Tag Archives: Frito pie

SOUTH BY SOUTH AUSTIN: New school BBQ @ LeRoy and Lewis

Now, you KNOW we couldn’t go to Austin without chowing down on some real-deal BBQ, bro! LeRoy and Lewis has been recognized as one of the best BBQ joints in town, and they’re serving it up from a food truck in the beer garden at Cosmic Coffee.

Like most BBQ joints in Texas, they tend to sell out early, so they were out of almost all their meats and half their sides when we rolled up at 6 pm. But they still had enough left for us to assemble this 1 meat, 2 side plate for $15.

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So the one meat they had left was barbacoa, which I actually might have ordered anyways. Texture and flavour of the meat was on point, although it needed a bit of that BBQ sauce to give it that extra little kick.

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When it comes to the sides, we’re kicking it old school and new school…at the same time. On the one hand, we’ve got a Texas classic in Frito pie, with crunchy corn chips, meaty chili and some cheddar cheese. Nothing wrong with that at all!

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And we also went with kimchi, which was actually the least spicy thing on this plate. But the cabbage had a nice crunch, and the flavour was on point. Hands down the best kimchi I’ve ever had from a BBQ truck, son!

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Inside of Cosmic Coffee, we’re washing it down with a Real Ale Vamonos Lime Sour Gose. This is pretty much the perfect beer for Mexican food, like a Corona on steroids with the lime brewed right in. And at just 4%, I can pound these all night long….

Real-deal Tex Mex @ HotMess

Don’t get me wrong–I loves me a super-authentic Mexican taco joint just as much as the next Guy (Fieri). But I can also dig it when a joint says “No, we’re not Mexican, we’re Tex-Mex.” And HotMess, this funky little joint in Little Italy, is definitely not ashamed to say they serve Tex-Mex food. Dude, this place has everything: hard-shell tacos, chimichangas, chili con queso, hotdogueros…and of course, you can’t have Texas food without Frito pie:

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Now, I have had Frito pie in Toronto before. Heck, I’ve even had it in Texas. But this is the closest I’ve come to the real-deal, down-home Frito pie experience, where they open up a bag of Fritos, and pour some chili and cheese in the name of love. OK, so they fancy it up a bit with onions, tomatoes and holla-atcha-penos, and they use shredded cheese instead of queso, but I double-dog dare ya to find me anything closer to a Friday Night Lights Frito pie this far north of the border, hombre!!!

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But you KNOW that’s just a light snack in Flavourtown, Texas, bro! So we’re following it up with a green chile patty melt. You’ve got poblanos, serranos and roasted onions on top of a ground-chuck burger with Monterey Jack and even some bacon jam–and it’s all swimming in a green big glob of greasy, grimy donkey sauce! I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!!

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Now, the one spot where they come up short of the full Texas experience is on the beer list. You won’t be able to slam some Lone Stars or Shiners here–hell, I don’t think you can even buy those brews in Ontario, bro! But they do have a pretty decent selection of local craft beer cans, like this light, crisp, Huron County Lager. One thing’s for sure, this joint doesn’t need too much more cowbell!!!

EATIN AUSTIN: An antelope, a rabbit and a pig meat up in a grinder…

Now, Toronto is no stranger to gourmet hot dogs. You’ve got Fancy Franks, Let’s Be Frank (RIP), Wvrst, and probably a couple more places serving up exotic sausages. But one that you won’t find roaming the wild plains of High Park is the jackalope. Pretty sure this here critter has never been spotted east of the Mississippi before, bro!

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Actually, this here hot dog is a mixture of rabbit, antelope and pork, giving it a rich, gamey texture like I’ve never had before. You’ve got equal parts sweet and heat from the cranberry compote and the Sriracha aioli, and then I paid 50 cents extra to put it in a flapjacket, just for the hell of it.

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Now, one thing I wanted to have while in Texas was real-deal Frito pie. I had some at this BBQ joint in Toronto, but I figure they probably fancied it up a bit. This one seemed more authentic, with a rich, spicy chilli and some melted cheese overtop a bed of crunchy Fritos. They call this a side dish, but it’s really more of a meal, dude!!!

My oh my, it’s Frito pie!!!!

Now, I’ve had a lot of BBQ all over this city. Texas-style BBQ, Carolina-style BBQ, whatever that crap at Casey’s Bar and Grill is supposed to be (never again, bro!), and I know you don’t mess with Texas. But there’s this new BBQ joint at Dundas and Dovercourt called Smoke Signals, and it’s the first place this side of Austin where you’re find this down-home, funky Texas dish. Say hello to my little friend Frito:

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Now, they might not serve it up right in the chip bag, but this Frito pie is pretty legit. You’ve got a rich, smoked meaty chili on top of crunchy corn chips, with cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions and jalapenos. It’s like Friday Night Lights in a can, son! And you know we’re not done here…

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They call this sandwich El Chapo, and it will murder your tastebuds, bro! You’ve got pulled pork piled on top of beef brisket, and then they thrown in a sausage link!? Shut the front, back, and side doors! This dish is so outta bounds, Blair Walsh almost hit it with a field goal attempt! And of course, you know they have their own, in-house beer, right?

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Smoke Signals Lager doesn’t come in a fancy glass or anything, and it’s not a fancy beer, either. A crisp, light lager with just a touch of fruity aftertaste—probably the least-bitter Great Lakes Brewery beer I’ve ever had…not that there’s anything wrong with that.