Tag Archives: eggs benedict

NYC DINER DUEL: Westway Diner vs. Tick Tock Diner

Now, we may be Triple B, not Triple D, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love a good diner, bro! And when it comes to diners, New York City might be the diner capital of Flavourtown. So we’re chowing down at two classic NYC institutions — which one will come out on top?
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WESTWAY DINER

This Hell’s Kitchen diner is apparently the place where Jerry Seinfeld came up with the idea for a show about nothing in the late 80’s. Up on West 43rd and 9th, it’s a pretty big place — you can probably fit about 200 people in here. I heard there was a line, so I got there early…and marched right in at 8 am, when just a few tables were taken (people started filing in at 8:15.) But hey, the early bird gets the corned beef benedict, bro!!!!
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Dude, these are some of the biggest benedicts I’ve seen, bro! Corned beef is nice n crispy, you get some creaminess from the egg, and there’s even a bit of mashed potato in there. And they’re two for $13.50 — that’s a five finger discount in Flavourtown!
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These also come with a whole lotta hash browns. Crispy on top, but soft in the middle — dude, this is body by hash browns!!!!
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TICK TOCK DINER

The party don’t stop at this classic joint, which is open 24 hours a day, on 34th and 8th, across from Madison Square Garden. It’s also attached to the New Yorker Hotel, so if you’re staying there and too hungover to go outside — not that I would know — this is the place for you!
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Most people think of chicken and waffles as a southern soul food staple, but this dish was actually invented in Harlem, back in the day. We might not be quite that far uptown, but I figured I had to check out the Tick Tock’s take on this classic.
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Now, the waffles were nice and fluffy, but I’m not so sure about the chicken. You can definitely call it crispy (this dish is called “crispy chicken and waffles” on the menu), but it’s not a chicken leg or chicken thigh…or even really a chicken tender, more like this vaguely Batman shaped chicken burger. Ever seen those fried chicken patties you could put in a toaster? (Yes, that was actually a thing.) This is what they remind me of.

Also, the piddly little forks they give you often aren’t big enough to spear both chicken and waffles in the same bite, which is a bit of a bummer…

FINAL VERDICT

Tick Tock might be in a great location, and it gets props for being open all night (Westway closes at 9, apparently), but it is definitely more of a tourist trap. For the real-deal diner feel, head up to Hell’s Kitchen.
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BONUS: Tilly’s Diner in Monticello, NY

Sometimes, to find a real-deal diner, you gotta go upstate. We’re hanging out at Tilly’s Diner, this funky little joint a couple hours north of New York City in Monticello. This is one of those places that used to be an old trailer, until they grew big enough to attach a dining room. And it’s completely packed on a Sunday, with a mixture of locals and post-concert checkout crowd from the Best Western two doors down.
But you can still take a seat at the counter, and watch them crank out diner classics, like this three-meat masterpiece in Flavourtown, the Farmer omelette:
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This bad boy is packed with three little pigs — bacon, ham AND sausage — along with peppers, onions and Swiss cheese. You’ve also got home fries and white toast, Blues Brothers style.
This is not subtle food. It’s huge chunks of meat, barely contained by a thin layer of egg, which cheese in the middle. It’s delicious. And it’s only $10.50…about the same price as a supersized sammy at Colosseo next door!!!!

Brunchin’ on a back bacon ‘n lobster benny, bro!!!

Now, I don’t always get up in time for brunch, so when I do, it’s gotta be something funkalicious. Like, we’re hanging out at MARBL, this funky joint on King West, where they’re serving up four kinds of eggs benny — you can get ’em with back bacon, salmon, lobster or crab. Or you can do what I did, and order a lobster benny with a side of back bacon…then get them to put it on top:

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OK, first of all, this lobster is just too legit to quit. Nice, fresh chunks that are so good, you don’t even need the bacon. But it does add a nice extra touch, along with the creaminess of the egg and the hollandaise. My only complaint is that the English muffin doesn’t hold up to all this deliciousness — it’s pretty much just a sad, soggy, bread vessel. But man, toast that baby up a bit and this dish is a 10/10, son!!!!

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Now, apparently they make a mean mimosa at this place, but since the name of this blog ain’t Burgers, Bacon and Bubbly, I had to ask about the beer selection — which is all the way down at the bottom of Page 13 of their wine list. And there really isn’t anything special here; Bud Light, Peroni, Stella, Corona and Guinness. Well, even though it comes from a can and was served in a chilled glass, I still had to go with the ol’ Irish breakfast smoothie. It was only after I got the bill that I realized they were charging 12 bucks a can for the good stuff — three dollars more than any other beer, bro! Next time, I might hafta stick with orange juice….

….NOT!!!!

Steak & Eggs Benedict, hold the English muffin…

Now, I don’t usually get up in time for breakfast…unless there’s a whole lotta meat involved. So we’re hanging out at Siempre Restaurant, this funky little joint on Front Street, just a Marcus Semien longball away from Rogers Centre. This place is only open for breakfast and lunch — they close at 4 pm, bro! And while they’re serving up all kinds of classics like omelettes, waffles, parfaits and seven kinds of eggs benny, I got my mind set on steak, Bro-rge Harrison!!!!

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OK, so this wasn’t the greatest steak I’ve ever had; it’s pretty much the kinda meat you get at the grocery store. But the eggs were nicely poached, the Hollandaise was super-creamy…and the hash browns are what makes it!!!!

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Dude, I could slam these french-fried potaters any day, Sling Bro-de! Perfectly crispy, lightly seasoned… You could make a flip-flop outta these hash browns, wear it to the beach, put it in the sand and it would still taste good!!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Bulgogi Beef Benedict for brunch, bro!!!

Now, I don’t always get up in time for brunch — especially during Lockdown Number 3 — but since the late game on Hockey Night in Canada was between Vancouver and Ottawa last night, I actually went to bed early. And since I had more than a couple beers during the first game on Hockey Night, let’s just say I was a little hungover this morning.

So we’re looking for some classic comfort food, with a bit of a Toronto twist… which brings us to Sisters & Co, this funky little joint on Dundas West that’s only open from 9 till 3, serving up some funky brunch dishes like a Chicken Katsu Club Sandwich, Thanksgiving Chicken and Waffle and Cinnamon Bun Pancakes. But when I saw the Bulgogi Beef Benedict, I was all over that like Calgary over Montreal, bro! You KNOW I love the taste of beef in the morning!!!

Now there’s a forkful of flavour in Flavourtown, right here! The English muffin was a little too toasty, but the nice chew of the beef and oozy egg more than make up for it. They serve the hollandaise on the side, so it doesn’t get too soggy on the way over, and there’s more than enough sauce to go around, son!

Speaking of forkfuls of flavour, I couldn’t stop shoveling these home fries into my mouth, homes! They’re nice ‘n small, with just a little bit of a kick from the seasoning, and there’s almost two forkfuls for every bite of benedict. (This dish also came with a side salad…but hey, if I could substitute the salad for bacon next time, that would be great.) All in all, I’d say this was just the right amount of food for a hazy Sunday morning without making your stomach feel too heavy. Sisters & Co 1, Hangover 0.

Eggy Hammy Cheesy @ Over Easy!

Now, I don’t always eat breakfast, and when I do…there’s usually bacon involved. But not today, bro! We’re hanging out at Over Easy, this funky breakfast and brunch joint inside the Hotel Victoria on Yonge St, just a slap shot away from the Hockey Hall of Fame, where they’re serving up this crazy take on eggs benny, The Eggy Hammy Cheesy:

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OK, now let’s break it down. What you’ve got here is a toasted English muffin, topped with baked ham, a three-cheese sauce, melted cheddar and some sunny side ups, with a little dijon in there for that extra kick. Served with a whole handful of home fries — dude, this is body by home fries!!!

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Now, I don’t always drink beer for breakfast, so when I heard that this place was making its own lemonade AND iced tea, I’m like, let’s do both, bro! This here’s an Arnold Palmer, and it’s a hole in one in Flavourtown! And at $3.99, the price definitely isn’t wrong, Bob…

Italian-style eggs benny @ Bar Buca

Yo, so last Sunday we’re hanging out in Yorkville at Buca Osteria & Bar, for some real-deal Italian brunch. And we ain’t just talking ’bout pasta and pizza in the morning — although you KNOW there has to be pizza involved. They’ve also got this crazy Italian take on eggs benny…they call it bombolone:

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OK, now let’s break it down. What you’ve got is an Italian doughnut, topped with porchetta, non-fried green tomato, salsa verde, a perfectly poached egg, and then a whole lotta marscapone on top. It sure beats the hell outta back bacon on an English muffin at Tim Horton’s, son!!!!

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Of course, Italian brunch means you’re not just eating one thing. We’re also throwing down some far-out farinata! This Genovese chickpea crepe is topped with stracciatella, hen’s eggs and a buncha black truffles, all the way from Lazio… Mamma mia!

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And like I said, it wouldn’t be Italian brunch without pizza. This funghi pie is topped with mushrooms, gorgonzola, more marscapone — dude, this is body by marscapone! — and then some marjoram leaves, for that one serving of green stuff. Man, this fun guy is crispy, chewy and soooo not leaving for L.A. anytime soon, bro!!!!

Black Sabbath for brunch, bro!

So, we’re hanging out at Parallel, this funky, post-industrial joint on Geary Ave, just a reverberating tritone away from the Rehearsal Factory jam space. Now, this place is serving up all kinds of Middle Eastern classics: hummus, falafel, shakshuka…but what really caught my eye was the Black Sabbath.

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Dude, this is the eggs benny of doom, bro! You’ve got two poached eggs on rye bread, but instead of hollandaise, they smother it in this black tahini, which has a super-strong sesame flavour, equal parts smooth and sludgy, like an Electric Funeral in Flavourtown. I’m not sure it goes all that well with eggs and tomatoes, since it tends to dominate everything on the plate…just like how Black Sabbath crushes everything in its path.