The CNE

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Canadian_National_Exhibition
As it happens every year in Toronto towards the end of summer [as advertisers incessantly remind kids about the coming school the same way a cynical douche would remind people that Monday isn't that far away from Saturday], the CNE opens at the Exhibition grounds.

The summer hasn’t been that hot, which is a mixed bag in terms of how summer goes.  At least the nights weren’t spent in a sweaty insomniac attempt at sleep when one is too drowsy to wake up but too hot to possibly rest and spends several hours in a surreal prison of the mind.  There wasn’t that much ice cream this summer either.

 

I went with my family at opening day, an annual tradition for us, mostly since its cheaper that day and because my family are CNE geeks. The gates were somewhat crowded, and one family was rushing around before the food building even opened.  Speaking of that…

 

Chicken & Waffles, sort of put together like a sandwich

Chicken & Waffles, sort of put together like a sandwich

My breakfast meal was some kind of southern contraption [meaning American, as in south of Canada], namely Fried Chicken and Waffles.  That would be the chicken wrapped in waffle like a madman was let loose in an all day breakfast diner’s kitchen and made a sandwich.  It was covered with syrup and hot sauce, just to really mess with things.  I had it so early that I was apparently the first customer there.

 

The meal’s two halves did clash a bit [that was obvious wasn't it?], but it was surprisingly good.  The chicken was generously portioned, tender and juicy, with a fresh crispy breading.  The sight of it would make a Texan cry the same way the sight of an M16 assault rifle would.  Sorry Texas, it’s just that you’re so unreasonably bullied anyway I might as well jump on the bandwagon, and bring obvious gun law jokes in as well since we’re talking about ‘Murica [no, why is it hypocritical for me to be anti-gun and know the exact different models of guns?].  As for the waffles, they were soft, moist and sweet.  All around delicious mix of savoury crunchy chicken and classic buttermilk pancakes.

 

image courtesy of theboomtx.com

image courtesy of theboomtx.com

If anyone’s raging about the American crack I made earlier, my cruelty is partially because Burger King bought out Tim Horton’s both to escape American business tax and to annex every single piece of Canadian identity that took years to make.  I like Obama being against the whole deal, considering the idea of a US burger chain snatching a donut chain from a fellow country would make political cartoons probably about as scathing as the ones from all the failed wars [Iraq, Iraq again, Vietnam, Korea, Canada need I go on?].

 

image courtesy of politico.com

image courtesy of politico.com

Back to CNE, back to CNE, right.  The midway was fun, especially the games were one throws balls at a hole in order to make their horse win a race.  Inevitably I went home with several stuffed animals.  Then there were the rides, those dreaded rides.  I hate heights, so therefore I hate rides that go high, which is easily 90% of the rides at any amusement park or fairgrounds.  One time a friend told me they were taking someone to Canada’s Wonderland and might take me, but they chose someone else instead.  Mostly I felt relieved as opposed to disappointed, about not having to strap myself in to an inescapable seat of screams that rockets fast as a NASA g-force simulator [the one that goes round and round and round and MAKE IT STOP!] on a rail named Leviathan.  Because the prospect wasn’t scary enough, let’s name it after a horrific sea beast from Revelations: the part of the Bible were everyone dies [edit: excluding the rest of the book].

photo (1)

So I was strapped what could barely be called a roller coaster on the edge of tears as my Mom and two nine year old kids smiled and threw their arms into the air.  Fun fun fun friggin’ fun.

 

I had more enjoyment in the buildings, both the farm building with its cute farm animals I’ll probably end up eating [the goats reminded me of Indian curry as I thought of how adorable they looked, because I'm sick like that], and the Arts and Crafts building, or as I like to call it a Free Samples.  Jams, sweets and more jams are all sampled out so people can taste what they otherwise could/would never afford, and I got to taste a weird piece of meat.  Guess what it is, guess….

kangaroo meat

Human–no just kidding its kangaroo: another cute animal I’ll probably end up eating.  The sample giver said that apparently they have a farm in BC.  I didn’t eat human, I’m not that nuts…yet anyways.  More exotic insects and spiders are on the list first, followed by crocodiles and bull testicles [I'm not kidding, I want to eat all those things].

 

Not so much a cone as it is a rolled flat bread

Not so much a cone as it is a rolled flat bread

Next meal I had was a shepherd’s pie in a cone, which is to say it was a shepherd’s pie in a cone made of flat bread.  The dish was really well held together–better than ice creams which are so easy to knock off little kid’s cones–although there was too much potato for my taste.  I think that maybe I should’ve gotten a different cone, like the bacon/nutella one, but I didn’t want to have meat/sweet dishes for all four meals.  The meat in the cone was ground and tasty in a normal way, the food was good.  Clever concept, makes it worth trying the other flavours.

pulled pork grilled cheese

This post is getting long, so suffice to say after the buildings and midway my first dinner was a grilled cheese pulled pork sandwich that came with a free side of two pickles and Ms. Vickles chips.  Oddly, the mix of cheese and pork [another animal I saw at the farm building] went perfectly, as pulled pork is a great sandwich filling, as is melted cheese a fantastic topping for the filling.  I guess one could say that the cheese wasn’t prominant, but the sandwich was so good that it’s actually a good thing.  The same place also sold Mac and Cheese.

fried mars bar

After this dinner, I had a deep fried Mars Bar for dessert.  It was suprisingly simple and tasty: just a typical Mars bar breaded and fried so that the inside was warm and soft.  I liked it, the frying made the chocolate easier to chew and tamer on the mouth, probably because everything got mixed into a melted goo.  Less disgusting than deep fried butter [not that I've had it, but who would think that sounds like a good idea?].

korean fusion taco

For my second departing dinner, I ate at a fusion Korean/Mexican place.  I ordered their two tacos order, one filled with ground meat, the other with sirloin steak, both had Korean sauces on them.  Even though the mix was weird, the ground meat had lots of savoury, sweet and exotic flavour to it, filling the whole taco with its amazing influence, and was easy to eat and chew in its ground form.  It was backed by tomatoes and onions to add some different tastes to the taco.  The sirloin was even better, the meat was so tender and well marinated in what must be a secret sauce passed down the generations for decades that it was near perfect, and I don’t say perfect just because nothing can be perfect.  In short, I loved the fusion tacos, and could very well eat them again next year at the Ex.

 

from the Fan Art exhibit an the EX

from the Fan Art exhibit an the EX

In short, I had a great time at the CNE barring the roller coaster ride of terror, and a ridiculous amount of delicious food.  And no its time for work, school cold weather and a decrease in the quality of life index.  Cheers.

Food Trucks

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food trucks woodbine park

Long gone since the time anyone will be reading this [indeed far past the time of writing], during the primordial age of the Internet of over two seconds ago when there were less sad attempts at humour awaiting the future archeologists, a park south of my home had a festival.  The day I went, there were trucks stationed on the grass selling food to the festival goers.  I realize that this post is also after Taste of the Danforth, but I won’t be going for these very reasons, as I’ve promised myself I wouldn’t go unless a friend wanted to go, which they didn’t. It’s for the better though, if I was to be in a place that crowded for that long, the voices would’ve come back.

how is litter decorative or festive?

how is litter decorative or festive?

By the way, Danforth’s sidewalks and street were about as clean as a back alley of a slum after the festival, so it’s nice to see that they clean up after themselves [sarcasm]. I will be doing the South East Asian festival though, and the Exhibition, so I’ll review those instead.

 

For those who would have no reason to be aware of this, Toronto’s policy regarding food trucks is rather akin to how the combined efforts of Canadian and American governments separately find innocent minorities [gays, Native Americans, handicapped etc.] and abuse the living **** out of them for no particular reason other than some old rich men in a fancy house said so.
image courtesy of themarketingbit.com

image courtesy of themarketingbit.com

 You should trust me because I’m a cynical person who’s been handed a keyboard and told ‘have at it’.  Acknowledging awareness of that fact makes me seem to be more clever when in fact it is another cliche trope used by countless other mostly-hairless apes with keyboards in an attempt to stand out in a vast internet sea. [period because the sentence was getting too long, as amatuer bloggers often forget to keep their sentences from going the length of an entire paragraph] This web serves only to show how shallow and idiotic the human race really gets when allowed to show its true colours anonymously.

angry blogger

That went to the dark side, I think going from the government abusing innocents to an existential self-hating rant is probably not the best way to start a food post.

 

image courtesy of sabinabecker.com

image courtesy of sabinabecker.com

The food trucks were allowed to operate on a reservation in the form of a festival, far from the restaurants that view food trucks as a threat to their business [which is why the Toronto government hadn't allowed the trucks in the first place, as Rob Ford does more Cocaine* than Tony Montana].
*Crack cocaine is still cocaine, random internet fact-communist who’s trying to make their parent’s basement less depressing, and I didn’t say Nazi because Goodwin’s law {link to Wikipedia article on Goodwin’s law] is making me tired.

swat food truck

There were plenty of trucks to choose from, including one that was rather convincingly costumed as a SWAT truck, which had me worried in the back of my head that something was going to go down.  I didn’t truly believe that crazy thought because I’m not insane, at least that’s what the voices told me.  There was also a German place that had display food just waiting for someone with long, fast legs to snatch and run away with [that's basically me], and some of the typical Greek/sandwich establishments.

bacon nation

I picked this place that specialized in bacon, because I felt like something meaty and filling.  Bacon can often be overdone in that hipster thinking-you’re-cool-when-you’re-actually-just-annoying kind of way.    But it can taste good when done properly, and not just crammed into a dish as much as possible with a plunger and a vacuum seal.  And done properly is was, in the form of a bacon-wrapped hot dog covered with pulled pork [probably not the best place for Muslims to order from, if you couldn't tell].

 

Pulled Pork Hot Dog

Pulled Pork Hot Dog

The sausage was well cooked in terms of juiciness, flavour and overall thickness for a regular hot dog, and was a good vehicle for the pork and bacon.  I found the bacon wasn’t as crazy heart-attack-causing plentiful as it could’ve been, but that’s actually really okay, it’s better that the dog wasn’t too salty and meaty just to make it more unhealthy.  The amount that was there was crispy and tasty enough to hold its own, and contrasted the sweetness of the pulled pork quite well.

Buster's Sea Cove

I had fare from a second truck that was decidedly weirder [maximum bacon is one of many of those 'hipster' things that became popular and lead to the whole movement becoming oxymoronic, oh look here comes the flame war in the comments section].  Buster’s Sea Cove had seafood, including octopus tacos.  That is to say, tacos with huge, meaty chunks of tentacle in them.  How could I not try that?

octopus taco

The tacos may have seemed small, but they were so overstuffed with rich, filling cephalopod appendage that it was actually a very good portion.  The octopus was clearly quite fresh, as it was juicy, and had a briny after taste that matched its seafood taste ever so perfectly.  The onions and tomato added a spicier taste to the dish, bringing variety along with it.  The mayonnaise was a good edition, and went with it all well even though it was a bit odd to have in a taco [octopus].

Penny Lou Lou truck

So I’d already eaten WeightWatcher’s worse nightmare and the star of an R-rated Japanese film, what was next on the menu?  Desert, Penny-Lou-Lou to be exact.  It’s a place named after a Hong Kong street food of the same name, which is made of a light sweet dough that is baked.  It’s a lot like a funnel cake, especially if ordered with ice cream and strawberries on the side.

penny lou lou sweet treat

The penny-lou-lou was divided into bite-sized sections, which made it easier to eat for both people who are messy eaters or have crippling hereditary OCD*.  As you might tell I already loved it.  The heaviness of the desert was a solid medium, light enough to not be ridiculously filling and rich enough to have some weight to it as opposed to leaving one hungry for more.  The ice cream went perfectly along with it, as did the strawberries, to mix up the flavours a bit.  It was sugary enough to satisfy a sweet tooth, but not so sweet so as to caused one’s blood pressure rise to the point of making Dracula really, really excited.  On reflection [after two weeks because I clearly suck at regular updates], balance was the key to Penny-Lou-Lou, excluding portion size which was huge and perfect to just go crazy and dig in into. 

Beaches Jazz Festival

I found the food truck festival to be quite fun, nice park, good music, great food and a day is made.  I don’t see why the Toronto politicians are so stuffy about the concept of food trucks, maybe it’s just to deter from the fact that the city’s runner is a real-life cartoon that’s been overused far past his funny primetime [much like every cartoon].  Could be that minority thing I got so insane about earlier.  Either way, food trucks, recommended, the festival, recommended, and I’ll do something about the Southeast Asian Festival, the Ex and the Poutine blog [I haven't forgotten].  Ciao.
 food truck festival
Editor’s Note:  There is a Food Truck Festival on Sunday September 21, 2014 at Ontario Place.  These trucks plus many more will be in attendance

Montreal

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Don't ask me what the name of this church is, they have a lot of them in Montreal

Don’t ask me what the name of this church is, they have a lot of them in Montreal

I’ve come back from Montreal [the time of writing is Wednesday, I came back Friday], and decided to do a little catcher-upper. It’s like a fixer-upper except there’s less construction workers standing around drinking coffee in front of a dilapidated house.

image courtesy of sodahead.com

image courtesy of sodahead.com

I’ve been requested to do a post on poutine–seeing as I was basically in the capital of it–and I will be doing one, but it’ll take a while. The post will contain the history and culture behind it, a lot of which deals with the relations between the Anglophone and Francophone communities of Quebec. This whole English/Francais thing is really controversial, and a lot like the divide between communities [I'll use a fake name to protect the feelings of the real city I'm using as an example] NotLosAngles. It’s kind of like an Internet forum about religion in that regard.

This is actually a tree that's been bent.  In some park (on an island?) in Montreal

This is actually a tree that’s been bent. In some park (on an island?) in Montreal

Seeing as this is a food blog, it is hard for me to get into the details of my vacation without boring the appetite out of somebody, but suffice to say I saw a lot of the beautiful city I went to.

Gay Village, Montreal

Gay Village, Montreal

Editors’ Note: You can give the kid an app for his iphone so that he can add notes to the pics he takes; but that doesn’t mean he’ll use it.  So please excuse the poorly captioned photos.

Old Port, Montreal

Old Port, Montreal

Montreal is named after Mont Real [translates to Royal Mountain, correct me if I'm wrong in the comments], a mountain north of the city that is recognized for it’s suspiciously hill-sized stature [Everest it is not] and the various structures on top: namely a Cross to mark a grave site, a tall antenna and what looks like a giant tuning fork.

image courtesy of montreal.metblogs.com

image courtesy of montreal.metblogs.com

Compared to Toronto, there seemed to be a lot of cafes. My sister, who has lived there upwards of 2.5 years, said Montreal was just starting to get into coffee culture. Naturally, I ran screaming out of the city shouting ‘The British are coming!’ before realizing that Montreal is an island and sinking to the murky depths to confuse future archeologists.

Instead of yelling "the British are coming!!", I actually just ate there

Instead of yelling “the British are coming!!”, I actually just ate there

I could go into the niggles of the various hot chocolates I had, but I won’t for two reasons. The first is that I didn’t give a damn enough to take notes, and the second is that everyone wanted me to have poutine [pron: Poo-Teen, Po-Tin, and Pow-Tin if you're American].

[Sorry if I’m not as funny as I [help] usually am, it’s hard to write with a gun pointed at your [help] head by okay okay I’ll get back to the post]

from Java Café, Montreal

from Java Café, Montreal

I was kidding, don’t worry for my health or safety [help]. The first poutine I had that I’ll talk about was a curious one ordered with a sandwich at a cafe called Java [or something like that, again, no notes]. While the sandwich was so average it was most likely aired by the CBC, the poutine was something else. Its fries were well cooked and better than one would think, and added a bit of flavouring spice to the mix. The gravy was always well done in every poutine I had, probably because Montreal messing up the gravy in poutine would be akin to Toronto’s Rob Ford forgetting to bring some  crack cocaine to a party.

image courtesy of alyssamooremru.blogspot.com

image courtesy of alyssamooremru.blogspot.com

Also a staple of Quebec poutine [the one city I visited now arbitrarily represents the entire province of millions of people, just like I'm an American tourist exploring the foreign savage-lands of NotUS.] is that cheese curds shall always be generous, and they shall always be higher quality than anywhere else in the country, or the Quebec Gods will come down from the skies and drag you screaming to the dining tables of Valhalla. That didn’t even make sense.

 

Poutine with fried chicken I ate at my sister's house

Poutine with fried chicken I ate at my sister’s house

I’ve had plenty of regular poutine to counteract the crazy stuff I had, most notably the one with fried chicken on it. It was basically two meals in one, which made it an average meal for me. The poutine is already confirmed to always be good [a humoungous cheese/fry ration compared to other Pow-Tins if I'm correct], but the fried chicken was actually surprisingly good with it, making me wonder if it was also a standalone option on the restaurant’s menu. The quality of it was preserved in the trip from its kitchen to the house I was staying at, which was basically me saying I had takeout while managing to use one full sentence to even out this paragraph’s space better.

Needless to say, I ate a lot of Poutine

Needless to say, I ate a lot of Poutine

Every poutine I had the pleasure of eating came mandatorily with fresh cut, homemade fries, warm, creamy savoury gravy and big, rich, flavourful cheese curds. I highly recommend eating it there. That said, I’ve had enough for a while, before I really do run screaming into the lake.

Chilling in a beautiful Montreal park with my sister's most excellent dog, Noodle

Chilling in a beautiful Montreal park with my sister’s most excellent dog, Noodle

Keep your eyes peeled [not really, ew] for my poutine post, which I will make after the necessary researching, cross-checking and blackmailing is completed. I’ve also got a post on the food truck scene in Toronto, which is as well-respected and supported by the city’s government as Capitalism is in China.

Editor’s Note part deux:  unless otherwise noted in the captions, all photography for this post courtesy of Reighan Murphy (aka the Sister) or Callum Denault (himself)

Bite Me Grill

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Bite Me Grill

All right everybody, this is the paragraph were I write to my subscribers, so if you just came for the restaurant, just start reading after the pictures of the mass murderer and the war criminal.  To my sub-ers [a made-up word that will probably end up in UrbanDictionary because of me], I’m heading to Montreal tomorrow as of time of writing, and will be taking pictures to do a compilation blog after returning.  You’ll probably see the thumbnail of me attempting to speak spanish to communicate with pro-french anti-anglos, with citizens face-palming my tourist level of stupidity in the background.  

facepalm

Bite Me Grill is apparently not a place where you bite people, as the friendly police officers explained as they gave me a free ride in the back seat of their car [A jest, I'll put a # everytime I kid again]. I decided to get their signature all-day breakfast at 5:30 pm, because it had three types of meat in it with a bunch of other food.  My mom had the chicken souvlaki, because it was one of the things that didn’t cause a gluten reaction or nut allergy.  

bite me grill interior

The decor is modern in a not-incredibly-ugly-and-actually-stylish way, with an open kitchen.  There are two tvs, which inevitably had the Argentina/Netherland football game [I didn't say soccer just to spite American football].  Since the former won, I can now say I still don’t care who wins.  It is also worth noting that the restaurant is located in the former half of a now-smaller Rogers establishment that used to hold VCRs that are currently displayed in the 20th century exhibit in the Royal Ontario Museum[#].  There is nothing left from the Rogers store as of now, except for the suit-man who guards the souls of those who failed to pay the cable bill on time in the basement [#].  
Bite Me Grill's signature breakfast

Bite Me Grill’s signature breakfast

The Bite Me Breakfast came with two half-slices of ham, a pair of breakfast sausages and conjoined twin bacon, eggs with I ordered scrambled, whole wheat buttered toast and home fries.  The meats were obviously salty, but not overwhelmingly so.  I found the home fries to be good, cooked to have flavour but not burnt into something Ebenezer Scrooge would steal from Bob Cratchit.  
Random picture of Mickey Mouse in keeping with the Scrooge reference

Random picture of Mickey Mouse in keeping with the Scrooge reference

They also had spice and a generally good standard taste to them.  The eggs were alright, but nothing was really done with them.  I wonder if perhaps the chef was better at cooking a different style of egg than the one I ordered.  As for the meats, they were well done.  While the ham was tender and tasty, the bacon was cooked to a crispy perfection and the sausages had a good bite paired with meaty flavour.  The portions were quite generous, especially with the heated animal flesh [bad choice of words bad choice of words], making it a win-win when paired with the menu options.  
First half of the menu.  Note the omelet prices

First half of the menu. Note the omelet prices

I looked at the prices, and decided they were not only fairly marked but clever.  You see, I found that the omelette section had the option of making your own custom omelette instead of ordering one of the selected ones from the menu.  Being a cheapskate with an evil sense of humour, I tried to see if ordering a custom omelette with the exact same toppings as a menu omelette would be cheaper [I did the math in my head, because I'm not that manic].  Predictably, the numbers were against my sleazy scheme.
Mom's chicken souvlaki

Mom’s chicken souvlaki

As for the souvlaki, it was also rather standard but good–much like the home fries–as it was juicy, tender, and marinated in a way that has stood the test of time many times over.
The Greek salad that came with the souvlaki.  Very generous with the feta cheese

The Greek salad that came with the souvlaki. Very generous with the feta cheese

 Observant readers, or those who are nutty enough to come up with things such as the Pixar Theory, will notice a recurring theme.  Everything was good, but also average.  It is an uncanny valley where the food is typical but good.  This makes it hard to put on a scale of how much the place is recommendable.  
yakuza pinky
On one end there is a place to join the Yakuza to have your pinky cut off to get a member’s pass for, and on the other is a place you’ll go to if your friend is bugging you to go to that place and you feel the need to punish them with ungodly horror even if you get dragged down with them into the pit of pain.  I was thinking of Tortilla Flats with that latter one.  I often will say a restaurant is okay to visit only if you’re in the immediate area, but I think Bite Me is good enough to say it warrants a little more than that.  There is a certain brand of diner food that Bite Me is a firm producer of, and if that is what you crave, than I certainly recommend it.  For someone who craves a better, but far more untraditional brunch, I’d point to a place such as Aunties and Uncles.  
Undercover in Montreal

Undercover in Montreal

I’m going to Montreal to see family and gather intel on Earth life for the Vrillians, so I must bid farewell for now.  
(Editor’s Note: At time of posting, Callum has safely returned from his recon mission to Montreal)
Bite Me Grill 730 Danforth Avenue

Bite Me Grill on Urbanspoon

Aunties and Uncles

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Aunties and Uncles
Alright, to my subscribers [newcomers won't find this paragraph relevant, but I guess nothing is stopping you from reading it anyway], I know it’s been a while, so long in fact, that a singularity happened where I didn’t even have a deadline anymore because no one was waiting for new content.  Well, now I’m back, and now you’re going to be waiting for new updates after this post is done, my bad.  I could say I was busy with studying, but since I’m homeschooled, that’d be flimsier than Canada’s national identity.
image courtesy of www.marxist.com

image courtesy of http://www.marxist.com

 I also suppose I could talk about what happened in the month I’ve been gone, either boring you with petty details that would bore a schoolgirls’ diary, or make some remark about world news, probably comparing Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine as a sad attempt to copy the USA’s international relations behavior, as if that is in anyway connected to a restaurant review.  And on that notion…
Aunties and Uncles is the next on the list of famous Toronto restaurants, after the poorly received Burrito Boyz.  Oh and by the way Boyz, in the eon I’ve been gone for, I went to another Mexican restaurant, and it had more heat than a collapsed igloo in the middle of winter! 
melted igloo
That’s referring to the previous entry in this series, but that should be the only reference to other posts of mine, I don’t want this blog to become the insert current formulaic overly-complicated soap opera here of the internet.  
The restaurant is a brunch place, one of those eateries that has been made out of an old house.
aunties and uncles
 The homey approach was thus the best way to do it, as being fancy would’ve been trying too hard in a way that would horribly backfire.  Like Canada attempting to please every single country in the world and turning into the world’s biggest 99% uninhabitable oil-rich pushover.  I’ve been hating the USA for too long to be good for my health, so I’ve redirected my rage at the only over live-able country I have citizenship in.  And since I’m angry about politics as usual and not Aunties and Uncles that can only mean that yes, it is a good place.  While we’re still on decor, while 50s/60s retro theme is by far overdone, I haven’t really seen a place where it could be anymore appropriate until now, since it’s fitting to refer to a time period the building has no doubt been through, and the brunch menu is reminiscent of highway diners that lived through the days of MacCarthism–err. I mean the Vietnam War– dammit, I meant the [swallow] american dream [the happy patriotism is too much... ugh].  I almost got through without being cynical, so close.  
In all seriousness, Aunties and Uncles is great, not just the aesthetics, but the food too.  Everything is in portions big enough to satisfy the hungriest hitch-hiker, and it is delicious.  There seems to be a certain way of cooking, probably either the using specific utensils or temperatures, that transcends cuisines and ingredients to deliver a specific homey taste that this place brings.
club sandwich
 I had the Aunties and Uncles club, which seemed fitting as it was probably their signature and it would be filling enough for me.  While the tomato was quite thick, this wasn’t a bad thing as the chicken and bacon were quite flavourful, and it was counteracted.  The bread was perfect, adding to the taste but not overpowering, and it held together the sandwich without crumbing to pieces.  
club sandwich close up
Along with it was a homemade ketchup, which is to Heinz what Bill Gate’s fortune is to NASA’s budget.  That may sound like a joke, but NASA gets .5%, or one half penny out of every dollar, of the nation’s tax.  There is literally a pennies for NASA campaign to get one full cent of every bill directed to the agency, as sad as it is.  Back on track, the ketchup had sweetness to it, but also some spice and pretty much everything that made it more than tomato mush and vinegar.  It was perfect for the bits of bread crusts hanging off the sandwich.  
breakfast tacos
My mom had the breakfast taco. It again had the homey taste, and I think credit is due to how the americanized ingredients added to it work so well. I also liked how the shell was doubled up so that it wouldn’t fall apart. This is one of the gluten free options, although it isn’t written as being such on the menu.
taco close up
As for the home fries, they were delicious, which is perfect for a brunch restaurant. They still retained the flavour of the original potato, as opposed to boiling it all away and desperately spicing it up much in the same way someone would lather on tons of cologne before their first date after having gotten really sweaty. That’s not to say that they were just potatoes mashed on a plate, they were cooked in such a way as to add flavour, and deserved their own paragraph and mean comparative joke.
image courtesy of cheezburger.com

image courtesy of cheezburger.com

 I really liked Aunties and Uncles, in no small part, due to the fact that I was expecting something overrated and bland like Burrito Boyz, but instead got a pleasant surprise, kind of like your phone ringing to notify you about an actually relevant message from a real human being, and not the usual din of app notifications or the service provider trying to shake out more money [I'm looking at you Rogers]. I recommend going to it from a distance and not just if you’re in the area and have a craving for something that just makes you as desperate as the cologne guy a half hour before his date [I've been trying to offend every demographic I'm a part of for whatever reason: Canadians, Americans, iPhone users, teenagers etc]. And I was referring to him desperate about smelling nice, what where you thinking of?
I’m hoping that more places on the list will be like this, but if they suck at least I’ll get to have another angry rant review.
Aunties and Uncles 74 Lippincott St

Aunties and Uncles on Urbanspoon

Why I Haven’t Been Posting

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broken computer

 

Dear subscribers that I’ve probably really pissed off by now, I’ve come from my meetings with the Cthulhu to explain that there is a reason, or at least an excuse. I had the ability to write text like this, but I couldn’t have done any reviews as there would’ve been no pictures, which are too important to modern blogs to skip. The reason is that Microsoft computers have so many viruses that DARPA has probably already added a few billion dollars to the US debt trying to turn it into a bioweapon. It wasn’t easy to fix because it’s a Windows 7 that we stole from the 2000’s to spite the Windows 8, which my family avoids like it’s a Mormon or something [not anti-Christian, it's anti-anti-Christian, if that makes sense]. Also, I had been written a review for a place called Aunties and Uncles, but the computer broke before my Shaggoth could post the review, and the Cosmic Deities were too busy being scary to help at the moment. Wow, I know a lot about Lovecraft’s work for someone who has actually never read any of it, guess that’s helpful for pretending to be smart.

In short, I wanted to explain why there haven’t been any updates in a while. I really haven’t been busy, except for wondering if Google is stalking me and if something is watching me right this second through FaceTime camera on the left of me screen. Paranoia seems like an increasingly plausible excuse too. The next review will be up soon.

Burrito Boyz

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march break

Right, so to start off, here’s a summary of how my March Break went [if you are just here for the review, you can skip this paragraph, it won't do you or I any harm].  It started off with me being only one of two people at tae kwon do on Monday, with feelings of disappointment and loneliness, which was cured with a Tuesday mall trip and a meeting with a friend on literally the only day there was a huge blizzard*.  I lazed around on my back for such a large amount of my time and reaffirmed my beliefs that in the distant future humanity will evolve into fat slug-like things that do nothing but live on the internet 24/7 with an inexhaustible supply of food.
wall e fat people
 A part of the Ukraine was crazy enough to join Russia, and a huge plane was hijacked and disappeared in a maddening mystery, but my life was decidedly more normal when I went to Burrito Boyz (their College St location)  [my god was that a forced connection].
*to answer your question, yes I have friends, some my age, others not, some male, some female, some relatively normal and others complete wackos like me.

burrito boyz college st

Wow, I actually did something on the internet self-obsessed enough to go on Facebook  (except of course in regards to Callumeatstoronto), which is an odyssey because I run from normal teenage usage of internet socialization the same way a creationist runs from dinosaurs [yes I know that's offensive and I'll burn in hell for it, but you know it's true!].  This post is part of a new series where I will be reviewing BlogTO’s article: Toronto’s Top Ten Famous Restaurants  and Burrito Boyz is the start.  Interestingly, Burrito Bandidos is an offshoot  of this chain, because its owners had a disagreement  for some unknown reason, and there is some delicious irony to be had here.
food irony
Impressions were low, with the place not looking too fancy [which I would be totally fine with if the food was good, as I have been countless times], but the ride on the streetcar back home had better heating than this place!  I’m pretty sure the only things aside from the food-cooking stove and the warm human bodies of the employees and customers, the only thing that generated heat was the hand dryer in the bathroom which I used with extreme relish.  To throw gasoline on the fire, or more appropriately in light of recent events, to put Vladimir Putin on [pick one] /gay rights issue/Ukranian riots/allegations of Syrian chemical weapons*, the furniture was all metal and seemed only to conduct the temperature into our bodies, much as metal does in when exposed to hot or cold air.
burrito boyz
 Not even the bathroom’s tap ran hot water, and the food was cooked enough to not be room temperature but not hot enough to heat up customer’s mouths, making me feel the cold is intentional [in a way eerily close to how Scrooge stole coal from Crachit], and the hand dryer was an overlooked factor, no doubt being replaced by paper towels right now as the Boyz read this.
*this was an elaborate satire my twisted psyche came up with to say that I don’t agree with Vladimir Putin’s latest policies, for those who couldn’t get past the obscurity and randomness of the comment.
Again, the food better be pretty damn good [I made fun of Christianity and made jokes about Russia being bad and went to far as to make a brief jab at chemical warfare, do you really think I'm going to censor the word damn?] to save this joint.  Well… let’s just start.
My chicken and sweet potato burrito

My chicken and sweet potato burrito

 The large-sized burrito was big, but didn’t live up to the standards of the ridiculously big Chipotle burrito, which is a big thing since people like me are partially in it for far-bigger-than-is-healthy proportions.
My mom was still hungry after this

My mom was still hungry after this

 And the gluten-free sizes are smaller than a regular small, which supports my previous theories that the Boyz are either Mr. Krabs-like cheapskates or hate the customers for some reason: what better way to punish customers than to pick on a minority who already can’t eat much?
 toppings available  to choose from

toppings available to choose from

As for the contents of the whole wheat burrito, I had the sweet-potato chicken large with refried beans, black beans, cheese salsa and burrito sauce as topping.  I know I ordered sweet potato, but I couldn’t help but feel there was little too much of it, at least when compared to the chicken, of which there was still a lot of.  While tender and in good sizes and proportion [not comparing to the sweet potato, but by itself], it is just cooked chicken, no grilling or marinating.
conquistador conquer aztec
 It’s kind of like the Conquistadors realizing that the Aztecs they just finished wiping out and converting to The Empire [I can't say Christianity again... I'll get in trouble] had far better cooking methods than they did, and started to cook in a more bland way hoping people wouldn’t figure out that other Mexicans still knew the secrets of doing remotely something to the chicken to add a modicum of unique flavour [good god that was a contrived way to bring in more history, violence and controversy for entertainment, ugh].
 No, I’m not too pleased, and here’s where the irony comes in, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you got it already: Burrito Bandido is better than Burrito Boyz.  That’s right, I didn’t have to say Chipotle Mexican Grill is even  better, although that is equally true, Burrito Boyz’ own creation is better than it!  That’s kind of like the end of Empire Strikes Back but in reverse [picture that scene where Mark Hamil says 'No Darth, I am your son' and James Earl Jones screams 'Noooooooooo!  That's impossible!'].

So why so popular?  One answer: hype.  When something gets popular, while it can be good, it leads to some horrors, fan theories about The Shining being about Stanley Kubrick having to fake the Apollo Moon Landings are a good example {link to 11  ludicrous fan theories that actually make sense}, but things that get acclaim even though they’re crappy are a more fitting example.  Subscribers no doubt know how I feel about The Burger’s Priest, and my feelings for The Great Gatsby and Inception are being saved for a future non-food related post.  The food was good at Burrito Boyz, no denying that, but competition on the same level as this chain is far better, and if you’re gluten-free than you’re overcharged for a skimpy portion and sent to cold metal chair;  Oliver Twist style.  It’s not good if I can make connections to Dickensian themes in a way someone who is far more sane than I am, could.
image courtesy of moonconspiracy.wordpress.com

image courtesy of moonconspiracy.wordpress.com

In short, Burrito Boyz does not live up to hype in any stretch of the imagination, and the only thing that stands out in a positive way are how the Koodo advertisements in the bathroom are actually toilet jokes when you think about them.
koodo
 Fine, the service was speedy and actually very polite considering I was acting weird and taking ordering oddly, so props to them, it’s the owners I have a beef with. I would do my typical go-here-if-you’re-in-the-neighborhood-but-seek-out-better-competition-if-not thing, but even if you have a really heavy Mexican craving, shrug it off to go for Italian instead, and if your friend/family has the craving, tell them to shut up about it [just don't say you'll buy it, they'll probably order wine or something expensive if they think like me but are evil enough to do it].   An over-hyped disappointment is decidedly a bad way to start this adventure off, but it’s a fun excuse to rant.  Cynically, I could say this is a forewarning of more overrated places on the Top Ten List, but I’d like to think this is a fluke.  The optimist and pessimist inside me are fighting again.  Until we meet again.
Burrito Boyz 575 College Street

Burrito Boyz on Urbanspoon