Tag Archives: pulled pork

PATIO LIT EATS: The Caesar that eats like a meal!

Now, I’ve been wanting to check out Score on King for a while, but never got a chance to go until last night. This place is known for its legendary Caesars, and you know my motto’s always been go big or go home, so I’m going for the biggest, tallest, most overloaded of them all — The Checkmate Caesar:

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Now, this bad boy is so big that they can only serve it to (at least) two people, so that’s why I brought a friend…and then I didn’t share. You’ve got a pulled pork sandwich on top of a cheeseburger on top of a Cornish game hen, with a pulled pork mac ‘n cheese hot dog, chicken wings, onion rings and a chocolate brownie sticking out the sides! And all this on top of a drink served in a Hoegaarden pint glass, which, even on its own would be the second-biggest Caesar I’ve ever had…but this one’s got a lot more toppings, bro!

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So, we’re starting off with the pulled pork mac ‘n cheese hot dog, which was probably the most precariously perched piece of food. The dog itself was hot ‘n beefy, but both the mac and the pork were kinda cold, which was a little weird…

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Next up, we’ve got the pulled pork slider. Now, I don’t love pulled pork unless it’s really good, and this one was just OK. The coleslaw inside the sandwich and the pickle on top were a nice touch, though!

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Now, this cheeseburger was pretty basic, but it was definitely above average. Patty was thick and hot, and there were just enough toppings to add support without stealing the show. I might try one of their other burgers next time I come here…if I don’t just go for The Caesar Grande, though!

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These wings were what I like to call sports-bar spicy — they’ve got a decent kick, but not gonna melt your face off. At least by now I had taken enough food off the top that I could actually stick a straw in and drink some of the Caesar!

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Onion rings were pretty good, nice ‘n crunchy, and went well with the wings. If they were a little cold, that’s on me because I ate three whole sandwiches before I got to them!

Now, at this point, I had eaten a pretty decent amount of food. I mean, if I was at a Super Bowl party, I’d have probably stuffed this much down my piehole by the second quarter. But I still had the biggest, most intimidating part of this dish left to go — the full Cornish game hen:

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Even though I left it for last, this chicken was still pretty tasty. Skin was deep-fried and crispy, and the bird was tender and juicy. It’s a good thing that it was so melt-in-your-mouth, cuz I could barely chew at this point…but you KNOW I still ate it all, bro!!!!

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And of course, I still had room for dessert…

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Now, I already had a few bites of this chocolate brownie before I remembered to take a picture, but it was still pretty tasty. At this point, I had eaten enough food to curl up in a ball and go to sleep — but only after watching the Flames shut out the Dallas Stars, son!!!!

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!!!!

 

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…

Meaty quadruple decker on the Danforth, dude!

My motto in life has gotta be “Why eat one meat when you can have four?” Real talk, bro. But hey, that’s only because “When it’s right, it’s right” was already taken by Ron Burgundy. So, we’re hangin’ out at Greenwood Smokehouse, this cozy, homestyle BBQ joint just a Will Ferrell fastball away from Pape Station. This is probably the first BBQ joint I’ve been to–and I’m certainly no stranger to barbecue–where they had an open kitchen, so you come out of there smelling like hickory. But that’s the price you gotta pay for eating four meats between two slices of bread sometimes, y’know?

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They call this the Danforth Decker, and it’s like a house party upper decker in Flavourtown–this sandwich is the shiznit, son! You’ve got beef brisket, you’ve got pulled pork, you’ve got ribs, house bacon ‘n cheddar, all between dry white toast. And they don’t just give you one section, or two sections, or three sections, but four whole sandwich sections, dude! Because why eat one meat sandwich when you can have four is pretty much my life story, bro!

Now, I will say that when you get this many meats slathered in the same sauce, you can’t always taste everything. I really didn’t get too many bacon-y notes, and if there’s cheese on this sandwich, it clearly dissolved into the meat tsunami. Not that I’m complaining–meat tsunami was my nickname in high school. It’s sorta like a sharknado, except instead of live sharks, you’ve got beef brisket, bro!

(Actually, I did have a shark sandwich in Cleveland, and hey, it wasn’t bad…)

TEXAS STYLE BBQ SHOWDOWN: Franklin (Austin, TX) vs. Adamson (Toronto, ON)

Now, there’s no doot aboot it, Adamson Barbecue is my favourite BBQ joint in The Big Smoke. I’ve eaten every single kind of meat on the menu, and they’re all honky-tonk redonkadonk, son! I always used to say Adamson had the best beef brisket I’ve ever tried, but then I went down to Franklin Barbecue in Austin, and now I’m not so sure anymore. Their brisket is so outta bounds, people line up all around the block, bro!

So now, while the taste of sweet, sweet Texas brisket is still fresh in my memory, I had to hit up Adamson again so I could figure out which was the best BBQ joint I’ve ever been to in my lifetime. We’re looking at everything from the food, to the line, to the music on the stereo. So who’s got the most bodacious, beefalicious barbecue, bro? Let’s take a look at the tale of the tape!

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COMFORT FACTOR

Location: Adamson is sorta in the middle of nowhere. If you don’t live in South Leaside, and you don’t drive, it’s about a 30-minute bus ride from the closest subway station. Now, East 11th Street in Austin isn’t Sixth Street…but it is only five streets away.

ADVANTAGE: FRANKLIN

Lineup: Adamson opens at 11. I got there just after 11, and waited in line for over an hour. Franklin also opens at 11. I got there just after 9, and waited in line for over five hours!

HUGE ADVANTAGE: ADAMSON

Music: When you go to Franklin, you get proper Texas BBQ music–five hours of fiddle-driven classic country from the greats like Willie, Merle and Johnny. Now, the thing I always hated about Adamson’s was that they used to play really loud rap music when you were there. But today, we were greeted by tunes like “Wild Horses,” “Man in Black” and other country music classics. Sounds like somebody finally got the memo!

THIS ONE IS NOW A DRAW.

Seating: The seating at Adamson is mostly wooden chairs and picnic tables. The only picnic tables you’ll find at Franklin are outside–their indoor seating is a little more comfortable.

ADVANTAGE: FRANKLIN

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FOOD

Beef brisket: Now, it turns out that Adamson actually uses the exact same brisket from the same cows as Franklin. As their pitmaster says, if they cook it right, it should be just as good as down south. And I gotta say, it’s really, really close. These were far and away the two best briskets I’ve ever had. Maybe the only way to truly compare them would be to eat them both at the exact same time. They’re both super-tender, juicy lucy, melt-in-your mouth… Of course, you gotta order it fatty. Fatty brisket was my nickname in high school, bro! So, whose brisket is better? I might just hafta give it to Franklin, by a nose. Cuz hey, I’m pretty sure anything tastes better after lining up five hours for it!

ADVANTAGE: FRANKLIN

Pulled pork: The pulled pork at Franklin tastes how you expect pulled pork to be. Tender, succulent, and goes great with BBQ sauce. But at Adamson, their pulled pork has a nice, peppery taste so you don’t even need no sauce, bro!

ADVANTAGE: ADAMSON

Sausage: At Franklin, it seems the sausage is sort of an afterthought. It’s like “Well, you’re all sold out of ribs ‘n turkey, so I guess I’ll get some sausage?” But at Adamson, you definitely want to add a jalapeno cheddar smokie to your order–even if you’re already getting a three-meat plate!

ADVANTAGE: ADAMSON

Drinks: Franklin serves local Texas craft beer, and they’ll even sell it to you when you’re waiting in line, as long as you remain on the property. Adamson only has a soda fountain…but to their credit, you can get Big Red from it.

ADVANTAGE: FRANKLIN

Dessert: Although I didn’t take it out of the package before taking that photo, the Lemon Chess pie at Franklin is pretty darn tasty. I’d say it’s fairly comparable to Adamson’s coconut cream pie, which you see above. But this one time at Adamson, I had this sweet potato pie that was shut-the-back-door bananas. So I gotta give the edge to Adamson.

ADVANTAGE: ADAMSON

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Now, even after all that deliberation, I’m not sure there’s a clear winner here. The fact is, both of these places are really, really good. If you only visit one BBQ joint in Toronto, it’s gotta be Adamson. There are a couple other places I’d recommend, but only if you’re down for dinner. (Adamson, not unlike most BBQ joints in Texas, only serves food until they sell out–which is usually before 3 pm.)

On the other hand, if you’re ever in Austin, you’ll have to get up really, really early to eat at Franklin. I was one of the last ones through, and I didn’t eat until 2:30. Plus, they were sold out of pork ribs, beef ribs and turkey already. Clearly, I needed to be there before 8. Now, Franklin is a total tailgate experience, like a culinary Heavy Metal Parking Lot in Flavourtown. I think it’s worth checking out at least once–just don’t be like the brosephs who got so wastey-faced that they were kicked out once they got to the front of the line and didn’t even get any brisket!!!!!!!