FOOD TRUCK FEEDING FRENZY: Localista

Another food-truck with a vaguely political-sounding name…although in this case, I’m pretty sure Localista refers to the fact that they get their ingredients from nearby:

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The sum of these parts is this crisp and juicy, two-bite-sized fried chicken, with a coating that’s crisp, but not heavy. The biscuit added a doughy chew, and the bed of veggies are certainly healthier than fries. Yeah, I should probably be eating more of the former and less of the latter.

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FOOD TRUCK FEEDING FRENZY REDUX: Fidel Gastro’s

Despite their name, I don’t think this outfit is run by communists; they have no qualms about serving up grub to Bay Street bankers, in any case…

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In my case, it was the Diablo, a pulled Buffalo chicken sandwich with a side of “pad thai fries.” What are pad thai fries, you ask? Well, I’m not sure what seasoning they put on them, but it gives ‘em a pretty good kick. In fact, there was more heat in these spuds than I tasted in the chicken, which was nevertheless quite moist and tasty. Apparently, these guys have their own TV show on some channel I’ve never heard of. Can you say food porn?

FOOD TRUCK FEEDING FRENZY REDUX: Gourmet Gringos

What, another taco truck?

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Well, I guess I can’t complain when they’re dishing out beer-battered fish tacos. The crisp batter was wrapped around a light flaky mahi mahi, with some crunchy coleslaw on top, all seasoned with a spicy mayo. It’s kinda like a Mexican fish-stick… Would it be wrong to serve these with a side of chips?

FOOD TRUCK FEEDING FRENZY REDUX: Rome’n Chariot

Now, when I was in high school, I pretty much subsisted on ravioli. I didn’t know how to cook, but I could empty a can of Chef Boyardee’s and put it in the microwave. So if I was left to make my own dinner, I knew what I was having. That said, I never had any raviolis that looked like this:

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 The Rome’n Chariot truck proudly proclaims that it was featured on Eat St, and I think I might have seen that episode. Its menu of Italian comfort food mostly consists of breaded sandwiches, but when I saw the toasted ravioli on the menu, my mind was made up. Deep-fried for a crunchy texture with a dusting of parmesan, these spinach-flavoured pillows of goodness were made for dunking in the mild marinara sauce. I could’ve used something with a bit more kick, but I certainly can’t complain about portion size—7 for $10 seems about right.

FOOD TRUCK FEEDING FRENZY REDUX: CORNehCOPIA

And now, for something completely different…

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Today, I ate from a food truck that only served corn. Let’s see, they had corn salad, corn soup, Mexican corn—as seen above, topped with feta cheese and a paprika-heavy spice mix. The kernels were sweet and fresh, while the toppings made things interesting. And though that might not look like a very big bowl, I can attest it contains about a full cob’s worth.

FOOD TRUCK FEEDING FRENZY REDUX: La Loteria

Back in December, food trucks started showing up at the foot of Bay Street…and then the weather went cold, and I didn’t feel much like venturing out of the office. Now that we’re under more reasonable climes, it’s time for the return of my street-food reviews, starting with this Cinco de Mayo special:

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Hey, if you’re running a mobile nourishment unit, you’re pretty much in the business of getting food out fast. In that regard, tacos are always a quick pick. In fact, that’s all they serve at the Loteria food truck, with choices consisting of carnitas and chicken. The former offers succulent, juicy pork, while the latter, though somewhat saucy, was still notably mild. But what really makes it is the considerable meat-to-vegetable ratio, using diced onions and cilantro as little more than a garnish. You might not find this much carne in a taco twice this size…

That being said, I could probably pound a dozen of these—if I wanted to spend 40 bucks on tacos (3 for $10).

10 REASONS TO VISIT HAMILTON (besides Black Sabbath): 6. The Mother of all Tim Hortons

Black Sabbath’s Canadian Tour doesn’t include Toronto.  Mind you, they did play here last summer as part of their larger North American tour.  But as other headbangers (in major cities) across the country will be banging their heads to Sabbath over the next three weeks, Torontonians will hafta head all the way over to Hamilton to get their fix next Friday.  OK, so it’s only about 45 minutes west on the QEW.  And hey, Hamilton’s not a bad place to be.  Leading up to the concert, I’ll be counting down 10 reasons to head over to the Hammer…not including the big gig on the 11th.

10. Smoked turkey leg. Nuff said.

9. The Canadian Football Hall of Fame

8. Augusta British Pub District

7. Fries deep-fried in beef fat? Shut the front door!

6. The Mother of all Tim Hortons

Tim Horton might have played most of his career in Toronto, but when it came to opening his first doughnut shop, he set up shop in The Hammer.  The first store, which opened in ’64, is still standing at Ottawa St and Dunsmure Rd, although it seems they’ve since replaced all the vintage signage.  I mean, I doubt they pour their double-doubles any differently, but if you worship at the altar of Timmy’s, this here is your temple.

10 REASONS TO VISIT HAMILTON (besides Black Sabbath): 7. Fries deep-fried in beef fat? Shut the front door!

Black Sabbath’s Canadian Tour doesn’t include Toronto.  Mind you, they did play here last summer as part of their larger North American tour.  But as other headbangers (in major cities) across the country will be banging their heads to Sabbath over the next three weeks, Torontonians will hafta head all the way over to Hamilton to get their fix next Friday.  OK, so it’s only about 45 minutes west on the QEW.  And hey, Hamilton’s not a bad place to be.  Leading up to the concert, I’ll be counting down 10 reasons to head over to the Hammer…not including the big gig on the 11th.

10. Smoked turkey leg. Nuff said.

9. The Canadian Football Hall of Fame

8. Augusta British Pub District

7. Fries deep-fried in beef fat? Shut the front door!

If you’re like me, Fridays can only mean one thing: all-new episodes of Triple-D, y’all!  I dunno guy, but I’m pretty sure Guy Fieri would dig Randy’s Hamburgers, a place that lays claim to local, farm-to-table, grass-fed beef, scratch-made condiments and, most importantly, beef-fat french fries.  That’s so out-of-bounds you’d hafta buy a ticket!

As the website says, “The fat we use comes from beef raised on local farms and is rendered on the premises. This gives the French Fries and Onion Rings their rich flavour and doesn’t leave any gritty film in your mouth.”  Winner winner, gritty film-less dinner!

Alas, while I was pretty stoked to find out about this funky joint, which is just 2 minutes from Ivor Wynne Stadium, that makes it quite a ways away from Copps Coliseum–3.6 kilometers, to be exact.  Looks like I’ll just hafta wait until I pay my next visit to the new Tim Hortons Field then, unless Guy wants to give me a ride in his Camaro…

10 REASONS TO VISIT HAMILTON (besides Black Sabbath): 8. Augusta British Pub District

Black Sabbath’s Canadian Tour doesn’t include Toronto.  Mind you, they did play here last summer as part of their larger North American tour.  But as other headbangers (in major cities) across the country will be banging their heads to Sabbath over the next three weeks, Torontonians will hafta head all the way over to Hamilton to get their fix next Friday.  OK, so it’s only about 45 minutes west on the QEW.  And hey, Hamilton’s not a bad place to be.  Leading up to the concert, I’ll be counting down 10 reasons to head over to the Hammer…not including the big gig on the 11th.

10. Smoked turkey leg. Nuff said.

9. The Canadian Football Hall of Fame

8. Augusta British Pub District

Augusta Street in Hamilton is a little like Augusta Ave in Toronto…if you replaced all the produce shops and discount stands with pubs, pubs…a few houses, and more pubs.  Let’s just say if you stopped at every one of these places in one night, you might not wake up the next morning.  Some of the most well-known haunts include:

I’ve only been to a couple of these places before, but I’m pretty sure I know which direction I’m headed in once I get off the bus next Friday…

Heart disease…LIKE A BOSS!

Having spent roughly 50 hours watching college basketball over the past four days, I’ve certainly seen my share of chicken-sandwich commercials–not to mention the promo for the second-last episode of How I Met Your Mother, which airs tonight!!!!  (Does CBS not have any other shows or something?)  Let’s just say at this point, I can’t even sit through the Wendy’s Asiago Ranch Chicken sandwich ad anymore without screaming.  A chicken sandwich telling jokes and riding a motorcycle?  I hope that bike crashes into a ditch.

On the other hand, the ad for KFC’s Big Boss is absolutely inspiring.  Set to the tune of the overplayed Twisted Sister classic “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” the 30-second spot tells the epic tale of four people who quit their jobs…so they can eat a sandwich that looks exactly like a Big Mac, but with chicken.  (I’m pretty sure you can see some sorta McDonald’s copyright in the fine print at the end if you look closely.  Yes, I’ve watched this commercial that many times.)  Suffice to say that after slipping on some tattered spandex and rocking out a mean guitar solo, I headed down to my nearest Kentucky Fried Chicken for this:

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Did I mention that this sandwich is basically a Big Mac, but with chicken?  You’ve got onions, pickles, lettuce, cheese all on a sesame-seed bun.  It even has special sauce–some sort of Russian dressing.  That said, this could be the best sandwich KFC has ever stolen from a leading fast-food chain.  It might even be better than the Zinger Double Down!

And of course, I had to get the KFC poutine, which adds its thick, salty gravy to its thick, crunchy fries.  This thing probably has about a bazillion calories…but hey, at least they use real cheese curds.

Put it this way: my heart still feels like it’s about to explode, and ate this for lunch…yesterday.  KFC FTW!!!!