AYCE BBQ @ Broadview Hotel

On Sunday, it was finally starting to feel like summer, so we’re hanging out on the patio at the Broadview Hotel for their Ultimate Summer BBQ Series, where they’re serving up all the meat you can eat for 25 bucks, bro! And they’ve got all the backyard classics — burgers, sausage, ribs, chicken legs, pulled pork, and even mac ‘n cheese!!!

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With so much meat and such little time (they only give you 90 minutes), I didn’t know where to start… So I piled some pulled pork, onions and pickles into a sammy. It was maybe a little dry — needs some sauce, boss! — but still quite tasty.

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Now, I’m not a guy who likes a lotta stuff on his sausage — gimme some onions, maybe a little sauerkraut, and I’m happy. But this place was all aut of kraut, and the non-diced onions weren’t optimized for maximum sausage delivery…but that didn’t make this smokie any less tasty!!!

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Unlike pulled pork, I don’t actually need a lotta sauce on my ribs. These ones were just about right…and I can’t complain about the meat ratio on this one, either!

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These chicken legs mighta been the best thing at the BBQ. Hot, meaty, with just enough Cajun seasoning… I could slam, like, 17 of these!!!

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Of course, it wouldn’t be a backyard BBQ without burgers. Tomato, onion, pickles — I’ll leave the leafy green stuff for the cows, bro!

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Now, you KNOW I’m not just having one burger, bro! For round two, I’m talking beef, topped with pulled pork, topped with sliced sausage, on a bed of pickles, onions and coleslaw — it’s a Flavourtown Triple Play, times two!!!

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Hey, you can’t have a BBQ patio party without beer, bro! These ice-cold brewskis came from Eastbound Brewing Co, just a couple blocks down the street. Their Hidden Lake Hefeweizen was light and refreshing, but surprisingly strong at 5.7% — it’s probably outlawed in at least a few States. 😉

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Now, that 25 bucks (plus tax) only gets you one drink ticket, but the last time I only had one beer at a backyard BBQ was that time I sharted on the slip ‘n slide after a bad batch of baked beans. So paying five bucks for another brew was a no-brainer, bro! This Nerve Tonic saison has a nice hint of juniper berries at the end, and it doesn’t seem like 6.1% — I could totally crush a ton of these!!!!

 

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Does pulled jackfruit taste the same as pulled pork? Well…

Now, you won’t find “vegan” next to “BBQ” in the Flavourtown dictionary, but I’ve noticed a few BBQ joints in this city that have a vegan option…and it’s almost always jackfruit. Of course, I would never order BBQ jackfruit if I could get some ribs or beef brisket, bro! But now we’re hanging out at Planta, this funky vegan joint on Bay Street–and since all the food is vegan, I guess I might as well try it?

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They say that jackfruit “deceptively resembles pulled pork in texture” and they’re not completely wrong. Although I’d say it’s a little less stringy, and a little more clumpy. At Planta, they’re serving it up in their Jack of All Tacos with pineapple chutney, tomatillo salsa and a whole lotta cilantro. They also season the jackfruit with some guajillos, so it tastes like it belongs in a taco… but I dunno, it’s definitely missing the unctuousness of pulled pork. Malfunction at the Unction!!!

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On the other hand, their chicken fried mushrooms are pretty much on point. You know I like my chicken fried, cold beer on a Friday night, pair a jeans that fits just right and the radio uuuuup, Zac Broseph Band! And hey, turns out I like my mushrooms fried too…

To get real-deal Cuban food in Miami…you gotta go to Las Vegas!

Now, one of the best things about living in Toronto is that you can pretty much pick any country on a map, and you’ll find at least one real-deal, authentic joint somewhere in this city that’s dishing out some of their righteous grub. (This doesn’t really work if you’ve got a fever for some Finnish food though, bro!) But when it comes to Cuban, you’ll be lucky to find much more than a copycat Cuban sandwich anywhere up here. So we’re heading down to the most Cuban city that doesn’t have socialized healthcare — welcome to Miami, Big Willie Style!!! — right here, right now on Triple B!

OK, this city has got an entire neighbourhood called Little Havana, so you know it’s gotta be good–but we’re all about finding these too-legit-to-quit establishments a little farther off the beaten path…so we’re hanging out at Las Vegas Cuban Cuisine, this friendly neighbourhood joint inside a strip mall up in Pembroke Pines. Man, this place has got everything: yuca frita, papa rellena, pan con lechon, tostones, medianoches and a takeout lineup longer than the line for the men’s room at a Justin Bieber concert, bro!

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So, we’re starting off with some real-deal, Cuban-style empanadas. These empanadas are so good you’ll wanna smack your mama, cabron! They’ve got chicken, they’ve got pork, they’ve got beef… but we’re definitely going with beef, cuz we gotta save room for some pulled pork tamales!

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Dude, this pork is unctious-alla-dunktious, bro! The flavours are amazing, it’s super-tender, and goes great with the masa dough. Dude, this is body by masa dough, bro!!!

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Aaaaand now it’s time for the main event, some real-deal ropa vieja. Normally, if I’m chowing down on some old clothes, it’s because the Camaro stalled out somewhere on Route 66 and my celly is all outta juice from streaming too many Smash Mouth tunes. But when it comes to this Cuban stewed beef delicacy, man, I could eat this morning, noon and night! You’ve got some white rice, black beef and a few peppers mixed in with the beef, but the plantains are what makes it:

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Now, here I thought that deep-fried plantains were only for dessert…but I was so, so wrong. You’ve got the hot, the sticky and the sweet, all mixed in with the meat. Pour some sugar on me, cuz I’m about to slide this dish down a stripper pole right into my piehole, bro!!!!

Slaying a Monster double burger @ Rally Sports Bar & Smokehouse

Man, if I had a million dollars, I’d open up a sports bar and smokehouse. I mean, you’ve got BBQ in the smoker, sports on the big screen–what else do you need in life? Well, when I found out a place like this already existed, up around Yonge and Sheppard, I knew I had to check it out…

Rally Sports Bar is a pretty classy joint, with a solid lineup of local craft beer. And they’ve got brisket and pulled pork and ribs, oh my! — although the first two only come in sandwich form. You can also put pulled pork on a burger, with this mighty in-house classic, The Monster:

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OK, so what you see is pretty much what you get. Two nice ‘n thick beef patties, with just a bit of pink in the middle, sandwiching some tangy, saucy, unctuous pulled pork–and then they put deep-fried onions on top??? That’s like a game-winning triple play in Flavourtown! The fries on the side are pretty legit, sorta like Swiss Chalet on steroids…and you know I’m gonna need a couple ice cold beers to wash this all down!

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Now, I had never even heard of Shillow Beer Co. before, but when I saw that Rally had a brew called Beer Snob on the menu, I pretty much had to try it. This Belgian rye ale has the fruity taste of Unibroue’s Blanche de Chambly, but with a bit more of a kick at 6%. I wouldda definitely slammed a few more of these…but this was the only can they had left!!!

12 TACOS OF CHRISTMAS: Heavy metal pulled pork tacos

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For the second taco of Christmas, my Trujillo gave to me…

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Heavy metal pulled pork tacos!

 

So, back in the summertime, I boogied on down to Bud Stage to catch Iron Maiden in concert–and picked up some of these tasty tacos, courtesy of the Rancho Relaxo taco truck. The pork was cooked perfectly, a nice tangy chew, with just enough sweet, and just enough heat. These tacos blew the opening act off the stage, bro!!!

READ MORE: Run to the tacos, bro!!!!

Run to the tacos, bro!!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Budweiser Stage last weekend, where Iron Maiden is bringing the noise and these pulled pork tacos are bringing the funk, courtesy of the Rancho Relaxo food truck:

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OK, let’s break it down. The pulled pork is cooked perfectly, melts in your mouth. You’ve got sour orange, achiote and a crunchy coleslaw on top. And you know I threw down a whole buncha Cholula on top, papi chulo!

Hey, three tacos for 12 bucks maybe ain’t the best deal in the barrio, but it actually cost me less than that lone can of Corona in the background… You know it’s sad but true!

(Whoops, wrong concert, bro!!!!)

Chowing down on Wenona’s big brown brisket!

OK, so we’re hanging out at Wenona Craft Beer Lodge, this cozy neighbourhood brewpub in the Dufferin Grove area. I actually went here for Poutine Week last year, and while their curds didn’t quite squeak like they were supposed to, the pulled pork was actually pretty decent. So I figured I’d come back and try the BBQ, too…

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They call this the Memphis Peace Maker, and it’s like walking in Memphis if you really know the way I feel. You’ve got a couple big slices of tender brisket, a pile of pulled pork, and a biscuit that’s sorta shaped like a little piggy. But the sides are what makes it, bro! What other place can you get a side of nachos next to beef brisket!!!???

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Now, most of this meal was pretty legit, but what really makes it was the pulled pork kimchi spring roll. Dude, this was like a culinary three-way in Flavourtown, bro! You’ve got the crispy breading, a tangy sauce, a nice kick from the kimchi and then some of that pulled pork inside—it’s honky tonk redonkadonk!

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Now, while this wasn’t the best beef brisket I ever had, it was still nice ‘n tender. But here’s where I got beef with the brisket. While I got two big, juicy slices with the Peace Maker, the rest of the Triple B Krew who went with the brisket were given lean slices—without even being asked. Friends don’t let friends eat lean brisket, bro. I’m just sayin…