Tag Archives: poutine

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:

big_smoke_lamb_burger (8)

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!!!

big_smoke_poutine (2)

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!!!

lord_simcoe_1791_lager (2)

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:

lord_simcoe_1791_lager (7)

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:

lord_simcoe_pizza (6)

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!!!

lord_simcoe_1791_depth_charge (3)

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!!!

greg_williams_band (1)

 

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…

porchetta_co_hot_chicken (16)

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.

porchetta_co_poutine (8)

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.

beyond_meat_burger (4)

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!

a&w_poutine (4)

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.

tim_hortons_poutine (8)

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!!!!

Chicken shawarma poutine at Swiss Chalet… Whaaa?

I didn’t even know you could get poutine at Swiss Chalet, but apparently that’s a thing now. And not just any ol’ poutine–they’ve got rotisserie beef poutine, taco poutine and chicken shawarma poutine. Now, you know I love shawarma, and this is body by poutine, bro…so I was gonna hafta try the chicken shawarma poutine, even if i didn’t really expect it to taste like either of those things.

swiss_chalet_shawarma_poutine (15)

First of all, it’s safe to say that Swiss Chalet is not roasting this dish on a big shawarma spit. This is basically the regular Swiss Chalet chicken–both white meat and dark meat–pulled off the bird, bro. They lay it out on a bed of Chalet fries with lettuce, tomato, some feta cheese and great big globs of garlic sauce. Dude, Great Big Globs of Garlic Sauce was my nickname as sous chef at Joey Tomatos, bro!!!

Now, while this isn’t quite as good as the chicken shawarma nachos I made a couple years back, it will totally still fill you up. Actually, the Chalet sauce kinda brings everything together. But what really gets me is the lemon pepper seasoning they put on the fries. There’s just a touch too much of it. And I don’t think lemon pepper belongs on poutine–or on shawarma, for that matter. Next time, I might go for the rotisserie beef poutine, instead…

Super-creamy lobster poutine at an oyster house, son!

Now don’t get me wrong, I love all kinds of poutine, but if I had to pick a favourite, it might be lobster poutine. When it’s done right, it’s magically delicious, bro! And I’ve had some pretty legit lobster poutines all over this country, whether at a German beer hall in Kanata or a one-off Poutine Week special at Baton Rouge.

So, we’re hanging out at John & Sons Oyster House, this cozy little seafood shack just a lobster trap’s toss from Bay St in the Financial District. This place has been serving up seafood for the after-work crowd since 2009, and they’ve got all kindsa stuff like clam chowder, calamari and fish ‘n chips. But you know I ‘m here for one reason, and one reason only, son!!!

johns_lobster_poutine (9)

OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got some thin, crispy Yukon gold potaters, with nice chunks of lobster, white cheddar cheese curds and a whole buncha bechamel, bro! The cheese is super melty, and the lobster tastes legit, but the thing you taste the most is the sauce. Don’t get me wrong, lobster might not really work with d’la vraie sauce en canne, but the creaminess of this dish is just a touch too much. I’m pretty sure I couldda polished off a plate twice this size otherwise…

1 2 5