Now, I don’t really celebrate Easter — I pretty much eat Peeps 24/7, bro!!! — but I’ll take any excuse to go for brunch that I can get. So, we’re hanging out at Le Paradis, this funky French bistro that’s kinda in the middle of nowhere, on Bedford north of Davenport. This place has got everything on their brunch menu from steak tartare to eggs benny to a raclette cheeseburger — although I see they’ve omitted the beer-braised lamb, which makes me a sad lambda. But we’re still eatin’ good in this neighbourhood!!!
We’re starting off with moules a la marinière, these PEI mussels steamed with white wine, garlic and onions. Dude, who needs muscles from Brussels when you can have mussels from Charlottetown???
But you know that was just a light snack in Flavourtown, so now we’re moving on to the main event — a duck confit sammy on a ciabatta with a fried egg on top! It’s like if Italy was facing off against France in the kitchen, and they both laid an egg — which sounds kinda like a soccer game, eh? The duck is nice and tender, you’ve got the crunchiness of the ciabatta, and then that egg oozing all over the place… Man, I’d actually sit through a soccer game if you fed me a few of these!!!
Now, here’s where we kick brunch up a notch with a pint of Averbode Abbey Ale, this Belgian brew from the 14th century. Well, OK, I don’t think this one was actually brewed in the 1300’s — that would be some pretty skunky beer, bro! But I gotta say, it was a nice, fruity, brunchy beer with a deceptively strong 7.5% kick. I’m not drunk or anything, but I might have led the resto in a round of “Frère Jacques” — sonnez les matines, son!!!
Have you ever had a knuckle sandwich, bro? I don’t mean the kind where you get punched in the kisser… We’re talkin’ pork knuckle, son! They may not put it between bread, but at Biff’s Bistro, this funky French joint on Front Street, they’re frying up and dishing out the best part of the pig, and its hors de la chaine, mec!!!
OK, now let’s break it down. The pork falls off the bone – they don’t give you a steak knife cuz you don’t even need one! You’ve got some new potatoes, green beans, and sauerkraut, giving it a little saltiness. But man, the crispy pork skin is what makes it, bro! You could put this stuff on a flip-flop (or on top of bad poutine), and it would still taste good!!!
Of course, after eating every single bite of this pig fist, you KNOW I still had room for dessert! Last time I was here, I had a Bomb.fr slice of chocolate cake, so I had to get an instant replay on that one. This gateau is super-rich, with a toffee sauce, and a whole lotta peanut butter mousse on the side… It’s like Paris by Night in Flavourtown!!!
So, we’re hanging out at Cafe La Gaffe, this funky little French bistro in Baldwin Village. This is another place with tons of Summerlicious options, but I decided to stick with a trio of French classics here–and I definitely wasn’t disappointed!
So, we’re starting off with some escargot, bro! These slippery little snails are swimming in garlic butter and going whee, whee, whee all the way down my piehole!!!
Now, I’m definitely no stranger to roasted duck legs, but this has gotta be one of the top five duck confits I’ve ever had! The meat is super-tender, fall-off-the-bone, and that brandy cream sauce is outta bounds, bro! Man, I could probably eat six or seven of these…or however many legs that ducks actually have.
But you know the drill, we’ve still got room for dessert, dude! This creme brulee was crackly on top, creamy on the bottom, with a couple nice bites of blueberries and a cherry on top! Who needs whipped cream when you’ve got burnt cream, mon cheri???
Now, I wouldn’t say that French food is my favourite foreign cuisine…but it’s probably somewhere in the Top 10. I mean, you’ve got French onion soup, duck confit, and my personal Flavourtown Flava Fav, poutine. OK, I guess that one’s French-Canadian, but hey, they still speak the same language, right?
Of course, they also eat things like snails and frog’s legs, too. Now, I don’t know if we’re still in grenouille season, but when it comes to escargot, you can get ’em for brunch at Le Papillon, this funky French bistro on Front Street, just a short crawl from the St. Lawrence Market.
These slippery little snails are served up as a six-pack, swimming in a garlic parsley butter. Dude, I would put that on a flip-flop! But you know that’s just a pre-brunch snack in Flavourtown, bro!!!!
Dude, this bacon apple crepe is LaBombe.qc.ca! The bacon is cooked perfectly, the right balance between crispy and chewy. Then you’ve got baked apples and mad cheddah stuffed inside a light, fluffy pancake with maple syrup on top. It costs extra for the syrup, but dude, this is body by maple syrup, bro!!!!
Now, I don’t know if you know this, but I like steak. I can eat a lot of it. For me, a nice steak dinner is a real-deal Alberta meal, but when I found this funky French joint that’s serving up steak ‘n fries from P.E.I., I was like, shut the back door, bro!!!
So we’re hanging out at Bacchanal, this funkalicious orgy of French flavourness on Sudbury St, in that no-man’s land between Liberty Village and West Queen West. This place has definitely got some funky dishes–escargot, confit pork shoulder, even Icelandic cod, but I was here for two reasons only: drink some beers, and eat some steak, son!!!
This eight-ouncer was cooked on the rare side of medium-rare, slathered in Asian five-spice, and served with a hunka-hunka butter on top. Dude, Hunka-Hunka Butter is my stripper name, bro! The fries were thin, crisp and super-salty, so it’s a good thing they came with a massive side serving of donkey sauce! After slamming this steak, I almost didn’t have room for dessert…but I did have room for beer!
This Woodhouse Brewing Co. Stout is kinda like Guinness…except it comes in a can, and they serve it in a fancier glass. You’ve got a dark, slightly chocolately taste that’s blacker than a banker’s heart, and it definitely goes great with steak, dude!!!!
Oh man, was that was one helluva ice dance last night, or what? Virtue and Moir, the greatest ice dancers of all time, had to make an epic comeback after the French team of Papadakis and Cizeron came out and set a new world record. Papadakis had a major wardrobe malfunction in the free skate, but it still looked like they were gonna win gold…until Tessa and Scott came through in the clutch and set an even newer world record. Boom goes the ice-dance-amite!!!!
Man, it’s gotta suck knowing that you’re one of the greatest, but someone else is just a bit better than you. That’s kinda like being the duck breast in this delicious duck double down, bro!
Don’t get me wrong, I love duck breast just as much as the next broseph, but for me, duck confit is where it’s at. So, when I heard that Le Batifole, this friendly neighbourhood French joint on Gerrard, was combining them both into one iconic French duo, I was so into that like a Macron handshake, mec! But even though the breast was succulent and juicy, I still had to give it to the confit on this one. It scored higher marks in technical execution, son!
So, we’re hanging out at Le Batifole, this cozy neighbourhood French joint just a couple blocks from East Chinatown, and they’ve definitely got some funkalicious dishes. Escargot, cassoulet, steak béarnaise…but when I heard that they’re serving up both kinds of duck, well, cue up the theme from Rawhide, cuz we’re countin’ em out and ridin’ em in, Elwood!
OK, now let’s break it down. The duck breast was fatty, chewy, rich and zesty, thanks to the creamy apple brandy sauce. You’ve also got some confit apples on the side for the extra sweetness. The confit was juicy, moist and chicken-leg tender, although it didn’t quite have that crispy skin. But they made up for it with the extra-crispness of these big fat fries, bro!
Now dude, these have gotta be some of the best fries I’ve had in a while. Super-thick and crunchy, nicely seasoned, with a solid terragon aioli—and they definitely don’t short-change ya! I’m not sure I really needed to eat all these French-fried potaters…but I definitely don’t regret it, either!
But you know I still had room for dessert…and their gourmandises are totally Instagram-worthy. They call this one the boule de neige, and it’s like a creamy snowball right in the kisser in Flavourtown. You’ve got a light, fluffy meringue swimming in English cream, and then some craisins and a gooseberry on top. I almost felt bad about eating this little guy’s face off…but it was totally worth every bite, bro!!!!