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…)

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Nashville hot chicken at an Italian pork sandwich place… Whaaa???

Now, I’ve had some legit Nashville hot chicken in Toronto, and I’ve also had the real deal in Nashville, so I definitely know what’s up. Man, even the “medium” will melt your face off at some of these joints! But at the same time, you’ve got these places that just stick “Nashville hot” on stuff that isn’t even spicy. (Nashville hot shrimp, anyone?) So when I saw that Porchetta & Co., this funky little joint on Dundas known for serving up roast pork sammies, had a Nashville hot chicken sandwich, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect…

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Now, don’t get me wrong, this was a pretty tasty sando, bro. The chicken was thick and juicy, the pickles were super-crunchy, you’ve got a nice white bread that dissolves in your hand…but it was definitely not Nashville level spicy. The heat reminded me of a Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich. They definitely kick it up a notch in the flavour department, but there ain’t enough heat here to call it Nashville.

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Now, I wanted to order a side of Fries Supreme–dude, this is body by Fries Supreme–but it turns out there were all outta cheese sauce…which is like a cardinal sin in Flavourtown. Instead they suggested the poutine, which I would normally be OK with. But once again, this dish wasn’t quite what it was supposed to be. Don’t get me wrong, the fries were chunky and delicious, the gravy was super thick, and they put little bits of crispy pork skin on top, which were TheBomb.it, bro! But those sure as shit ain’t squeaky cheese curds — more like shredded mozza, which is a major letdown. The rest of the equation was solid enough that some real-deal cheese curds would make it too legit to quit, but instead it’s more like Yo!!! Sweetness…

Crushing craft beers and feasting on food trucks @ the CNE

Now, you KNOW I love to chow down at the CNE bro–like that one time when I demolished an all-in-one chicken/veal/eggplant parm sammy, and still had room for a chocolate Philly steakclair for dessert. But maybe the best time to go to the Ex is the second last weekend, when they’ve got a food truck frenzy and a craft beer festival, all rolled into one on Princess Street.

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So, I started out by grabbing some deep-fried cheese curds from some Flavourtown royalty at The King of Curds. About the only way you could possibly make poutine better is by deep-frying it, so this is pretty much the best thing ever, bro!!!

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When it comes to the booze, they give you tokens for $2.50 that get you one sippy cup each. Since there were about eight different breweries, I got to try pretty much everything that wasn’t wine or cider. Because why drink wine or cider when you can have a Farmers Daughter Blonde Ale from Whitewater Brewing Co???

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Now, Big Rock is just about my favourite local craft brewery, and they’re funking it up with the Bellyflop, an apricot grisette that tastes like summer in a glass. Dude, calling this beer a flop is like saying Biodome isn’t the best movie of all time, bro!!!

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Now, I’m not sure what a Boshkung is, but it totally tastes delicious. This Happy Camper Irish red ale is basically the Billy Elliot of alcoholic beverages, bro!!!

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Now, I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I own, like, 17 Hawaiian shirts, so you know I’m all over this Hawaiian Style IPA from Spearhead, son!

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So, after pounding four beers, you know what time it is? Taco Time, bro! This Captain Crunch Fish Taco from Food Dudes comes fully loaded with guacamole, pickled red cabbage, smoked sour cream, hot sauce, scallions, tomatoes and a whole lotta cilantro. No actual Captain Crunch though, but how awesome would that be???

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We’re going back to the beer with probably the best name of the day–Useless Crayon White IPA from Market Brewing. Now, the white crayon might be the most useless in the box, but when it comes to brewskis, I could use a few more of these!

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Now, that last beer had the best name, but this one here is the funkiest of the bunch. Can you say Maple Buttertart Ale, bro? Sawdust City’s got the maple and the buttery taste all in a glass–whoa-oh-oh it’s magic!!!

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And finally, we’re ending things on a light, crisp, refreshing note with Muskoka Summerweiss. It’s like the Feel Good Hit of the Summer in Flavourtown, bro!

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But you KNOW that after eight beers, two tacos and a whole buncha cheese curds, we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! So we’re heading into the Food Building for this festival of funk in Flavourtown–the Heartbreak S’More. You’ve got a hot and tender fried chicken breast, topped with toasted marshmallows and graham cracker crumbles, between chocolate-dipped buns, with another marshmallow on top!!!??? Dude, this dish should get an Oscar for Best Fried Chicken in a Supporting Role!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fried chicken sandwich and tequila fries @ Tequila Bookworm

So, we’re hanging out at Tequila Bookworm, this funky little craft beer bar on Queen West. This place has got daily rotating taps, along with a whole bevvy of pricey bottles, but when it comes to food, they keep it simple, with sandwiches, poutines and salads.

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This fried chicken sandwich is outta bounds, bro! You’ve got super-crispy breading, with pickles, lettuce, a nice crunchy slaw and some spicy mayo. Nothing wrong with that at all!

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And then there’s this funky dish of deliciousness, the house specialty: tequila fries. You’ve got some nice, crispy spuds, topped with green onions, tomatoes, feta cheese and these spicy chilies. This ain’t yer grandpappy’s poutine, son!

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With so many local craft beers on tap, it’s hard to pick just one. But I went with the Barnraiser Pale Ale, from Oast House Brewers in Niagara on the Lake. Apparently they don’t just grow wine in the Niagara Region…and I’ll take this zesty IPA over a pinot grigio any day!!!

ASSEMBLY CHEF’S HALL: You know I like my chicken fried…

Now, fried chicken is just about the best kind of fast food there is–especially when you get it at a gas station in Cleveland. As far as I’m concerned, every real-deal food court needs a fried chicken joint, and the Assembly Chef’s Hall checks that box with Love Chix.

This funky chicken shack is serving up winner, winner chicken dinner with seasonal sides sold separately, but for the same price, you can also get it in sandwich form, like so:

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OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got a crispy breaded fried chicken with a honey hot sauce that’s equal parts heat and sweet. There’s also a great big glop of tangy mayo, some scratch-made slaw and just a couple greens, for presentation. Between the hot sauce and the mayo, I totally destroyed a couple napkins slamming this sammy down my piehole, bro! I gotta say, it’s pretty tasty…but it’s also 15 bucks, so there’s that.

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I’m about to go all Gangnam Style on this Korean Fried Chicken!

So, we’re back at Adelaide Eats, the sweet treat to beat the heat on the street, where they’ve serving up some real-deal outdoor delicacies–but only till the 28th, bro! Now, when it comes to fried chicken, I know real-deal when I eat it. I’ve certainly shoved my share of Double Downs straight down my piehole in my time. So, when you say “fried chicken sandwich,” I’m all over that like Snoop Dogg on a bad guest appearance, bro!

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OK, so here’s the deal. Kaboom Chicken, this funky little joint on Queen East, is serving it up Korean-style on a crunchy baguette roll! The chicken is super crispy, sticky-icky, with just a bit of slaw and hot sauce, cuz that’s all you really need, right? They even cut it in half, so you get two sliders for the price of one…although, that price is 10 dollars, so it’s not exactly a bargain-basement food find in Flavourtown! But hey, if I had 40 bucks to spend, I could slam another 4-5 of these, no problemo, bro!

This ain’t yer average fried chicken sandwich!

So last summer, I spent a buncha time over at Front Street Foods, this pop-up street food market at York and Adelaide. Now they’re back till the end of July, which a much better name: Adelaide Eats, son! (I would put that on a t-shirt!) A lot of the familiar cast of characters has returned–you’ve got Tacos 101, you’ve got Wahlburgers, you’ve even got a pop-up Momofuku stand–but there’s a couple new faces as well, like this funky little place called District 28.

This local Leslieville joint is serving up bowls and sammies, but at Adelaide Eats, they’ve got this off-menu delicacy…say hello to my little friend buttermilk fried chicken!!!!

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Now, you may be wondering how it got to be so red. Turns out they’ve got this tangy Tahitian treat BBQ sauce that they smother it in. And then they douse it with chipotle maple aioli, and throw down a crunchy dill pickle mango slaw on top. Dude, it’s like a Culinary Summerslam in Flavourtown, son! Did I mention it’s all on a brioche bun??? Boomshakalaka!