Tag Archives: seafood

Super-thick crab cakes & wicked awesome chowdah @ Rodney’s

Now, back in January, right in the middle of Second Lockdown, I ordered a real-deal lobster dinner delivered from Rodney’s Oyster House on King Street. And I gotta say, they really knocked it outta the park. So, now that they’re reopen for indoor dining, we’re heading out to check out some of the other seafood on the menu — starting with this classic in a cup, New England clam chowder:

Now this is super-legit, right here. You’ve got PEI clams in a creamy broth with potatoes, leeks and celery, plus a couple crackers broken overtop. The crackers are what makes it, bro!!!!

But now it’s time for the main event… Dude, these crab cakes are so thick, you gotta cut ’em with a steak knife! Nice combo of Newfoundland and New Brunswick crab meat, with just enough bread crumbs to give it a nice crunch, served with a chipotle donkey sauce, and some sides of coleslaw and broccolini. Now, I kinda wish I couldda paid two bucks less to get this in a bun like I did in Maryland, cuz the sides weren’t really working for me. But you could serve these crab cakes with a side of flip-flops, and I’d still order it again — they were that good, bro!!!!

Not only is Rodney’s serving up a solid selection of seafood, but the beer list ain’t bad here, either. I went with a Clean Cut Kolsh, a nice crispy boi from Beyond the Pale in Ottawa. I had never even heard of this brewery before, but next time I’m in The City That Sleeps at 7:30, I might hafta check ’em out… cuz they nailed it with this German-style brew, bro!!!!!!!!

GRAND REOPENING: Whole lotta lobster @ Fishman Lobster Clubhouse

Now, I don’t always go to Scarborough, so when I do, you KNOW it’s gotta be big, bro! We’re talking a nine-course Chinese seafood extravaganza, with 15 pounds of lobster, 4.5 pounds of crab, plus beef, fish, fried oysters, sweet & sour pork…and we might even have room for dessert. This is Fishman Lobster Clubhouse!!!

This funky Finch Ave. joint is the place to be on Fridays, with tanks stacked with fresh seafood and plates piled high with lobster. They even let you take a selfie with your crab before they cook it (crabfie?) — but I didn’t wanna get crab juice on my tank top, so instead we’re diving right in with the soup of the day:

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Chicken corn chowder is a Chinese food classic…although it seems like they forgot the chicken with this one. But hey, it’s not like we don’t have about 27 pounds of meat coming right up!!!!

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We’re starting with another Chinese staple, sweet & sour pork. Dude, this is body by sweet & sour pork! The first of many deep-fried dishes, these tangy little flavour nuggets got things started off right. Oh, and the little baby gherkins really kicked things up a notch!!!

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Now, here’s a dish I never dun seen before — fried oysters in honey pepper sauce. Oysters aren’t my favourite sea creature, but man, if you batter and fry ’em, I’d even chow down prairie oysters, son!!!!

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Now, here’s a dish where I don’t hafta think twice — diced beef tenderloin with garlic, backed with some fried rice! Man, I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner, bro!!!!

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But now we’re getting into some of the stars of the show…like this steamed double bass in soy sauce. Dude, this dish is like a Nikki Sixx bass solo in Flavourtown!!!

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Not gonna lie, they pile this crab with ginger and green onion pretty high…but b-b-b-b-baby, you ain’t seen n-n-nothing yet!!!!

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In case you’re wondering what 15 pounds of deep-fried lobster looks like…whoomp, there it is! This dish was very similar to the Typhoon Crispy Lobster Mountain I scaled from Dine & Dim — except it’s like 15 times taller! They cut the lobster up into little pieces, and you pretty much had to use your hands to tear it apart (at least they gave you plastic gloves, cuz there weren’t extra napkins). But if you got a nice piece of warm, tender claw meat, that’s the ticket, right there!

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Now, we obviously didn’t have much room for dessert after such a massive smorgasbord-board of flavour…but a coupla little macarons oughtta do’er.

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Holy hell-a, that’s a lotta paella!

Now, you don’t often see a lotta seafood for takeout (although I did order a whole lobster a couple weeks back), so when I heard that Patria, this funky Spanish joint at King and Spadina, was serving up not one, not two, but three kinds of paella, I was all over that like saffron on rice, bro! This dish comes in two sizes, small and large, and you know I’ve never ordered a small in my life, so I went with the large…which is basically just two separate containers of paella.

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Now, if I had known that, I mighta switched things up with one order of Paella de Vieira, but instead, I doubled down on their classic Paella Patria. You’ve got mussels, clams, flaky white fish and some of the tastiest, juiciest, jumbo shrimp I’ve ever seen, son!

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Now, I gotta say, their clams were pretty big… but the mussels were a little undersized. Hey, shrinkage happens to the best of us when it’s cold out, bro!!!

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But yeah, let’s just say I slaughtered a lotta sea creatures — leaving nothing but the shells. Spongebob don’t live here no more, son!!!!!!!!

One night in Bangkok Garden, and the world’s your oyster…

Now, I’ve never been to Bangkok, but I often rock out to Murray Head’s Greatest Hits on cassette when I’m cruisin’ in the Camaro, so there’s that. And there just so happens to be this funky little joint downtown, just a go-go dance away from Yonge and Dundas, that’s been serving up real-deal Thai food since the early 80’s… Cue the synth flute solo, cuz we’re spending one night in Bangkok Garden, bro!

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Of course, if we’re spending one night in Bangkok, you can bet your bottom baht that we ain’t drinking Coors Light! This here’s Singha beer, the original Thai lager since 1933. If you take Molson Canadian, and actually add flavour, it would taste a little something like this. And if you’re gonna crush some spicy Thai food, you might wanna chug a few of these brewskis, bro!!!

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Now, this place has got some seriously spicy dishes with some totally awesome names — we’re talking Demon’s Dare (stir-fried chili beef), Neptune’s Nemesis (deep-fried fiery chili fish), Totsakan’s Revenge (red curry fish) and Warrior’s Beef Curry…it’s like their menu was written by Kerry King or something! But since the Camaro doesn’t run on fart juice, I went for something a little less spicy — the grilled seafood satay:

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got shrimp, mussels and squid…all grilled up and served on a stick — which was also the name of my Meat Loaf cover band in college (I was the varsity tackle). It comes with a side dipping sauce that actually had quite a bit of a kick, and then you’ve got a bed of rice to soak it all up. All that’s missing is the oysters!

 

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!!!!

 

 

Seafood linguine en estie @ Estia

Now, I might eat a lot of pasta–dude, this is body by mac ‘n cheese, bro!–but I don’t eat seafood all that often. Don’t get me wrong, I loves me some crispy calamari just as much as the next Guy, but when it comes to shellfish, like clams and mussels and shrimp (oh my!), I definitely don’t do those every day. But now we’re hanging out at Estia, this uptown funky Italian/Greek joint at Av & Dav, and I’m about to dive face first into a big pile of seafood linguine:

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Dude, this is like a culinary pool party in Flavourtown! And the gang’s all here–you’ve got baby clams, mussels of love and some nice ‘n juicy shrimp, on a bed of noodles with tomato sauce. There is nothing wrong with that at all, bro! But what makes it is the squid:

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Dude, if you thought that squid only came in rings, battered and deep-fried, you’re all wrong, Pete Tong! These tasty little tentacles are nice and chewy, swimming in sauce and headed straight down my piehole. Surf’s up, bro!!!!

Under the sea, there’s all you can eat…

So we’re chillaxing to the maxing at Copa by Sea, this funky fresh seafood joint beneath the Copacabana on Adelaide. Now this place has everything, and I mean everything…and it’s all yours for 50 bucks, bro!

This funky local joint takes the Brazilian steakhouse business model of all the meat you can eat and applies it to seafood. You’ve got your shrimp, you’ve got your sushi, you’ve got scallops, sea bass, lobster/shrimp mac & cheese…oh, and they even have steak, too! I could pretty much just park the Camaro outside and eat here every day–if I didn’t hafta pay for parking, dude!

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Now, I’m not a major-league oyster eater, but if you put this many in front of my face, I’m gonna have a couple. This suckers slurped down easy with a splash of chili vinaigrette–but I could probably have gone for some hot sriracha, or some tzatziki sauce, or something…

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Now, I’ve had some mac-daddy mac ‘n cheese, but this lobster & shrimp mac was legit. You’ve got huge chunks of seafood, bigger than Donald Trump’s ego, in with the creamy mac attack that couldn’t stop me from going back for seconds, son!

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Because oysters, mac ‘n cheese and soba-noodle salad go together like peanut butter, ice cream and pulled pork, bro!

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On this plate, you’ll find fish two ways. You’ve got The Raw and the Cooked, which just so happens to be my favourite Fine Young Cannibals record!

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This was probably the most delicious dish of the night, dude. We’re talking gochujang tuna, a nice, spicy piece of fish that drives me crazy like no one else! (Yeah, I’m still rockin’ out to FYC, son!!!)

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This is the famous blackened cod, a dish so decadent you’re only allowed to have four pieces a person. I may or may not have shoved all of these down my piehole… #DrunkOnFish

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Of course, when I go out to a restaurant, I’m contractually obligated to eat at least one piece of steak. This parmesan-infused, medium-rare cut was so tasty I didn’t even notice the salad beside it…

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But hey, for me, steak is like Lay’s–I can’t eat just one (unless it’s 67 ounces, son)! Speaking of which, Lay’s steak-flavoured chips should totally be a thing. I’d slam down 27 of those, bro!

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OHMYGOD, IT’S BACON-WRAPPED COD!!!!

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Still have room for scallops, though… I always have room for scallops, son!

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Oh, did I mention there were sweet-potato fries?

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Don’t get me wrong, all the fish was delish, but the steak was probably the best part. I almost cried when they didn’t give me a second piece…

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And you know I still had room for dessert, bro. The grilled pineapples were a super taste sensation, but the chocolate ‘n caramel-covered bananas were what makes it. I think I ate at least three of these. Dessert was definitely bananas…and bananas are good!