Tag Archives: dessert

Big portions of pork and potatoes at a small plates place!

Now, if I told you there’s a joint called Henry’s on Queen West, you might think it’s a funky dive bar — or maybe even a plumbing company. But it’s actually this nice little wine bar that doesn’t even serve beer… although the plumbing in their bathroom is pretty nice. And when it comes to food, they’re all about the small plates. I mean, this is a little dish called Bubba’s Hot Fried Chicken:

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And hey, there’s nothing wrong with this — except for the fact you only get two small pieces of chicken. Nice ‘n crunchy with a bit of a kick, not nearly Nashville hot, but slightly more than sports bar spicy. Dude, I could eat a whole basket of these, and still have room for dessert! Luckily, there are a couple of dishes here that’ll feed 2-3 people… or just one hungry citizen of Flavourtown. Here’s how you hack the menu:

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Say hello to my not-so-little friend, Pastrami Spiced Pork Chop. This may not taste just like Katz’s Deli, but the pork is nice ‘n tender, and they give you about a dozen pieces, so there’s plenty to go around.

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We’re pairing the pork with a side of Ontario smashed potatoes — I would smash these all day, bros! Taters are hot and crispy, swimming in hot sauce and sabayon (don’t call it hollandaise, son!) Who needs fries when you’ve got these bad boys????

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Now, speaking of menu hacks… When they told me the pork was served in a dark lager sauce, I was like “Dude, you’ve got beer in the pork, but none in the fridge!?” Well, they did not have any in the fridge, but they found this Czechvar Dark Lager in the cellar, and since it wasn’t very cold, they put it in an ice bucket, which really did the trick. You KNOW there’s somethin’ ’bout a beer sittin’ on ice after a long hard day makes it taste just right, bro!!!!!!!!!!!

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But even after scarfing down the biggest meal in Henry’s history, we’ve still got room for dessert. And since there’s no secret King’s Cake on the menu, we ordered both the desserts they’ve got, cuz they’re still pretty small. Like this ube cream puff, topped with toasted coconut. It’s like Profiteroles Gone Wild in Flavourtown!!!!

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We’ve also got this chocolate tart with hazelnut and passionfruit. Now this dessert was more like chocolate mousse in a half shell — while the malted chocolate mousse I had the other day was really just a chocolate bar. So I guess if I want chocolate cake in Toronto these days, I gotta order a chocolate cream pie to get it or something???

I’m impressed with this iberico pork presa!

Now, we’re all about dat piggy on Triple B, so it’s rare that there’s a pork product we haven’t had yet. Last year, we learned the pork secret handshake of Iberico pork secreto, but it turns out there’s more than one way to skin an Iberian pig. And at Lapinou, this funky French nouveau joint on King West, they’re serving up a different kind of Iberico — this is Iberico pork presa:

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I definitely had to look this up, but it turns out that Iberico pork presa is the juiciest and most flavourful part, attached to the shoulder, while pork secreto is the end of the flank, next to the headboard of the spine. Well, the Spanish butcher shop I got that info from ain’t lying — this pork is very juicy and flavourful, with a texture like a ribeye steak, cooked to a nice medium rare. It comes with a whole buncha Swiss chard, which is braised until tender. But just like at Vela, where the pork secreto was hidden by a heap of shishito peppers, the green-stuff-to-meat ratio was a little too high over here…

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Mind you, I did eat a little more meat to help balance things out. This beef tartare is seasoned with green peppercorns, chives and an anchovy sauce — the peppercorns give it a nice little kick. I could maybe have used one more piece of toast to go with all that meat… but man, you could serve that beef tartare on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!!!

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Now, they’re definitely more about wine than beer here, but they did have a couple Blood Brothers brews on tap, including this Inner Eye Pale Ale. Man, this tastes so much like Blood Light that I feel they almost served me that beer instead (I think that’s what it said on my bill, anyways), but in any case, I can’t complain about this slightly citrusy, not too hoppy APA.

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Now, if I do have one complaint, it’s that the portions were pretty small. I definitely still had room for dessert… and of the three items on the dessert menu, Chocolate was the obvious choice. They described this one as tasting like a chocolate orange, and they weren’t kidding — the orange zest really cuts through the mix. They also added some sesame seeds for a grainy texture, which made things a little more interesting. Hey, I’ll take this over panna cotta any day!!!!!

Say hello to my Brother from Another Mother!!!!

Now, I don’t always eat sushi, so when I do, you KNOW it’s gotta be funkalicious to the max. We’re hanging out at Akira Back, this funky joint in the Bisha Hotel, where they’re serving up these crazy sushi rolls with names like Hot Mess, Pop Rockin and Show Me the Roll. But when I saw this renegade of funk called Brother from Another Mother, you know I was buying a one-way ticket straight to Downtown Flavourtown, son!!!!!!!!

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Dude, this bad boy is so outta bounds, where do I even begin, bro? You’ve got two kinds of eel — unagi AND anago, with some crunchy cucumber, and then they put foie gras on top????? However you say shut the back door in Japanese, that door is definitely shutting!!!!

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But you know we’re just getting this party started, bro! Up next, we’ve got wagyu short rib, marinated for 48 hours, so it’s nice ‘n tender, heart in a blender, watch it spin round to a beautiful oblivion… This dish has got a rendez-vous with my piehole in like 2 seconds!!!

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We’re pairing that with a side of king crab fried rice. Now, I gotta say, the rice-to-beef ratio is pretty high — I was expecting a lot more than four little chunks of beef here. But you could pair this rice with a side of flip-flop, and it would still taste good!

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But of course, we’re still got room for dessert. And now it’s time to make like Roger Waters and have a cigar. This AB Cigar is sorta like a Drumstick without a cone — you’ve got miso caramel ice cream in a chocolate shell with all kinds of cocoa nubs for that extra little kick. You KNOW ‘sticks are unbelievable, bro!!!!!!!!

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Getting stuffed like a turkey at this Thanksgiving buffet, bro!

Now, the last time the Jays made the playoffs (in a non-COVID-shortened season), we headed out to the Old Mill Inn for a righteous Thanksgiving spread. Well, the less we say about the Jays the better — but at least the buffet is back, and you KNOW we’re going back for seconds, thirds and fourths, son!!!!

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This first plate is breakfast bar meets salad bar, with some eggs, bacon, roast potatoes, salami, coleslaw and German potato salad. Dude, that German salad is potatoes — and potatoes is good!!!!

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Next up, we’ve got turkey and stuffing, alongside eggs benny, calamari, butternut squash ravioli…and goat curry. I gotta say, the turkey was pretty good, but that goat curry is what makes it!!!!!!!!

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But you KNOW we can’t go to a buffet without hitting up the carving station — this is body by roast beef, bro! Meat is nice ‘n tender, with some mashed potatoes, mussels, shrimp, and this funky yam salad with walnuts… I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!!!

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Of couse, we gotta save room for dessert — especially since they brought back the chocolate fountain, son!

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We’ve got chocolate mousse, pecan pie, cheesecake, a chocolate brownie and some chocolate-dipped strawberries. Dude, I’d take the Old Mill’s dessert spread over Caesar’s Palace any day, bro!!!!!!

Can we have short ribs for breakfast, mommy dear, mommy dear?

Now, it’s been a while since we’ve been to brunch on Triple B. But now we’re hanging out at Kost, this funky joint up on the 44th floor of the Bisha Hotel, where they’re serving up brunch on the weekends alongside a really nice view of the city, going all the way out to Mississauga. And when it comes to the brunch menu, we ain’t ordering avocado toast or a smoothie bowl — nah, we’re talkin’ Kost Eggs on Rib Hash, with beef short ribs, potatoes, peppers and home fries. Oh, and I paid 8 bucks for a side of bacon, which I added overtop of this dish. First rule of Flavourtown is always add bacon, bro!!!!!!!!!!

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Now, the portion was quite petite for such a manly meal, but this dish was still nice ‘n meaty, with a good runny egg and some nicely cooked potatoes. Plus, that pepper bacon kicks it up about three notches. I would wear that as a flip-flop, bro!!!!!!!!

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But since that was a pretty small portion, we’ve still got room for dessert — that’s right, we’re having dessert at brunch, bro! They call this one Super Rocher, and it’s pretty fantabulous. You’ve got dark chocolate mousse with a chocolate crust, hazelnut icing, chocolate crumbles and hazelnuts. I would eat this three meals a day, bro!!!!!!!!!!!

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And while it may be 5 o’clock somewhere, Alan Jack-son, we’re actually not drinking something cold and strong just yet. They call this Brain Tonic, and it’s not even a cocktail — it’s a juice blend of apple, lemon, maple syrup, ginseng, filtered water and “blue majik”… whatever that is. I dunno guy, but it just tastes like lemonade to me.

Sucking down some suckling pig that doesn’t suck @ Alder!

Man, we’ve had pork so many different ways on Triple B that I can’t even count that high, bro! But one thing you definitely don’t see every day in Toronto is suckling pig. Like, the only place I’ve seen it before was at Beerbistro, and they only serve it up on Saturdays. So when I heard that Alder, the new funky joint in the Ace Hotel, had suckling pig on its everyday menu, you KNOW Imma bout to go all Big Bad Wolf on this one, bro!!!!!!!!!

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But first we’re starting off with a fistful of baked clams, served on a bed of rocks (or maybe uncooked chickpeas?). While I prefer my clams steamed, these babies were just (barely) enough to tide me over till the main event…

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Dude, this little piggy went wee, wee, wee all the way down my piehole, bro! Pork is nice and tender, served in a juicy gravy, and there’s these little pieces of pork skin, aka crackling, which really kick it up a notch! This dish also comes with a side of corn, but we kicked it up another notch with some tempura shishito peppers:

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Unlike at Vela, where the shishitos were not optional, these crispy bois added a nice little kick to the dish, with a legit chipotle donkey sauce on the side for dipping — I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!!!!

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro, and out of their three desserts, this mille-feuille was the one that spoke to me. You’ve got dark chocolate, peanut-butter parfait and vanilla cream sandwiched between a couple crunchy, crunchy cookies — I’ll take three of those to go!!!!!

Slamming seven Spanish tapas @ Bar Chica

Now, we don’t always eat tapas on Triple B. I mean, why settle for a buncha small plates when you can have one really, really big plate, bro? But we’re hanging out at Bar Chica, this new funky tapas place on Portland, just south of King West, so we can’t just order one thing, or two things, or three things…we’re polishing off seven different tapas, son — and I’ll probably still have room for dessert. 😉

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Now, you don’t ride for free at this bread rodeo, but this toasted sourdough with tomato butter might actually be worth paying for, bro!

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Their vieras crudas (raw scallops) is a playful, mysterious little dish. For one thing, there’s a lot more melon than there is fish — the scallops are hidden at the bottom, so you gotta go diving for em. But hey, at least I ate a green thing today…

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Up next, we’ve got some culinary classic rock en español in Flavourtown, with these jamón croquetas. Only these aren’t your everyday croquettes, bro. Instead of putting the ham inside, it’s stuffed with cheese and truffles, and then there’s a slice of jamón on top…so it’s almost better if you don’t use a fork and knife, to get everything in one bite.

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Up next is another Spanish classic, patatas bravas. But unlike Bar Isabel, which gives you a whole plate of po-ta-toes, at Chica you only get two, and they’re done up all millefeuille style, so you can’t really eat a steak with these, bro…

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Speaking of steak, they do have ribeye on the menu, with blistered shishitos and plenty of Bearnaise on the side. You get maybe six pre-cut pieces of steak to an order — so maybe like eight ounces — but after all this other stuff, that’s OK with me.

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The next two dishes came out at the same time, which I think might be against the law in Tapastown. But anyways, on the left you’ve got grilled octopus with eggs (an off-menu, limited-time special) and on the right, smoked corn topped with corn foam. Man, I didn’t even know that corn foam was a thing. It tastes very…foamy?

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But after all that commotion back there, we’ve still got room for dessert. This ying yang pie is actually two tartas in one — on the left, a chocolate tart with hazelnut spread and brown butter ice cream, and on the right, apple tart with almond ice cream and caramel sauce. Dude, this dessert is as Spanish as tarta de manzana, hermana!!!!

A feast from the Middle East that’s closer to the heart…

Here on Triple B, we’re no strangers to shawarma, and you KNOW this is body by brisket, bro… so when I heard about Fet Zun, this funky little joint on Dupont just a few steps from the subway, we totally had to check it out. This place is serving up a signature Fet Zun Feast with Tahini, Labneh, Whipped Feta, Charred Eggplant, Chirchi, Chopped Salad, Pickles, Olives, Hummus, Chicken Shawarma, Brisket Shawarma, Charred Broccoli, French Fries AND Saffron Rice — shut the front, back and side doors, son!!!!!

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Now, it’s hard to pick a favourite among so many great dips, but the real star of the show here has gotta be the bread. It’s baked fresh and hot to order, and just pulls apart like putty. Man, I could eat this bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner…but I gotta save room for the good stuff, bro!

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On this side, we’ve got a whole pile of brisket, with onions and pickles, some nice saffron rice and charred broccoli. I didn’t have any broccoli, though… Why eat broccoli when you can eat brisket????

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At the same time, they’ve also serving up chicken shawarma, with a nice variety of sauces and pickles, alongside a big bunch of crispy, salty fries. I think I ate about half of these fries by myself, bro…

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This is pretty much the perfect plate right here. You’ve got two kinds of meat, some fries, rice and pretty much no vegetables (unless a pickle counts). I managed to polish off two plates like this — and still had room for dessert!!!

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Dessert isn’t officially part of the Fet Zun Feast, but they do give you two desserts to choose from…so we ordered both. On the right, you’ve got knafeh, a Middle Eastern dessert made with phyllo pastry, stuffed with ricotta and topped with orange blossoms and pistachios. And on the left hand side, they’re funking it up a notch with a halvah cheesecake, a creamy take on a sesame cake with a pistachio crust and all kinds of shaved coconut on top. I liked this one a lot more than the knafeh.

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We’re pairing this food from across the pond with a true Canadian classic — Henderson’s Rush Canadian Golden Ale. I hadn’t had the chance to try this beer before, so when I saw they were serving it up here (for a couple bucks more than the other beers), I had to check it out. To be honest, I think this beer has even less flavour than Molson Canadian — it’s kinda like drinking Kokanee, or even Coors Light. As far as Rush albums go, this one is less 2112, more Signals, bro…

Chowing down 8 courses at the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy…

Now, we don’t usually do tasting menus on Triple B — my motto’s always been why go for a buncha small plates when you can get an XL pizza, bro??? — but when we heard that Don Alfonso 1890, this funky joint inside of Casa Loma, was officially named the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy, you KNOW we had to check it out! And when you eat here, there are only two options: a three-course a la carte menu for 120 dollars, or an eight-course tasting menu for $180. I may not be good at math, but I think that getting more than twice as many things for 50% more money seems like the better way to go, bro!!!!

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After a bread plate and some canapes, they kick things up right away with this playful, mysterious little dish called L‘Anguilla. Believe it or not, but that’s eel gelato, topped with sturgeon caviar, with a side of wild-rose tagliatelle on a dollop of fresh herbs. Now, when it comes to gelato, my go-to is gianduja, but this fishy variety makes for a very interesting appetizer…

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Speaking of seafaring creatures, this rolled-up Muscovy duck breast is served with mashed apples and baby spinach, with a balsamic vinegar and demi-glace. Dude, this duck definitely doesn’t suck!!!!!!

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Of course, you can’t be the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy without making a mean pasta, and this vermicelli dish definitely fits the bill. Noodles are cooked perfectly, with a couple pieces of mackerel on the side and topped with Sicilian pine nuts, which give it a nice crunch. Man, I couldda slammed three times as much pasta — but I had to save room for snapper:

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This roasted red snapper has a nice, citrusy seasoning, on a bed of organic asparagus — the best kind of asparagus, bro! — red radishes, and a cauliflower puree. While I don’t normally go for fish, this dish was delish!!!!

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But they’re saving the best for last with Il Bisonte! You’ve got Manitoba bison tenderloin wrapped in a Swiss chard and Buffalo mozzarella crust, with salsa verde and red chili sauce for dipping. The meat was perfectly cooked, super-tender… dude, you could put that cheese crust on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!

And it turns out the bison was the same size portion as the one on the a la carte menu. It’s just that the a la carte version comes with veggies, so it looks like I made the right choice…

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Now, when you’re dining at the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy, you don’t just get one dessert to choose from, son! Served on top of dry ice, we’ve got little baby cannoli, raspberry mousse on a raspberry wafer topped with a raspberry… and the star of the show, Pistachio Semifreddo (which sounds like a bad guy on The Sopranos, bro!) But that’s not all, folks…

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Say hello to ma lil’ friend Trionfo Alla Nocciola! They’re packing a whole lotta hazelnut in here, with hazelnut parfait, hazelnut sponge cake, hazelnut crumble and a hazelnut mousse wrapped in chocolate on top. Dude, that’s hazel-nuts!!!!!

Now, while I didn’t go for the wine pairing, my personal beer pairing (Blood Brothers Inner Eye IPA) along with the tasting menu, tax and tip set me back nearly three bills. So I might hafta stick with frozen pizza for the rest of the week — not that there’s anything wrong with that… 😛

ICE ICELAND BABY: Feast fit for a Viking in Vik

Now, Iceland ain’t all about Reykjavik, bro! Sure, it might be to Iceland what Toronto would be to Canada — if Toronto had 20 million people and no other city was over 250K — but to see the sights, like the Black Beach or Skogafoss… you gotta head to Vik, this tiny town of 300 deep in the south of Iceland. And Hotel Katla, just a couple minutes outside of Vik, is ready to welcome you with a real-deal Icelandic dinner buffet, bro!!!

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Now, on this plate you’ve got classics like leg of lamb and dill & garlic cod, along with tater tots and carrots. Sure, there were some other veggies to choose from…but I’ll stick with tater tots.

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On the side plate, we’ve got funky hors d’oeuvres like bacon rolls — dude, this is body by bacon rolls! — pulled lamb blinis (no such thing as too much lamb, bro), smoked salmon, beetroot carpaccio and a few green things, for research purposes.

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Of course, you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert bro…but this chocolate mousse, red berry cake, white chocolate brownie, tiramisu square AND chocolate cake oughtta do’er.

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And we’re washing it all down with an Icelandic Winter Ale from Einstok. They brew this bad boy with smoked Icelandic barely and whiskey-soaked spruce tree tips — sounds like a balanced Icelandic breakfast to me!!!!!