Tag Archives: lamb

SUMMERLICIOUS 2022: Super-legit lamb @ The Rabbit Hole

Summerlicious is coming to an end this weekend, but we are going out with a bang, bro! We’re hanging out at The Rabbit Hole, this classy British-style pub in the Financial District, where they’re serving up a 55-dollar dinner menu that has a few of my favourite things — or at least one of them, anyways.

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But first, we’re starting off with some soused mackerel. I thought that might mean this fish was soaked in booze, but the only liquid on this place seems like it might be residue from the pickled veggies, or something. This dish didn’t really blow me away — it’s basically just cold fish with a few veggies and a piece of bread. But hey, at least it’s not salad?

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But now we’re about to kick it up, oh, about 6 or 7 notches with the main course. We’re talking a perfectly-cooked lamb sirloin served in date sauce, with a variety of veggies — oh, and it even comes with a haggis croquette:

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Dude, haggis croquette was my nickname at the College of Piping, bro!!!!

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Now, you know the drill — Summerlicious always comes with dessert! And I gotta go with the flourless chocolate cake. It’s dense and rich like a chocolate bar, topped with meringue, a couple raspberries, and a raspberry sauce underneath. Nothing wrong with that at all!!!!

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Of course, I’m not gonna go to a pub and drink a glass of water, mate! So we’re British-ing it up with this Collingwood Kingpost English pale ale. This is not like an IPA you get in the USA — it’s a little more malty, and not quite as bitter. A few of these will getcha more soused than a mackerel though, bro!!!!

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But speaking of IPAs, we’re kicking it local with a Viaduct IPA from Danforth Brewery. Let’s just say it tastes a lot better than water from under the bridge!!!!

SUMMERLICIOUS 2022: This 3-course Greek dinner is only 35 bucks, bro!!!!

Now, we’re no strangers to Soulas Modern Greek here on Triple B. Dude, I dig this place so much that I ordered $69 worth of takeout during the pandemic…and ate it all by myself. So when I heard they were serving up a three-course Summerlicious dinner for just 35 dollars, you KNOW that’s all Greek to me — and Greek is good, bro!!!!!

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So, we’re starting off with dolmades, which are kinda like Greek cabbage rolls. You’ve got a couple vine leaves stuffed with rice and ground beef, topped with tomato sauce, and served with a small Greek salad — this is pretty much all the salad I need, bro!

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So, we’ve had our share of Greek food on Triple B, but this main course is something I’ve never seen before. We’re talking exohiko, a lamb pie stewed with onions and mushrooms in a feta and rosemary sauce, all wrapped up in phyllo pastry. Now, I’m a fan of spanakopita, tiropita and baklava, but this might be the best thing I’ve ever had in phyllo dough. Lamb is super tender, cooked to perfection, and that pastry adds a nice crunch. This dish takes shepherd’s pie out to pasture, bro!!!!!!!!!

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Now, they did have baklava on their Summerlicious dessert menu, but instead of doubling down on phyllo dough, I went with the karidopita, a moist, tender honey walnut cake. While this dish was still delish, I also had to steal a few bites of their ekmek kataifi pistachio cream pie… Totally getting that one next time, son!!!

This lamb breakfast stew is like a Persian dip sandwich, bro!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Takht-e Tavoos, this funky little Persian joint at College and Dufferin. Now, this place is only open on the weekends, and only from 10 to 3, so you’re not coming here for lunch or dinner — they serve breakfast and brunch only.

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Now, one of the most popular Persian brunch dishes is this lamb stew called Abgoosht, or Dizi (named after the stone pots they cook it in), and there is some assembly required. What you do is pour the broth into a bowl, and then take this metal masher, and mash up the rest of the ingredients like so. It’s actually kinda therapeutic — take that, chickpeas!!!

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And here’s where it gets really funky. The proper way to eat this dish is to put the remaining meat mixture between two pieces of bread, and then dip it into the broth. So it’s kinda like a French dip sandwich…except it’s Persian. And man, if you love lamb as much as I do, it’s definitely worth the extra effort to put it all together, bro!!!!!!!!

These deep-fried lamb balls are magically delicious, bro!

Now, we’ve had a whole lotta lamb here on Triple B, so when I heard that Bar Koukla, this funky Greek tapas place in Little Portland, was serving up lamb three ways, you KNOW we had to check it out, bro! Man, this place is serving up lamb ribs, sweetbreads… and these round mounds of Flavourtown, lamb croquettes:

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No, we’re not scarfing sheep scrotum, son — these croquettes are stuffed with braised lamb and halloumi cheese, and served with a feta donkey sauce. They only come three to an order, but I could pound these balls all day, bro…

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…except then I wouldn’t have room for lamb ribs. Now, when I’ve had lamb ribs before, I was usually disappointed; either the portion was too small or they just weren’t meaty enough. But these might be some of the best lamb ribs I’ve ever had, nice and tender with a decent amount of meat. You do only get five bones to an order — but that’s OK as long as you’re eating at least two other things.

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And that brings us to some sweet, sweetbreads. We don’t know whether these were lamb or veal sweetbreads — you can’t really dust for sweetbreads, bro. But that’s some tasty thymus gland, son! The rest of the Triple B Krew was too scared to try ’em, but I’ve actually had sweetbreads a couple times before (last time, they were Kentucky fried), so I knew what I was getting into. And call me crazy, but these kinda taste like chicken karaage, or maybe kung pow chicken, minus the pow.

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Now, the last time I went to a Greek restaurant, they didn’t even have any Greek beer. But I guess Bar Koukla has a better beer guy, cuz they had a handful of Greek brews to choose from, including a couple I’d never even seen before. This Olympica Magna Pale Ale doesn’t really taste like an IPA — it’s got more of a malty finish — but it does go pretty good with lamb.

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Now I’ve had Volkan Blonde a couple times before, but this is the first time I’ve even seen Volkan Black. And you know what they say, once you go black…you’re gonna hafta wheel me outta here, bro! This dark lager almost tastes like a porter, but it’s got a hint of honey at the end, for a little kick of sweetness. Yo sweetness is my weakness, son!!!!!

 

 

 

 

A totally different take on lamb shank…

Now, you KNOW I love lamb — and probably my favourite kind of lamb is lamb shank. There’s just something amazing about that super-tender meat that falls right off the bone… So, we’re hanging out at Silk Road, this funky Middle Eastern joint on Queen West, and I’m all in on the Shank Osmani, braised lamb slow cooked for 14 hours. This is not quite what I was expecting though:

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Now, even though this lamb isn’t baa-baa-baa-baa-bad to the bone, it’s still pretty tender, and pretty tasty, on a bed of labneh yogurt with some crispy onion strings on top. I do not regret ordering it — even if it was not what I thought it would be.

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Speaking of the unexpected, I was not expecting to see kalbi-style beef short ribs at a Middle Eastern joint, bro! They’re actually called Mongolian (not Korean) ribs, but they are quite tasty — nicely grilled and more tender than some Korean places. I just kinda wish they had put that green chili sauce on the side, cuz it was a little too spicy for me.

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But the surprises don’t stop there, son… While the menu mentions a Skyward Ontario IPA from Avling Brewery, this is in fact a Calm Sea Ontario Pale Ale. Which is the same brewery, and same style, but not quite the same beer. Didn’t stop me from chugging a few of these, though, bro!!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Thai lamb curry in a bit less of a hurry…

I dunno guy, but it seems like every time I order from Uber Eats, it takes about an hour for my food to get here. OK, so I’ve only ordered from them a couple times since this latest lockdown started…but both times, it took almost an hour. And the last two times before that took over an hour, too. Whatever happened to 30 minutes or it’s free, bro???

Anyways, after three failed attempts to redeem a Chinese New Year’s discount code with Skip the Dishes (I picked from the “featured restos” and ordered the right amount of food, but for some reason the code wasn’t eligible!!!???) I ended up opting for an Uber Eats offer where you save a lucky 8 dollars when you order 30 bucks or more — from certain participating restaurants. First one that popped up with Isaan Der, this funky little Thai joint at Queen and Broadview. I’m always down to try some Thai, so when I saw the Lamb Shank Massaman Curry, I knew it was heading straight down my piehole…some 53 minutes later. (Hey, at least I can start going back to restaurants tomorrow?)

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Now, as much as I love lamb, I would not put this down as one of my top 10 lamb dishes. (Especially not after coming back from Iceland, where they put lamb in everything!) The meat here was NOT fork tender or fall-off-the-bone — despite what it says on the menu, I definitely needed a fork and knife to get in there. As for the curry, I ordered mine mild, since I’ve had some mild Thai food before that was still pretty spicy… but at this place, mild really means mild; there was no heat at all. Well, except for the fact that I paid $1.50 for a container of fresh chilies to bump my order up to 30 bucks. Those babies really kicked it up a notch! And I didn’t realize this dish already came with rice, which is also sold separately, so I ended up with two kinds of rice — sticky AND jasmine. But hey, I can use that extra rice, as well as some of that leftover curry sauce, for dinner the next day… so it’s all good in the hood, bro!!!

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Now, Thai food is often served with a lighter, crisp lager — most typically Tiger Beer, when tends to be my go-to at Asian restaurants that don’t have many beers to choose from. But this heavier curry calls for a richer brew like Doc Perdue’s Bobcat, a West Coast Red Ale from the fine folks at Cowbell Brewing Co. (You KNOW I need more Cowbell, bro!!!!!) You get a nice, malty flavour that takes the heat off those side chilies without being too heavy at 5.5%. Plus, it’s named after some dude’s pet bobcat, which is pretty badass…

ICE ICELAND BABY: Racking up a (boneless) rack of lamb

So, we’re hanging out at Kopar, this funky little joint right along the Reykjavik harbour, next to all the whale watching boats. I’m sure this place has got some great seafood, but I’m here for the ultimate in Icelandic eating — we’re talking local, free-range lamb, fam!

But first, I figured I should probably have at least some seafood…

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This rock crab soup is fab, son! It’s sorta like a cross between crab bisque and a Thai coconut curry — and they don’t shortchange you on the crab, either!

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But now it’s time for the main event. They didn’t ask how you wanted your lamb cooked — it came out pretty well-done, but still pretty tender. And I like the super-high meat to veggies ratio on this plate, bro!

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Of course, we’ve still got room for dessert, and they’re funking it up a notch with this pina colada chocolate tart with green apple sorbet. Shut the front, back and side doors, bro! The chocolate and pineapple play together nicely, while the sorbet gives it a major sour kick that’s probably best enjoyed separately. I gotta give em props for coming up with green apple sorbet though, bro!!!

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Washed it all down with an Ulfrun Session IPA from Borg Brugghus — nice, hoppy flavour profile but just 4.5% alcohol. I could assimilate six or seven of these, son!!!!

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Now, speaking of lamb, this hand-carved roast lamb, a $36 lunch at the Geysir Visitor Centre food court, was hands-down better than 90% of the lamb I’ve ever had. It comes with potatoes, veggies and gravy… but you could serve it with a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!

Who needs porchetta when you can have lambchetta, bro???

Now, if porchetta isn’t my favourite sandwich, it’s gotta be somewhere in the top 10. You’ve got tender pork belly, crispy pork skin, with maybe some mustard or rapini on a bun… You can’t go wrong with that, son! So when I heard that Marked, this funky South American joint around the corner from the Scotiabank Theatre, was serving up something called lambchetta — which is pretty much the same thing, except with lamb — you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!!!!!

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We’re starting off with some guasacaca, a Venezuelan avocado dip. Holy guacamole, bro! But while guac is chunkier, guasa is more creamy, with big bites of onion that make it more like an avocado relish. I’d still put that on a sandalia de playa, though!!!!

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But now it’s time for the lamb event! This lamb belly is grilled on the churrasco till it’s nice and tender, and served on a bed of green olive puree. There’s not a lotta crispy skin here, and you can’t get it as a sandwich, but other than that… I can’t complain!

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They mighta replaced pork with lamb in that last dish, but we’ve got yer little piggy right here, bro! We’re scarfing down a side of feijoada, Brazil’s national dish, a hot ‘n hearty stew with pork hock, chorizo and black beans, bro! Last time I had this dish, it was served with white beans, but me, I like my beans how I like my metal — blackened progressive sludge, son!!!!

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Now, this here’s what they call a Jellyvision. You’ve got a pint of Bellwoods Jelly King dry hopped sour beer, and a shot of Blanco Tequila, infused with toasted cinnamon and szechuan. The sour fruitiness of the beer plays off against the warm, rich kick of tequila…although you only get the full experience for a few sips. (Let’s just say I switched to an IPA after this.)

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro!!! This here’s their crazy spin on alfajores, a South American classic. These are usually sandwich-style cookies, a cross between an Oreo and Jos Louis…but their version is clearly something completely different — a cross between a cake and a chocolate bar. It’s still got a whole lotta layers, though:

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What we’ve got here is chocolate hazelnut cake, buttercream, banana caramel and chocolate mousse, with a scoop of banana ice cream on the side. But even with all these different things, you mostly taste the banana. Dude, that’s bananas… and bananas is good!!!!

These deep-fried lamb balls are magically delicious!!!

Back at the beginning of First Lockdown, I ordered a whole Pekin duck from R&D…and ate it all myself. Dude, that duck was delicious! So now that they’re open for indoor dining again, we decided to stop by for another funky dish — how bout some deep-fried lamb balls, bro???

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Now, I know what you’re thinking…but we’re NOT nibbling on nutsacks here. These lamb croquettes are stuffed with braised lamb shank, potatoes and onions, served in a sea of lamb curry with some donkey sauce on the side. Dude, you KNOW I love lamb bro, and these tender little flavour nuggets just melt in my mouth!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event: chicken fried karaage style with a seaweed donkey sauce and a some lemon on the side. Man, this chicken was juicy, crispy…and coming in so hot I burned the back of my mouth, bro! And for 22 dollars, you get more than enough to share — unless you’re the type of person who eats a whole Pekin duck to themself. 😉

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And since the name of this blog isn’t Chicken, Croquettes & Coca-Cola, we’re washing this down with a Fountain Green IPA from Furnace Room Brewery in downtown Georgetown. First time I’ve ever heard of this beer, or even this brewery, but it checks all the boxes than an IPA should, so it’s all good in the Flavourhood!!!!

Funky feast from the Middle East @ Darna

Now, it’s no secret that I’m a fan of Middle Eastern food — shawarma is my spirt sandwich, son! So when I heard of this funky joint up on Bayview serving up home-cooked food from across the Middle East, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!

Now sure, they’ve got classics like hummus, shakshuka and kabab, but I wanted to try a few dishes that I’ve never even heard of before — starting with these shish barak beef dumplings:

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Now, shish barak definitely sounds like something Joey Biden wouldda said back when he was VP, but these dumplings are soooo next level. They may look like meatballs, but there’s actually a decent layer of dough there, with some ground beef inside. Served up with this yogurt mint sauce that’s so baller, I’d put it on a flip-flop — or at least a piece of pita bread, anyways…

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But now it’s time for the main event: Ontario lamb fukhara, a braised stew cooked in a clay pot, and served over rice or bulgur at your table. Lamb was super-tender, with some nice pieces of potato, carrot and eggplant, and even a couple zucchinis, meaning I ate at least one green thing today…

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! They call this kunafah, and it’s sorta like a cross between baklava and saganaki. Basically, you’ve got cheese-stuffed pastry topped with pistachios and rose water syrup. Nothing wrong with that at all!!!!