Tag Archives: Toronto patios

PATIO LIT EATS: Fish ‘n chips by the sea shore…

Now, Toronto may not be a place where you can eat freshly caught seafood from the ocean next door — but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a waterfront patio scene. While I probably wouldn’t wanna eat anything that comes outta Lake Ontario, I can still enjoy looking out at the lake from the massive back patio at Against the Grain, this funky joint right next to Sugar Beach.

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Now, it feels like it’s been a while since I’ve eaten a burger, so we’re starting off with a trio of prime rib sliders. You’ve got some thinly sliced pickles and spicy mustard on the bottom, and then cheddar cheese and a piece of crunchy, deep-fried bologna on top. The meat is cooked to well done and comes out really hot, so I couldn’t really tell that it’s prime rib…but overall, it was still pretty tasty!

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But you KNOW that was just a light snack in Flavourtown! So we’re moving on to the main course, freshly battered haddock with a whole pile of thin ‘n salty fries. Batter had a nice crunch, goes good with the dill tartar sauce — I kinda wish I couldda made mine a two-piece order, though!

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Of course, I’m not gonna go to a place like this and order a Cranberry White Claw, bro! This here’s a Lemonade Stand, a refreshing lactose sour from Indie Ale House. Just enough citrusy sourness without being too bitter — I totally crushed a few of these!

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We’ve also got a Hopped and Confused Vol. 2 from the Mill St crew. Despite its name, this beer isn’t very hoppy — it’s only got 20 IBU. But I’m always down for a Dazed and Confused reference…it’s a fiesta in the making at the Moon Tower, son!!!

 

PATIO LIT EATS: Duck confit ravioli @ Terroni

Dude, this is body by ravioli, bro! When I was a kid, I would plow through Chef Boyardee’s like it was crack in a can, so when I heard that Terroni, this funky Italian joint on Adelaide, was serving up not just any kind of ravioli, but duck confit ravioli, with not one, but two kinds of mushrooms, you KNOW I had to come check it out!!!!

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But first, we’re starting off with some deep-fried rings of crunchy goodness — Frittura di Calamari, cazzo! And I am sooo on board with the level of breading here… I could crunch ‘n munch these all night long!!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event! These pillows of chewy goodness come in a nice, creamy sauce, topped with fresh Parmesan for that extra kick. The mushrooms are melt-in-your-mouth, but the duck meat is ground down to the point when you’re missing that unctiousness — I mean, this could be beef or veal, and I wouldn’t taste the difference. (I mighta had a few Menabrea beers by this time, though…)

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Of course, you KNOW we always have room for dessert on Triple B, and this flourless dark chocolate lava cake really takes the cake…so it takes itself? You’ve got some warm, chocolately goodness, with a nice oozy centre, on a bed of cream, with some strawberries and blueberries on the side — I’ve eaten my five pieces of fruit for the week, bro!!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: Cod fish empanadas & truffle tater tots!

Dude, if there’s one thing I like more than comfort food, it’s comfort food that kicks it up a notch. So we’re hanging out on the patio at Canteen, this funky O&B joint at the bottom of the TIFF Lightbox. And they’re all about the comfort food — Caesar salad, tacos, burgers, sliders and pizzas…but when I saw the truffle tater tots, you KNOW I gotta have my tots, bro!!!

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OK, so what makes these truffle tater tots is the truffle aioli dipping sauce — there’s a reason why these are eight bucks, and not 800! But the taters were nice ‘n crispy, and the sauce adds a bit of a kick…I can’t complain at all!

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But you KNOW that order of tots wasn’t gonna tide me over, so we’re pairing it with a pair of Piri Piri cod empanadas, cabron! These fish pastries were super-flaky, coming in really hot out of the oven. The fish was pulled, and not very spicy — but still pretty tasty!!!

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But the party is just getting started, son! Up next we’ve got mac ‘n cheese, with mushrooms, cured tomatoes and herb bread crumbs. There was supposed to be kale here, too, but friends don’t let friends ruin mac ‘n cheese with kale, bro! You’ve got some nice, big noodles, a creamy cheese sauce, and the mushrooms add a nice bite. I couldda maybe used a little more cheese on top, though…

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And we’re washing it all down with a coupla Maison Selby Wit beers, brewed by Big Rock for another O&B joint…but they serve it on tap here, too. Nice, light and refreshing, but not too citrusy — I could slam at least 10 of these!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: Crushing a 14 oz pork chop @ Cabana Waterfront Patio

Now, because nobody is allowed to go clubbing anytime soon, Cabana Pool Bar on Polson St had to switch up its business model — bringing in food from O&B for its new venture, Cabana Waterfront Patio. Dude, you can’t get any closer to the lake than this place…unless you’re on a boat, bro!

And when it comes to food, they’re not just serving up burgers and fries. Instead they’ve got fresh summer eats like grilled octopus, Miami short ribs, and this hunka, hunka burning meat — the 14 oz BBQ pork chop:

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Now, this is not the biggest pork chop I’ve ever slammed, but it might be the second biggest. Meat is nice and tender, with some good grill marks. You’ve got a nice Napa cabbage slaw, some tangy pineapple salsa…but what makes it are the garlic buns, son!

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These little two-bite flavour nuggets are melt-in-your-mouth buttery goodness. You KNOW I don’t want none unless you’ve got buns, hun!!!!

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Now, the name of this blog isn’t Burgers, Bacon and Fruity Drinks, but I had to make an exception here. What we’ve got is a Frozen Jack Honey Lemonade, with ginger syrup, lemon juice and Jack Daniels if you please… The only downside to this drink is that it started melting before I could finish it!!!

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Of course, even after pulverizing that pork chop, you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert! We’re talking frozen key lime pie on a stick, dipped in chocolate, on a bed of whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Shut the port, aft AND starboard doors, Sailor Bro!!!

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PATIO LIT EATS: Coq au vin poutine? Say no more, mon amour!!!

Now, everybody knows I love poutine. Dude, this is body by poutine, bro!!! So when I found out that Cluny, this funky French bistro in the Distillery District, was serving up a coq au vin poutine, I was all over that like French on bread, mec! They say it’s meant to share, but this looks more like poutine for one in Flavourtown…

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OK, now let’s break it down. The fries are super-thin, and the cheese, if it was ever in curd form, was completely melted by the time it hit the table. But the chicken was nice ‘n tender, and you’ve got these little flavour nuggets of bacon and mushroom for an extra kick. This one might not go in the Poutine Hall of Fame, but it was still a pretty tasty dish. It wasn’t even enough food for me, though — you KNOW I still had room for dessert, bro!!!

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The only thing that’s bittersweet about this Bittersweet Truffle Bar was that it’s not a bit bigger! It’s kinda like a solid chocolate mousse, with a whole lotta raspberry sauce, a few pink marshmallows and these little caramel cocoa nibs. Pretty sure I could slam three of these, and still have room for… I dunno, maybe some frog legs or something?

PATIO LIT EATS: I’m living on Chinese broc, all my best things are in woks…

Now, you KNOW I don’t eat a whole lotta veggies bro, but if there’s one kind I don’t mind sometimes, it’s Chinese broccoli. Not only does it remind me of my second-favourite Ramones tune,  but there’s something about the way they cook it in the wok, with the teriyaki sauce, that makes it pretty darn tasty…

So, we’re hanging out at Dasha, this funky, upscale Chinese joint that’s down an alley off of King Street. Apparently, they’ve even got a karaoke bar on the second floor…but since they’re only open for outdoor dining, we’re gonna hafta stick to eating!

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What, you didn’t think this blog was only about broccoli, bro!? Nah, it’s just a side dish for their Mongolian-style steak! You’ve got a 16-oz prime rib, grilled to perfection, with some edible flowers and a black truffle sauce — I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!

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PATIO LIT EATS: Peruvian lamb, sea and air combo!!!

Now, I’m not drunk or anything, but this one time, after band camp, I went to McDonald’s and ordered a Land, Sea and Air Burger. It was not very good. But on the other hand, if you combine lamb, sea and air, that would probably be pretty tasty!

So, we’re hanging out at Chotto Matte, this funky Japanese/Peruvian fusion joint at Bay and Front. These guys are serving up all kinds of Peruvian style barbecue, and they’re all small plates, so I figured I could eat at least three of them…

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We’re starting off with lamb, which was probably the star of the show. These smoked lamb chops were marinated in a spicy BBQ sauce and grilled to perfection, son!

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From the sea, we’ve got grilled octopus on a bed of purple potatoes with splashes of yuzu/blueberry sauce, for that extra burst of purple. This was another well-cooked dish, with a texture more like steak or chicken than the rubbery chewiness you’d expect from octopus.

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And then from the air, there’s this pollo picante — some nice chunks of chicken served up skewer style with a little green onions on top. Nothing wrong with that at all!

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Now, since I’m eating octopus, I gotta go for an Octopus Wants to Fight, this hoppy, juicy IPA from Great Lakes Brewery. That’ll take some of the heat off those lamb chops, son!

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After all that eating back there, you’re probably wondering, “Did he still have room for dessert?” Well, I wasn’t gonna order it, but when they told me about the Peruvian chocolate crema, I had to check it out!!!

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Dude, this has got to be the best dessert I’ve had all month! It’s kinda like a chocolate mousse, but made with rum — and you can really taste the rum, bro! Then they top it with honeycomb, chocolate sauce and these crunchy little dulce de leche bites — man, I could slam, like, three of these!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: Patio beers & pizza @ King Taps

It seems like there’s two kinds of patios in Toronto right now — the ones that are all booked up for weeks, and others that are first-come, first-serve. That’s why King Taps, this funky craft beer joint in the Financial District, is smarter than your average joint.  Y’see, they’re only doing same-day resos — which means I was online right at midnight to snag a primo spot for the Triple B Krew last weekend, bro!!!!

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Dude, I’ve been to King Taps a couple times before, so I KNOW they’ve got good beer here. The selection wasn’t quite as good as I remembered, but their rotating tap list is still pretty solid. This here’s Solaris White Peach Ale, a hazy wheat beer from Phillips Brewing in Victoria, BC. Super-crushable at 4.3%, and it sure tastes peachy!!!

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Now, when it comes to food, if there’s one thing this joint is known for — besides the $30 double cheeseburger with beef short rib on top — it’s pizza. And when it comes to their pizza, this here’s The People’s Champion. The Stinging Bee rumbles in the jungle with soppressata salami, kalamata olives, a whole lotta mozza, and some honey on top, for just that little hit of sweetness. Who needs to float like a butterfly when you can shove this pizza down your piehole, son????

PATIO LIT EATS: Mac ‘n cheese poutine, pulled pork grilled cheese, total cheesefest!!!

York Region started reopening a few days before Toronto, so they’ve had a little more time to get their patio scene up and running. That’s why we’re headed up to Unionville to check out a funky little joint that’s been voted best patio in town 16 years running — this is Jake’s on Main.

And, when looking at their menu of funkalicious pub grub, I couldn’t decide between the mac ‘n cheese poutine and the BBQ pulled pork grilled cheese…so I just ordered both!

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Now, I did make mac ‘n cheese nachos before, in one of my drunken stupors, but I never would have thought to put the mac on top of poutine. So I gotta give my brother Jake his props — this dish was freaky, deeky, eat-it-any-day-of-the-weeky! Noodles are cooked perfectly, with a nice creaminess, and then that extra layer of cheese from the poutine really kicks it up a notch!

OK, so maybe it’s not a proper poutine — there’s no gravy, or Quebec cheese curds here — but I don’t really think gravy would make this dish taste better. Now, if you poured some queso on me, that’s a whole nother ballgame, bro!!!!

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And then, I was hoping that this festival of funk in Flavourtown would continue onto the grilled cheese sammy, but as you can probably see, it wasn’t equal parts cheesy and porky — more like a pulled pork sandwich with a slice of cheddar on top. And the pork wasn’t bad, or anything, but it just didn’t quite knock it outta the park. Maybe I’ll just hafta order two poutines next time! 😛

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Now, you KNOW this blog isn’t Burgers, Bacon and Long Island Iced Tea — so we’re totally slamming some patio beers, bro! And nothing screams patio beer like this Big Tiki Tropical Punch Blonde from the hopheads at Hop City. Packed with passionfruit, pineapple, mango and papaya, it tastes more like fruit punch than beer — and at 4.5%, I can pound these until the sun goes down, son!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: Three-course, real-deal Italian meal!

Man, it feels like Toronto is the last place in the world to reopen after this Coronavirus! But finally, last night, restaurants were allowed to open across the city — for patio dining only. So, it’s time to bust out the Kim Mitchell, cuz you KNOW I’m gonna be the first to eat, bro!!!

We’re breaking the seal at Blu Ristorante, this classy Italian joint in Yorkville. They actually just moved into new digs on Avenue Road, in a space that used to be Estia (another Italian joint), with a great front-porch patio. Now, especially for a Wednesday night, this place was packed — we had to wait about 20 mins to get a table. But what’s 20 minutes when I’ve been waiting three and a half months for this???

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We’re starting off with one of my personal favourites, grilled calamari, on a bed of mixed greens with olives, capers and pepperonata. These actually came with seedless olives, so you didn’t have to spit the pits out onto the plate — that’s some solid social distancing in Flavourtown! But the squid was cooked perfectly; not too firm, but not too chewy. I usually like my calamari like my chicken (fried), but I definitely can’t complain about this dish!

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And then we’re going for another real-deal Italian meal… say hello to ma lil’ friend osso buco, served over risotto with a chunky tomato sauce. Now, the last time I was here, I had a killer veal chop, so I know they know their way around baby beef — but this meat was so fall-apart tender, you didn’t even need a knife to cut it! And don’t let the super-close-up fool ya — that’s a pretty big hockey puck of flavour in Flavourtown!!!

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Now, the sun went down before dessert, so the patio lights really added an extra spark to this picture. They were all sold out of my first choice — tiramisu — so I went with panna cotta instead. I think I ate this little slab of gelatin in 4-5 bites…but after all that osso buco, I really didn’t need much more than this.