If I had pizza like Henry Ford, I’d have me a buddy on every road…

So, we’re hanging out in Detroit Rock City at Buddy’s Pizza, home of the original Detroit-style pizza since 1946. Now, if you’ve never had Detroit pizza before, well, it’s nice and square, with a crust that’s chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside… and then they put the sauce on top! They’ve got all kinds of signature pizzas and specialty pizzas on the menu, but I figure I had to start with the man who started it all in the Motor City — this is The Henry Ford:

buddys_henry_ford_pizza (8)

OK, so what we’ve got here is a Motor City cheese blend — that’s Fontinella, Asiago and Wisconsin brick cheese, bro! — topped with ground beef, bacon, red onion, tomato-basil sauce…and then they add some blue cheese, for that extra cheesiness. And lemme tell ya, you definitely taste the blue cheese! But when you get a good bite of that beef, mixed with the bacon, then that’s the ticket, right there…

buddys_lake_ontario_pizza (5)

Of course, the Flavourtown Diet says you can’t go to a legendary pizza joint and order just one pie, son! This one’s dedicated to the T-dot-O — it’s named after Lake Ontario. And yes, it’s got pineapple on it — eat your hjarta out, Iceland! But it’s actually not ham & pineapple…that’s Canadian bacon, bro, with cilantro and BBQ sauce. This was easily one of the top five pineapple pizzas I’ve ever had–and I just had spam and pineapple pizza last week!

buddys_bocce_ipa (4)

Of course, since the name of this blog is NOT Burgers, Bacon and Gluten-Free Ginger Ale, we had to try some of the local brews, as well. This here is the house beer, Bocce IPA. It tasted pretty much like every other IPA I had…but it’s surprisingly strong at 7%. Now, I wasn’t drunk or anything, but I did tell the DJ to kick out the jams!!!

 

Who needs ham & pineapple when you can have spam & pineapple?

Not gonna lie, I kinda like pineapple on pizza — whether it’s bacon and pineapple or the classic Hawaiian: ham and pineapple. But the other day, I stopped in at Dovercourt Village Pizza, this funky little joint at Dundas and Bathurst, where they’re funking it up a notch by putting spam and pineapple on pizza!

spam&pineapple_pizza (2)

They call this one “Thanks, Obama!” and it’s got BBQ spam, some tangy pineapple and a streak of BBQ sauce, with some added chili flakes from yours truly. Now, I’m not sure what they do to the spam, but it almost tastes more like bacon than something that comes in a can. And then that BBQ sauce gives it a little extra kick… Man, even if it spams my inbox from now till next November, I would still vote for this slice of pizza in 2020, bro!!!

Pineapple on a pizza? Don’t mind if I do…

Now, I’ve never understood the hatred for Hawaiian pizza. OK, so it might be kinda weird to put fruit on a pizza pie…but how else am I gonna get six servings of fruit a day, bro???

So, we’re hanging out at General Assembly Pizza, this funky little joint where they don’t just put pineapple on a pizza–they pair it with jalapenos and double smoked bacon. This is the Porky Pine:

porky_pine_pizza (15)

OK, now let’s break it down. You’re got the crispness of the bacon, a little sweetness from the pineapple, some great big globs of ricotta cheese, along with aged mozzarella…but it’s the jalapenos that really kick it up a notch. This ‘za is super-spicy, bro! I pretty much had to chug seven tallboys just to beat the heat!!! But when their tallboys of Mascot Pilsner are only seven bucks, I just mighta chugged seven tallboys anyways.

mascot_pilsner (1)

10 of the Most Canadian Meals

The other day, I was chowing down on a bacon poutine burger at Harvey’s, which might be the most Canadian sandwich of all-time. But the thing is, it’s only available for a limited time. So that got me thinking, what are some of the most Canadian meals across this country? We’re talking poutine, obviously, but what about P.E.I. lobster, Alberta beef and New Brunswick fiddleheads?

Now, I have been to every province in this country except Newfoundland, and I’ve eaten all kinds of outrageous, righteous, real-deal meals across the country, as well as right here in Toronto. So when it comes to dishes that best capture the essence of Canadian cuisine, I’d like to think that every province is represented here, even if half these places are in Hogtown. Check out this delicious list, bro!

salmon_burger-2

Nova Scotia Salmon Burger @ Fifth Pubhouse

The Fifth Pubhouse might be the most patriotic burger joint in this city, if not the entire country. This place has got no less than eight slammin’ sammies named after provinces and territories, including this Atlantic creation, the Nova Scotia Salmon Burger. Now that’s a beauty piece of fish, bro! They take baked salmon, top it with lettuce, tomato and a whole buncha chive mayo, and serve ‘er up with fries and coleslaw, all for just 15 bucks. That’s a whole lot cheaper than a plane ticket to Halifax!

READ MORE: And on the seventh day, he ate salmon…

 

big_crack_lobster_roll (6)

The Big Crack @ Smoked & Cracked

Now, I’ve had a few lobster rolls in my day, but this is probably the biggest one I’ve even seen. They literally take an entire 1.5 pound lobster, chop ‘er up and serve it all up on a hot, buttery roll, bro! It’s like a PEI lobster supper in sandwich form! Of course, all this lobster don’t come cheap–at 65 bucks (plus tax and tip), it’s probably the most expensive sandwich I’ve ever eaten…

READ MORE: This was the biggest lobster roll I’ve seen in Toronto!

 

lomo_fiddleheads (2)

Lomo Saltado with Fiddleheads @ Baro

One cool thing about Canada is that we welcome all kinds of people from different countries, and they each bring their own cultural cuisine. Like Baro, this funky Peruvian joint on King West, that’s taking a Peruvian comfort-food classic, and putting a Canadian twist on it with the national vegetable of New Brunswick. Fiddlehead season is pretty short, but if you get ’em when they’re fresh, they can really kick it up a notch–especially when served beside beef tenderloin, bro!

READ MORE: LOMO arigato, Mr. Roboto!!!!

 

banquise_poutine

La T-Rex Poutine @ La Banquise (Montreal)

There are so many killer poutines all over this country that would deserve to be mentioned here, from the wild boar poutine at the Tide & Boar in Moncton, to this honky-tonk redonkadonk lobster poutine I had once at Baton Rouge. But if there can be only one, then it would hafta be La T-Rex from La Banquise in Montreal. This place is legendary for serving up some of the best poutine in the poutine capital of Canada, and this insane-in-the-membrane version comes topped with ground beef, pepperoni, bacon and hot dogs! No wonder they didn’t name it after a stegosaurus…

READ MORE: Poutine: It’s not just for breakfast anymore…

 

rashers_hogtown_sandwich (9)

Hogtown Sandwich @ Rashers

What can be more Canadian than Canadian bacon? Rashers is probably my new favourite sandwich shop, serving up Bomb.ca bacon burgers and the best BLT in Toronto. But their signature sammy is pure Canadian simplicity–back bacon and grainy mustard on a fresh, flaky bun. It does not get any better than this, bro!

 

aloha_smoke_pizza (1)

Aloha Smoke @ True True Pizza

Hawaiian pizza might be Canada’s most infamous culinary creation. Created by a Greek immigrant at this funky little joint in Chatham, Ontario, way back in 1962, this pie has gone worldwide–and attracted more than its fair share of haters. Me, I don’t mind pineapple on pizza, as long as it’s got some meat to it. And at True True Pizza, they serve up this twisted take using bacon instead of ham–shut the back door, bro!

READ MORE: This Hawaiian pie-an tastes better with bacon!

 

loaded_pierogi (3)

Loaded Surf ‘n Turf @ Loaded Pierogi

For me, when I think Winnipeg, I think pierogis. It used to be known as the Ukrainian capital of Canada, back in the day, and it’s still one of the most notable concentrations of ethnic populations in the country. Now, pierogis are just starting to become a thing in Toronto, with funky joints like Loaded Pierogi serving up some crazy takes on this Ukrainian classic–like the Loaded Surf ‘n Turf, topped with lobster, crab and steak!

READ MORE: Loaded Pierogi’s serving up surf, turf ‘n earth, son!

 

kfc_buffet

All You Can Eat KFC (Weyburn, SK)

Now, I can’t be the only one who’s ever ordered a 16-piece bucket for one, right? If eating KFC all day seems like time well spent, then Weyburn, Saskatchewan is a little slice of paradise. This town has an AYCE KFC buffet, one of the last of its kind, and when rumours surfaced last summer than the chicken chain wanted to kill the buffet counter, even the premier of Saskatchewan stepped up in defence of this cultural icon. Which reminds me, I’m way overdue for a trip out west…

READ MORE: Save Saskatchewan’s all-you-can-eat KFC buffet!

 

menu-board-at-fireside-grill-in-czar-alta

Camel and Python and Yak… Oh My! @ Fireside Grill (Czar, AB)

Speaking of small-town destinations out west, this place is next on my roadtrip. I could not even find Czar on a map of Alberta–and I grew up in Calgary–but when I heard about the Fireside Grill, this funky local joint serving up all sorts of exotic meats, well, I knew I just had to come here some day. Did I mention their chef is a dead ringer for Guy Fieri?

READ MORE: This Guy Fieri lookalike is serving up some righteous roadkill in rural Alberta!

 

vancouver_breakfast

Mr. Alberta @ The Elbow Room Cafe (Vancouver)

It figures that the best breakfast in Vancouver is something named after Alberta. I stopped by this funky little joint a couple years back when I was in town for the Grey Cup, and you know I wasn’t gonna have a vegan quinoa salad! This big-time brekkie contains a 5 oz sirloin, blackened tomatoes, scrambled eggs, hash browns and jalapeno toast. And the service is something else, lemme tell ya!

READ MORE: Breakfast of Champions in Vancouver

This Hawaiian pie-an tastes better with bacon!

Now, one of my all-time favourite movies is this small-time Canadian flick called Waydowntown, which was made in my hometown, Calgary. There’s this one scene where my homeslice Fab Filippo is at the food court, and he asks for a slice of Hawaiian. The kid behind the counter says, “Uh, we don’t have Hawaiian,” so he’s like “OK, ham and pineapple.”

Now, if they had True True Pizza in Cowtown, our protagonist wouldn’t have this problem. This real-deal joint at Union Station is serving up a funky-fresh take on Hawaiian pizza—and they make it with bacon!

aloha_smoke_pizza (1)

They call this the Aloha Smoke, and it has me going all Hawaii Five-0, bro! It’s got crispy, smoky bacon, a nice kick from the pineapple salsa, some fresh cilantro and a little bit of parmesan on top, for that extra richness. They sell this thing down at the market for about 15 bucks—and yes, I scarfed down every single slice, and still had room for dessert!

aloha_smoke_pizza (4)