Tag Archives: Portuguese food

HEATED PATIO EATS: Portuguese-style surf ‘n turf!

Now, last weekend when we went to Bindia, it wasn’t very warm. But last night was even colder — it was probably my first subzero patio experience, not counting that time I tailgated at a Buffalo Bills game. And now we’re hanging out at Flor de Sal Restaurant, a cozy little Portuguese joint that’s just steps away from the steps that take you up to Casa Loma, at Davenport and Spadina.

They’ve got a little four-table front patio with a heater in the middle and curtains all around — and they even bring you blankets to help keep you out of the cold. But since it was still pretty chilly, I had to warm up with a classic Portuguese/Brazilian comfort dish, feijoada:

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Dude, this is like pork ‘n beans to the extreme, bro! This hearty white bean stew is packed with hunks of pork, potatoes and a couple sprigs of cilantro, for that extra kick. I would eat that off a snow boot!

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But now it’s time for the main event, son! This is not the first time I’ve had Portuguese bitoque steak, but they did give me a much nicer piece of meat than that other place. As you can see, this is pretty much the perfect medium rare, served up with Maitake mushrooms, cassava fries — thicker and crunchier than potatoes — and of course, the fried egg on top. For a few dollars more, they also throw in a jumbo shrimp, for that surf element…

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Surf’s up, bro! I’ve sucked down several shrimp in my day, but very few were as tasty as this!!!

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Of course, you KNOW I’ve still got room for dessert, and when I saw the Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake, it was a match made in Flavourtown Heaven! This triple-layer, quadruple-decker beauty comes with with raspberries, chocolate sauce and caramel, and there’s even a chocolate-covered fig on the side, on top of shaved almonds…so it’s almost like you’re getting two desserts in one, son!!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: Killin’ it and grillin’ it @ Piri Piri Grill

Dude, if there’s one thing I love about eating outside, it’s grilled meat and seafood. I might not be throwing shrimp on the barbie, but you KNOW I can throw it down, bro!!! And when I saw that Piri Piri Grill, this funky Portuguese joint in The Junction, was grilling just about everything on the menu, I definitely had to come check it out:

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Now, we’re starting off with an all-time Portuguese classic — grilled, smoked chourico, aka Portuguese Flaming Sausage. Dude, whenever I’m at a Greek restaurant, I gotta get the flaming cheese, and at a Portuguese joint, Imma definitely order the flaming sausage. The last time I had this dish, they had both chourico and blood sausage, but here they double down on the chourico…aaaand now I know what a full order means!!!

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But even after polishing off those two little piggies, you KNOW I’m still hungry like the wolf, bro! So we’re headed under the sea for some grilled octopus. This baby’s a little chewier than the ock I had at Chotto Matte, and it’s also got a lot more char…but I definitely can’t complain about the portion size. Man, even these veggies were melt-in-your-mouth tender — I think this is the most vegetables I’ve had all month, son!!!!

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Of course, the name of this blog isn’t Burgers, Bacon and Vinho Verde, so we’re washing it down with a Super Bock, this well-known Portuguese beer. Is it better than Sagres, the other popular Portuguese brew? I dunno, they both kinda taste the same to me…

Portuguese-style steak frites @ Via Norte

You know me, this is body by steak, bro! You can put steak on anything, and it would still taste good – as long as it’s not well done. And I’m no stranger to steak ‘n eggs for breakfast, but I don’t usually eat steak for dinner with a fried egg on top. That’s how they do it in Portugal, though, and at Via Norte, this classy joint right at the corner of College and Dovercourt, they’re serving up bistoque like they do back home.

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Now, this might not be the first rule of Flavourtown, but somewhere in the rulebook it says that when you eat at a Greek restaurant, you gotta have flaming cheese, and when you’re at a Portuguese place, you start with flaming sausage. This fire-grilled chorizo is nice and crispy, but I actually like the blood sausage even better:

via_norte_sausages (5)That’s right, they’ve got two sausages for the price of one, son!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. This steak was cooked to a nice medium rare, and you get some nice bites of egg without it being too runny. The home fries were pretty legit, and there’s a couple of pickled veggies, you know, for that one serving of vegetables. Not the biggest or the best steak I’ve ever had, but it gets the job done.

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Actually, I’d probably say the same thing about Sagres, this pilsner beer straight outta Portugal. It’s a little maltier than, say, Steam Whistle, but it doesn’t overpower you or anything.

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Of course, after stuffing my face with sausage and steak, you KNOW I’ve still got room for dessert, bro! They didn’t have any triple chocolate cake, but this white chocolate flan, with some sweet streaks of sauce and a few fresh blueberries, might be the healthiest thing I eat all week – unless you count the pickled veggies.

Hot N Cold Portuguese tapas @ Chiado

Now, when you think tapas, you’re probably thinking Spain, or maybe Japan, but did you know they’ve also got small plates in Portugal? Well, at least they do in Little Portugal, bro! We’re hanging out at Chiado, this fancy Portuguese place on College, just west of Ossington. They’ve actually got a full-fledged tapas menu here, but if you wanna classy it up, you can make a reservation in the dining room, and order a lot of the same stuff as appetizers. You will hafta leave your trucker hat at home though, bro!!!!

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Dude, these clams are clam-tastic! You’ve got a bowlful of steamed babies, with garlic, coriander and a white wine/olive oil broth that goes great with the bread basket, bro!

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This was some of the fanciest smoked salmon I’ve seen, served up pinwheel-style with onions, capers and a hard-boiled quail egg!!!

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Now, I don’t always go for goat cheese, but since they insisted, I couldn’t resist it. This toasty goatsy is served on a bed of eggplant and portabellas, with a champagne supernova vinaigrette!

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Now, I’m a sucker for some great grilled squid, whether it’s battered and fried Greek style, or done up all Japaneezy. At this place, they cook it with coriander, lemon, garlic and a little extra virgin olive oil, for that extra kick!

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Now here’s a funky dish you definitely don’t see every day! You may have had beef carpaccio before, but do you even know fish carpaccio, bro? This thinly sliced raw grouper is served up with white asparagus, pine nuts and a little preserved citrus adding just a touch of zestiness.

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And now we’re getting into the funky portion of this evening’s performance, with some grilled piri piri quail served on top of a shiitake mushroom risotto. Tastes just like chicken!

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Now, I’m not sure if this shot gives you any sense of just how massive these tiger shrimp are, but I gotta tell ya, they’re pretty freakin’ yuuuge. They’ve also gotta be some of the plumpest, tenderest, tastiest crustaceans I’ve ever stuffed my face in. I could probably slam seven or eight of these…if they weren’t 38 bucks an order!

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And finally, you’ve got the special du jour, a creamy tuna tartar with chunks of avocado, onion and I forget what that yellow stuff is. Dude, this is like a culinary hockey puck of awesomeness in Flavourtown. He shoots, he scores, bro!!!

Now, in case you were wondering, I did NOT eat all eight of these amazing apps alone…I might have had just a little help from my friends. But, on the plus side, at least I saved some room for dessert:

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Dude, this chocolate mousse is totally scattered, smothered and covered with tons of tasty toppings! You’ve got walls of milk and white chocolate, three kinds of berries, a couple different sauces for swiping…and then there’s these little lemon meringue kisses on top. And you know this plate ain’t clean until I lick it up, lick it up, whoa-oh-oh!!!!