Thursday, March 22, 2012

Toronto: Harlem Underground

an afro-affair
:Queen West:

Harlem Underground describes its food as Afro-American/Afro-Carribean with a modern twist.  That's a whole lot of a little somethings.

I had their lunch years ago.  From what I remembered it was flavourful.  I heard their chicken and waffles were delicious so I decided it was time I return.

I met up with Kitty and Aerie for a brunch date on a warm, but cloudy Saturday.  I have to say we three stuck out amongst the tattooed jeans-and-T hipsters, inasmuch as Kitty is more Chanel, Aerie is more X3 and me?  Well my jeans are Joe's and my T is Splendid.  Just sayin.  Hipster or not, the joint is casual and comfortable.  That is if you're not seated next to the LOUDEST four-some ever.  The table next to us was four hipsters yelling at the top of their lungs and laughing like mad cows on ebola milk; that much ruckus isn't meant for public on a Saturday afternoon.

So although our Saturday didn't start the way I would have hoped, the four-some left just as our food arrived. 

Kitty had the Crab Avocado Benny sans hollandaise:

We all agreed there was a serious lack of crab.  If you can't smell it, see it or taste it, is it really there?  Hipster waitress A insisted there was crab without even looking at the dish.  Her dismissiveness was balanced out by Hipster waitress B who agreed with us.  Only she came back from the kitchen saying the chef insisted there was crab but could "give us more" if we wanted.  Kitty declined. 

Aerie had the Harlem Benny - poached eggs served with chili-garlic greens, atop a sausage and grits, and a flap jack with cheesy hollandaise:

I of course had the chick-n-waff.  It came with scotch bonet-corriander lime syrup and gravy sauce.  The sauces were yum, but the chick-n-waffs didn't compare to Stockyards.  Not even close. 

Harlem Underground on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 9, 2012

Toronto: The Burger's Priest

food is the new religion

FYI: The new one at Yonge and Lawrence has milkshakes.
I only met Burger's Priest yesterday. 

I'm late the party so I'll avoid all religious puns. Toronto bloggers have covered them all. I'm also Christian so I'm not going to comment on the iconography.

But do you know about BP?  Did you get caught up in the hype?  Have you read all the reviews?  There are so many, and they all say the same thing, over, and over, and over again.  Save and except the 5% that run against the grain.  The biggest complaint from that group seems to be that it fell short of expectation.  I wonder if they know that meeting expectation is relative and dependent on who is doing the expecting.  Some of the minority also took issue with cost.  If you consider that a McDonald's meal, which by the way shurnk in size (that or it was colossal to the eyes of a 10 year old me), is about $9.  I don't think spending $50 for four burgers and two fries is really crazy.  Am I wrong?  Tell me I'm wrong.

Before my dinner date with The Scotsman, Cracker, and Kungfu Panda I researched the not so secret menu.  It took me a while to decide, and I changed my mind about 19 times.  They all sound ridiculously dirttyyyy.  (You can find that menu if you look; I'm not about to lay down here.)

Kungfu Panda is a vegetarian so he went with the Option. 

The Scotsman had the cheeseburger with Jargz (onions fried with mustard, akin to In-N-Out's animal style):

Cracker had the Pope:

holy moly

And yours truly had the High Priest:

Haters say it's "just a Big Mac".  Firstly, what's wrong with a Big Mac.
Secondly and more importantly, when's the last time you had a Big Mac that
filled you up and left you feeling good?
I thought so.
We three shared the fries, which were just that, fries.  But I never met a fry I didn't like.

BP starts from a really good foundation.  Meat-eaters get quality beef while plant-eaters get a panko-breaded portobello mushroom cap stuffed with cheese and garlic.  All-eaters get fresh toppings and can build their burger as crazy as they want. 

It's no In-N-Out, but for now, American burgers joints > Canadian ones.  But here in Toronto, through all the hype, and with all the waiting, Burger's Priest was dirrrtyyyy.  The true test of any burger is how it made you feel.  When all is said and eaten, did you feel good?  Or did you feel gross?

I feel good, like I knew I would, so good, so good, I love meat.

The Burger's Priest on Urbanspoon