Posts Tagged ‘Allen’s’

Burger Wars

Not A Slider, Actually

There’s been quite the battle being waged for burger supremacy in Toronto lately.

Specifically, it seems like every time I turn around, there’s a new fancy burger joint (complete with a list of premium organic meats and toppings) opening up.

I’ve sampled most of the “gourmet” burgers in town, being an above-average fan of burgers in general, and also a lover of a man who absolutely adores all things bacon cheeseburger-esque.

During the last few weeks I’ve sampled 2 of the newer offerings, so I’ll be ranking them in the context of some of the other boutique burger shops I’ve tried thus far.

Shortly after it opened in early November, the Everyman and I hightailed it to Oh Boy Burger Market to see what all the fuss was about.  We’d been anticipating its opening for quite some time; likely ever since I first saw their papered over window during the summer, if memory serves.  While the service was a bit spotty, the room completely packed and several items were sold out on our visit (can you blame them when they had only just opened and had already been written up in The Star?) the burgers themselves were tasty and exhibited that lovely, lacy crust that I crave on the outside.  I opted to have the Oh Little Boy combo which came with 2 mini burgers, while the Everyman had a regular size.  Both were skillfully cooked, and it’s important to note that even with the size differential both were flavourful, juicy, and not the least bit dried out.  They also got bonus points for offering a really pungent blue cheese for topping the burgers; on top of the 2 minis it was like tiny bites of heaven.

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Breakfast Of Champions

Figs, Honey And Blue Benedictin

For a girl who despised blue cheese in any form for 27 years, this might seem like an odd breakfast option.

However, my love affair with blue cheese began to blossom around my birthday this year, when we went to Frank for dinner.

The combination of a poached pear, pancetta and some Blue Benedictin was all the convincing I needed to know that blue cheese has at least some merits.  Then, when I was working on that chicken wing story, I absolutely fell in love with the blue cheese dip at Allen’s, to the point that I was dipping anything I could into it.  As the Everyman is wont to remind me, once I find a new ingredient that I enjoy, I tend to want to add it to everything.

So, when I recently found myself in a grocery store (a rare occasion) and happened upon a chunk of Blue Benedictin whilst searching for bocconcini, I decided to grab a small slab, just in case.

This week, that “in case” happens to be a medley of chopped figs, a drizzle of honey, and a small crumble of blue cheese.

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A Local I Wish Was My Local

Since moving to Little Italy a few years ago, the Everyman and I have been on the hunt for a local haunt.

Paramount to him has always been a decent beer list and classic, pub-style fare, but I’ve been searching for something more.

I don’t drink beer, so that’s never been a consideration for me, and I prefer food that’s slightly more thoughtful than your run of the mill wings and veggie sticks, or chicken fingers.  The Everyman’s just as easily satisfied by a club sandwich as he is by a steak, so it can be challenging at times for us to find common ground.

The closest we’ve come to having a regular spot would be Czehoski, where the comfort food is fancified, the drinks are top notch and the staff are hip, but the furthest thing from pretentious.  I also have a soft spot for chef Leor Zimerman, who always has a kind word for us whenever he sees us sitting at the table in the window, and even comes out to deliver our meals occasionally or ask how we enjoyed his specials (note to Leor, please please please put that delectable tamale on the regular menu!!!)  Czehoski excels at simple, delicious edibles, makes a fantastic homemade burger (those milk buns!) and also serves a decadent brunch, with a croissant bread pudding that is not to be missed.  The menu is small, and the room lends itself to lounging, and considering we have not found a true brunch place in the area that isn’t overrated, it’s where we typically head when we want to get our morning weekend eat on.

But sometimes, you really do just want someplace you can go to have a well made cocktail (or in the Everyman’s case, a beer) where the staff are friendly, and the food (if you want it) is good.  A place that has ambiance, that is more like a bar.

Recently, we found that place.

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