Tag Archives: pork belly

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Take a bao (or three), bro!

Now, I once put an entire Peking Duck between steamed buns, son, so when I heard about Mean Bao, this funky little chain serving up steamed buns all over this city, you KNOW I had to check it out! They might not have duck, but they’ve got two kinds of chicken, three kinds of pork…and unfortunately the one I ordered from was all outta beef, but they do have it on the menu, too.

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We’re starting off with the classic pork belly bao. This bad Momofuku in Flavourtown is super unctuous, with a nice kick from the hoisin, a coupla cucumbers and the bun just melts in your mouth. Eat your heart out, David Chang!!!

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Now it doesn’t get much more Toronto than this — jerk chicken inside a Chinese bun, son! The pulled chicken has a decent kick, but not too spicy, and there’s a whole pile of cool, creamy coleslaw on top. We be jammin’ this straight down de piehole, mon!!!

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And now we’re about to funk it up another notch. This Sloppy Jones bao is sorta like a Sloppy Joe, except with ground pork instead of beef. And it sure lives up to its name! While the other two baos stayed together, this one had stuff falling out all over the place — the bun even broke across the bottom, making it sloppy AF. But you know what I say, if it ain’t messy, it ain’t tasty, bro!!!!!!!

 

Slamming legit lamb…and one of the funkiest desserts ever @ Mira

Now, I’m no stranger to Peruvian food, whether it’s lomo saltado, funky fusion ceviche or a small plates combo of lamb, sea and air. So when I heard that Mira, this Peruvian joint down a back alley near the Shopify office, was serving up Peruvian plates that are big enough to share, I was all over that like lime on raw fish, son!

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We’re starting off with some crispy pork belly bites, served up with a sizable side of chicharron. This dish isn’t even on their regular menu, but dude, Pork Belly was my nickname in gym class, bro! Flavours were on point, but it barely tided me over until the main event…

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Dude, this dish was lamb-tastic! You’ve got a fork-tender braised lamb shoulder in a smokey ají panca sauce, with amaranth grains and chili peppers, plus I ordered a side of yucca fries, cuz I’m all about that meat and potatoes, bro! This dish was meant to share, but I ate it all myself…and still had room for dessert!!!

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Now, this had to be the funkiest dessert I’ve seen all year! It’s called El Huevo Malo, and it comes to the table inside a giant chocolate egg, which you smash with a spoon. On the inside, you’ve got coffee ice cream, chocolate bread pudding, honeycomb, yuzu marmalade and raspberries! And you KNOW I left no crumb behind, bro!!!

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Kamayan III: Kamayan with a Vengeance

Now, it’s been a couple years since I last had Kamayan, the Filipino feast you eat with your hands. But when I heard about this new funky joint called Bagnet Bros, I knew I had to come check it out! This place is serving up stuff like milkfish, tilapia, mussels, shrimp and crispy pork belly, all for just 16 bucks. They’ve even got both kinds of calamari — grilled AND fried!!!

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Now, the pork skewers were outrageous, the milkfish was creamy and delicious, and the peel ‘n eat shrimp were the most fun you can have with plastic gloves on…but what makes it is the bagnet:

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Dude, this deep-fried crispy pork belly is sooo outta bounds, bro! It’s kinda like a chicharron, but with the meat still attached! Man, I could pound these all day…but then I might not have room for dessert.

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They call this a turon, and they tu-ron-ron, son! Picture a sweet ‘n sticky spring roll, stuffed with deep-fried platanos — this dish is bananas, and bananas is good! The 16-dollar dinner comes with your choice of ice cream or turon, but for just a dollar more, you can have both…

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No way Jose, that’s ube!!!

Eating up on The Roof @ SOCO Food Fest

That’s right bro, last weekend we was hitting up not one, but two food festivals, son! On Sunday, Sunday, Sunday, SOCO Kitchen + Bar at the Delta Hotel was hosting this funky little food fest up on The Roof, its rooftop patio with a view of the CN Tower. Food tickets cost five bucks, but it’s not like they’re serving up burgers and fries — check out this Argentinian lamb sandwich!

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Dude, they’re fire-grilling the lamb right up there on the patio, then serving it up on a potato bun with some salsa and chimi-chimi-churri! I definitely don’t mind paying five bucks for this sandwich!!!

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Now, we’re scarfing that lamb sammy down with a side of Fidel Gastro’s legendary pad thai fries. These spuds are crunchy and super-spicy, with some bean shoots for a little extra bite. Haven’t had these bad boys since Lisa Marie shut down — reeeeunited, and it feels so good!!!

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Oh, and did I mention there was free booze, bro??? This Tromba tequila lime margarita comes in a lil’ sippy cup, but it’s still got a bit of a kick!

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Now, we’re heading back to the carving station for some slow-roasted suckling pig! This here piggy piggy is super-tender, fall-apart flavourful with a good ol’ fashioned German tater salad on the side!

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Aaaaand we’re washing it down with a cup of Strongbow Rosé Cider. Rosé All Day, bro!!!

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Now, the only thing that’s better than some fresh-roasted pork…is even more pork. (Hey, this ain’t BurgersBaconAndTofu.com, bro!) These Adobo pork belly skewers are drizzled with a chili vinegar and served with chicharones, crispy shallots and coleslaw — that’s a Triple C, right here on Triple B!!!!!

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You know what’s my favourite kinda beer? Free beer, bro! When Estrella Damn was handing out samples, you bet I didn’t say no!!!

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Of course, even after all this eatin’ and drinkin’, we’ve still got room for dessert! And they really knocked it outta the Rogers Centre with this blueberry cheesecake soft-serve cone, dipped in chocolate, with a Graham cracker crust and even more G-crackas sticking out. This dish is so outta bounds, it bounced right off the foul pole, Vladdy Guerrer-bro!!!

ImageAnd boom goes the dynamite!!!

SUMMERLICIOUS 2019: Fancy duck confit @ Bymark

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — Summerlicious has come back to Toronto, bro! You know I’m a fan of eating three funky dishes for the price of one…an appetizer, main course and dessert, all for a set price between 23 and 53 bucks. This year, we’re starting off at the high end at Bymark, this funky little Mark McEwan joint in the Financial District. For Summerlicious, they’re rolling out stuff you won’t find on the menu, like these fried green tomatoes with crispy pork belly:

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You know what I say — anything deep-fried has gotta be delicious, and these fried green tomatoes were no exception. The crispy pork belly lived up to its crispiness, and then you’ve got a little freshness from the sour cream, and a nice corn salsa… Not a bad way to get things started!

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Dude, this duck definitely didn’t suck! Nice and roasted, kinda like chicken, with more veggies than I ate all of last month! I mean, they even managed to make Brussels sprouts taste good, and they’re like the Axis of Evil in Flavourtown!!!

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I probably couldn’t tell you the last time I ate a profiterole — what is that, French or something? But when you stuff it with a chocolate stout ice cream, I’m all in. You could put that on a sandale de plage, and it would still taste good!!!

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Now, unlike some fancy-schmancy places, that have like 72 wines and 3 beers to choose from, Bymark actually has a pretty big beer list — and it’s not all Molson, either. I went with a Ball’s Falls Session IPA from Bench Brewing Company, which has some hoppy goodness, but is much more crushable than your average IPA, at just 4.5%. Dude, I could probably crush, like, 17 of these…