Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bro's Cajun Cuisine - Nashville, TN

An old multi-leveled house turned restaurant, Bro's is a really cool place with a great atmosphere and fantastic food!  We ate there with a rather large group, so we had a generous portion of food to sample around.  We tried the crawdads, not my cup of tea, but if you like them, apparently theirs are top-notch.  Personally I had the gumbo as an app and jambalaya for my main.  The gumbo was excellent and the jambalaya was probably the best I've ever had. 

Other notable favorites around the table were the boudin balls, the catfish po-boy and the muffuletta.  It's about a 10 minute drive from downtown Nashville and well worth your time.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Restaurant Review: Pancer's Deli Emporium - Vaughan, ON

I usually don't rant and rave about a restaurant after just one visit, but this place blew my mind. On Sunday afternoon, after a visit to the LOCBO (Liquor Over-Control Board of Ontario), I was very pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon Pancer's Deli.  I've been in this plaza before, but never noticed the Deli.  On a whim, I poked my head in the door to discover the treasures within.

I'm not even sure what else was on the menu, because as soon as I saw the slicer cranking out the corned beef, I looked no further.  Corned beef on rye it was.  As I salivated all the way home with the sandwich riding shotgun, I reflected on the great corned beef sandwiches I've had in places like New York and Las Vegas.  Could something so close to home even compare?  The answer quite simply is, yes.  The sandwich was one of the best I've had in recent memory and in my opinion, would hold its own with some of the best.  The coleslaw was a little bland, but the sandwich was the bomb.

If you find yourself anywhere near Dufferin and Major Mac and have a soft spot for cured meat, do yourself a favor and stop in.  You will not be disappointed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Travel Review: The Dyconia "Resort" - Wasaga Beach, ON

This has to be the worst hotel/resort/motel room I've ever stayed in. First off, the rooms are filthy. The beds are from circa 1972 and if you roll over in the middle of the night it sounds like there is a cymbal player from a symphony orchestra under your bed. The springs rattle and you wake up, this was a certainty. Not to mention the comfort level of these beds. I'd rather sleep ANYWHERE else.

Now, the fun (and disturbing) part. In our room, on the back of the door, there were dirty hand prints (and finger nail scratches) where it looks like someone was trying to escape. Furthermore, the word FREE was carved into the wood (with the second E transposed) beside these scratches. This was all a little too creepy if you ask me.
The only thing I will say about the shower is that if you're more than 6 feet tall, bathe elsewhere.

So, needless to say, I do not endorse this "resort" and would advise that you spend your dollars elsewhere. On the upside, the food was pretty decent.
Stayed September 2009, traveled on business

Martin's Bar-B-Que - Nolensville, TN

This place is completely "off the hook"... probably the best brisket I have had ANYWHERE to date.  Located about a half hour outside of Nashville, Martin's is well worth the drive.  A relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff made the stop all the more enjoyable.  We went as a group and sampled many of the menu items (all fantastic), including the whole-hog approach to pulled pork.  We were lucky enough to get there when the trap door opened up to reveal a sight that almost brought a tear to my eye - a whole pig cooking in a giant custom made smoker (below).  For anyone looking for a great BBQ meal, Martin's is a must.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chino Bandido - Phoenix, AZ

After getting off the plane in Phoenix and arguing for an hour with the fine folks at the Budget rental counter about seemingly nothing, we had worked up quite an appetite.  Next stop, Chino Bandido.  This DDD joint is not much to look at, but the food and service was absolutely fantastic! 

They have a very eclectic menu comprised of a fusion of Mexican, Chinese and Caribbean items.  You can mix and match and if you don't know how to order, they are more than happy to help you out.  I had the Jen Red Pork (to die for), the Jerk Chicken Quesadillas with Jerk Fried Rice.  I would highly recommend this stop if you're in the vicinity.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

North Shore Santa Got Blitzen

Another home-brew from she shores of lake Erie, SGB is a complex winter spiced ale.  There's pretty much everything in here but the kitchen sink, but it really works.  This beer has multiple personalities as it warms to room temperature - unveiling the layers hidden beneath the surface of this lovely liquid creature.  Almost black when it pours and light carbonation, this beer is a masterpiece! 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot (aka WTF)

After a brief hiatus from blogging thanks to the flu and traveling, I'm back on the proverbial horse.  Beer #6 came to us all the way from Petaluma, California - via Buffalo, via Rick. Another sampling on the night the BrewJam (aka Molton Stanley) rocked the Vaughan area. WTF was a monster of a beer packed with strong malt and hop flavours.  A very dark amber colour, there were also smokey caramel notes in the aroma and taste.  Thanks for the contribution, Rick!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Southern Tier IPA

Southern Tier IPA has to be one of my favorite IPA's of all time.  As someone who enjoys hoppy beers, this is a treat I do not get very often as it is not easy to find north of the border; so whenever I get my hands on them I am grateful.

It pours a deep reddish amber and has a light frothy head. To the nose, it has a hoppy-caramel aroma and the taste is pure gold. "It's gold Jerry, gold!". A very nice blend with a real hop kick in every sip!  My girlfriend refers to these beers as "ass-feet" beers, but that's okay, more for me :-)

North Shore Jalapeno Peppercorn Bock

This formidable brew was concocted by the evil brain over at North Shore... (aka my friend Kurt's home-brew).  I must admit that this beer came with fair warning from the brew-master, but apparently some bottle conditioning was just the remedy to tame the beast.  It was actually pretty good.

It poured a dark translucent colour and had a peppery jalapeno nose with a light and limited head.  To taste, the jalapeno was prominent (but not dominant, as advertised) and there was a pleasant peppery finish. There was actually a very nice balance of flavours in this beer. I would definitely drink this again, but only one at a time.  On a side note, it went very well with the meats and cheeses in the background.

Read Rick's review of this beer here:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Duchy Organic Old Ruby Ale 1905

Okay, back to the world of real beer... this one was a pleasant surprise because I find organic ales can be hit and miss.  Duchy pours well with a light head and remains true to its name, sporting a ruby-amber colour.  The nose is a malty caramel and the taste reflects the nose.  It also has an earthy taste, but not in a bad way.  You do get a mild hop flavour, but nothing overpowers anything in this beer - it is very well balanced.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Coors Light


Not a proud moment, but when your options are limited, you capitulate and take one for the team. The good news is that it was "cold certified", so I couldn't really taste how bad this creature actually was. When left to chance in a hockey dressing room, you take your chances with beer selection and after a healthy workout, any libation will do.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Flying Monkeys Netherworld Cascadian Dark Ale

One of the newer additions to the Flying Monkeys' bottle roster, NCDA is classified as an Imperial Indian Porter.  While light for a porter, this beer is packed with great flavour and a hop punch.  It was certainly a good way to start off 28 IN 28!