Tag Archives: nachos

Vegan nachos & tacos and churros… Dios mío!

Now, you KNOW this is body by Mexican food, bro! And while I’ve had a few vegan tacos before, it only happens when I order every taco on the menu and one of them happens to be vegan. But now we’re hanging out at Rosalinda, this funky downtown Mexican joint…where all the food is vegan. So I guess I’ll be eating more than one vegan taco today, bro?

First, we’re starting off with some nachos that are not only vegan, but gluten-free. The chips are definitely extra-crunchy, but they still taste pretty good. Plus, you’ve got pico de gallo, guacamole and some jalapenos on top, which are a few of my favourite plant-based things, right there. The one thing this dish is really missing is cheese, though — while they do have a butternut “queso” drizzled on top (along with a cashew “crema”), it just doesn’t have the same texture or flavour as some shredded cheddar.

Now, I gotta give ’em credit for nailing the texture on these mushroom birria tacos. This is the first time we’ve had birria tacos with the dipping sauce on Triple B, even though I’ve seen ’em popping up everywhere since the pandemic started. Dude, this spicy mushroom stew is hearty enough that you don’t really miss the meat here. But these are some of the most expensive tacos I’ve seen in Toronto — 2 for $19 or 3 for $27. Dude, I could get 27 tacos from Latin World for that price, bro! (Not sure if I could eat them all, though…)

But since we only had three tacos here, that means I’ve still got room for dessert. And even though their Drunken Pineapple was my nickname from that time I went to Hawaii, I still had to go with the churros. I mean, I’m not sure what part of churros aren’t vegan to begin with, but these ones were pretty on-point, just a little on the crunchy side, though. You’ve also got dulce de leche on the inside, and chocolate sauce on the side, which makes for a pretty solid one-two punch in Flavourtown!!!!!

EATING LAS VEGAS: Trash can nachos & cheeseburger tacos @ Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho

Now, I had already been to Guy Fieri’s Las Vegas Kitchen & Bar, but when I heard that he opened this funky Mexican joint at the Rio, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro! Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho is only open for dinner, and they don’t take reservations, so I totally had to be first in line…well, actually third in line, but good enough?

I walk into this joint right when they open the doors to the tune of “Breaking the Chains” by Dokken, followed by “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” so I already knew this was gonna be a good night!!! Soundtrack is all 80’s metal — Judas Priest, Tesla, Accept, Quiet Riot… Better start charging me rent, cuz I think I might stick around!!!!!!!

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Of course, the main reason to come here is for the Trash Can Nachos, which come inside an actual trash can (or at least a coffee can; I ordered the small version). These chips are topped with beans, jalapeños, pickled onions, pico de gallo and two types of cheese — cotija and queso — plus you can pay extra to add meat (I went with carne asada). Now, while its presentation is TheBomb.com, you end up with some chips that get all the goodies, and others that get nothing at all. Hey, these are no Sneaky Dee’s nachos, but still not bad, bros!!!

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Up next, we’ve got some cheeseburger tacos. Who else but Guy Fieri would combine cheeseburgers and tacos, bro??? Ok, so these are basically your typical ground beef tacos, topped with a whole lotta queso — but I’d still put it on a flip-flop!!!

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Of course, even Guy Fieri knows that no Mexican meal would be complete without churros, bro! And man, these were some of the best churros I’ve ever had (the Mexican chocolate sauce was 2 legit 2 quit!) but there were enough churros here to feed a family of cuatro, cinco, cinco, seis… You KNOW I still scarfed em all down, though!!!!!

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Washed it all down with a couple pints of Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. Nice ‘n hoppy, pretty heavy (7%) — soaks up all that Mexican food nicely! I almost died in my pants on the way back to my hotel, though… 😮

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GRAND OPENING: Beertown is my kinda town, bro!!!

Now, I didn’t get out very much during Second Lockdown, but when I happened to be downtown, I saw they were building this new joint called Beertown, and I knew I had to go there right when it opened. OK, so we weren’t there on opening day, but we hit it up a couple weeks later…and lemme tell ya, their craft beer selection is off the hook, son!!!

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We’re starting off with a Couch Full of Dads, a hazy IPA from Town Brewery in Whitby, where there are couches and couches full of dads. This was not too hoppy and not too heavy, at 6.3%, but you know that’s only Chapter One in Beertown, son!!!!

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This Tropical Apocalypse farmhouse ale is pretty fruity — I mean, it tastes like eating fresh pineapples, and I’m surprised I even remember what pineapple tastes like, cuz I only eat it when it’s on a pizza

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Don’t look now, but we just funked it up another notch with this Bianca Mango Lassi Gose from those slippery Scandinavians at Omnipollo. Now, I don’t really remember what mango tastes like, but this wasn’t quite as fruity as I thought it would be.

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And we’re keeping it sour with a Soleil Sorbet Kettle Sour from Storm Stayed Brewing Company in London, ON. You might have noticed by now that they have branded glasses AND branded coasters for every beer on tap — cuz that’s how they roll in Beertown, bro!!!!!

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So we’re heading across the pond with a Duchesse de Bourgogne, this Flanders red ale from a Belgian brewery that I can’t even spell or say out loud. It’s almost got the richness or a Belgian dubbel or tripel, but at just 6.2%, it won’t leave you dubbel’ed over…

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We should probably start slowing down at this point, so it’s time to switch to lemonade… Make that a ZAP! Pink Lemonade sour IPA from Nickel Brook, son! Look at THIS photograph, Chad Bro-ger!!!!!

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We started off with an East Coast IPA, so now we’re ending this magical mystery tour of Beertown with a Lone Pine West Coast IPA from Sawdust City Brewing. Man, everything about this beer sounds so country, you’d be surprised to learn it’s brewed in the Muskokas!!!

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Of course, you KNOW we’re not drinking seven beers without eating anything, bro! These are the Public House Nachos, topped with beef brisket, diced tomatoes, peppers, cheddar, mozzarella, pickled jalapeños and handfuls of cilantro. Man, I dunno that I’ve ever seen so much cilantro on top of nachos, bro…

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Luckily, there’s only a little bit of cilantro with their guac + chips, along with some pico de gallo and a small container of salsa. I even double-dipped the chip, cuz these chips are all mine, George Bro-stanza!!!!

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Now, it turns out that for $1.99 you can get two soft-baked pretzel sticks, which are warm, salty ‘n delicious, with a side of some spicy mustard. I think next time I would probably pay the $10.99 for a full-sized pretzel though, especially since it comes with cheese + beer dip, which covers at least three of the five food groups in Flavourtown!!!!!

GRAND REOPENING: Nachos and draught beer @ Madison Avenue Pub

Now, some food just doesn’t work well for takeout or delivery. Case in point: nachos. If you don’t eat ’em right away, the chips get thin and soggy, and they don’t hold up well in a takeout container. Even the amazing nachos at Sneaky Dee’s aren’t as great when you get them delivered. And yes, this is something you could make at home, although my make-at-home nachos tend to be made in a microwave. So you’re definitely not getting the full restaurant experience.

All of this is to say that I haven’t actually had nachos since like November. So now that restaurant patios are open again, we’re hanging out at The Madison, this funky little joint just east of Spadina, where they’ve got a three-level patio serving up pub classics like burgers, wings…and these Buffalo chicken nachos:

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Now, let’s be honest, these nachos weren’t really that great. They only put cheese on maybe 10% of the chips, the chicken was tough, and not spicy, and there weren’t many other toppings to speak of. But man, I’m just happy to be having nachos again, bros!!!

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Dude, I can’t even remember the last time I ordered a pitcher of draught beer. I mean, even a lot of restaurants that reopened are only serving it in cans or bottles right now. So, never mind that The Maddy only had three beers on tap — two Amsterdams and a Stella — I’m about to get my drink on, son!!!!!!!

 

 

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Who needs Migos when you’ve got migas???

Now, the last time I had huevos migas, this Tex Mex take on breakfast nachos, was in Austin — actually, it was at the airport, son! I never expected to find this dish in Toronto…so when I heard that Lady Marmalade, this funky breakfast/brunch joint on Broadview, had migas on the menu, you KNOW I was gonna twist it like it’s stir fry, bro!!!!!

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Basically, you’ve got every part of a balanced breakfast, right here. We’re talking scrambled eggs, sausage, cheese, rice, beans, pico, nachos…plus I paid 4 bucks extra for a buncha bacon, cuz the first rule of Flavourtown is Always Add Bacon! Now, when I had this dish in Texas, the tortilla chips were mixed right in, but in this order, they came served separately in a paper bag — which probably prevents them from getting soggy on the way over, I suppose.

Dude, this was one of the most filling breakfasts I had in a long time…and you KNOW I left no crumb behind, bro!!!!!!!!

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Game day nachos to go, bros!

Now, most people know that Sneaky Dee’s is serving up some of the best nachos in Toronto. The legendary Tex Mex dive on College St has got all kinds of funkiness like Hawaiian, Greek and Kings Crown nachos, and one order is big enough to feed a football team — or at least to feed me on a Sunday.

I went with their Northern Blues nachos, which are topped with salsa, cheese, steak, bacon, peppers, onions, pico, jalapenos and BBQ sauce, and come with sour cream and guac included in the price. But how do they hold up to delivery?

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To say these chips were fully loaded would be a partial understatement. But out of all the toppings, what really cut through the mix was the bacon bits. Thing is, under the weight of all this stuff, some of the chips got pretty soggy, especially near the end. That didn’t stop me from destroying them all though, bro!!!

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These nachos are baked, not fried…

For me, Cinco de Mayo is not a one-meal deal, bro — so you KNOW I had to get some nachos in me before the weekend’s over! Sure, I couldda just stumbled down the street to Sneaky Dee’s, but I heard they had like an emo dance party or something. So instead we’re hanging out at Burrito Starz, this funky, not-so-little joint at Richmond and Spadina. This place used to be an Italian restaurant — they’ve still got pictures of Italy on the walls — but now they’re serving up oven-grilled burritos, quesadillas, and these never-deep-fried, oven-baked nachos:

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Now, I’m no Dali’s Llama, but when it comes to nachos, I try to be one with everything. That’s why these chips come fully loaded with tomatoes, green onion, red onion, green pepper, black beans, jalapenos, cilantro, corn, guac, salsa, burrito sauce and sour cream…oh, and steak. No soy veggie soy nachos, hermano!

Now, the problem with the baking process is that the cheese doesn’t stick to the chips, so the bottom chips are completely plain, while the top layer looks like this:

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So yeah, I guess if you’re gonna cook your nachos like a lasagna, you gotta layer the meat ‘n the cheese, bro! The people who owned the place before it turned Mexican couldda told em that!!!

This is probably the best place to watch football in Pittsburgh…

So, we’re hanging out at City Works, this funky joint in Market Square, right in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh. Now, since the Steelers were playing on Monday Night Football last week, it meant you could watch any other game on Sunday–and this place was showing pretty much all of them. I mean, they even had the Bills game on, bro!!!!

Not only that, but they’ve got some funky delish dishes, plus over 90 craft beers on tap. Dude, it’s kinda like Real Sports…without all the douchebags. Oh, and they’ve got better beer here, too.

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So, we’re starting off with a Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’, this hoppy pale wheat ale from Lagunitas. Dude, we’re lucky if we get Lagunitas IPA in Toronto, so you know I’m all over this one. It tastes kinda like a strong hefeweizen, but with an apricot aftertaste that explodes all over my face, bro!!!

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Now, you know I love nachos, and I’m also a big fan of duck confit, so when you put ’em together, it’s like bippity, boppity boo, bro! You’ve got some onions, tomato, jalapenos and queso fresco, along with white beans, for that funky fresh Frenchness, all smothered in pepper jack cheese sauce…and served on wonton chips!? Shut the back door!!!

Now, this plate of nachos was actually not that big, so I definitely still had room for  dessert:

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Dude, if this Peanut Butter Snickers Pie was any more rich, it would be throwing dynamite with Maren Morris! You’ve got an Oreo cookie crust, peanut butter mousse, whipped cream and chunks of Snickers, served up on a checkerboard of caramel and chocolate sauce–that’s a checkmate in Flavourtown, bro!!!

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Now what goes better with dessert than another beer? This here’s a nice chocolately cocoa porter called Sweet Baby Jesus from Duclaw Brewing outta Baltimore…and I didn’t even hafta go to Baltimore to get it!

 

Beer and nachos for just 10 bucks, bros!!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Squirly’s Bar & Grill, this funky little dive on Queen Street West. Man, this place was playing punk bands on the stereo I’ve never even heard of, bro! And you gotta get there early, cuz from 4 to 7 pm you can get a pint of beer and a plate of nachos for just 10 bucks!

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Now, despite what it says on the glass, this beer is NOT from Great Lakes Brewery. This is Stratford Pilsner, straight outta the home of Justin Bieber. I will never say never to another one of these brewskis, bro!!!

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So, now we’re going nachos. These tri-color chips are topped with cheese, green onions, tomatoes…and green olives, for some reason. OK, so they’re not the best nachos I’ve ever had. Probably not even in my Top 10. But did I mention that all this, plus any pint of craft beer, is just 10 bucks until 7 pm? That’s a Honky-Tonk Redonkadonk Happy Hour Hoedown in Flavourtown, Dean Bro-dy!!!!

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So, now that it’s after 7, we’re sa-sa-switchin to Side Launch Wheat, son! This light, slightly citrusy local craft beer tastes like gold to me–even in a Woodhouse Brewing glass…

One night in Bangkok and we’re eating nachos!

Now, if you wanna find a place that has Happy Hour after 7 pm, head to the Financial District, where all the bankers working for the weekend are long, long gone on a Friday night. At REDS Wine Tavern on Adelaide, they’re serving up five-dolla wines, Muskoka half-pints and gin and tonics–but only after seven, bro!

Now, I don’t normally drink wine, so I went with a Muskoka Detour Session IPA. And you know beer goes with nachos like peroxide on a Fieri, so I’m slamming down some Bangkok nachos, son!!!

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OK, now check out this funky melody in Flavourtown. You’ve got some roasted chicken, lime crema, queso and chili sauce, topped with onions, cilantro and sesame seeds, all on a cripsy wonton? Shut the back door, bro!

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Now what goes better with Bangkok nachos than some lobster guacamole? You’ve got Nova Scotia lobster, smothered in guajillo chilies, on top of creamy avocado…dude, you could put that on a hip-wader, and it would still taste good!!!