Tag Archives: Toronto patios

PATIO BEERS: It’s like the fruit salad of beers, bro!!!

Patio season has gone on about a month longer than expected, but I think we’re heading into the last week now. So we’re hanging out at Thirsty And Miserable, this funky little Kensington Market dive where they’ve got punk rock on the stereo and craft beer on tap…as well as in cans. Even during the pandemic, they’re still a cash-only bar — that’s how punk rock they are, bro! And they’re serving up some beers that are pretty outta bounds, like this renegade of funk in Flavourtown that’s literally called It’s a Trap…

This funky collaboration from Indie Alehouse and Dominion City is packing so much fruit, it might actually be healthy for you. We’re talking grapes, lime, pineapple and millions of peaches, peaches for me in a sour beer that comes in at 5.2%. I gotta say, what I taste most is the pineapple, though…

Now, I don’t always drink pineapple, but if you put it in a beer, I think I’ll have another one. This Big Sky pineapple gose from Town Brewing is even more sour than its predecessor…it gives ya a nice pucker!!!

And while this Kiwi IPA from Badlands Brewing does have fruit in its name, don’t judge a beer by its cover, bro! It’s actually called that cuz it’s got three different kinds of hops from New Zealand — Nelson Sauvin, Riwaka, and Motueka… but also gooseberry, lime, tropical fruit and dank berries. It’s definitely more hoppy than fruity, though!

PATIO LIT EATS: Funky Japanese tapas & beers in Little Portland

Just when you thought patio season was over, they pull you back in with a mini heatwave sending temperatures up to 24 degrees at the start of October, son! So, we’re hanging out in Little Portland, around Dundas and Ossington, where some of the most popular patios are already packed — but they still had several tables available at Bar Shozan, this funky little Japanese joint. You can get sushi and ramen here, but for 10 bucks a pop, they’ve also got some real-deal izakaya-style bar food…dude, this is body by izakaya-style bar food!!!!

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These shrimp ‘n corn skewers are coming in hot, bro! These seafood lollipops in Flavourtown pop with nice bites of shrimp and little kernels of corn. Pretty sure I could slam, like, 10 of these…I just need to wait for them to cool down first!!!!

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Speaking of skewers, this pork belly yakiton is too legit to quit! Pork is fork-tender, with a nice, tangy miso sauce and one green onion for that serving of veggies. This was probably my favourite dish, right here…

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Now, when I saw they had wings on the menu, I couldn’t NOT order them, bro! These Tebasaki wings were nice ‘n crispy, a little sweet, with just a bit of a kick at the end. Oh, and there was enough green onions on this plate to feed Booker T and the MGs!!!!

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Now, this place is serving up all three main Japanese beers — Sapporo, Asahi AND Kirin — as well as five different beers from Far Yeast Brewing, including a couple I’ve never even seen before. But I stayed in Toronto with an Otsukaresama from our local Japanese-influences craft brewers at Godspeed. Despite its name, which apparently means something like “good job” (I speak the third most Japanese in the Triple B Posse, bro!), this is actually a German-style lager, with hops and malt straight outta Dortmund. And it goes great with some wings and pork skewers… Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto!!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: XXL pork chop? Don’t mind if I do…

Now, it’s probably safe to say that patio season in Toronto is pretty much over, with rain in the forecast for the next few days and the temperature dropping below 20 by the end of the week. (Hey, at least we’re allowed to eat inside now!) But before it gets too cold to eat out in the street, we’re hitting up one last patio at Domaine MaMo on Mount Pleasant, where half the menu is French food, and the other half Italian — it’s all written in English, though. And while they’ve got six kinds of pasta and eight different pizzas to choose from, I think I’m gonna stick to the French side of the menu…

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They call this dish panisse, and what we’ve got are some thick-cut chickpea fries, crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, with a little olive tapenade and some harissa hot sauce for dipping. Now, you’re probably supposed to eat these with a fork and knife, but the only time I use a fork to eat fries is when I’m chowing down on some poutine, son!!!

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And now it’s time for the main event. I gotta say, this Porc XXL is really just a Medium compared to this pork chop I had a few years ago or even this one. But what it might be slightly lacking in size, it more than makes up for in flavour. Nice, tender meat with a crispy breading and just a touch of lemon. There’s even more olive tapenade on the side, bro! But we’re also kicking it up a notch with some meli melo, a mix of seasonal mushrooms with garlic, herbs and cheese. You could put that on a sandale de plage, and it would still taste good!!!

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Now, for dessert, I gotta say, I’m a little disappointed that they don’t do tiramisu or creme brulee — or even some funky combination of them both. Instead, we’ve got profiteroles…but these are not your typical profiteroles, with chocolate sauce on top and vanilla gelato on the inside instead of cream. I would still crush, like, 16 of these — but they only come 3 to an order, bro…

PATIO LIT EATS: Labour Day burgers & beers @ C’est What Beer Garden

Labour Day means the end of summer is coming soon, and we’ve probably got just another week or two of patio weather left. So we’re celebrating the long weekend at C’est What Beer Garden, this outdoor drinking space down a back alley from the C’est What brewpub. Last time we were at C’est What, we pretty much had the place to ourselves (this was right after indoor dining had just reopened after First Lockdown), and the beer garden was also pretty private on a Saturday evening. But you know what I say — Saturday night’s alright for drinking, Bro-ton John!!!!!

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We’re getting this party started with a Haberdasher Hefeweizen from the renegades of funk at Muddy York. Now, I do enjoy a good German wheat beer, and this one’s got the flavour down in Flavourtown. Basically, this beer tastes like bananas — and bananas are good, bro!!!!!

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Speaking of renegades of wheat, this next one is another funky wheat beer coming direct from the C’est What brewery. C’est What Ginger Wheat is sorta like drinking an Arizona ice tea — if Arizona ice tea had 4.5% alcohol…

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This High Grade IPA is coming straight outta Hamilton with just enough hops that you know you’re getting the good stuff!

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Up next, we’re got Al’s Cask Ale, a nitro-brewed pale ale that tastes a bit like an English bitter, or even a stout. Nothing wrong with that at all!

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As you can see, it’s getting pretty dark out, but we’ve still got time to kick out the j… erm, jam up the mash, muthafucka!!!! (Last call at the beer garden is 10 pm.)

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Of course, we can’t slam all those beers on an empty stomach, so I ordered a Lamburger with a side of poutine. This playful, mysterious little dish is served on a naan flatbread with Emmental cheese, lettuce, cucumber and a side of tzatziki — I put that shit on everything, son!

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Poutine was a bit of a bummer, though. Sure, it had the GFC — gravy, fries and curds — but the fries were too thin and the gravy was too lumpy for this ever to set foot in the Poutine Hall of Fame.

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Oh, and I still had room for some late-night tostidos. These Mexican-style spring rolls are stuffed with black beans and cheddar, and served with a spicy chipotle donkey sauce. ¡Cierra la puerta trasera!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PATIO LIT EATS: Smoked salmon on a pizza? Don’t mind if I do…

Well, the big heatwave we were having is over, and it looks like patio season will be winding down pretty soon — so it’s time to make the most of it while we still can. We’re hanging out on the rooftop patio at Terroni on Price (not to be confused with the one downtown), which is definitely one of the nicest patios in the area north of Rosedale, but not quite Midtown.

Now, when you’re here, you’re probably getting pizza — they’ve got over 20 pies to choose from. Last time we were here, we chowed down on a coupla real-deal pizzas in the dark, and it may be a bit brighter outside this time, but we’re about to funk it up a notch with this pizza al salmone:

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Now, I like smoked salmon, and I like pizza, so when you put ’em together, it’s gotta be good, right? This pie came flying outta the kitchen in like five minutes — I hadn’t even finished my bread — but it still wasn’t super warm… which is OK, considering that smoked salmon is usually served cold. But the crust was still crispy and the cheese was still melted, which made for a nice vessel for the salmon, onions, capers and tomatoes.

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Menabrea Bionda, we meet-a again-a. I’ve had this Italian beer with pizza before, and while it’s nothing too fancy or hoppy, it gets the job done.

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Now, speaking of deja vu all over again, I have ordered the flourless chocolate cake — torta calda al cioccolato — at least three times at two different Terronis, so it’s definitely my go-to dessert. I mean, warm chocolate cake with an oozy, chocolately centre… you can’t go wrong with that at all!!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: Real-deal Italian food on Mount Pleasant Road

Now, Mount Pleasant might not be the first place that comes to mind when you’re thinking Italian food in Toronto. But just before Second Lockdown, we had a righteous last supper at Positano. And now we’ve found another old-school, red sauce, checkered tablecloth joint just down the street… This is Florentia!

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So, we’re starting off with salsiccia cacciatore aka sausage and peppers. Dude, this is body by sausage and peppers! Nice, meaty chunks of sausage with a bit of a kick, some sweetness from the peppers, and a real-deal tomato and basil sauce… I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event — real-deal veal scaloppini. And they’re giving you a choice of not one, not two, not three, not four, but five different sauces, son! I went with the gorgonzola, which was nice ‘n creamy, but not too cheesy. And I went with pasta over veggies. As you can see, they didn’t cook the pasta in the gorgonzola…

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Now, when it comes to beer here, you’ve got three choices — Peroni, Moretti and, uh, Creemore. So I went with Birra Moretti. I gotta say, though, it tastes an awful lot like Peroni, bro…

PATIO LIT EATS: BBQ Wednesday @ Cabana

Last summer, we hit up Cabana Waterfront Patio for a real-deal BBQ pork chop, so when I heard they were doing a whole Wednesday night BBQ menu, I was all over that like patio lanterns, bro! They’re serving up baby back ribs, smoked sausage and two kinds of chicken: fried AND BBQ!!!! Or, to get the most bang for your buck, you can order a ribs & chicken combo, like I did right here…

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Quarter chicken was moist ‘n juicy, a cut above Swiss Chalet, with a nice BBQ sauce on the side that kicks things up a notch. Can’t complain about that at all — but the ribs are what makes it, bro!

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Man, these baby backs had such a nice, smokey flavour that you don’t need no sauce, bro! This combo only comes with a half rack, but I’m pretty sure I could finish a full one…

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Now, I gotta give a shoutout to their side game. Instead of some sad french fries, they’re doing it up right with fresh coleslaw, only one(!) of those delicious garlic buns, and some corn on the cob with Mexican Radio spices. Only downside was they didn’t supply any skewers, so half the seasoning came off in my hand when I was holding onto the cob…

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Now, as I mentioned last time, their beer selection sucks donkey dick — Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Corona. So instead I went with this signature Ciroc Cabana Frose. Man, it almost feels like you’re not even drinking alcohol…until you’ve had at least three of these. 😉

PATIO LIT EATS: Clock Lobster @ Clockwork Terrace

Now, Toronto might not be known for lobster, but here on Triple B we’ve had some funky lobster dishes all over this city, from the Typhoon Crispy Lobster Mountain at Dine & Dim to the lobster linguine at Sofia to the entire lobster on a bun at Smoked & Cracked. And it turns out that Toronto Life is actually doing a PEI lobster roll contest right now. So when I heard that Clockwork Terrace, this fancy new patio at the Royal York Hotel, was serving up a lobster roll named after my second-favourite B-52’s song (you KNOW Love Shack is where it’s at, bro!!!!), we had to be there with matching towels — this is the Clock Lobster:

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Now, this sandwich is NOT as big as a whale — you’re only looking at half of it, but it’s definitely still on the smaller side (especially compared to Smoked & Cracked). Flavours are on point though; nice lobster salad topped with chives on a little brioche roll. And the fresh-cut fries were TheBomb.ca. I could probably eat, like, eight of these, though…

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So it goes without saying, but I still had room for dessert. This Whoopie Pie is like a jacked-up Jos Louis, with red velvet cake, marshmallow cream cheese and white chocolate shavings, plus some chocolate sauce on the bottom to kick it up a notch. Nothing wrong with that at all!!!

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Now, if I’m eating East Coast food like a lobster roll, I’m probably gonna want an IPA with that, too. And they just so happen to have one named after the train across the street — Henderson’s Pearson Express IPA. It’s not hazy like a NEIPA… but on a hot, sunny afternoon, a couple of these will definitely do the trick.

PATIO LIT EATS: Duck… Duck… Booze!!!

Now, there’s a whole lotta funky joints in Yorkville, like Sassafraz, Bar Reyna and the Toronto outpost of STK. But when I heard about Middle8, this hidden, underground bar down a laneway — with a not-so-underground patio — serving up some killer craft beers and a variety of eats, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro! At this place, they don’t just do duck one way, they do it two ways, and stick it on a bun… Shut the quack door, son!!!

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This Duck Club Roll takes shredded duck confit, throws in some foie gras, and sticks it on a kaiser, with a side of house-made potato chips. It is a rather satisfying sandwich. But I’m definitely gonna need a beer to wash this down…

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Who needs to double down when you can tripel down, son? This Project Parallel 2021 from Saulter Street is a Belgian tripel aged in chardonnay wine barrels, and you definitely can taste the grapes! Also, at 7.5%, I think I’ve had Belgian dubbels that were stronger than this…but that’s maybe not such a bad thing when I’m still kinda hungry after that sandwich.

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Instead of dessert though, I went for some tomato & manchego toast, which is sorta like Bruschetta Gone Wild in Flavourtown. Nice, crunchy bread with some tangy tomaters and a lil bit of cheese on top — there’s nothing wrong with that at all!

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And to go with my appetizer for dessert, I ordered a Nula, a nice, dry-hopped sour pale ale from Burdock Brewery. This had the perfect balance of not too hoppy, not too sour, and tasted just right at the end of the night!

GRAND REOPENING: Baos ‘n beers @ Broadview Hotel

Here on Triple B, we’ve been to more than a few rooftop patios downtown, but there aren’t nearly as many in the East End — the only ones I know are Gusto 501 and the Broadview Hotel. Now, I’ve got some good memories of slamming some AYCE BBQ at the Broadview back in the good old days of 2019, so we figured it’s time to head back to their rooftop. Only this time, there’s no BBQ on the menu…but they are serving up not one, not two, not three but four different kinds of baos, bro!

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I really wanted to try one of every bao on the menu…but man, this Nashville hot chicken bao was about as Nashville as Lil Nas X. I mean, at this point, I kinda know that anything called “Nashville hot chicken” in Toronto ain’t gonna have the face-melting, extreme heat of Hattie B’s — but I was expecting at least a lil bit of spice here. And there was none. Chicken wasn’t bad on its own, but man, I’ve had mild Thai food that was (a lot) spicier than this!!!

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Now we’re going with something more traditional in this braised pork belly bao. While it didn’t blow my mind, up in the air, up in the air, it is pretty much what you’d expect from a Chinese steamed-bun sandwich.

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While I was really looking forward to this beef brisket bao, it turned out to be more brisket pho than Texas BBQ. Still wasn’t bad though — the cashews were an interesting touch.

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But now we’re gonna funk it up a notch with a crispy tofu bao, bro! I could say that this was one of the top five crispy tofu dishes I’ve ever had…but I don’t think I’ve even had five crispy tofu dishes ever.

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When it comes to the beers, I was pleasantly surprised to hear they had Dieu du Ciel’s Rosée D’Hibiscus as their rotating seasonal tap. Probably the pinkest beer I’ve ever had, it packs a lot of fruity flavour with a slightly sour finish.

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And you KNOW I couldn’t hit the former home of Jilly’s Strip Club without slamming down a Jilly’s Blonde, bro! Hey, it beats licking the sweat off a stripper’s g-string, or so I’m told… 😛

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