Dude, you KNOW I love the Olympics, bro! You’ve got curling, you’ve got two-man luge–and my personal favourite, the ice dance. So now that the Olympics are underway in PyeongChang, I’m gonna be chowing down on delicious dishes from every country that should win at least a few medals. (No Olympic Mad Eats from Russia, bro!!!) Starting off with this funky chicken from the host country:
Now, if you’ve ever walked down the yellow brick road also known as the PATH in Downtown Toronto, you may or may not have seen this place. Right as you’re about to head out of 121 King Street, there’s this funky little Korean stand on the corner called Hoga–you might notice the lineup. People go nuts for this stuff! Man, they’re serving up all kinds of Korean and Asian eats, from bulgogi to katsu, kimchi to japchae. But my personal favourite is this kickin’ Korean chicken.
It’s got enough heat to wake you up in time for the short-track speedskating semi-finals, but it won’t wipe you out–unlike certain Korean short-track speedskaters. And dude, all this food is still only about seven bucks after tax. You won’t get that kinda screamin’ deal at the athletes’ village!
Now, I like ribs and I like cheese, so if you put them together, you KNOW it’s gotta be good, bro! We’re hanging out at James Cheese Back Ribs, this funky Korean chain that just opened in Toronto a couple months ago. They’ve got all kinds of funky dishes like chicken wings, deep-fried squid and Korean-style McRib sliders, but it’s all about the cheesy ribs…and the cheesy chicken!
Now, this tastes a lot like the Korean chicken you get at Hoga, this funky underground food court joint in the PATH…except, you know, with melty mozza cheese on top. And then you’ve got sides like scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, hot cocktail sausage and corn, all of which taste pretty great with some cheese on top.
Don’t get me wrong, the chicken sets the table, but the signature cheesy back ribs are the star of the show. Nicely marinated in Asian spices, I could eat these on their own–but then you put the cheese on top, and it really kicks it up a notch. Man, I wish I had one of these sick grills at home so I could put melty cheese on everything!!!!
In case you needed another reason to hit up this funky hangout, they’re serving up six-dollar cocktails on Saturdays, son! This sake Caesar tastes just like the real thing, except it makes you want to lip your stockings…
Now, when I lived in The Annex, there was this funky Korean joint called Yummy BBQ that served up this spicy stir-fry special for less than five bucks. It’s not there anymore—I think it’s an Ali Baba’s now, or a Popeye’s Chicken. They actually had another location around Yonge and Wellesley, but I’m pretty sure that space is now occupied by Signs Restaurant, and that’s probably an upgrade.
But since those two joints shut down, I haven’t been able to satisfy my craving for Korean. Until the other day, when I’m walking through the PATH, I turn the corner, and BAM—Holy Korean chicken, Batman!
Now, I can’t even remember what this place is called, but if you walk past the Wendy’s, go through the next food court, and hang a right, you’ll see it on your left, just before you hit Aroma Café. And this place is pretty legit, dude. I mean, they give you enough food for three people—or, in my case, a pretty decent-sized lunch.
OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got some spicy, chunky chicken that almost looks like Indian, but packs a lot more heat. Steamed rice and a choice of two sides—and this was only like seven bucks with a drink, bro! I went with the noodles for some coolness and then the kimchi for more Korean kick. Maybe shouldda gone with the creamy coleslaw, cuz the chicken was spicy enough on its own. But hey, there’s always next time, right?