Thursday, March 17, 2011

This Can't Open Fast Enough

You'd Better Believe I'm Interested In This Place

I was leaving the latest Secret Handshake meetup at The King's Head when I saw the signage depicted above. Needless to say, I'm both intrigued and delighted. C''s poutine!
Judging from the pictures on their site, Smoke's uses actual cheese curds, which everyone should if you're gonna bother with having poutine on your menu. Curds = actual poutine. You wouldn't believe how many folks around here get away with shredded mozza and gravy. Tasty, yes...but not poutine.

Personally, I'm happy to see anything take over the spot The Glass Onion once occupied. I could never tell when they were open, and when they were, the service was either surly or unremarkable.

For the record, don't take my remarks about non-curd poutine to be some sign of poutine elitism. Ask any Montreal resident about poutine, and they'll tell you cheese curds are essential. Using anything else is pretty much ridiculous.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

An Open Letter To Boston Pizza

September 20th, 2008: my view at my bachelor party.
This was also the last time I ate a whole large Clubhouse by myself.
The discomfort was worth it.

Dear Boston Pizza,
How's it goin'? Okay, enough pleasantries...what's the deal with the Clubhouse pizza? Now, don't get it twisted...I LOVE that pizza, but why is not on the menu? Y'all are nice enough to keep making it, but why do I have feel like I'm politely asking for fellatio when I'm ordering it? Keep it on the damn menu!
I mean...are you ashamed of it? You shouldn't be! It's tasty. And dammit if it ain't unique! The contents of a clubhouse sandwich in pizza form! The secret lies in the tomato sauce...there isn't any! Mayo takes it place, and a single tomato slice tops each slice. That right there, is genius. But hey, I don't need to tell y'all that. You invented it!
The Clubhouse has a spot reserved in my heart – right beside my family and squirrels – but the only spot it really needs is within the menu. Make it happen. Thanks.

- Al

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Epic Meal Time

If you're into the unhealthiest food possible and don't know about these've been sleepin', my friend. The concept is simple: transform fatty foods into lethal works of art. Bacon gets a lot of love here.

The first episode - "The Worst Pizza Ever!":

The episode that put 'em on the map - "TurBaconEpic Thanksgiving":

As I type this, this episode has been seen 1,914,289 times. It brings tears to my eyes due to the sheer amount of awesome involved. The Dr. Pepper glaze bit makes me feel funny. In a good way.

The Christmas episode - "Slaughterhouse Christmas Special":

Bacon is back with a vengeance here, as they skipped it in favor of pancetta for the "Meatball Deathstar" episode.

If these Montreal denizens don't get the Order Of Canada in 2011, well...I might just have to move.

- Al

Monday, October 25, 2010

I want to go here: De Fara

The Best Thing I Ever Done HQ from MargaretEmily MacKenzie on Vimeo.

The Best Thing I Ever Done. A documentary on Brooklyn pizza man Dom DeMarco.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Comfort Food Friday Double Shot

I'm not sure how regular a thing this will be, but I've decided to grab good take-out/eat somewhere before my Friday shift to start my day off on the right foot. I have to say that the first couple of weeks have been nothing short of classic.

BBQ Poutine

August 27th: Lovey's BBQ Poutine
I had visited Lovey's in recently for their terrific ribs, and I vowed to give their BBQ poutine a go the next time I was nearby.
Absolutely no regrets. Delicious from bite one, y'all. The deliciousness is comprised of: hand cut fries, beef gravy, cheddar & mozzarella cheese, pulled pork, and BBQ sauce. As you can tell from the photo, I decided to wash it down with a bottle of Boylan's Black Cherry soda. I patted myself on the back for that one (Barry Horowitz style!) as It went so well with this.

Kimch'i Comfort Food

September 3rd: Kimchi Mac & Cheese and Bulgogi Beef Quesadilla
Found out about the kimchi mac and cheese special via the Kimch'i Twitter profile on the 2nd, got the endorsement from Evan the following day, as I was looking for grub. I'm glad I listened.
Creamy, zesty, spicy...outstanding. The garlic bread was a nice touch – savory and soft, yet chewy. The bulgogi beef quesadilla I followed that with was like a warm hug. So well-seasoned was that beef. I needed a nap afterward, f'real.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

MASTICATORS Abroad | Hot Doug's, Chicago Edition

At the beginning of July I traveled to Chicago for a friend’s wedding. I think it was my fourth trip to the city — I love that place — so we didn’t do any of the typical tourist-type stuff.

One place we were able to hit was Hot Doug’s – The Sausage and Encased Meat Emporium. After a $20 cab ride and a 1-1/2 hour wait in line we finally got to taste what all the hype was about. The place has been touted on a bunch of food shows and blogs and, while that doesn’t necessarily mean it is good, Dan MacAdam of Crosshair Chicago ensured us that it does, in fact, live up to its mythic status. Pretty much everybody from Chicago on and anyone else that’s been there confirmed Dan’s statement as well. I’ll add to the hype. The place is awesome.

Here’s my evidence:

About 3/4 through the 1-1/2 hour line.

The daily specials board. It was a tough decision – as you could imagine. I mean… look at it!

I ended up ordering 1 Jimmy McNichol.

Hot Doug himself.

Hey, after 1-1/2 hours in a line for HOT DOGS I think you’d order wayyyy too much too. That drink on the left was pretty damn good. Sioux City Cherries ‘n Mint Soda.

The Jimmy McNichol (See the board above for ingredients)

Hot Doug’s B.L.T.(See the daily specials board for ingredients)

We also got the duck fat fries. Yes, fries... fried in duck fat
(Only on Fridays and Saturdays! We lucked out that we were there Friday!)

If you're ever in Chicago Hot Doug's is a must. Expect a long line — but expect to be rewarded for enduring it.

Also, look for me in my Hot Doug’s tee shirt!

Culver's = Comfort Food

Deluxe Bacon Double Butterburger® (macro style)
Deluxe Bacon Double Butterburger®: Grand Forks, ND – April 15th, 2006.

A Culver's stop is always on the itinerary if I'm stateside. Of course, I have yet to visit a state that doesn't have at least one Culver's restaurant...which means I should look beyond visiting Illinois, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin in the near future (y'all know I'm kiddin', Midwest. I love you!).
My wife – then girlfriend – informed me about these amazing things called "Butterburgers" back in 2005 in vivid detail. So vivid, that I made sure I went to one while my classmates and I stopped for food en route to Chicago. I order up one of those lightly-toasted, lovingly-crafted Butterburgers, and I was instantly hooked. I figure I've been to at least four locations in the aforementioned states, and one thing has hit me about this place: consistency. The service (pleasant and polite), decor (simple blue n' white color scheme...reminds me of a picnic for some reason), food quality (definitely satisfying), and cleanliness (terrific) have been the same every time.

Fried Awesomeness
Don't front on the cheese curds. You'll be sorry.

How can I describe biting into a Butterburger? Well, I guess I'd start with the comfort of the toasted buns, which were gently kissed by heat and buttered generously, but never to excess. Follow that with an immediate hit of freshness from whatever toppings you requested. Me, I love onions...much to my wife's dismay. Then, of course, comes the double whammy of a well-seasoned patty that isn't chopped and formed, and real Wisconsin cheese.

Sorry...I need a moment.

Did I mention the frozen custard? So good. I tend to eat mine with nothing but peanut butter. That's all it needs.

Writing this has served as a reminder for me to renew my passport.