Racking up lamb @ Brothers Food & Wine

When’s the last time you had a real-deal gourmet meal on top of a subway station, bro? Don’t get me wrong, the Jamaican patties at Bathurst are legit, but that ain’t nothing compared to Brothers: Food & Wine, this funkalicious little joint right on top of Bay Station. This place is so low-key, they don’t even have a website, and they change their menu so often that you won’t find it online… But when I saw they got a much better review in the Times than Guy Fieri’s Times Square Kitchen and Bar, then I knew I had to check it out. Now feast your eyes on this luscious lambchop:

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Now, the lamb was nice ‘n fatty, just the way I like it, although it was definitely well beyond medium rare. They served it up on a bed of chickpeas and shepherd peppers, which I wouldn’t normally eat, but when you put some lamb on top, they magically disappear down my piehole:

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Now, I know this place has Wine in the name, but when do I ever drink wine, bro? Instead we’re checking out this funky collab sour beer between Brothers and Burdock Brewery:

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This ain’t no sissy saison, son! The mixed-fermentation sour beer is aged on Riesling lees and sea buckthorns, and at 5.5%, it’s not quite as sessionable as, say, Bud Light Orange. But if you like sours, then pucker up for this one, bro!!!

 

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Launching Lord Simcoe 1791 Lager (well ahead of Lord Simcoe Day…)

Now, I’ve always thought that Lord Simcoe Day was the weirdest holiday in Canada. It’s a random day off at the beginning of August celebrating some dude who died in like the 1800’s. But now that he’s got a beer named after him, I’ve got a reason to start celebrating Simcoe Day early this year!!!

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So, we’re hanging out at the Berkeley Bicycle Club for the launch of Lord Simcoe 1791 Lager, which happens to be the year Toronto was founded. This light, crisp beer would go good in the summer — it’s pretty much perfect for celebrating Simcoe Day on the dock of the bay, bro! It’s pretty easy drinking, but still has some flavour — more Steamwhistle than Molson Canadian. Oh, and it goes pretty good with Canadian food like pizza and poutine:

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Any party with a poutine station is my kinda place to be! And they’ve got the real-deal cheese curds here, too — none of that shredded cheddar garbage! Now, the first time I went up, they only had veggie pizza, so I had to go back for a couple slices of this culinary creation. I don’t know who thought putting zucchini on top of prosciutto was a good idea…but I don’t think you’d see me eating zucchini otherwise:

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Now, somehow this event was also sponsored by Jack Daniels, which meant I got to fire away with a 1791 Depth Charge — a shot of Jack and a pint of lager, son!!!

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Wait, did somebody say “Fire Away?” Cuz the Greg Williams Band was playing everything from Chris Stapleton and Kip Moore to Chuck Berry and The Band. You know there’s something bout a truck and a beer and a shot and a poutine, and some good ol’ rock ‘n roll, bro!!!

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Greedo goes to Canoe…hilarity ensues!

Now, in all my years of eating in this city, I had never been to Canoe. I did have sex in a canoe once–it tasted like Bud Light. But I’d never been to the restaurant at the top of the TD Tower with the majestic views of the city skyline…until now.

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So, I figured if I’m gonna be way up high, I’d better be drinking Life in the Clouds, this strong, hazy, double dry-hopped IPA from Collective Arts. If you’re a fan of unfiltered citrus beers, then this one’s for you. And hey, some of the wines here were like 90 bucks for a thimble…so I figured I’d better stick to beer.

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So we’re starting off with this dish of smoked boudin noir sausage, Kentucky-fried sweetbreads with risotto, walnuts and morel mushrooms. I knew I had to order this when I saw ’em bring it to another table under a glass dome with all the smoke. Now, I don’t always eat sweetbreads, but if you Kentucky fry that shit, I could slam, like, seven of these…and still have room for some shrooms:

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Now, for the main course, I was torn between the Tamarack Lamb and the Quebec Red Stag. But dude, how often do you get deer…from Quebec???

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This baaaad, baaaad venison was like a Bon Jovi keyboard solo in Flavourtown! Deer was cooked to a perfect medium rare, you’ve got like one or two potatoes, a small sausage roll, some peanut-butter jelly sauce…and a lot of cabbage. Like, a whole lotta cabbage–enough that you almost need a third piece of meat to go with it. Dude, I did not come here for the cabbage…but of course, I still ate it all, anyways:

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Of course, even after all that cabbage, you KNOW I still had room for dessert, bro! But I gotta say, when I ordered the Chocolate Forest Stout Cake, this is NOT what I was expecting. I guess you’ve got some cake crumbles in there, with some marshmallow, chocolate pudding, chocolate chunks and then this chestnut/gingerbread ice cream. But I’d much rather have a great big piece of real man’s cake, the way they do at Wildfire Steakhouse, son!!!

Now, I gotta say, I know a couple people who’ve been to Canoe before, and they told me that I’d hafta stop for a burger on the way home cuz I’d still be hungry. But I can tell ya that after an appetizer, main course and a dessert…I did not have room for an after-dinner burger. Maybe it’s because I filled up on the free bread and butter, though?

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Japanese katsu sando @ Koi Koi Sake Bar

Not gonna lie, I was pretty bummed out when I found out that Graffiti’s, home of the black metal brunch, in Kensington Market shut down. But now I hear that spot is home to this funky Japanese joint called Koi Koi that’s serving up a convenience store classic from the Land of the Rising Sun. I’ve been seeing katsu sammies all over my Instagram feed, but never had the chance to scarf down this sando until now, bro!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got a pretty thick pork chop, breaded ‘n fried, between two pieces of toasted white bread, with some great big globs of spicy mustard and one sad little leaf of romaine. And then, on the side you’ve got these burdock fries. Dude, what the fuck are burdock fries???

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Turns out that burdock is a root vegetable that’s pretty popular in Asia…but I can’t say I’ve ever had it before, and I’m not sure I would have it again. It sorta tastes like a bitter, chewy turnip–even when french-fried, I would NOT eat it off a flip-flop! In fact, I think I’m gonna need an ice cold brewski to wash this taste down…

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Good thing this place has got a few brews from Godspeed, a local craft brewery that gives all its beers Japanese names…even when they’re not even close to Japanese. Like Irori, a peated scotch lager that’s blended with scotch whiskey, and tastes an awful lot like scotch whiskey. I didn’t even realize this beer was 8% until I started singing air karaoke to Kirsten Dunst’s version of “Turning Japanese…”

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!!!

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…