Slaying a Monster double burger @ Rally Sports Bar & Smokehouse

Man, if I had a million dollars, I’d open up a sports bar and smokehouse. I mean, you’ve got BBQ in the smoker, sports on the big screen–what else do you need in life? Well, when I found out a place like this already existed, up around Yonge and Sheppard, I knew I had to check it out…

Rally Sports Bar is a pretty classy joint, with a solid lineup of local craft beer. And they’ve got brisket and pulled pork and ribs, oh my! — although the first two only come in sandwich form. You can also put pulled pork on a burger, with this mighty in-house classic, The Monster:

rallys_monster_burger (7)

OK, so what you see is pretty much what you get. Two nice ‘n thick beef patties, with just a bit of pink in the middle, sandwiching some tangy, saucy, unctuous pulled pork–and then they put deep-fried onions on top??? That’s like a game-winning triple play in Flavourtown! The fries on the side are pretty legit, sorta like Swiss Chalet on steroids…and you know I’m gonna need a couple ice cold beers to wash this all down!

beer_snob_rye_ale (3)

Now, I had never even heard of Shillow Beer Co. before, but when I saw that Rally had a brew called Beer Snob on the menu, I pretty much had to try it. This Belgian rye ale has the fruity taste of Unibroue’s Blanche de Chambly, but with a bit more of a kick at 6%. I wouldda definitely slammed a few more of these…but this was the only can they had left!!!

Advertisements

English-style fish and chips @ The Queen and Beaver

Now, the Queen and Beaver has gotta be the best name for a British pub that I’ve seen in a while…although you might not wanna linger on that mental image for too long. But if you’re looking for a cozy place to have a cheeky pint, you could definitely do worse than this joint–anywhere with Firkin in its name, for starters!

But man, not only is this place serving up a buncha local craft beer, they’ve also got real-deal English pub food. You’ve got bangers and mash, Welsh rarebit, and this all-time pub classic, fish and chips:

queen_beaver_fish_n_chips (8)

OK, now let’s break it down. The fish is so flaky it falls apart on your forky, with a nice, light batter. And the fries are super-legit — real deal British pub chips. But what makes it are the mushy peas. Mushy whaaa???

queen_beaver_mushy_peas (3)

Dude, this stuff is like Baby Food Gone Wild, bro! Man, I’d eat it off a flip-flop–and I don’t even like peas! Now of course, you can’t have real-deal fish and chips without washing it down with a nice stout:

blood_brothers_black_hand (7)

Now, this ain’t no pint ‘a Guinness, bro! This Black Hand stout from the Satanic beer fiends at Blood Brothers packs an extra punch at 7%. It’s got a little more bitter, a little more flavour…but still goes pretty great with fish and chips!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…on Queen St!

Now, if there’s one thing I like more than Christmas, it’s drinking, and there’s this funky little pop-up joint on Queen St, just a puff-puff-pass from the Friendly Stranger, that lets you do both. Ho, ho ho, we’re hangin’ out at Miracle on Queen St, bro!!!

miracle_queen_st_cocktail_menu (1)

Now, at this place, all the cocktails have Christmas-y names. I almost went for the Bad Santa or the Snowball Old Fashioned…until I saw they had a drink named after my all-time favourite line from my all-time favourite Christmas flick–Yippie Ki Yay, Motherfucker!!!

yippiekiyay_motherfucker_cocktail (2)

Now, don’t ask me why this drink comes in a Santa’s lower-body mug. I was hoping they’d serve it in a sweaty undershirt, like John McClane would’ve wanted. And yes, there is more than just ice in this cup–you’ve also got rum, rum and more rum! OK, and then there’s Cachaca, Dry Curacao, Marshmallow Orgeat and sweet potato…but I mostly just taste the rum. I’m sooo gonna die hard with a vengeance, bro!!!

yuletide_amber_ale (1)

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Triple B Flavourtown Roadtrip without me pounding at least one ice-cold brewski. The only beer they serve here is Henderson’s Yuletide Amber Ale, which is kinda like Rickard’s Red…but it comes in a much more festive can. But hey, just because they only have one beer doesn’t mean you can only drink one beer–let’s just say I gave this guy a great big bro-to-bear hug on the way back to the bar:

miracle_queen_st (7)

 

Grey Cup victory beers + beef dip @ The Undergound Tap & Grill

So, after Calgary crushed Ottawa in the Grey Cup last night, we’re partying it up in Edmonton, son! And what could go better with a Grey Cup victory than some Calgary craft beer and Alberta beef???

We’re hanging out at The Undergound Tap & Grill, this funky craft beer sports bar right in the heart of downtown Edmonton. This place has got over 70 beers on tap, but there’s only one that will quench my thirst after such a vicious beat down: Red Rage by Tool Shed Brewing Company.

tool_shed_red_rage (11)

This amber ale is coming straight outta Calgary with an easy drinking taste and a just a hint of coffee at the end. And what goes better with Alberta beer than Alberta beef, bro????

underground_beef_dip (19)

This beef dip was nothing fancy—roast beef, provolone cheese and sautéed onions, with a side of au jus for some dunkalicous action. But man, that Alberta beef sure is darn tootin’ tasty. I definitely missed this meat!!!!

tool_shed_rye_porter (7)

So, after slamming that roast beef sammy, I’ve still got room for a liquid dessert. This Rye Porter, also from Tool Shed, is nice and smooth, with just a bit of that coffee taste, but they brew it with rye malt to give it a bit of an extra kick. Man, if I ever come back to Calgary, I’m moving right across the street from the Tool Shed brewery!!!!!!!!

This Farmer’s Daughter thinks my tractor’s sexy!

Now, who needs peanut butter and jelly when you can have ice cold beer and country music, bro? The fine folks at Whitewater Brewing Co, up in the Ottawa Valley, probably know how to skin a buck and drive a truck, and this juicy little blonde ale has got me rocking a tank top like Kenny Chesney…even in the middle of November!!!

whitewater_farmer's_daughter (14)

This brew is coming at you hand-crafted with ingredients from the Ottawa Valley. Local hops, malted barley, yeast and water is all you need to make this a nice, crisp, tall drink of beer… And you KNOW she’s always staring at me when I’m chugging along, bro!!!!

The Beer is Stranger Than Fiction.

Now, porter is probably not my favourite type of beer. I find a lot of them are too gimmicky, too desserty–they taste too much like coffee or chocolate or Guinness. But then I came across these crazy cans at the LCBO, and I figured they’d look good in my fridge…

stranger_than_fiction_beer (4)

Yes, this is all the same beer, even if it comes with different artwork. Collective Arts out of Hamilton is all about the local art scene–they even give you music recommendations–on their funky cans of Stranger Than Fiction porter.

stranger_than_fiction_beer (9)

Now, even though they do put chocolate in the beer, it’s also got a bit of a pale ale hoppiness to it. Not too much, mind you–you can still taste the molasses, but at least this one tastes like a beer, and not a chocolate milkshake or something…

Bloor West Village Chicken Wing Challenge: Shakey’s vs. Bryden’s

Dude, you KNOW I love chicken wings–this is body by chicken wings, bro! And while I wish that every night was wing night, over in Bloor West Village, the night of the wings is Tuesday, when these two funky little craft beer joints are both serving up a pound of the good stuff for about eight bucks. Man, even Bill Gates’ haircuts cost more than that!!!

shakeys_cajun_wings (8)

So, we’re starting off at Shakey’s, this funky little hockey bar just a bit west of Runnymede. This is the place to go for Leafs fans in the neighbourhood, so it’s probably a good thing that I wasn’t wearing my Calgary Flames jersey after the Flames blew ’em away in the third period on Monday!!!

Now, this place is serving up all sorts of wings ranging from mild to suicide–or honey garlic, if you’re into that–but I went in a different direction with the dry-rub Cajun wings. These wings were hot in more ways than one–I had to wait for ’em to cool down before I could pick ’em up. And $8.50 also gets you a side of fries, although the ranch dressing is a dollar extra…

beaus_west_coast_ipa (1)

Of course, if I’m eating wings you KNOW I’m not sipping on a vodka cranberry, bro! This here’s a West Coast Style IPA from Beau’s. It definitely tastes like an IPA, but the ones I’ve had in Seattle were a lot more bitter…which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

brydens_maple_jack_wings (8)

Now, speaking of bitter beer, Bryden’s is actually owned by Great Lakes Brewery, which is known for its grapefruit-tasting pale ales. But when it comes to wings, we’re going for the sweetness with these Maple Jack bones. You get more maple than Jack Daniels here…but why drink Jack Daniels when you can drink beer?

cheshire_valley_robust_porter (2)

Going completely away from the IPAs, this Robust Porter from Cheshire Valley hits the spot with its cocoa Guinness-y goodness. I could probably pound a few more of these, but after all that blue cheese back there, I think I’d better not.

Now, when it comes to wings, I’d say that Shakey’s gives you more bang for your buck–‘specially if you like French fried potaters. But the rotating taps at Bryden’s impress me more. If I was in the neighbourhood on any day other than Tuesday, I would probably hit that place up first–definitely if the Leafs were playing!