Italian-style eggs benny @ Bar Buca

Yo, so last Sunday we’re hanging out in Yorkville at Buca Osteria & Bar, for some real-deal Italian brunch. And we ain’t just talking ’bout pasta and pizza in the morning — although you KNOW there has to be pizza involved. They’ve also got this crazy Italian take on eggs benny…they call it bombolone:

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OK, now let’s break it down. What you’ve got is an Italian doughnut, topped with porchetta, non-fried green tomato, salsa verde, a perfectly poached egg, and then a whole lotta marscapone on top. It sure beats the hell outta back bacon on an English muffin at Tim Horton’s, son!!!!

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Of course, Italian brunch means you’re not just eating one thing. We’re also throwing down some far-out farinata! This Genovese chickpea crepe is topped with stracciatella, hen’s eggs and a buncha black truffles, all the way from Lazio… Mamma mia!

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And like I said, it wouldn’t be Italian brunch without pizza. This funghi pie is topped with mushrooms, gorgonzola, more marscapone — dude, this is body by marscapone! — and then some marjoram leaves, for that one serving of green stuff. Man, this fun guy is crispy, chewy and soooo not leaving for L.A. anytime soon, bro!!!!

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Turkish sausage and egg pizza @ Mr. Pide

Now, I’m all about the pizza – dude, this is body by pizza, bro! And man, I’ve had all kinds of pizza from all over the place…Detroit-style pizza, vegan pizza, even spam and pineapple pizza! But this is not pizza – it’s a pide, bro!

This thin-crust Turkish flatbread is baked like a pizza in a stone oven at Mr. Pide on the Danforth, where they’ve got 20 different kinds to choose from. I went with the Sucuklu Yumurtali, topped with eggs and Turkish sausage…this one doesn’t actually have cheese.

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Now, the crust is nice and crispy – I like the flaky end pieces – with a whole lotta eggy goodness, and a nice little kick from the sausage. They actually stuff sausage inside and then put more on top – it’s a Double Sausage Party in Flavourtown! And they come with added veggies like tomatoes, onions and parsley – but who needs veggies when you’ve got so much sausage???

Shrimp pizza on the patio @ Viaggio, bro!

We’re hanging out at Viaggio, this funky little Italian joint that’s pretty far west on Dundas West, with a patio that’s almost as big as the whole restaurant. This place has got all kinds of funky starters like caponata, burrata and grilled asparagus – you cuss, I cuss, we all cuss for asparagus, bro!!!

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But you know if I’m at a real-deal Italian joint, it’s pretty hard for me not to order pizza. This here’s The Commodore, with Cape Breton shrimp(!) and anchovy brown butter:

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Now, I dunno what they put in this crust, but it’s got a really nice chew. It’s a little thicker, and a little doughier than your Neapolitan pies, with maybe a hint of sourdough. Anyways, I guess the shrimp in Cape Breton aren’t all that big, or they musta shrunk in the wash or something. And I couldda used maybe some chili oil to give this a little extra kick. Still one of the best seafood pizzas I’ve had this month, though…

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Of course, even with the moon hitting my eye, I polished off this pizza pie and still had room for dessert, bro! These tiramisu pancakes are nice and thick, topped with marscapone cream and espresso syrup… All that’s missing are some ladyfingers!!!

SUMMERLICIOUS 2019: Sweet Sicilian pizza pie @ Piano Piano

Now, I gotta take my trucker hat off to Piano Piano — where some places only give you 3-4 choices for Summerlicious, this place gives you a full menu, including pizza, pasta, meat and fish — not to mention six different starters and five different desserts to choose from! It’s hard to pick a favourite from so much great grub, but when it came to the apps, I knew I had to go with the garlic cheese bread. Dude, this is body by garlic cheese bread!!!

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Now, when I went with the garlic cheese bread, I figured I’d be getting a couple of garlic toasts — not a full freakin’ pizza! You’ve got mozza, you’ve got parma, rosemary and oregano all on a thin, chewy crust that even comes with its own scissors! Man, if I knew I’d be eating this much garlic bread, I wouldn’t have ordered a pizza as the main course:

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Now, this Sweet Sicilian was a little more on the savoury side, with fennel sausage, red onions, basil, oregano and flor di latte. The cheese wasn’t evenly spread out, so you just got these big mouthfuls here and there…not that I’m complaining. And yes, I did eat two full pizzas — and I still had room for a whole lotta dessert:

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Don’t let that giant glass plate fool ya — this chocolate layer cake was freakin’ huge! This dessert was supposed to be for two people, and it could probably feed a family of four, but once I showed them my Flavourtown citizenship, they knew it would be just a light snack for me. You’ve got all kinds of chocolate, including chocolate chunks and chocolate icing, some caramel sauce, and then a waffle cone full of vanilla ice cream — that’s at least two scoops, right there:

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But hey, even though that was the most chocolate I’ve shoved down my cakehole since that one time, at Wildfire Steakhouse, you KNOW I ate the whole thing, o solo mio, bro!!!

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Too much meat on this pizza, bro?

So, we’re hanging out at Valens Restaurant, this funky little joint in Baldwin Village, where they’re serving up Italian food and other comfort classics. This place has got a lucky 13 different kinda of pizza on the menu, but when I saw the Carnivoro, I knew it was a match made in Flavourtown Heaven:

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Do NOT adjust your screen settings, cuz we’ve got not one, not two, not three, but four different kinds of meat on that slice, son! First off, there’s chicken, and then you’ve got the holy trinity of pork — pepperoni, sausage AND bacon!!?? Shut the front, back and side doors!!!

Plus there’s a bit of kick from the onions, a little red pepper, and some super-stringy mozza cheese. At $17.95, it’s a little pricier than their other pies, but they definitely don’t shortchange ya on the toppings!

If I had pizza like Henry Ford, I’d have me a buddy on every road…

So, we’re hanging out in Detroit Rock City at Buddy’s Pizza, home of the original Detroit-style pizza since 1946. Now, if you’ve never had Detroit pizza before, well, it’s nice and square, with a crust that’s chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside… and then they put the sauce on top! They’ve got all kinds of signature pizzas and specialty pizzas on the menu, but I figure I had to start with the man who started it all in the Motor City — this is The Henry Ford:

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OK, so what we’ve got here is a Motor City cheese blend — that’s Fontinella, Asiago and Wisconsin brick cheese, bro! — topped with ground beef, bacon, red onion, tomato-basil sauce…and then they add some blue cheese, for that extra cheesiness. And lemme tell ya, you definitely taste the blue cheese! But when you get a good bite of that beef, mixed with the bacon, then that’s the ticket, right there…

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Of course, the Flavourtown Diet says you can’t go to a legendary pizza joint and order just one pie, son! This one’s dedicated to the T-dot-O — it’s named after Lake Ontario. And yes, it’s got pineapple on it — eat your hjarta out, Iceland! But it’s actually not ham & pineapple…that’s Canadian bacon, bro, with cilantro and BBQ sauce. This was easily one of the top five pineapple pizzas I’ve ever had–and I just had spam and pineapple pizza last week!

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Of course, since the name of this blog is NOT Burgers, Bacon and Gluten-Free Ginger Ale, we had to try some of the local brews, as well. This here is the house beer, Bocce IPA. It tasted pretty much like every other IPA I had…but it’s surprisingly strong at 7%. Now, I wasn’t drunk or anything, but I did tell the DJ to kick out the jams!!!

 

Who needs ham & pineapple when you can have spam & pineapple?

Not gonna lie, I kinda like pineapple on pizza — whether it’s bacon and pineapple or the classic Hawaiian: ham and pineapple. But the other day, I stopped in at Dovercourt Village Pizza, this funky little joint at Dundas and Bathurst, where they’re funking it up a notch by putting spam and pineapple on pizza!

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They call this one “Thanks, Obama!” and it’s got BBQ spam, some tangy pineapple and a streak of BBQ sauce, with some added chili flakes from yours truly. Now, I’m not sure what they do to the spam, but it almost tastes more like bacon than something that comes in a can. And then that BBQ sauce gives it a little extra kick… Man, even if it spams my inbox from now till next November, I would still vote for this slice of pizza in 2020, bro!!!