Ransack the Universe, a heavy (6.8%), hoppy (85 IBUs) IPA from my homeboys at Collective Arts. Man, that might be some of the best artwork I’ve ever seen on a beer can…

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And you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! This brownie stack was absolutely delectable, with a double dose of brownies topped with salted caramel, candied pecans and a scoop of cocoa sorbet. This honestly might be the best dessert I’ve had in 2021 — dude, it’s like the KFC Double Down of desserts, bro!!!!!!1!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: Funky Japanese tapas & beers in Little Portland

Just when you thought patio season was over, they pull you back in with a mini heatwave sending temperatures up to 24 degrees at the start of October, son! So, we’re hanging out in Little Portland, around Dundas and Ossington, where some of the most popular patios are already packed — but they still had several tables available at Bar Shozan, this funky little Japanese joint. You can get sushi and ramen here, but for 10 bucks a pop, they’ve also got some real-deal izakaya-style bar food…dude, this is body by izakaya-style bar food!!!!

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These shrimp ‘n corn skewers are coming in hot, bro! These seafood lollipops in Flavourtown pop with nice bites of shrimp and little kernels of corn. Pretty sure I could slam, like, 10 of these…I just need to wait for them to cool down first!!!!

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Speaking of skewers, this pork belly yakiton is too legit to quit! Pork is fork-tender, with a nice, tangy miso sauce and one green onion for that serving of veggies. This was probably my favourite dish, right here…

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Now, when I saw they had wings on the menu, I couldn’t NOT order them, bro! These Tebasaki wings were nice ‘n crispy, a little sweet, with just a bit of a kick at the end. Oh, and there was enough green onions on this plate to feed Booker T and the MGs!!!!

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Now, this place is serving up all three main Japanese beers — Sapporo, Asahi AND Kirin — as well as five different beers from Far Yeast Brewing, including a couple I’ve never even seen before. But I stayed in Toronto with an Otsukaresama from our local Japanese-influences craft brewers at Godspeed. Despite its name, which apparently means something like “good job” (I speak the third most Japanese in the Triple B Posse, bro!), this is actually a German-style lager, with hops and malt straight outta Dortmund. And it goes great with some wings and pork skewers… Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto!!!!

These deep-fried lamb balls are magically delicious!!!

Back at the beginning of First Lockdown, I ordered a whole Pekin duck from R&D…and ate it all myself. Dude, that duck was delicious! So now that they’re open for indoor dining again, we decided to stop by for another funky dish — how bout some deep-fried lamb balls, bro???

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Now, I know what you’re thinking…but we’re NOT nibbling on nutsacks here. These lamb croquettes are stuffed with braised lamb shank, potatoes and onions, served in a sea of lamb curry with some donkey sauce on the side. Dude, you KNOW I love lamb bro, and these tender little flavour nuggets just melt in my mouth!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event: chicken fried karaage style with a seaweed donkey sauce and a some lemon on the side. Man, this chicken was juicy, crispy…and coming in so hot I burned the back of my mouth, bro! And for 22 dollars, you get more than enough to share — unless you’re the type of person who eats a whole Pekin duck to themself. 😉

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And since the name of this blog isn’t Chicken, Croquettes & Coca-Cola, we’re washing this down with a Fountain Green IPA from Furnace Room Brewery in downtown Georgetown. First time I’ve ever heard of this beer, or even this brewery, but it checks all the boxes than an IPA should, so it’s all good in the Flavourhood!!!!

Super-thick crab cakes & wicked awesome chowdah @ Rodney’s

Now, back in January, right in the middle of Second Lockdown, I ordered a real-deal lobster dinner delivered from Rodney’s Oyster House on King Street. And I gotta say, they really knocked it outta the park. So, now that they’re reopen for indoor dining, we’re heading out to check out some of the other seafood on the menu — starting with this classic in a cup, New England clam chowder:

Now this is super-legit, right here. You’ve got PEI clams in a creamy broth with potatoes, leeks and celery, plus a couple crackers broken overtop. The crackers are what makes it, bro!!!!

But now it’s time for the main event… Dude, these crab cakes are so thick, you gotta cut ’em with a steak knife! Nice combo of Newfoundland and New Brunswick crab meat, with just enough bread crumbs to give it a nice crunch, served with a chipotle donkey sauce, and some sides of coleslaw and broccolini. Now, I kinda wish I couldda paid two bucks less to get this in a bun like I did in Maryland, cuz the sides weren’t really working for me. But you could serve these crab cakes with a side of flip-flops, and I’d still order it again — they were that good, bro!!!!

Not only is Rodney’s serving up a solid selection of seafood, but the beer list ain’t bad here, either. I went with a Clean Cut Kolsh, a nice crispy boi from Beyond the Pale in Ottawa. I had never even heard of this brewery before, but next time I’m in The City That Sleeps at 7:30, I might hafta check ’em out… cuz they nailed it with this German-style brew, bro!!!!!!!!

LE BURGER WEEK: Vegan jicama fish burger. Whaa???

Now, as I mentioned off the top, there were only five restaurants near me serving up Le Burger Week deals on DoorDash — and one of them only does dessert. Now, since this other place didn’t confirm my order after like 10 minutes, I was left with just one other option… the vegan jicama fish filet from Parka Food Co.

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Now, I don’t always eat vegan, but when I do, it’s usually something that’s meant to taste like meat — like the pulled jackfruit tacos at Planta. But man, while they’ve put together a pretty decent sandwich here, with tartar sauce, dill pickles, coleslaw and guacamole on a whole wheat bun… this jicama tastes about as much like fish as Guy Fieri looks like Emily Dickinson. OK, so I don’t know who Emily Dickinson is, or even what kinda plant a jicama comes from, but it’s super-duper crunchy, and not even remotely fishy. I mean, you really don’t even need the slaw cuz the jicama is pretty slaw-some on its own, son!!!

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Ain’t nothing wrong with these vegan fries though, bro. They’re pretty similar to Mickey D’s, cept with less salt and more herbs. Oh, and apparently they’re gluten-free…

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We’re washing this all down with a Bleep Bloop, which also happens to be the censored version of what I said when I took a big bite of that jicama burger. This NEIPA, coming straight outta Calabogie, is hoppy and heavy enough to help the vegan food go down, bro!!!!

 

 

LE BURGER WEEK: Is this a burger or a hot dog? It’s both, bro!!!

Now, Fancy Franks is probably known more for hot dogs — I mean, it’s right there in the name, bro. But they’ve also got burgers on the menu, so when it comes to Le Burger Week, they’re serving up something that’s more like a hot dog…but is also a burger. They call it the Guilt Burger:

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OK, so what we’ve got here is a smashed burger patty along with a kosher hot dog, served on a hot dog bun with cheese, pickles, scallions and a whole lotta special sauce, which is kind of a cross between relish and Thousand Islands. Dude, I dunno how many times I wished I could have a burger and a hot dog at the same time, so this is like a dream come true in Flavourtown!!!

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Now, the Guilt Burger was only $11.50, so to get the six-dollar discount, I had to add fries. But why settle for regular fries when you can have curly fries, son? You KNOW I’d pay an extra 50 cent for those — it’s a party in da piehole, bro!!!

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Now, we’re washing down that crazy culinary creation with a Hazy Days IPA from Cowbell Brewing Co. This beer is nice ‘n hazy and juicy — just like it says on the can. I’ve got a fever, and the only cure is more beer!!!!!!!

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