Tag Archives: mac ‘n cheese

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Super-crunchy mac ‘n cheesy!!!

Now, at times like these, I needs me some comfort food — and there’s nothing more comforting than mac ‘n cheese, son! So when I found what I’m guessing is a ghost kitchen called Talk’s Mac serving up five different kinds of mac up on the corner of Bloor and Church, I was all over that like Scottie Pippen at the free-throw line — you KNOW the Mailman don’t deliver on Sundays, bro!!!

This here’s the Crispy Fried Mac, topped with dried onions and jalapenos. As you can see, the toppings come in separate containers, and then you dump ’em on top, for a nice, crunchy bite like this:

Now, they use a thicker kinda noodle, which adds more texture to the bite. Nice and creamy, with a bit of a kick from the dried hot peppers. I also added a bit of hot sauce to kick it up a notch. If there’s one downside to this dish, it’s that it only comes in one size — there wasn’t even an option to order a large — which means I definitely had room for this cheese biscuit:

Dude, this biscuit slays Red Lobster’s, Bro-once! It’s softer, fluffier and doesn’t fill you up, buttercup! Next time, I’m gonna order a whole basket of these…and maybe ask for an extra-large upgrade on the mac ‘n cheese?

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: 2-for-1 beef brisket Big Macs, bro!!!!

So, technically restaurants are open — for outdoor dining only — in Toronto now, but the rule says you can only eat with people from the same household. Well, the Triple B Krew doesn’t live together — we ain’t no smelly hippies, bro! — so until they let us go back to 10-person pods, like they did last year, I’m just gonna keep ordering enough takeout food for two people…and then eating it all by myself. 😉

Good thing that Uber Eats is doing 2-for-1 deals right now with a buncha local restaurants, like Wichcraft, this funky sandwich joint on Bloor West. (Not to be confused by a place with the same name in NYC, apparently.) This place has got all kinds of 2-for-1 specials going on, like shrimp po boys, fried chicken sandwiches and even veggie burgers. But when I saw the Smoked Brisket Big Mac, I knew this mac attack was heading straight down my piehole, bro!!!

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Now, they say that it’s smoked brisket, but the texture and flavour is more pot roast than Texas BBQ. Still makes for a pretty tasty sammy, though, with lettuce, cheese, onions, pickles and a special sauce that came on the side (even with two sammies, I only used like half the container). But what really makes it are the pickles — these ain’t no skinny, wimpy, fast-food pickles, — we’re talkin’ thick, crunchy, hockey pucks of flavour, which really give this sandwich a big boost!

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Now, what goes better with a brisket Big Mac than some mac ‘n cheese? They even make it with rigatoni for that extra-thick noodle action, son! But here’s where I dun goofed. Instead of ordering the mac as a separate item, I added it as a side with my brisket sandwich. And since they give you two sammies when you order one, I ended up with two sides of mac ‘n cheese…which weren’t 2-for-1, so I had to pay for both. But that’s not to say I didn’t eat both sandwiches AND both mac ‘n cheeses — you KNOW this is just a light lunch in Flavourtown, bro!!!

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Ringin’ in the new year with a rack of ribs!

Waaay back in February, when it looked like 2020 was gonna be just another year, I destroyed some beef ribs at a funky BBQ joint called Smoque N’ Bones. So, now that we’re hoping that 2021 will be just another year, I am ending 2020 with some baby back ribs, also from Smoque N’ Bones. This place was offering up a new year’s special of a full rack and two sides for 73 bucks, which is almost twice as much as the KISS PPV NYE concert…but at least it doesn’t start at 1 in the afternoon. Cuz you KNOW I’m gonna rock ‘n roll all nite and eat ribs every day, bro!!!!!!

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These bones were still smokin’ when my order arrived after about 40 minutes. Lots of char, but not too much sauce — although the BBQ sauce on the side had a nice little kick. I went with mac ‘n cheese and sweet potato fries on the side, and they definitely give you a full container of taters!

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These waffle fries were nice ‘n crispy, with a side of chipotle donkey sauce, son. You could put that on a flip-flop, and I’d still eat all of it!!!!

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This mac was Mac Daddy, with a sharp-dressed-man white cheddar and some garlic-herb bread crumbs. They don’t really give you a lot, compared to the rest of the food, but that just means more room for ribs, bro!!!

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Now that’s what I call a new year’s countdown in Flavourtown!!!!!

 

 

PATIO LIT EATS: Kickin’ it Old School with fried chicken bacon mac ‘n cheese!

Now, there’s only like a couple weeks left of patio weather in this city, and I’m definitely gonna make the most of it — even if it means getting up before 11 on a weekend, bro! So we’re hanging out at Old School, this funky brunch joint on Dundas West that starts serving it up at 10 am (9 am on weekends).

Last time we were here, I had some waffles fit for The King, and I know their blueberry pancakes are legendary, but when I saw the Return of the Mac and Cheese on the menu, I knew it was about to go down in Flavourtown!!!

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Noodles are nice and cheesy, with a bechamel sauce and some aged cheddar. But the fried chicken was waaaay overcooked, and the bacon a little underdone. I gotta give ’em credit for using actual bacon strips instead of some fake bacon bits though…

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Good thing I was able to drown my disappointment with a Hot Mess. What’s a Hot Mess? Well, you’ve got tequila, grapefruit and raspberry-hibiscus juice, along with some agave nectar, poured into a wheat beer. It’s like a Breakfast of Champions in Flavourtown, bro!!!!

 

PATIO LIT EATS: The Caesar that eats like a meal!

Now, I’ve been wanting to check out Score on King for a while, but never got a chance to go until last night. This place is known for its legendary Caesars, and you know my motto’s always been go big or go home, so I’m going for the biggest, tallest, most overloaded of them all — The Checkmate Caesar:

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Now, this bad boy is so big that they can only serve it to (at least) two people, so that’s why I brought a friend…and then I didn’t share. You’ve got a pulled pork sandwich on top of a cheeseburger on top of a Cornish game hen, with a pulled pork mac ‘n cheese hot dog, chicken wings, onion rings and a chocolate brownie sticking out the sides! And all this on top of a drink served in a Hoegaarden pint glass, which, even on its own would be the second-biggest Caesar I’ve ever had…but this one’s got a lot more toppings, bro!

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So, we’re starting off with the pulled pork mac ‘n cheese hot dog, which was probably the most precariously perched piece of food. The dog itself was hot ‘n beefy, but both the mac and the pork were kinda cold, which was a little weird…

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Next up, we’ve got the pulled pork slider. Now, I don’t love pulled pork unless it’s really good, and this one was just OK. The coleslaw inside the sandwich and the pickle on top were a nice touch, though!

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Now, this cheeseburger was pretty basic, but it was definitely above average. Patty was thick and hot, and there were just enough toppings to add support without stealing the show. I might try one of their other burgers next time I come here…if I don’t just go for The Caesar Grande, though!

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These wings were what I like to call sports-bar spicy — they’ve got a decent kick, but not gonna melt your face off. At least by now I had taken enough food off the top that I could actually stick a straw in and drink some of the Caesar!

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Onion rings were pretty good, nice ‘n crunchy, and went well with the wings. If they were a little cold, that’s on me because I ate three whole sandwiches before I got to them!

Now, at this point, I had eaten a pretty decent amount of food. I mean, if I was at a Super Bowl party, I’d have probably stuffed this much down my piehole by the second quarter. But I still had the biggest, most intimidating part of this dish left to go — the full Cornish game hen:

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Even though I left it for last, this chicken was still pretty tasty. Skin was deep-fried and crispy, and the bird was tender and juicy. It’s a good thing that it was so melt-in-your-mouth, cuz I could barely chew at this point…but you KNOW I still ate it all, bro!!!!

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And of course, I still had room for dessert…

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Now, I already had a few bites of this chocolate brownie before I remembered to take a picture, but it was still pretty tasty. At this point, I had eaten enough food to curl up in a ball and go to sleep — but only after watching the Flames shut out the Dallas Stars, son!!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: Cod fish empanadas & truffle tater tots!

Dude, if there’s one thing I like more than comfort food, it’s comfort food that kicks it up a notch. So we’re hanging out on the patio at Canteen, this funky O&B joint at the bottom of the TIFF Lightbox. And they’re all about the comfort food — Caesar salad, tacos, burgers, sliders and pizzas…but when I saw the truffle tater tots, you KNOW I gotta have my tots, bro!!!

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OK, so what makes these truffle tater tots is the truffle aioli dipping sauce — there’s a reason why these are eight bucks, and not 800! But the taters were nice ‘n crispy, and the sauce adds a bit of a kick…I can’t complain at all!

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But you KNOW that order of tots wasn’t gonna tide me over, so we’re pairing it with a pair of Piri Piri cod empanadas, cabron! These fish pastries were super-flaky, coming in really hot out of the oven. The fish was pulled, and not very spicy — but still pretty tasty!!!

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But the party is just getting started, son! Up next we’ve got mac ‘n cheese, with mushrooms, cured tomatoes and herb bread crumbs. There was supposed to be kale here, too, but friends don’t let friends ruin mac ‘n cheese with kale, bro! You’ve got some nice, big noodles, a creamy cheese sauce, and the mushrooms add a nice bite. I couldda maybe used a little more cheese on top, though…

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And we’re washing it all down with a coupla Maison Selby Wit beers, brewed by Big Rock for another O&B joint…but they serve it on tap here, too. Nice, light and refreshing, but not too citrusy — I could slam at least 10 of these!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: Mac ‘n cheese poutine, pulled pork grilled cheese, total cheesefest!!!

York Region started reopening a few days before Toronto, so they’ve had a little more time to get their patio scene up and running. That’s why we’re headed up to Unionville to check out a funky little joint that’s been voted best patio in town 16 years running — this is Jake’s on Main.

And, when looking at their menu of funkalicious pub grub, I couldn’t decide between the mac ‘n cheese poutine and the BBQ pulled pork grilled cheese…so I just ordered both!

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Now, I did make mac ‘n cheese nachos before, in one of my drunken stupors, but I never would have thought to put the mac on top of poutine. So I gotta give my brother Jake his props — this dish was freaky, deeky, eat-it-any-day-of-the-weeky! Noodles are cooked perfectly, with a nice creaminess, and then that extra layer of cheese from the poutine really kicks it up a notch!

OK, so maybe it’s not a proper poutine — there’s no gravy, or Quebec cheese curds here — but I don’t really think gravy would make this dish taste better. Now, if you poured some queso on me, that’s a whole nother ballgame, bro!!!!

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And then, I was hoping that this festival of funk in Flavourtown would continue onto the grilled cheese sammy, but as you can probably see, it wasn’t equal parts cheesy and porky — more like a pulled pork sandwich with a slice of cheddar on top. And the pork wasn’t bad, or anything, but it just didn’t quite knock it outta the park. Maybe I’ll just hafta order two poutines next time! 😛

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Now, you KNOW this blog isn’t Burgers, Bacon and Long Island Iced Tea — so we’re totally slamming some patio beers, bro! And nothing screams patio beer like this Big Tiki Tropical Punch Blonde from the hopheads at Hop City. Packed with passionfruit, pineapple, mango and papaya, it tastes more like fruit punch than beer — and at 4.5%, I can pound these until the sun goes down, son!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: This is mac daddy mac ‘n cheese, son!!!

Now, who doesn’t love mac ‘n cheese, bro? Whether they’re serving it up at an old-school British pub, inside a grilled cheese burger, or at a full-fledged festival, you KNOW I’m always down to clown, Charlie Brown! And when I heard about this funky little mac shack just offa Ossington, Bobbie Sue’s Mac + Cheese, I definitely had to get me some!!!

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This here’s the Blue Buffalo Mac, and it’s totally mac-tastic! You’ve got some big ol’ pieces of pulled chicken, a buncha blue cheese, and some tender noodles, served up in a box big enough for an 8″ personal pizza! I don’t think I’ve ever been so full for 15 bucks, bro — not since the AYCE sushi at Kyoto House, anyways…

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: BBQ platter for two (but really just for one…)

Dude, I’ve been wanting to check out Meat & Pie Co., this funky halal BBQ joint that’s serving up two of my favourite things — meat AND pie — down on King St, where the Lone Star Grill used to be, for a little while now. Of course, they’ve been closed due to COVID-19…but on weekends, they’re doing free delivery on orders of 50 dollars or more.

Now, it’s not hard to spend 50 bucks on BBQ ’round these parts — a couple meats, a couple sides, and you’re usually set. I wanted to try a few of the best things they had to offer, so I ordered the 2 Person Platter. But the thing is, due to social distancing, there’s only one of me to eat it…

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Dude, this was so much food that I had to put it out on a cutting board, cuz I didn’t have a big enough plate! You’ve got a smoked half chicken with Tandoori seasoning, two big, thick slices of brisket — one on the leaner side, the other more medium — two pieces of jalapeno cheddar cornbread, a tin of mac ‘n cheese, a side of pickles and two little containers of BBQ sauce…and did I mention there’s pie for dessert???

OK, now let’s break it down…

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Now, the brisket wasn’t quite fork-tender — the leaner piece was more like eating steak — but it still had a nice, smoky flavour, good texture and a nice chew. It goes great with the crunch of the pickle, and while I don’t normally like sauce on BBQ, the tangy, smoky sauce on the side was pretty darn good for dipping!

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But the real star of the show has gotta be that smoked Tandoori chicken. Bird’s nice and moist, with just a bit of a kick… I could eat that all day, son!!!

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Mac ‘n cheese was nice and creamy, with a good breadcrumb crust — although it didn’t stay as warm as the meat did. And the cornbread was everything you’d expect, with little chunks of jalapenos and cheese…I can’t complain at all.

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Of course, because the name of the blog isn’t Burgers, Bacon & Unsweetened Tea, we had to wash this all down with an ice cold beer. This here’s a Firefly, a red currant habanero coconut gose from Half Hours on Earth, this craft brewery in the small town of Seaforth, ON…about an hour west of Kitchener. Now, the last habanero beer I had was pretty spicy, but that’s not the case here; if anything, I get more red currants, along with the slightly sour taste of the gose, which goes quite well with the heavy meat platter — and you KNOW I polished it all off, bro!!!!

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Aaaaand after clearing the table, I’ve still got room for dessert…

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This homemade apple pie was absolutely delectable! You’ve got a ton of apples in here, with some cinnamon, sugar, and a nice crunchy crust. And it’s about the right size after such a big meal — I probably couldn’t have eaten any more pie if I wanted to, bro! This also goes well with a nice glass of wine…

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…except that’s not wine, it’s another beer, bro! This Delirious Night sour DIPA, also from Half Hours on Earth, is brewed with Pinot Noir grape juice, Madagascar vanilla and milk sugar. It smells like a whole barrel full of hops, and is surprisingly strong, at 7%. I actually got both of these beers delivered from The Rosedale Diner, which makes this a delivery double down in Flavourtown!!!!

 

Lamb shank with a side of mac ‘n cheese, son!!!

Now, when the weather outside is frightful, I like to chow down on some go-to comfort food. You KNOW that I love lamb even more than Steve Carell, and mac ‘n cheese is probably my favourite side dish… So, we’re hanging out at The Queen and Beaver, this friendly neighbourhood English pub just offa Yonge St, and I’m like, why not do both???

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Now I’ve ordered lamb shank many times, many ways…but I don’t think I’ve seen it served with mashed squash before — it’s like culinary baby food in Flavourtown! And they’ve also got a whole lotta lentils, which is like the most green stuff I ate all month… But you KNOW the best side dish is yet to come, bro!!!!

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Now, I wouldn’t consider mac ‘n cheese to be your typical British pub food…but this British pub does a pretty decent take. Mac is nice ‘n creamy, with a crunchy breadcrumb crust — it’s a real culinary tongue-twister in Flavourtown!!!!

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Now, after tearing through that culinary mac-stravaganza, I actually wasn’t gonna order dessert…but then they sold me on the sticky toffee pudding. Their version uses molasses instead of caramel, for that extra richness — and there’s plenty of extra sauce. I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!!