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!!!

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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!!!

We’re off to chug the wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Gose!

So, we’re hanging out at Craft Beer Market, this massive new brewpub that just opened last week, right at Yonge and Adelaide. Man, this place has got so many different kinds of brews that I don’t even know where to start…but like a tin man once said, just follow the yellow brick road, bro!!!

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This here’s the Wizard of Gose, a funky sour beer from Bandit Brewery on Dundas West. Now, I’ve never gotten drunk on apricots before, but I could probably slam at least three of these…if there weren’t so many other beers to choose from!

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This here’s the Juicy Ass American IPA from the funky chunkies at Flying Monkeys. With 69 IBU, it’s pretty much grapefruit juice…if grapefruit juice were beer.

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So, after going ape over apricots and shaking a tail to some grapefruit-bitter beer, there’s only one thing left to do–and that’s go bananas, bro! This Banana Split Stout is a collabo between Wellington Brewery and the bar itself, and it’s only on tap for a limited time. I gotta say, it’s not super banana-y, but if you ever wanted to drink Guinness for dessert, this is probably the next best thing.

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Oh yeah, and they’ve got stuff to eat, too. This massive pile of nachos was only nine bucks. In fact, every app on the menu is nine bucks on Monday, but this one’ll save you the most money. While these might not be the best nachos ever (Holy Uneven Cheese Distribution, Batman!), they get the job done after a buncha beers, though!

Thai style boneless wings and nachos, bro!

So, we’re hanging out at Soi Thai, this funky fresh Thai street food joint on College Street, right in the heart of Little Italy. You might not find Italian on the menu, but they are mixing Mexican up with mushu—check out these Moo Krapao nachos, bro:

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So, basically, they take these corn chips, load ‘em up with spicy ground pork, then stick cheese on top and melt it with a blowtorch! It’s like culinary shop class in Flavourtown, son!

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And then you’ve got their Tomyum fried chicken bites with a sweet and spicy sauce. It’s like General Tso on stick—it’s Tomyummy in my tummy!

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But you know we ain’t seen na-na-nothing yet, Bachman Turner Broverdrive! They call this dish Mee Kati, and lemme tell ya, me likey! It’s got pink coconut noodles, with little pieces pork belly and then some scrambled egg strips on top? Shut the back door and open a window, bro!!!!

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Now this was definitely the funkiest dish of the evening. We’re talking deep-fried mozza in a green curry sauce. So I guess there is a little Italian after all. It’s like Giuseppe drowning in curry, without the rising crust. Pretty sure I could slam six of these—if I wasn’t already drunk on noodles!

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But of course, we still had room for dessert, bro! And this had to be the most outta-bounds popsicle I’ve ever licked on a stick. They take sticky rice, slide in a few mango slices, and freeze it in water till it’s solid like Metal Gear. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a salty popsicle before…but now, if they took some of that Tomyum chicken and put it on ice, that would be TheBomb.ca, righteous brosephs!

Chowing down on Wenona’s big brown brisket!

OK, so we’re hanging out at Wenona Craft Beer Lodge, this cozy neighbourhood brewpub in the Dufferin Grove area. I actually went here for Poutine Week last year, and while their curds didn’t quite squeak like they were supposed to, the pulled pork was actually pretty decent. So I figured I’d come back and try the BBQ, too…

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They call this the Memphis Peace Maker, and it’s like walking in Memphis if you really know the way I feel. You’ve got a couple big slices of tender brisket, a pile of pulled pork, and a biscuit that’s sorta shaped like a little piggy. But the sides are what makes it, bro! What other place can you get a side of nachos next to beef brisket!!!???

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Now, most of this meal was pretty legit, but what really makes it was the pulled pork kimchi spring roll. Dude, this was like a culinary three-way in Flavourtown, bro! You’ve got the crispy breading, a tangy sauce, a nice kick from the kimchi and then some of that pulled pork inside—it’s honky tonk redonkadonk!

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Now, while this wasn’t the best beef brisket I ever had, it was still nice ‘n tender. But here’s where I got beef with the brisket. While I got two big, juicy slices with the Peace Maker, the rest of the Triple B Krew who went with the brisket were given lean slices—without even being asked. Friends don’t let friends eat lean brisket, bro. I’m just sayin…