SUMMERLICIOUS 2019: $33 steak dinner @ The Oakwood Hardware

So, we’re hanging out at The Oakwood Hardware, this funky neighbourhood joint just a few bus stops away from Eglinton West. I had never been to, or even heard of this place before, but their Summerlicious menu looked pretty legit — we’re talking steak and shrimp, and shrimp and steak, all for just 33 bucks, bro!!!

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But first, let’s talk about these green chili corn fritters. Dem deep-fried dough boys are back with corn, a little green onion, with some tangy jalapeno crema on top — I could slam, like, 22 of these…but we still gotta save room for the main course:

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OK, first of all the steak is cooked perfectly — a nice medium rare. You’ve got three decent-sized shrimp on top, a little chimichurri, some tasty fries and a few veggies on the side, for added colour, I guess. This definitely hit the spot. But of course, because this is Summerlicious, you gotta have room for dessert!!!

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Now dessert is where they definitely kick it up a notch. In the back you’ve got what they’re calling Strawberry Fields — it’s a scoop of strawberry cheesecake ice cream, a whole lotta matcha and a strawberry ice cream float, with cotton candy around the rim. That dish is so outta bounds…if you like strawberries. But me, I had to go with the black forest doughnuts:

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Dude, this has gotta be the best dessert I’ve had all month — I’ve still got a few Summerlicious dishes to go, though. The doughnuts are baked like a cake, and then you’ve got a lotta chocolate sauce, sour cherries and some whipped cream on top… You could put this on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!

 

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Cinco de Mayo Mexican fiesta @ Quetzal

Now, if I had to pick a favourite holiday, it’s gotta be International Talk Like a Pirate Day. (Yarrr matey!) But, y’know, Cinco de Mayo is right up there, too. I’ll take any reason to drink beer and eat Mexican food, bro! But this year, we ain’t going for any old tacos or burritos — we’re hanging out at Quetzal, this funky Mexican joint at College and Bathurst, stumbling distance from Sneaky Dees…in case you’re looking for tacos or burritos. I think I’d rather have a half-moon empanada, though:

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This I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-A-Quesadilla stuffs smoked chicken into a blue corn masa shell, topped with holy mole amarillo, and side servings of crema and green salsa cruda, for that extra kick. And if that’s not enough masa, then how ’bout some avocado and white bean dip?

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Man, I could eat this all day. You’ve got the creamy avocado, some zesty white beans, queso fresco, a coupla pepitas–even some cactus chunks. Dude, cactus chunks is what they called me after I spewed at the Delta Tau Chi kegger in college!!!

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Now, the idea of this place is family-style plates. And you’re probably gonna wanna share, unless you think you can eat a whole skirt steak by yourself. I dunno man, I could probably pull it off…but then I wouldn’t have any room for some seabream:

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Why yes, that is an entire fish, grounded ‘n pounded chicken parm style with some Mexican herbs and spices. If this dish was a classic rock song, it would be She Sells Sanctuary, son!!!

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Now, I don’t remember who ordered the kale salad, but that person has already been kicked out of the Triple B Dinner Krew. On the other hand, when it comes to side dishes, these roasted sunchokes with some more of that mole were pretty tasty. Dude, you could put mole on a flip-flop and it would still taste good!!!

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Of course, even after that culinary land, sea and air adventure, we still had room for dessert. And this dish is bringing another guest to the party–we’re talking avocado leaf ice cream with cocoa flakes and candied crickets! Now, I’ve never actually chowed down on chapulines before, but the way they do ’em up here makes ’em taste kinda like raisins. I dunno if I’d wanna put ’em in a taco, though, bro…

Wrecking a 24 oz rib steak @ Barberian’s

Now, I’ve eaten a lot of great steaks all over this city, but Barberian’s Steak House is pretty much the OG, established in 1959, in a building that dates back to the 18-hundreds. Man, if a place has been open that long, they’re probably doing something right–in this case, dishing out massive piece of red meat, bro! I couldda gone with the strip loin, the porterhouse or the bacon-wrapped filet mignon, but my motto’s always been go big or go home, so we’re chowing down on a 24-oz rib steak:

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The first bite doesn’t show it so much, but this massive piece of meat was cooked to a nice medium rare, with a bit of extra cripsy char on top. Plus, it comes with a fully-loaded baked potato, topped with sour cream, bacon and feta. Who knew that bacon and feta flock togetha???

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Now, most people might say that was a massive piece of meat, backed with a big ol’ tater, but you know me, it’s just another light snack in Flavourtown, bro!!!

Bonin’ a 22 oz bone-in ribeye @Morton’s The Steakhouse

You know me, this is body by steak, bro!!! We’re hanging out at Morton’s The Steakhouse, right in downtown Toronto at the Park Hyatt Hotel. Now, they might doing all kinds of construction next door, but they’re still serving up steaks inside…like this bad boy, the 22 oz bone-in ribeye:

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In case you’re wondering what 1,360 calories of primo beef looks like, you’re looking at it bro!!! This cow’s so country, it’s practically mooing on the plate! And then you’ve got sides of seasonal wild mushrooms and horseradish mash — dude, horseradish mash was my favourite dance in gym class!!!

Of course, you KNOW I ate everything on that plate, cept for the bone…

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…and I still had room for dessert!!!

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Feast your eyes on this big ol’ piece of hot chocolate cake, son! It’s rich on the outside, gooey on the inside, with a scoop of vanilla, some caramel drizzle and a couple of raspberries on top. After scarfing down this sexy thing, you KNOW I believe in miracles, bro!!!

Steakin’ and bacon @ STK (Winterlicious 2019)

Now, I only made it out to one funky joint for Winterlicious this year, cuz I was somewhere on a beach, Dierks Bro-ntly! But I figured if I was only gonna do one place for Winterlicious, it was gonna be this funky steakhouse right in the heart of Yorkville. We’re gettin’ some, gettin’ some at STK, son!

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Now, when I heard this joint was serving up double-smoked Applewood bacon as an appetizer, you KNOW I was all over that like fat on pork, bro! This steak-sized piece of back bacon totally reeks of unctuousness, with a balsamic BBQ sauce, holy shiitake shrooms and some red hot chili peppers, for that extra kick. Give it away, give it away, give it away now!!!!

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Of course, we’re still saving room for the main event. This 8 oz strip was definitely on the well-done side of medium rare, but it still had some nice juices, with mashed potatoes, black trumpet mushrooms, and onions two ways–agrodolce and crispy-fried. Dude, this is body by agrodolce, bro!!!

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Now, this chocolate brownie was pretty outta bounds. You’ve got rich, moist chocolate, dulce de leche ice cream, dehydrated raspberries and a maple bourbon sauce??? Shut the front, back and side doors, son!!!!

Steamed chicken two ways at Momofuku Kojin

So, we’re hanging out at Momofuku Kojin, this funky David Chang joint two floors above the noodle bar at University and Adelaide. Now, this place looks like a fancy steakhouse, with the red leather booths ‘n alll…but they’ve got The Buzzcocks, The Ramones, The Clash and Phil freakin’ Collins on the sound system, so you know it’s my kinda place, bro! And while we didn’t sleep on the steak, they’ve got this other dish that’s super-delish… steamed chicken in a pot, served up two ways:

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Now, once the chicken is cooked, they take the white meat, and serve it up with fried rice, crispy chicken skin, some chimichurri and cilantro… It even has a chicken wing!!!

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Man, this chicken is nice and tender, you’ve got a little kick from the chimichurri, some crunch from the chicken skin, and a little sticky rice to bring it all together. But then they take the dark meat and put it in a soup, son!!!

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Now, this right here is winner, winner, chicken soup dinner! And the gang’s all here—corn on the cob, potatoes…I think I even saw a green bean. This is totally a soup that eats like a meal… but you KNOW we still had room for steak, bro!!!

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This 33-oz PEI ribeye came with a whole lotta sauces and seasonings that I couldn’t even keep track of. The meat was definitely on the rare side of medium rare, but it still had a nice chew. Never thought I’d say this, though, but next time I hit up this steakhouse, I might just stick with the chicken…

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SUMMERLICIOUS 2018: Steak AND lobster for 33 bucks, bro!!!!!!!

If you’re looking for the best deal on a real-deal three-course meal at Summerlicious, look no further than Sambucas on Church. Now, at most places, you’re lucky if you get more than three or four entrees to choose from–and even luckier if you can actually find ’em on the regular menu.

But at this funky joint, they’ve got no fewer than 11 Summerlicious mains, and they ain’t holding back, either–filet mignon, rack of lamb, and both steak AND lobster, bro! And did I mention that there’s two other courses, and it’s all just 33 bucks???? Shut the front, back, side, top, rear, port and starboard doors, Sailor Broon!!!!

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Now, speaking of the sea, we’re starting off with a whole pile of PEI mussels. These clammas from another mamma are meaty, beaty, big and juicy–there ain’t no Substitute here, son! Then again, a whole buncha mine didn’t open…but I guess that just helped me save more room for steak (and lobster)!

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My motto’s always been why settle for one thing when you can eat two things, and this dish definitely doesn’t disappoint, dude! Steak is cooked to a nice medium rare, the lobster tail is nice and chewy, and you’ve got a whole pile of veggies and mashed potatoes…I guess I gotta eat those too, eh?

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Now, even though I kinda just ate two meals, you KNOW I’ve still got room for dessert–and there’s no shortage of dessert choices at Sambucas, either! You’ve got creme brulee, truffle cheesecake, and three different kinds of Tartufo–but this here chocolate lava cake has got my name on it:

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