Tag Archives: Toronto takeout

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Nashville hot shrimp sandwich with PEI lobster poutine

I don’t normally eat spicy food… but I’ve been to Nashville a couple times, and I’ve had the second-best hot chicken in town, along with a couple other places. So here we are, in Second Lockdown, and I’m missing the Music City. Now, some of the best hot chicken in Toronto is too far away to deliver, so when I saw that Coast, this funky seafood popup kitchen, was serving up a Nashville hot shrimp sandwich, I figured that might still hit the spot. And this place is actually so close to me that my food arrived in less than 30 min — beat that, Domino’s!!!

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Now, they don’t let you choose your heat level, so you know we’re not in Nashville here, but I gotta say, this sammy is still sneaky spicy. Like, at first it didn’t seem too hot, but the heat sorta builds up and then sticks around. It’s maybe only a 1 or a 2 on the Nashville scale…but that’s all I can really handle, anyways!

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I was a bit bummed out by the tragic poutine I had the other day, so I also decided to order some lobster fries. This PEI lobster poutine was a little light on the gravy and heavy on the herbs — the chives really give this dish a big boost. And while the fries were on the thin side, the combo of fries, real-deal cheese curds and big ol’ chunks of lobster all go together quite nicely.

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This Baldwin Street Fisheye IPA from Kensington Brewing Co. also pairs quite well with some spicy seafood. It’s hoppy, but not too bitter, strong (6.5%), but not too overpowering…and it’s even got some fishies on the label, bro!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon Burger, bro!!!

Now, The Works Craft Burgers & Beer has been bringing the beef since 2001 — it’s also where I slayed a (double) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Burger in 2016, so I know they know what’s up! They’re still dealing out some wild and crazy burgs with names like Obi-Wan Kobe’s Man Cave, Gettin’ Piggy With It and Elk on a Beech, but when I saw the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon burger, you KNOW I’m gonna kick off my Sunday shoes, bro!!!!!!!

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This massively meaty monstrosity is packing back bacon, smoked bacon, maple bacon, and even bacon sticks — which are kinda like Hickory Sticks‘ porkier cousins — on top a slab of well-cooked beef. It comes with lettuce and tomato, but you can also add extra toppings from a list that’s like as long as the menu at The Cheesecake Factory! So I went with pickles (which were free), an onion ring and some Kraft Dinner (each a dollar extra). Also, in a nod to the last time I ate at The Cheesecake Factory, I paid two dollars more for a cheese-stuffed patty…although I don’t see any cheese inside, bro???

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Dude, this burger’s so outta bounds, it’s gotta quarantine for two weeks when it gets back! I mean, if you like the taste of meat on top of meat, on top of meat, then this is the sandwich for you. Just a little crunch from the lettuce and pickles, but the onion ring kinda gets lost here. And about half the bacon sticks and the KD ended up in the container… Good thing I brought a fork, bro!

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Now, this place also lets you pick from 12 different sides, so I went with the Tragically Maple Poutine, which is topped with maple bacon, more of those bacon sticks, and then completely drenched in bacon garlic donkey sauce. So much sauce that you can’t even taste the curds ‘n gravy, which makes this dish about as tragic as its name suggests.

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Man, even though The Works Craft Burgers & Beer has got beer right in its name, they don’t actually deliver the booze — you can get it for pickup through their website, though. So instead, I reached into the fridge for this renegade of funkalicousness, Autopop (you don’t stop!), a session sour with cherry cola from Blood Brothers. And I gotta say, when you lift the glass to your mouth, you can really smell the Cherry Coke. But in the taste department, it’s much more sour beer than soda pop…not that there’s anything wrong with that.

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Build your own blueberry pancakes

Now, one thing I’ve noticed since Second Lockdown is that a lot of restaurants aren’t even open for lunch anymore — never mind breakfast. (So much for Ontario being open for business, bro!) But one place that still opens at 10 a.m. every day, and 9 on the weekends, is Old School, this funky brunch joint on Dundas West. I’ve been here a couple times before, but I’ve never had their most famous dish, the Blueberry Hill Pancakes. That changes now, bro!!!

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In this case, there is some assembly required. They give you a four-stack of pancakes, along with containers of syrup, brown-sugar butter and blueberry compote, and then you slather ’em on yourself. I guess things might get a little soggy otherwise, so this makes sense… although my personal pancake stack isn’t as Instagrammable as the ones they serve once indoor dining finally resumes (one of these months). There’s plenty of butter and syrup to go around, but only enough blueberries for two outta four flapjacks. I guess you could just pile everything on top, but it’s kinda hard to cut through four pancakes inside this takeout container…

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Now, this dish does include bacon, but they hide it on top of the second pancake, so at first I didn’t see it, and I was like don’t go bacon my heart, Bro-ton John! But then it’s like whoomp, there it is, Bro-g Team! Still, this bacon could be a little more crispy — it’s more raw than cooked, Fine Young Canni-bros!!!!

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But hey, at the end of the day, these pancakes is blueberries…and blueberries is good!!!!!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Greek land, sea & air platter from Soulas

Now, when it comes to Greek food, sometimes you just want a gyro and a whole pile of fries — and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. But for something a little more upscale, one of my go-to spots on the Danforth is Soulas Modern Greek Cuisine. I’ve still got one more 40% off code from Uber Eats, and I wanted to make the most of it, so I ordered up their Mermaid Platter. We’re talking calamari, jumbo shrimp, mussels, lamb chops and chicken, served on a whole pile of rice, potatoes and veggies, for 69 bucks. It’s enough food to feed a family of four…or one Hungry, Hungry Hippo in Flavourtown!

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Shrimp are nice ‘n juicy, slide right outta the shell. Can’t complain at all, but they’re only like the third best piece of seafood on this platter…

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Mussels were nice ‘n tender, steamed to perfection. They give you at least a dozen, which is a decent-sized dish on its own, but only part of a much bigger platter…

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Well, you know I like my calamari fried, but these grilled calamaris were still pretty good. Probably the chewiest thing on this platter, but they still come apart pretty easy with a knife and fork. Add a little squeeze of lemon, maybe a dab of tzatziki, and you’re cooking with olive oil, bro!!!

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This grilled chicken might not come on a skewer, but it’s still got the same flavour profile as a good souvlaki. Goes great with some of those roasted potatoes — and dude, there were a lotta roasted potatoes on here!!!

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But the star of the show has gotta be the lamb chops, two to an order, grilled to perfection. I could probably slam at least seven of these — y’know, if I didn’t have all that other stuff to eat…

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Now, there really wasn’t too much meat and seafood, but the rest of this container was completely full of rice ‘n potatoes and vegetables… dude, that’s gotta be the most veggies I’ve ever eaten at once! I will admit that I barely put a dent in the pile of pita bread — you don’t fill up on bread, bro! But hey, I can always have it as a snack for later!!!

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Washed it all down with a Trans Human State pilsner from my bros at Blood Brothers Brewing. It’s got the crispness of a good Greek beer, but maybe just a little more fruity…not that there’s anything wrong with that!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Veal Parmesan…in a pizza box!?

Now, I already know that Piano Piano, this funky Italian joint in Harbord Village, has some killer pizza. Last time I was there, I ate a pizza-sized garlic cheese bread, followed by a whole pizza, followed by a chocolate cake for two. But I didn’t see any chocolate cake on their takeout menu, so instead I went with an all-time Italian classic — bone-in Veal Parmesan — and it came in a pizza box!

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Man, this was some of the best veal parm I’ve ever had — pizza box or not! The veal was super tender, topped with tomatoes, flor di latte and basil, but what makes it is the spicy soppressata, which gives this dish a nice little kick. Man, I would eat that off a flip-flop!!!!

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I had a 40% off discount with Uber Eats if I spend up to 75 bucks, so I also ordered a side dish. Now, they did not have the garlic cheese bread on Uber Eats, so my only choices were Brussels sprouts or fried cauliflower — not something I would normally order. But if I ever have to choose between two vegetables, I’m gonna go with the fried one. Mind you, this cauliflower wasn’t battered, but still had a nice tang from the cumin, red onion, pickled grapes — and there were even a few slivers of red-hot chili peppers, along with some creamy tzatziki. Definitely in my top five cauliflower dishes of all time…although I don’t think I’ve had more than five cauliflower dishes.

Plus, all this and a 6-pack of Peroni came to 70 bucks before the discount kicked in, sooo… I saved 28 bucks tonight, bro!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Beef short rib wellington with duck fat fries!

So, lockdown’s been extended in Toronto for (at least) a couple more weeks, which eats donkey dick. But the delivery apps have helped to make things a little less painful. Last week, DoorDash gave me two codes for 25% off, which I used at Hungary Thai and Torteria San Cosme. And Uber offered me $20 off a $30 “essentials” order, which happened to include Blood Brothers Brewing, one of my favourite local breweries. Hey, craft beer is essential to me, bro! Now, Uber is giving me three codes for 40% off, which is the biggest discount I’ve ever seen…

But there is a bit of a catch, though. The most money you can save is $30, a rule they put in place after Uber paid $50 of my $200 steak dinner from Jacob’s (RIP) last summer. So, if my math’s correct, I can’t spend more than $70 this time. Good thing I’ve found three meals that cost right at or just under that price, starting with this decadent dinner from BlueBlood Steakhouse!

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Now, I had definitely seen the beef short rib wellington on the menu before, but I wasn’t prepared to pay 55 bucks for some puff pastry. That’s why it’s the perfect 40% dinner, though! Dude, this thing practically takes up a whole takeout container, and it’s only meat beneath that crust — no veggies or nothing. The crust is nice ‘n flaky, but a bit crusty on the bottom, and the meat is super-tender. Throw in some of that au jus on the side, which was still warm when it arrived, and I would soooo order this again, even at full price, son!!!

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Now, there was only two sides that would keep this order under $70 — garlic whipped potatoes or these hand-cut, duck fat fries. I already had these fries two years ago when I slaughtered their Wagyu cheeseburger, so I knew they were some of the thickest in the business. Some of ’em were even four-biters, bro! And for 14 bucks, they give you enough for at least two people…if one of those people ain’t me. 😉

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Of course, if there’s one beer that goes great with this upscale take on a British pub classic, It’s a Stout. Yeah, that’s actually the name of the beer! This blackened brew from Kensington Brewing Co. has all the rich, chocolately flavour you’re looking for — and at 5.8%, it punches harder than a Guinness. So maybe don’t drink it for breakfast, bro?

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Killer chilaquiles from San Cosme

Now, I was pretty bummed out when Torteria San Cosme, a local Mexican sandwich institution in Kensington Market, shut down during the pandemic. But when I heard that they stopped, dropped and opened up a pop-up shop in the Entertainment District, I was all over that like salsa on a tortilla, hermana! And when I saw that they were serving up chilaquiles, a Guy Fieri favourite, you KNOW I had to get me some!!!

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These chilaquiles rojos were fuera del campo, bro! You’ve got tortilla chips covered in roasted chicken, topped with a tomato-chipotle salsa, crumbled cheese and two scoops of crema. Now, like any dish involving nachos, this didn’t hold up well to delivery — most of the chips were pretty soggy by the time they arrived at my piehole. But while the soggy chips were still tasty, the best bites were the ones that still had a bit of crunch to ’em.

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Of course, you can’t order from a Torteria and not get a torta, cabron! This here’s their torta de cochinita, with tangy pulled pork, refried beans and pickled onions on a well-toasted roll. The chilaquiles were a pretty decent-sized meal on their own…but throw in this killer sammy, and it’s a Flavourtown double down, bro!!!!!!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Hungarian and Thai food, at the same time, dude!!!

The great thing about Toronto is that you can find pretty much any kind of food on earth, and it’s all right here, right now in T-Dot-O. There’s even some pretty crazy mash-ups, like Rasta Pasta, this funky Jamaican/Italian joint in Kensington Market. But just a couple blocks away, in the same damn hood, there’s another joint serving up an even crazier cuisine combination — Hungary Thai Bar & Eatery. Who knew that you’d even want Hungarian and Thai food at the same time, dude???

Now, when I saw this place, I knew I had to try a bit of both. And it turns out they’ve got a Thai & Hungarian Combo for 2 that comes with everything you see above — schnitzel, spring rolls, cabbage rolls and enough pad thai to feed at least two people on its own. Of course, since we’re still in Second Lockdown, there was no second person to share this with…but when has that ever stopped me, bro!!!!!!!!!!??????????

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Now, I’ll admit I’m kinda glad this combo only came with one massive chicken schnitzel instead of two. Don’t get me wrong, I have done two schnitz at the same time before, but let’s just say I didn’t feel like a million bucks afterwards. Plus, this schnitzel platter also comes with soft, roasted potatoes and a pile of bitter, peppery coleslaw, so it’s not like there isn’t enough food here…

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Cabbage rolls almost never look pretty in a picture, and these ones were no exception. The combo comes with one roll per hypothetical person, topped with sour cream and paprika and served with a side of hot sauerkraut, in case you didn’t get your monthly serving of cabbage from the coleslaw already.

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Spring rolls are four to an order, and they’re pretty much what you’d expect, although the shell was a little softer and not as crunchy as your typical Chinese takeout. After polishing off these bad boys, I actually dropped the bean sprouts on top of my pad thai to make sure there was no food left behind, bro!

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Now, this almost seemed like a bottomless bowl of pad thai, bro. I mean, even after I ate everything else, it felt like I had barely put a dent in this dish. But the noodles were nice ‘n chewy, with that tangy tamarind taste. They give you the choice of chicken, shrimp or tofu… but I asked for shrimp and still got chicken. Maybe there were all outta shrimp, Bro Supply???

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Of course, you know this had to happen — when I ordered this combo, I had to get some schnitzel and pad thai in the same bite, bro! And actually, this combo kinda works, with the crunchy, breaded chicken offsetting the soft, chewy noodles. I mean, if schnitzel with noodles is one of Kelly Clarkson’s favorite things, then I guess that’s good enough for me…

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Now, what beer goes with both Hungarian and Thai food, you might ask? Well, this Cuvée 800 from the Belgian monks at Val-Dieu would probably do the trick. This banana-y Belgian ale meshes well with both the lemon juice squeezed on the schnitzel and the citrusy notes of pad thai noodles, without being too heavy at 5.5%. Hey bro, I don’t want no heavy beer when I kinda need to save room for food…

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And yes, I did devour every last bite, bro! I was feeling a little uncomfortable after all those oodles of noodles, but it’s still just another dinner for one in Flavourtown, son!!!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Katsu sandos with black chicken wings…

Now, over in Tokyo, katsu sandos are everywhere — you can even get ’em at 7/11, son! But they’re not so popular in Toronto… Me, I’ve only ever had one, and that was a couple years ago. So when I heard that Tokyo Sando & Chicken was serving ’em up outta Kinka Izakaya on Church Street, I couldn’t have just one, so I ordered two. Oh, and some chicken wings, too. Hey, it’s right there in the name, so it’s gotta be good, right?

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This here’s the classic pork katsu sando, a big, thick piece of breaded pork served between two slices of plain white toast with cabbage, truffle butter and a Dijon donkey sauce. Dude, this sandwich eats like a meal…and that’s only half of it!

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But you KNOW I’m not gonna eat just one sando, bro! This here’s the ebi katsu, with deep-fried shrimp, more cabbage, some Japanese tartar sauce and teriyaki. The shrimp’s a little lighter than the pork, but you do get four to a sando, so I can’t really complain, though…

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But now we’re gonna kick it up a notch! These Kurogoma wings are smothered in a black sesame sauce for a flavour that’s just nuts, bro! Let’s just say I killed a few napkins downing these bad boys…

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Valentine’s Day dinner to go…

I don’t usually go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day — gimme a heart-shaped pizza any day, bro! But since we’re in the middle of Second Lockdown, nobody in Toronto is going out tonight, which means restaurants from all over this city are serving up specials for takeout and delivery instead.

Now, most of the Valentine’s Day dinners I came across were the type  you had to order in advance, pick it up at a certain time and heat it up yourself. I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that, Meat Broaf! So when I heard that Reign Restaurant, this classy joint in the Royal York Hotel, was doing a three-course V-Day prix fixe that comes to order fully cooked on all the delivery apps, well, that sounds like paradise by the dashboard light to me!!!

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So, we’re starting off with some Oysters Rockefeller. These heroes in a half-shell are topped with spinach, garlic breadcrumbs and little bits of bacon. I don’t always eat oysters, but if you bake ’em with bacon, I can do that all night long!!!!

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It’s the time of the season for steak, bro! This 6 oz Canadian tenderloin was served Oscar-style with king crab and Bearnaise sauce, along with a fistful of veggies. Now, the presentation of this dish didn’t survive the delivery — everything was scattered about and the Bearnaise was all over the bottom of the tray — but that didn’t take away from the taste. This was the tenderest, juiciest, mouth-melting steak I’ve had all year! OK, so it’s only February, but still…

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Perhaps the biggest challenge of this Valentine’s Day takeaway was dessert. Would the molten chocolate cake still be warm after dinner? Once again, the delivery didn’t do the presentation any favours, but when I finally bit into it, the cake was still a bit warm, if not molten. A lot of the lava leaked out onto the tin, which means I had to lick it up, lick it up like Gene Simmons, son!!!

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To me, drinking champagne is insane in the membrane, so instead I cracked open a Belgian quadrupel beer from Straffe Hendrik. This strong sipper is 11% alcohol, which can give you a pretty decent buzz when drinking on a hungry stomach. And the last couple sips sure tasted good with that molten chocolate cake!

Now, it’s time for me to settle in for a nice romantic movie. I’m thinking Inglourious Basterds — nothing gets my heart going like killin’ Nazis, Quentin Taranti-bro!!!!