Tag Archives: tacos

Going on a Seattle pub crawl (cuz Russell Wilson sucks balls!)

^^(This was never supposed to happen…)
Now, we’re longtime Seahawks fans right here on Triple B, so when Russell Wilson whined his way outta town, got traded to Denver, and then was scheduled to play the Hawks on Monday Night Football to start the season, you KNOW we had to be there, bro! And suffice to say this is not a game we wanna watch while sober. So before the game started, we made our way down the Link light rail line, grabbing a couple drinks at each stop along the way…
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This craft beer pub is Big Time, unlike the Broncos!

We’re starting off at Big Time Brewery & Alehouse, Seattle’s OG brewpub, brewing it up and pouring it fresh in the U District since 1988. This place only has its own beers on tap, and with 13 to choose from, I could be here all day — if it wasn’t so far away from the stadium.
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But we’re starting off with an Irish breakfast smoothie in the form of their Coal Creek Porter. A nice, chocolatey beer checking in at 5.5%. Nothing wrong with that at all. (It’s probably a safer bet for breakfast than the 8.5% S’moredor Imperial Stout.)
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But alas, one can not drink all these beers on an empty stomach, so I’m going to town on these pork verde tacos, bro! Pork is braised in porter (not the one I just drank), and they put so much meat on here that you need two tortillas to handle it. You’ve also got some salsa verde, onions and Mexican cheese — but the pork is definitely the star of the show.
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From there we’re going for something summery and fruity — Passionfruit Blondeshell Ale. Believe or not, but I’ve had a few passionfruit beers before…and this one comes the closest to capturing that passionfruity flavour, bro!!!
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Lovin’ me some lamb @ Americana

So, we headed a couple stops down the line to Capitol Hill to check out this funky little brunch spot called Americana Restaurant. (It looked like the only place in the area that served beer and was open around lunchtime.) Cuz with all the drinking I’m about to do, I figured I could use a second breakfast, bro.
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Now, while they had Elysian Space Dust IPA on tap, the tap wasn’t working that day or something, so that’s why I ended up drinking a Blue Moon. Hey, it’s not bad for a brunch beer — it basically tastes like orange juice, bro.
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But the main reason we’re here is for the lamb burger. A nice, thick, juicy patty, served simply with tomato and arugula. It comes with tzatziki on the side, but you’re gonna wanna put it on top of the burger. Man, this stuff even tastes good on sweet potato fries — which automatically come with the burger.
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If this place is a chain, it’s the chain I wanna see!!!

We’re hanging out at The Yard House, this funky joint across the street from the Westlake Center in Downtown Seattle. Apparently, this place is a chain with locations across the country…but with 130 beers on tap and classic rock all night long, I’m not opposed to checking this chain out. Man, I was only here for about an hour, but I heard them play Africa by Toto twice…
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We’re starting out with a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA — one of those legendary American craft beers that you can never find up here in Canada. Nice, crisp and only slightly hoppy, it’s super-crushable at 6%.
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Wasn’t planning on getting food, but when I saw the Jumbo Bavarian Pretzel on the menu, you KNOW I needed one of these in my life, bro! This bad boy was coming in so hot, I couldn’t even touch it, but once I finally ripped in, it was worth the burn. Comes with a whole buncha beer cheese and just a bit of Dijon mustard — I’d say the cheese to mustard ratio was about right.
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Here’s another beer you won’t find north of the border — Rogue’s Nitro Chocolate Stout. Smooth and creamy like a Guinness, but with a richer, more chocolatey taste — and noticeably stronger at 5.8%.
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One last stop before the stadium…

At this point, it’s about 90 minutes till kickoff. We’re getting off at Pioneer Square, where all the bars are pretty packed. So we stopped into a place called Shawn O’Donnell’s, where the bar was standing room only.
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Didn’t feel like Guinness after that Nitro Chocolate Stout, so I went with a Drubru Peach Sour. Light, tangy and fruity…this should tide me over until kickoff.
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Crushing a couple craft beers at the ballgame…

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Ya gotta love that there’s a beer named after the old stadium on sale at Lumen Field. This Kingdome Kolsch goes down smoothly like an implosion, with a nice, malty finish. Now how bout them Hawks????

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Manny’s Pale Ale is a Seattle classic. Pretty sure I had one of these at a bar after the Seahawks season opener in 2010 — you couldn’t get craft beer at the stadium in those days. This one’s more like an English pale ale than an American IPA… not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Now, never in my wildest dreams did I actually expect Seattle to win this game. I was just hoping they could keep it close, so I could keep booing Russell Wilson until the end. But with the Hawks up 17-13 at the half, I started thinking they might have a chance. And with the two teams combining for just 3 points in the second, 17-13 turned into a 17-16 win. Uglier than this Tim Tebow tattoo, but we’ll take it!
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(This sign is both mathematically and metaphorically accurate. Better luck in 2026, Russ!!!)

Taking down a 2-foot taco at the CNE!!!!

Finally… the CNE has come back… to Toronto!!!! Sure, there are rides, concerts and even an airshow, but here at Triple B, we’re all about the crazy carnival food. And we’re definitely no strangers to the CNE, whether it was the fried chicken s’more sandwich in 2018, or the Philly cheese “steakclair” in 2016. So you KNOW we’re totally down to chow down on some of the weirdest, wackiest things at this year’s exhibition, bro!!!!

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So, we’re kicking off the festivities with a Korean corn dog. There are a lotta corn dog stands on the midway, but only one is serving up this tasty treat, which is two-thirds dessert, one-third hot dog. Just as I was about to give up on my search for this culinary classic, there it was, tucked in behind BMO Field.

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Now, I’m a big fan of Korean rice dogs, but this is a bit different. The batter is dipped in squid ink, and coated in sugar and breadcrumbs, so it’s sweet like a dessert. There is some melted cheese inside, but the first few bites were more like a cake pop — I didn’t get any hotdog until more than halfway through.

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Now, if you’re just looking for deep-fried deliciousness, you’re probably better off ordering from one of the other seven corn dog vendors on the midway. But if you want meat on a stick that’s so outta bounds, it makes you shut the back door and buy a ticket, then it might be worth spending 10 bucks on one of these bad boys!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event, and it’s about to get messy! The shell of this two-foot taco was already cracked by the time they handed it to me, and while I did grab a few (but not enough) napkins, I didn’t think to take a fork, which meant I had to scoop up the chorizo and lettuce with my hands, and shove it back into the rapidly decaying tortilla…

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Now, when I order tacos, I usually get at least 4-5 (unless we’re in Texas), so to me, this was just like eating 4-5 tacos…all rolled into one. It’s not the best taco I’ve ever had, but it’s definitely the biggest — so that counts for something, right?

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Of course, since 4-5 tacos all rolled into one is just a light snack in Flavourtown, you KNOW I still have room for dessert. We’re talking croffles, a tasty treat that’s got the flakiness of a croissant, the shape of a waffle and the messiness of an ice cream sundae that you eat with your hands — they give you a fork, but not a knife, and this dessert is too thick to cut through it with just a fork, so here ya go…

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Even with all the mess, this was the only CNE food that I would definitely eat again. (If I could get a two-foot taco al pastor, I might go for that…) There were a couple other flavours — tiramisu and I think mixed berries or something? — but I went with cookies and cream, which is basically what it says in the name, with Oreo cookie crumbles and chocolate sauce on top of pastry cream. Hey, it’s no Philly cheese steakclair, but it gets the job done, son!!!!!!!

SOUTH BY SOUTH AUSTIN: Can’t go to Austin without eating Torchy’s Tacos, bro…

Now, back home in Toronto, if you’re getting tacos from a chain, it’s probably Taco Bell or Chipotle or some shit. But here in Austin, even the chain tacos don’t suck! Torchy’s Tacos is a local legend with locations all over town, and they’re serving up some outta bounds tacos with names like Trailer Park and Crossroads… Check out these renegades of funk in Flavourtown:

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The Trailer Park is packing fried chicken, green chiles, lettuce, pico, cheddar jack cheese and poblano sauce on a flour tortilla (although I got mine with a corn tortilla, just because.) Chicken is crunchy and tender, with a nice kick from the green chile and coolness from the tomatoes and cheese.

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Now it’s time for some green chile pork, with carnitas, more green chile, cotija cheese, cilantro and onions. Carnitas melt in your mouth, while that green chile sauce adds a nice little kick.

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The baja shrimp taco has crispy fried shrimp, coleslaw, pickled onions, and cilantro — and they don’t shortchange ya on the shrimp, either! Shrimp and slaw have a nice crunch, and the chipotle sauce is pretty spicy (for a white guy).

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And that brings us to the Crossroads, with shredded brisket, avocado, jalapeños, cilantro, and a whole lotta cheese, bro! Brisket is great by itself, but you’ve got the creamy avocado, a bit of kick from the jalapeños, and more of that green chile sauce — I swear, they put that shit on everything!!!!!

Finally… Taco Fest has come back to Toronto!!!!!!

When it’s summertime in Toronto, that means there’s a different food festival going on just about every weekend. Of course, thanks to COVID, we haven’t been able to hit up any festivals since 2019. But now that everything is reopening, festival season is back in full swing, starting with one of my personal favourites, Taco Fest!!!!

I actually hadn’t been to Taco Fest since 2016, so this trip to Ontario Place was looooong overdue. And in a city where you can pay $31 for three lamb birria tacos, it’s nice to know that most tacos here were anywhere from $4 to $8 max. That means for 80 bucks I had enough for 10 tacos, a couple Coronas (literally the only beer they had, bro) and maybe even an ice cream for dessert. Can’t go wrong with that at all!!!!

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Balam suadero taco
We’re starting off right with some beef brisket, son! Balam lets you add your own toppings, so I loaded this one up with onions, pico, cilantro and lime…to the point where you can’t even see the meat.

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Marquesita taco campechano
Steak meats chorizo in this Flavourtown double down, with just a little hot sauce on top to kick it up a notch.

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Piñata Tacos Grilled Cactus
Had to order this so I could say I had one green thing. Crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside…  Not just one of the Top 5 cactus tacos I’ve ever had, but one of the Top 3 tacos I had at the festival — for reals!!!

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Tamarind Amritsari Fish Taco
This Indian food truck is kicking it up a notch with this breaded fish taco topped with all kinds of veggies. With all this salad, guess I didn’t need that cactus taco after all!

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Betty’s Kitchen Deep Fried Pigs Ears
Now, this one is maybe a little too funky. Pig ears basically taste like you’re chewing on crunchy gristle, without any meat. Hey, I’ll try anything once…but I wouldn’t try this one twice.

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Pico de Gallo chicken milanesa taco
Nice, thick piece of breaded chicken breast with just a bit of chipotle to kick it up a notch.

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Tacos de la Mer Pad Thai fish
Not your typical take on a fish taco, with beer battered cod topped with pad Thai sauce, pico de gallo, bean sprouts and cilantro. Fish is hot and crispy, and the sauce really kicks it up a notch. Good stuff!

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Atomic 10 K-Pop Taco
Korean BBQ beef served cold with bahn mi toppings. It basically tastes like a bahn mi, without the baguette.

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Bacon Nation birria bacon taco
Now, you could line up for an hour at Birria Catrina… or you can go a couple stalls down for this bad boy. Birria with bacon? Shut the back door, bro!!!

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Dope As Duck Dope Ass Taco (duck)
Dope As Duck had one of the longest lines at this shindig, with carnitas loaded fries, churro donuts and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos street corn. But since I’m only here to eat tacos, I’m going for this Dope Ass duck taco. Nice, crispy shell with pulled duck, salsa, sour cream… Not bad, but probably not worth waiting 30 minutes for.

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After all those tacos back there, I think I’m pretty full — this avocado ice cream cone oughtta do’er.

Viva la birria @ Rasa!!!

So, we’re hanging out on the patio at Rasa, this funky little joint in Harbord Village, within stumbling distance of Spadina. At this place, instead of dividing their menu by appetizers, mains and dessert (although they do have dessert), they split it up by veggies, seafood and meat. So you probably know which section I’m skipping, right? 😉

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Yup, we’re heading right past the veggies and diving into some popcorn shrimp, son! These crunchy, juicy nuggets of flavour are topped with a chipotle buffalo hot sauce, herb crema, pickled carrots and cilantro, making them so messy, you can’t really eat em with your hands, bro. It seems to me like Rasa’s MO is to take finger food and de-finger-ize it, as you’ll see coming right up…

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Now, birria tacos are usually served with the consomme on the side, so you can dunk your tacos like so. But at this place, the sauce already comes on top of the tacos… which means it’s about to get messy, cuz there’s no way I’m using a fork and knife to eat tacos, cabrón! (Let’s just say they’re gonna need some extra Tide Pods for that cloth napkin!) But with that said, these lamb birria tacos were pretty tasty, a nice hard shell with lamb and cheese inside, and some pickled onions, cilantro and that messy ol’ sauce on top. I gotta say though, at $31 for three tacos, these were even pricier than the mushroom birria tacos I had a couple months ago. So I dunno if birria is always this expensive, or I’m just looking for love in all the wrong places, bro…

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But man, after a few bites of non-finger finger food in Flavourtown, we’ve definitely still got room for dessert. And one again, they are taking something you would normally eat with your hands, and making it very difficult to do so with their PB&J ice cream sandwich. Don’t get me wrong, this dessert is too legit to quit — you’ve got peanut butter ice cream sandwich between peanut macarons, and then they put bumbleberry jam on top? Shut the back door, bro! But let’s just say that my cloth napkin looked like a crime scene in Flavourtown after I finished this bad boy off…

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And when it comes to beer, their list is kinda short, but they do have a few good brews from the likes of Collective Arts and Burdock. This here’s a Burdock Cherry B, and it’ll put a smile on your face 10 miles wide! This dry-hopped cherry sour is made with real Niagara region cherries, so you know it’s gotta be good. Who needs Cherry Pie when you can have Cherry B, Bro-rrant???

Eating all the tacos @ Añejo

So we’re hanging out at Añejo, this funky Mexican joint on King West. Last time we were here, I went to town on this Mexican meat mountain in Flavourtown, which was soooo outta bounds, bro! But you KNOW we can’t go to a Mexican place and not eat tacos — so that’s why it’s time for another visit.

Now, this place has got about a dozen tacos on the menu, but the fancier ones only come in threes. However, you can get their “Tacos Classico” in any combination of one, three or six — and with six different kinds, that means I’m having one of each.

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Forget about saving the best for last — we’ve having this one first, son!  I’m talking Barbacoa, a super tender pulled beef short rib with crunchy bites of raw jalapeños… I could slam, like, six of these alone!!!

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But we’ve moving right along to the Chicken Tinga taco. I usually find chicken tacos to be boring, but this one was a cut above — meat was very tender, although it did not have much of a kick.

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On the other hand, the Braised Mushrooms Taco is both the sauciest and spiciest one so far. Not quite as hot as the mushroom birria at Rosalinda… but I definitely needed a few sips of Michelada after this!!!

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The Chorizo Crumble was not too dry or too spicy. Basically, it was like ground beef — except it’s sausage. Oh, and a bunch of of it fell out the back…

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When it comes to pork tacos, though, I preferred the Pulled Pork. This one gets the job done with a nice little tang, son!!!

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Crispy Fried Tilapia was both crispy and flaky. A bit of the house made crema really kicks it up a notch!!!

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! Last time, I tried the tarta de chocolate, but now we gotta go for the churros. Hot ‘n crunchy, with a whole buncha powdered sugar, and some chocolate sauce on the side for dipping… There’s nothing wrong with that at all!!!

Vegan nachos & tacos and churros… Dios mío!

Now, you KNOW this is body by Mexican food, bro! And while I’ve had a few vegan tacos before, it only happens when I order every taco on the menu and one of them happens to be vegan. But now we’re hanging out at Rosalinda, this funky downtown Mexican joint…where all the food is vegan. So I guess I’ll be eating more than one vegan taco today, bro?

First, we’re starting off with some nachos that are not only vegan, but gluten-free. The chips are definitely extra-crunchy, but they still taste pretty good. Plus, you’ve got pico de gallo, guacamole and some jalapenos on top, which are a few of my favourite plant-based things, right there. The one thing this dish is really missing is cheese, though — while they do have a butternut “queso” drizzled on top (along with a cashew “crema”), it just doesn’t have the same texture or flavour as some shredded cheddar.

Now, I gotta give ’em credit for nailing the texture on these mushroom birria tacos. This is the first time we’ve had birria tacos with the dipping sauce on Triple B, even though I’ve seen ’em popping up everywhere since the pandemic started. Dude, this spicy mushroom stew is hearty enough that you don’t really miss the meat here. But these are some of the most expensive tacos I’ve seen in Toronto — 2 for $19 or 3 for $27. Dude, I could get 27 tacos from Latin World for that price, bro! (Not sure if I could eat them all, though…)

But since we only had three tacos here, that means I’ve still got room for dessert. And even though their Drunken Pineapple was my nickname from that time I went to Hawaii, I still had to go with the churros. I mean, I’m not sure what part of churros aren’t vegan to begin with, but these ones were pretty on-point, just a little on the crunchy side, though. You’ve also got dulce de leche on the inside, and chocolate sauce on the side, which makes for a pretty solid one-two punch in Flavourtown!!!!!

5 course tasting menu…at a BBQ joint!!!???

Now, The Carbon Bar has gotta be the swankiest BBQ joint I’ve ever set foot in. Forget picnic tables, butcher paper and lining up to the counter, this place looks more like some fancy nightclub. But that don’t mean the food ain’t legit — I ordered some real-deal ribs from them during second (or was it third?) lockdown, and even made a couple of their meal kits at home when I had to isolate while awaiting COVID test results after coming back to Canada. (Fuck, I’m glad that shit’s almost over!) So when I heard they were serving up a five-course tasting menu for the reasonable price of 75 dollars, I was all over that like beef on brisket. Dude, that’s like 200 less than I paid at Don Alfonso, bro…

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Now, this may only count as one course, but we’ve actually got three appys here: mozzarella sticks, shishito peppers and KFC — that’s Korean Fried Cauliflower, son! The KFC was nice ‘n crispy, and they added some chili flakes to the shishitos to give ’em a nice little kick. Believe it or not, but the non-vegan mozza sticks were my least favourite thing here…

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Course number two is also a two-for-one, as they put down some shrimp ceviche and pulled pork tacos at the same time. I’m pretty sure this is the exact same pulled pork taco kit I made at home a couple months back…except that they fried the tortillas, while I put them in the microwave. Carbon Bar 1, Greedo Catucci 0.

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Next up was a fish course, which you definitely don’t see at yer average BBQ joint. We only got one piece of salmon per person, but that’s OK with me, since I was saving room for the Pitmaster Platter anyways:

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Now, The Carbon Bar definitely deserves credit for giving their Pitmaster Platter an Extreme Makeover: Flavourtown Edition since I first set foot in here back in 2016. Y’see, six years ago they only gave you three meats — brisket, ribs and fried chicken — and there was hardly enough food to go around. But since then, they’ve upped the ante with smoked sausage and smoked turkey (which is exclusive to the tasting menu; the regular platter comes with pulled pork). Sure, they’ve raised the price to $38 a person for the platter alone, but I actually think that’s a steal, son. Just compare this sad little plate of food from 2016 to the following meaty monstrosity:

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And that’s not even all of it — there was enough food left over for me to go back for seconds! But you KNOW I still had room for dessert, bro…

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OK, so these weren’t all just for me — everybody got a lil’ taste. We’ve got mini chocolate brownies, caramel fudge… but what makes it are the bourbon truffle skulls, bro!!!!!

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Dude, this might be the most badass dessert I’ve ever seen. You want my skull? You can’t have it, bro!!!!!

Now, this might already be the longest review in Triple B history, but you’re gonna wanna stick around for a few beers, cuz they’ve partnered with Blood Brothers Brewing to really kick their beer game up a notch…

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We’re starting off with an Autopop Cherry Sour, the only one of these three beers I’ve had before (it was in a smaller can, though). This one’s a nice way to ease you in, cuz it’s only 4% and tastes more like cherry soda.

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Now, I was trying to hold off on the heavy stout until the meat platter arrived, but the problem is, I drink beer too fast. So I polished off this Amaretto coffee stout, Under a House in Northern Italy, with the tacos and ceviche. Maybe not the best pairing… but dude, I could drink this with a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!!!!!

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But we’re saving the most funkalicious (funkaliciousist?) for last with this Ajji Majji nitro sour. This beer smells like vanilla and tastes like peaches — I dunno how they do it, but they sure do it good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These tiny octopus tacos are packing some really big flavours…

You know me, this is body by tacos, bro! You could put pretty much anything in a taco (except maybe chapulines) and I’d eat it — so when I heard that DaiLo, this funky Asian fusion joint in Little Italy, was serving up crispy octopus tacos, I was all over that like Ringo, bro!!!!

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Now, I don’t just have big hands — these tacos were pretty tiny! I ate ’em in two bites each…but they were some of the best four bites of food I’ve had this year. Not only is there crispy octopus in here, but it’s paired with braised pork belly, for a bit of sticky sweetness. Plus there’s a couple crunchy onions, a sambal donkey sauce, and then — get this — the shell is not a tortilla, it’s made of jicama! Let’s just say I liked this dish a lot better than the time I had jicama pretending to be a fish burger

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But four bites and 19 bucks later, you KNOW I’m still hungry like the wolf, bro!!! So it’s time for this funky cross between French and Korean — Smoked Duck Bokkeum. Now, bokkeum is like a Korean stir-fry, usually made with pork, squid or even octopus (I had to look that up). But I don’t think it normally looks like this — I mean, the only rice on this worn-out plank of wood is sprinkled on top for decoration. What you’ve got here instead is duck breast and purple potato salad, along with a few pickled veggies:

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Still, I gotta say, that duck was super-tasty, melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the purple taters added a nice touch. Hey, it’s no Pekin Duck for one… but it’s gotta be the second-best duck dish I’ve had since the pandemic started!!!!

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Now, when I’m at a funky joint like this, I gotta go with the funkiest beer on tap — which would happen to be a Blood Orange Shapeshifter sour IPA from Halo Brewery. If not for the fizzy head, I wouldn’t even know this was a beer — it tastes just like an Italian soda or orange Jarritos. Which didn’t stop me from pounding 3-4 of these…

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Pulled pork taco kit for one

Now, right when Lockdown Number Five started and restaurants shut down indoor dining again, I got an email with an offer for Buy One, Get One 50% Off meal kits from The Carbon Bar. I’ve already ordered takeout from them once before, and it was pretty good, so I figured I’d try out their meal kits…even if it meant cooking stuff myself.

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First up, we’ve got a pulled pork taco kit that’s meant to serve four, with a dozen tortillas to go around. Looks more like Taco Tuesday for one in Flavourtown, son!!!

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As it turns out, preparing this was pretty easy. I just put the pork in a pot with a bit of water, and let it simmer while I cut the cheese and green onions. Then I wrapped the tortillas in paper towels and microwaved them for 30 seconds — which probably wasn’t long enough. And now it’s time to build the tacos, bro!!!

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OK, so this is how we do. Throw down some pork, top it with cheese and onions. Then slather on some slaw, spoon on salsa and crema, a couple squeezes of lime, and cilantro on top. Now THAT’s what I call a taco, bro!!!

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Now, I gotta say, I *almost* didn’t make it to the finish line. I was getting pretty full after nine, so I went and made the last three tacos at once, using up the rest of the ingredients (except for a bit of salsa) in the process. I was getting pretty uncomfortable on Taco #11…but nobody wants to be the guy who makes 12 tacos and only eats 11, so I powered through and got ‘r done, son!!!!

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