Grilled meats & craft beer @ Melrose on Adelaide

Even though I’m a massive meatatarian, I don’t go for charcuterie very often. I dunno bro, but it’s like why eat a buncha little meats when you can have one great big one? So now we’re hanging out at Melrose on Adelaide, this new funky joint in the heart of the Entertainment District, and this place used to be the Corned Beef House, home of the 16 oz sammy, so I know they’ve got the meats…even if they’re serving ’em up on a cutting board:

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So, we’re starting off with the grilled pastrami.. Call your mommy, that’s a lotta pastrami! Put it on a crostini, with some triple crunch mustard, and I’m all over that like Guy Fieri on garlic salt!!!

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At this establishment, they’ve got both kinds of sausage — jalapeno AND turkey! The jalapeno smokie is nice ‘n juicy, while the turkey has got some extra chunks of cheesiness. And they give you three of both at this crazy sausage party in Flavourtown!!!

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But the best thing on this charcuterie board might not even be meat! Man, when I heard it came with warm pretzels, I was like sign me up, son! Dude, this is body by warm pretzels!!!

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Of course, since this website ain’t Burgers, Bacon and Honey-Spiced Mead, you KNOW we’re diving in to some local craft beers, bro! Symington Saison from Henderson’s was light and refreshing, while Collective Arts’ Jam Up the Mash was even funkier than its Motor City counterpart. Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa, broseph!!!

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Five-course fried chicken feast @ Beast

Now, you know I’m all about Beastmode, bro! So when I found out there’s this funky little joint serving up righteous wild game dishes, just offa King West…and their logo looks like a deathcore band??? Man, I didn’t care if I was gonna hafta run 67 yards to get to Beast!

And when it comes to this place, you wanna get there early. Right up until 7 pm, they’ve got a couple local craft beers for five bucks, along with get-em-till-they’re-gone tasting menu options, like this chorizo tostada. You’ve got a super-crunchy tortilla, crisp lettuce, Mexican sausage and cheese sauce…served up on a Sesame Street plate:

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Now, if you think that last dish was pretty funky, well you ain’t seen n-n-nothing yet, Brody Broman! Say hello to some crispy pig ears done up all Japaneezy:

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They call this dish okonomiyaki, and I’m about to go all Mr. Miyagi on it… Banzai, Daniel-san!

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Now, after crushing a couple Ace Hill Pilsners before Happy Hour ends, it’s time to get to the good stuff, like these garlic parmigiano rolls. These soft, chewy, buttery flavour nuggets come topped with fresh shaved parma, and a side of marinara. Mamma mia!!!

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Now, since I didn’t get enough of the pig before, now I’m pigging out on some wild boar belly, bro! This unctuous oinker comes with a side of apple butter, topped with bacon bits, for some hardcore pig-on-pig action!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. Weighing in at 300 pounds of deep-fried goodness, it’s the Beastwich. This southern-style sammy is smothered in sausage gravy, with a layer of pimento cheese, between a badass buttermilk biscuit. There are so many good things going on here that I don’t know where to start… but you can poooour that gravy on me, Bro Elliott!

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Now, once Happy Hour was over, I had to make like my backroad buddy Tim Hicks and switch to a stronger beer. This Moroccan Brown Ale from Spearhead, straight outta Kingston, is made with dates, figs, raisins and a dash of cinnamon, and it’s as freaky as Guy Fieri’s face made outta fondant, bro!!!

(You cannot unsee this…)

Blue cheeseburger (+ craft beer) in paradise…

So, when when that big storm hit Toronto a couple weeks back, I didn’t give a crap, cuz we’re chillin’ like a villain in the U.S. Virgin Islands, bro! Man, this place has everything: sandy beaches, Painkillers, flip-flops, wild donkeys walking down the street… it even has a Wendy’s (in St. Thomas, anyways)! But instead of slamming down a Baconator, we’re hanging out on the island of St. John, at this funky little brewpub called the Tap Room, where they’ve got this killer blue cheese burger named after one of my all-time favourite movie characters. You’re My Boy Bleu — that’s literally what it’s called!

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Dude, this burger totally reeks of funkaliciousness!!!! You’ve got a medium-rare patty that’s as thick as a hockey puck, oozing with blue cheese crumbles… But then we get to the best part–homemade bacon onion jam! I’m about to bacon jam this straight down my piehole, bro!

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Of course, we are hanging out at a craft beer bar–so you KNOW I’m not drinking gin and juice! St. John Brewers is the local beermonger, and this Tropical Mango Pale Ale is their best-seller. It’s a little malty, a little hoppy, with a nice mango finish that’s like a Buffalo Soul-jah for your tastebuds, Bro-b Marley!!!

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Of course, I can’t eat just one potato chip, and I ain’t drinkin’ just one craft beer, neither! This here Toasted Coconut Brown Ale is not too heavy, just a little sweet, with a bit of a coconut aftertaste. Man, if I pound a few more of these, I might be going streaking…

Slaying some shrimp tacos @ Wallace Gastropub

Now, I know what you’re thinking… What would a place with a name like Wallace possibly know about tacos, bro??? And hey, I hear ya. Not gonna lie, I wasn’t so sure myself. But after pulling some core mussels at the Wallace Gastropub last summer, I knew their seafood was pretty legit–so we’re heading back for Taco Wednesdays (yes, Wednesdays), where they’re serving up three fully loaded flour tortillas for just $10.95!!!!

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Now, for that price, you could get chicken or fish, but a legit shrimp taco is something you definitely don’t see every day. And lemme tell ya, these babies bring the heat! You’ve got some mixed greens, cilantro, cheese and add-your-own guac, but man, it’s all about the shrimp, son! These big ‘n meaty sea creatures are served up in a sneaky spicy chipotle sauce that’ll make you order another beer or two. Good thing they’ve got some pretty decent craft beers on tap…

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Speaking of things you don’t see every day, this Muskoka Black Raspberry Thunder IPA combines the tarty sweetness of raspberries with the slight hoppiness of a not-too-bitter pale ale. And at $7.50 a pint, you can probably drink enough of these that you’re totally taking the TTC home, bro!!!!

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:

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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!

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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!!!

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:

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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???

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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:

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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!!!

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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!!!

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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!!!

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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:

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