Tag Archives: mussels

Pounding two pounds of mussels @ Midi Bistro, bro!

Now, I don’t always eat mussels, but when I do, it’s go big or go home. Whether it’s as a starter, a main meal or part of a massive feast, I can swallow several of these slippery suckers any day of the week! So, we’re hanging out at Midi Bistro, this funky little French joint about a block north of Dundas, where they’re serving up a redonkulous 12 different kinds of mussels to choose from. While you can get a pound of these bad boys for 17 bucks, you can add a second pound for just seven dollars more. That’s like a double dog discount in Flavourtown!!!!

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I ordered mine Quebec style, which means they’re served with goat cheese, shallots, parsley and a Blanche de Chambly beer broth. That broth goes great with bread, bro! You don’t really taste the booze, but the mussels are cooked perfectly, not too firm or too chewy. Comes with a side of fries, which were a lot like McDonald’s, except maybe not as salty. And when you order two pounds, the mussel-to-fry ratio is about three-to-one — I actually needed a refill on the fry front!

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Now, even if they didn’t really have that wheat-beer flavour, I still wasn’t gonna wash down these mussels with more Blanche de Chambly. (They have it in bottles, but not on tap.) Instead I went with a Granville Island Pale Ale, which was neither pale, nor particularly hoppy. It tasted more like a milder red ale…not that there’s anything wrong with that.

WINTERLICIOUS 2020: Veal chop ‘n mussels @ Cafe La Gaffe

Now, when it comes to Winterlicious, some places don’t give you too many options to choose from. Usually, you get to pick from 3-4 different dishes for each course. But at Cafe La Gaffe, this funky little joint in Baldwin Village, their Licious menu has 6 different appys, 12(!) mains and four different options for dessert. With so many possibilities, it’s hard to narrow it down…but just about everybody went with the PEI mussels to start:

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Dude, these mussels from Charlottussels were off the hussels! Nicely steamed in a tomato and chili pepper broth, with a few onions and peppers, and a couple pieces of bread to soak up the sauce. Man, you could put this broth on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!!

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Now, it’s time for the main event! You’ve got a 12 oz, bone-in veal chop with a whole smorgasbord of veggies — mashed potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and beets! Man, I didn’t eat this many vegetables the last time I went to a vegan restaurant! But at least there is plenty of meat to go around, too…

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For dessert, I tried their lavaless lava cake (where’s the ooze, bro?) and had a bite of the creme brulee, but the go-to dessert has gotta be the raspberry cheesecake. Nice and creamy with a crunchy cracker crust, and just enough raspberry sauce on top — I could finish at least three of these!!!!

SUMMERLICIOUS 2019: East Coast meets Far East @ Aviv

So, we’re hanging out at Aviv, this funky little joint on Dupont, right next to the Psycho Therapy Training Centre. Gimme gimme shock treatment, bro!!! Now, this place mixes Italian with Middle Eastern, with some crazy dishes that will blow your mind…like these PEI mussels with kimchi, gochujang and Chinese sausage:

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OK, now let’s break it down. The mussels are nicely steamed, you’ve got a bit of kick from the jalapeno, a little funk from the sausage, some crunchy bean sprouts…but what makes it is the kimchi. That’s some killer kimchi, dude!!!

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Now, for the main event, we’ve got some tender pork tenderloin swimming in a mango-lime sauce, with sweet potatoes, collard greens and french fries. OK, so the fries aren’t normally part of this dish, but this is body by french fried potaters, bro!!!

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Sadly, their desserts were so small that I had to eat two of them. The lemon cheesecake was pretty tasty, but as for the flourless chocolate cake…let’s just say it needs flour!!!

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I washed this all down with a Moroccan Brown Ale from Spearhead Brewing, which they’ve got on tap. Just look at that creamy head — mmm, creamy head…

Duck confit on a bun for this funky French brunch!!!

Now, I don’t really celebrate Easter — I pretty much eat Peeps 24/7, bro!!! — but I’ll take any excuse to go for brunch that I can get. So, we’re hanging out at Le Paradis, this funky French bistro that’s kinda in the middle of nowhere, on Bedford north of Davenport. This place has got everything on their brunch menu from steak tartare to eggs benny to a raclette cheeseburger — although I see they’ve omitted the beer-braised lamb, which makes me a sad lambda. But we’re still eatin’ good in this neighbourhood!!!

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We’re starting off with moules a la marinière, these PEI mussels steamed with white wine, garlic and onions. Dude, who needs muscles from Brussels when you can have mussels from Charlottetown???

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But you know that was just a light snack in Flavourtown, so now we’re moving on to the main event — a duck confit sammy on a ciabatta with a fried egg on top! It’s like if Italy was facing off against France in the kitchen, and they both laid an egg — which sounds kinda like a soccer game, eh? The duck is nice and tender, you’ve got the crunchiness of the ciabatta, and then that egg oozing all over the place… Man, I’d actually sit through a soccer game if you fed me a few of these!!!

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Now, here’s where we kick brunch up a notch with a pint of Averbode Abbey Ale, this Belgian brew from the 14th century. Well, OK, I don’t think this one was actually brewed in the 1300’s — that would be some pretty skunky beer, bro! But I gotta say, it was a nice, fruity, brunchy beer with a deceptively strong 7.5% kick. I’m not drunk or anything, but I might have led the resto in a round of “Frère Jacques” — sonnez les matines, son!!!

Smashing Spanish tapas @ Bar Isabel

Now, I’m not really the biggest fan of tapas — if I gotta share food, it means that someone else isn’t getting very much. Flavourtown is all about survival of the fattest, bro! But I heard there’s this funky little joint on College with some crazy craft beers and a solid selection of seafood, chorizo and potatoes…which are a few of my favourite things, so you know I had to check it out! Bienvenidos a Bar Isabel!!!

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So, we’re starting out with some mussels from, well, probably not Brussels, but Barcelona, I guess? One thing I know is that these mussels escabeche are pretty Van Damme delicious! It’s a dish served cold, with a tangy sauce, and some little onions and peppers for that extra roundhouse kick!!!

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Now, if you’re serving up a dish that translates to brave potatoes, then you KNOW I’m gonna hafta take the plunge. These patatas bravas are coming in hot out of the oven, smothered in sour cream and hot sauce, and topped with green onions and cilantro. I could eat this all day, bro — but I still gotta save room for chorizo!

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These snack-sized sausages were pretty much on point. Cooked to the right temperature, with a bit of sweet, a bit of heat, and that good ol’ garlicky aftertaste that’s like a breath mint in Flavourtown. This is one sausagefest you don’t wanna miss!!!

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Of course, when it comes to this Spanish feast, I’m skipping right past the vino and heading straight to the craft beer, bro! This ice cold bottle of Er Boqueron is imported from Spain, and brewed with Mediterranean sea water for a crisp, refreshing taste. This is one cerveza that makes that joke about having sex in a canoe seem like not such a bad thing after all…

 

This cider walks right through the door, bro!

Now, I don’t always drink cider, but when I do, it’s named after my second-favourite Perry Farrell band (Pornos for Pyros FTW, bro!) like this one, Jane’s Addiction from Brickworks Ciderhouse on Queen St:

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Dude, this dry perry with wildflower honey is like a Ritual de lo Habitual in Flavourtown! Not too sweet, not too bitter, it finds the right mix between dry and fruity–kinda like the lyrics of “Ain’t No Right.”

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Of course, you KNOW I’m not gonna pound some Jane’s Addictions with a cucumber salad, bro! Instead, I’m stage-diving face first into these Blue Cheese Cider Mussels, with apple cider blue cheese cream, bacon and a side of apple cider vinegar fries. Now, I’ve chowed down on some funky fries before, but apple cider vinegar fries??? Shut the back door!!!!

SUMMERLICIOUS 2018: Steak AND lobster for 33 bucks, bro!!!!!!!

If you’re looking for the best deal on a real-deal three-course meal at Summerlicious, look no further than Sambucas on Church. Now, at most places, you’re lucky if you get more than three or four entrees to choose from–and even luckier if you can actually find ’em on the regular menu.

But at this funky joint, they’ve got no fewer than 11 Summerlicious mains, and they ain’t holding back, either–filet mignon, rack of lamb, and both steak AND lobster, bro! And did I mention that there’s two other courses, and it’s all just 33 bucks???? Shut the front, back, side, top, rear, port and starboard doors, Sailor Broon!!!!

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Now, speaking of the sea, we’re starting off with a whole pile of PEI mussels. These clammas from another mamma are meaty, beaty, big and juicy–there ain’t no Substitute here, son! Then again, a whole buncha mine didn’t open…but I guess that just helped me save more room for steak (and lobster)!

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My motto’s always been why settle for one thing when you can eat two things, and this dish definitely doesn’t disappoint, dude! Steak is cooked to a nice medium rare, the lobster tail is nice and chewy, and you’ve got a whole pile of veggies and mashed potatoes…I guess I gotta eat those too, eh?

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Now, even though I kinda just ate two meals, you KNOW I’ve still got room for dessert–and there’s no shortage of dessert choices at Sambucas, either! You’ve got creme brulee, truffle cheesecake, and three different kinds of Tartufo–but this here chocolate lava cake has got my name on it:

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Mussels from Brussels @ Wallace Gastropub

So, we’re hanging out at The Wallace Gastropub, this funky craft beer joint on Yonge St, just a flying roundhouse kick away from Davisville. Now, you KNOW I’m always down to check out a joint with good food and good brews, even if it means I gotta park the Camaro and get on the subway. (Rush hour’s a bitch, bro!!!!) And this place’s menu looks pretty legit, with bison chili nachos, a house-smoked-bacon burger, and both kinds of schnitzel–pork AND chicken!

But what brought me here tonight are the three kinds of mussels. These babies will normally set ya back 14 bucks, but on Tuesdays, they’re just $9.99–and that’s with a side of fries, son!

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OK, so maybe a few of the mussels didn’t open, the tomato sauce was a little spicier than I expected, and they were all out of bitchin’ mussel pots, so they had to bring mine in a bowl…but for $9.99, I am definitely not complaining! Especially when I can wash it down with an ice cold Beau’s, bro!

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Not only did we get some dirty mussels, done dirt cheap, but from 4 till 7, Canadian craft beers are just five bucks–which is another reason to avoid rush hour, son! And when it comes to their crisp, golden larger of deliciousness, I definitely think this tractor’s sexy, Brony Chesney!!!!