Tag Archives: poutine

PATIO LIT EATS: Coq au vin poutine? Say no more, mon amour!!!

Now, everybody knows I love poutine. Dude, this is body by poutine, bro!!! So when I found out that Cluny, this funky French bistro in the Distillery District, was serving up a coq au vin poutine, I was all over that like French on bread, mec! They say it’s meant to share, but this looks more like poutine for one in Flavourtown…

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OK, now let’s break it down. The fries are super-thin, and the cheese, if it was ever in curd form, was completely melted by the time it hit the table. But the chicken was nice ‘n tender, and you’ve got these little flavour nuggets of bacon and mushroom for an extra kick. This one might not go in the Poutine Hall of Fame, but it was still a pretty tasty dish. It wasn’t even enough food for me, though — you KNOW I still had room for dessert, bro!!!

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The only thing that’s bittersweet about this Bittersweet Truffle Bar was that it’s not a bit bigger! It’s kinda like a solid chocolate mousse, with a whole lotta raspberry sauce, a few pink marshmallows and these little caramel cocoa nibs. Pretty sure I could slam three of these, and still have room for… I dunno, maybe some frog legs or something?

PATIO LIT EATS: Mac ‘n cheese poutine, pulled pork grilled cheese, total cheesefest!!!

York Region started reopening a few days before Toronto, so they’ve had a little more time to get their patio scene up and running. That’s why we’re headed up to Unionville to check out a funky little joint that’s been voted best patio in town 16 years running — this is Jake’s on Main.

And, when looking at their menu of funkalicious pub grub, I couldn’t decide between the mac ‘n cheese poutine and the BBQ pulled pork grilled cheese…so I just ordered both!

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Now, I did make mac ‘n cheese nachos before, in one of my drunken stupors, but I never would have thought to put the mac on top of poutine. So I gotta give my brother Jake his props — this dish was freaky, deeky, eat-it-any-day-of-the-weeky! Noodles are cooked perfectly, with a nice creaminess, and then that extra layer of cheese from the poutine really kicks it up a notch!

OK, so maybe it’s not a proper poutine — there’s no gravy, or Quebec cheese curds here — but I don’t really think gravy would make this dish taste better. Now, if you poured some queso on me, that’s a whole nother ballgame, bro!!!!

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And then, I was hoping that this festival of funk in Flavourtown would continue onto the grilled cheese sammy, but as you can probably see, it wasn’t equal parts cheesy and porky — more like a pulled pork sandwich with a slice of cheddar on top. And the pork wasn’t bad, or anything, but it just didn’t quite knock it outta the park. Maybe I’ll just hafta order two poutines next time! 😛

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Now, you KNOW this blog isn’t Burgers, Bacon and Long Island Iced Tea — so we’re totally slamming some patio beers, bro! And nothing screams patio beer like this Big Tiki Tropical Punch Blonde from the hopheads at Hop City. Packed with passionfruit, pineapple, mango and papaya, it tastes more like fruit punch than beer — and at 4.5%, I can pound these until the sun goes down, son!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: It’s a burger made outta lobster, bro!!!!

I know yesterday was National Burger Day — I had like 75 people tag me on Instagram, bro! But for me every day is Burger Day, and that’s why we’re celebrating Friday with a lobster burger from Lobster Burger Bar, this funky joint on King St West. Now, I’ve had some massive lobster rolls before, and even a burger with lobster on top, but a burger made outta lobster? This I gotta see!

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They call this the Halifax Lobster Burger, and it’s waaaay better than those nachos at the Scotiabank Centre, son! You’ve got a five-ounce Atlantic lobster patty, with mozza and white cheddar baked right in, plus lettuce, tomato and a whole lotta mayo. And of course, I paid 3 bucks extra to add bacon — dude, the Number One Rule of Flavourtown is Always Add Bacon!!!!

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Now, when it comes to sides, I couldda gone with fries, or maybe some sweet potato spuds. But when I saw the poutine, you KNOW I had to try it. I was a little disappointed to see the skinny little matchstick fries, but you know what? Even though the curds were kinda melty by the time I dug in, they still had that squeak, and the gravy was the closest thing I’ve had to proper sauce en canne in a while. On the scale of one to redonkuluous, it’s no Poutine Mountain, but for a side dish at a seafood joint, this poutine’s pretty legit!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: We’re taking poutine to the extreme!!!

Now, if there’s one food group I could eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s gotta be poutine. And there’s no shortage of funky poutineries all over this city — even during lockdown, bro! Like Poutine Mountain, this pop-up kitchen in the 6ix Food Hall, that’s serving up poutine so outta bounds, they gotta dare you to eat it:

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This I Dare You poutine is like a 2 a.m. drunk dial in Flavourtown, bro! You’ve got french fries, mozza cheese, mozza sticks, a piece of fried chicken, and then a buncha pepperonis at the bottom. The menu said there were chicken tenders, but I actually think the pepperoni works better, cuz it lets me do this:

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Now, I gotta say right off the bat that there are no cheese curds in this poutine, which is kinda like a cardinal sin in Flavourtown. But when you get some fries, some gravy, a bit of cheese, half a mozza stick and then a pepperoni on top, that’s pretty much the perfect bite, bro!!!!

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Now, on the other hand, the fried chicken was a bit of a miss with this dish. I’m not used to eating fried chicken with a fork, so pulling pieces of chicken off to stack on top of the FCG — fries, cheese ‘n gravy — did not go so well. But hey, while none of the ingredients were perfect, or even very good, when you put ’em all together, it’s pretty much what the doctor ordered after back-to-back-to-back virtual happy hours, bro-rantine king!!!!

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: This burger’s for Rudy, coach!

Now, I was never a walk-on at Notre Dame, but I know a good burger when I see it. And Rudy, which has three locations across the city, all doing takeout and delivery, makes a pretty darn good burger, bro!

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This is the Tattooed Rude Dude combo, and it has barely a speck of athletic ability. You’ve got a bacon double cheeseburger with a side of poutine — all combos should come with poutine, son!!!

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This Rude Dude is griddled for those extra crispy edges, topped with super-melty cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and bacon. Now, the difference between a regular Rude Dude and the Tattooed Rude Dude is the bacon, which costs an extra $2.50. But you KNOW that the first rule of Flavourtown is Always Add Bacon, bro!!!!

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Now, this poutine is soooo next level! The fries are nice and thick, gravy is on point…but what makes it are the cheese curds. I can’t even remember the last time I had poutine with properly squeaky curds — normally, the cheese is all melty by the time it meets my mouth. But these curds squeaked so hard, they sacked the quarterback, son! No wonder Toronto Life calls it the best poutine in the city

Legit lamb burger + poutine @ Big Smoke

So, I know there’s been a Big Smoke Burger at the Eaton’s Centre for a while now — I sometimes go there for lunch. But when I got a coupon for a free poutine, I was all over that like Fieri on frijoles…dude, this is body by free poutine! The deal is, you had to order a combo to get the poutine, so I figured this would be a good time to try the lamb:

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This lamb burger is righteous, bro! Grilled to order, with a little pink in the middle, and then you’ve got onions, lettuce, tomato and this funky cilantro-feta spread. Dude, I would put that on a flip-flop!!!

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And now it’s time for the poutine du jour. I gotta say, this is one of the best fast-food poutines I’ve had. You’ve got lotsa thick, melty curd action, the fries are tasty, even on their own, and the gravy gets the job done. This body checks McDonald’s poutine into the boards, bro!!!

Launching Lord Simcoe 1791 Lager (well ahead of Lord Simcoe Day…)

Now, I’ve always thought that Lord Simcoe Day was the weirdest holiday in Canada. It’s a random day off at the beginning of August celebrating some dude who died in like the 1800’s. But now that he’s got a beer named after him, I’ve got a reason to start celebrating Simcoe Day early this year!!!

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So, we’re hanging out at the Berkeley Bicycle Club for the launch of Lord Simcoe 1791 Lager, which happens to be the year Toronto was founded. This light, crisp beer would go good in the summer — it’s pretty much perfect for celebrating Simcoe Day on the dock of the bay, bro! It’s pretty easy drinking, but still has some flavour — more Steamwhistle than Molson Canadian. Oh, and it goes pretty good with Canadian food like pizza and poutine:

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Any party with a poutine station is my kinda place to be! And they’ve got the real-deal cheese curds here, too — none of that shredded cheddar garbage! Now, the first time I went up, they only had veggie pizza, so I had to go back for a couple slices of this culinary creation. I don’t know who thought putting zucchini on top of prosciutto was a good idea…but I don’t think you’d see me eating zucchini otherwise:

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Now, somehow this event was also sponsored by Jack Daniels, which meant I got to fire away with a 1791 Depth Charge — a shot of Jack and a pint of lager, son!!!

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Wait, did somebody say “Fire Away?” Cuz the Greg Williams Band was playing everything from Chris Stapleton and Kip Moore to Chuck Berry and The Band. You know there’s something bout a truck and a beer and a shot and a poutine, and some good ol’ rock ‘n roll, bro!!!

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Nashville hot chicken at an Italian pork sandwich place… Whaaa???

Now, I’ve had some legit Nashville hot chicken in Toronto, and I’ve also had the real deal in Nashville, so I definitely know what’s up. Man, even the “medium” will melt your face off at some of these joints! But at the same time, you’ve got these places that just stick “Nashville hot” on stuff that isn’t even spicy. (Nashville hot shrimp, anyone?) So when I saw that Porchetta & Co., this funky little joint on Dundas known for serving up roast pork sammies, had a Nashville hot chicken sandwich, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect…

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Now, don’t get me wrong, this was a pretty tasty sando, bro. The chicken was thick and juicy, the pickles were super-crunchy, you’ve got a nice white bread that dissolves in your hand…but it was definitely not Nashville level spicy. The heat reminded me of a Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich. They definitely kick it up a notch in the flavour department, but there ain’t enough heat here to call it Nashville.

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Now, I wanted to order a side of Fries Supreme–dude, this is body by Fries Supreme–but it turns out there were all outta cheese sauce…which is like a cardinal sin in Flavourtown. Instead they suggested the poutine, which I would normally be OK with. But once again, this dish wasn’t quite what it was supposed to be. Don’t get me wrong, the fries were chunky and delicious, the gravy was super thick, and they put little bits of crispy pork skin on top, which were TheBomb.it, bro! But those sure as shit ain’t squeaky cheese curds — more like shredded mozza, which is a major letdown. The rest of the equation was solid enough that some real-deal cheese curds would make it too legit to quit, but instead it’s more like Yo!!! Sweetness…

So, I finally tried the A&W Beyond Meat Burger…

Now, I know what you’re thinking–you probably couldn’t pay me to eat a veggie burger, bro! But with all the vegans saying that the Beyond Meat burger was the best burger ever, and even some of my meatatarian compadres giving it the thumbs-up…I figured I’d at least give it the old Burger State University try.

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And here’s the thing: this veggie burger actually tastes pretty good. This might be the best veggie burger I’ve ever had–but I can’t even remember the last time I had a veggie burger. While it’s nowhere near the pantheon of all-time greatest burgers, the patty is a lot like a beef burger you would get at A&W or at Harvey’s, which are both places I don’t go very often, but if you bought me a Beyond Meat burger from there, and didn’t tell me it was vegan, I would still scarf it down, son!

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Of course, because I didn’t want to get toooo healthy, I ordered mine with a side of poutine. This gravy-soaked disasterpiece was…still better than McDonald’s, I guess?

Tim Hortons has poutine now. Because, of course…

I guess it was just a matter of time. I mean, what could be more Canadian than the most Canadian chain serving up the most Canadian dish? Coming in hot on the heels of such culinary creations as the crispy chicken sandwich, chili cheese wedges and churro doughnut, Tim Hortons is now serving poutine. Of course they are.

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Their poutines come in regular, bacon and chili–which sounds like something some broseph puked up on King St at 3 am last Friday. But the bacon poutine was pretty decent. The curds are legit, the sauce is pretty solid…but these are the same freakin’ potato wedges that they use for their chili cheese fries, with the same weird herb seasoning. Dude, the only time herb should go with poutine is after October 17, Justin True Bro!!!!

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