Location: Hopefully parked on my driveway forever, but check their Twitter; it’s a food truck
I’m going to be honest: I like BeaverTails (cinnamon and sugar BeaverTails, to be specific) far more than I should probably admit. There’s not a whole lot to them — it’s just a big, flat piece of dough that’s deep fried, buttered, then dipped in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. That’s it.
Crispy and crunchy in spots and fluffy in others, combined with just enough cinnamon and sugar to make it sweet but not cloyingly so, it’s so damn good. I can’t resist it. There are other, similar fried dough options (mini doughnuts, churros, etc.) but BeaverTails are king. There’s just something about the irregular shape of the dough, which gives it textural contrast, that makes it irresistible.
I’m actually glad that there’s no permanent BeaverTails outpost in Toronto, because I’d be eating there all the time. I would live there. They would know me by name. I would die of a heart attack within a couple of years. It would be a life well lived.
Location: All over the place (check their Twitter account)
Over the last few years, Toronto’s food truck scene has gone from a handful of trucks selling stuff like hot dogs and fries to something much, much more interesting (there are enough to necessitate a website like this one to keep track of them). It’s certainly been a welcome phenomenon, and has made events like the recent Woofstock much more interesting, food-wise.
On this particular day, Hogtown Smoke had a few interesting looking items on their menu, though I decided to go with the Brisket Po Boy. The sandwich featured a fairly substantial amount of brisket dipped in au jus sauce, cheese, onions (which I honestly couldn’t even taste), and horseradish aioli.
It was a perfectly tasty sandwich, though I kinda wish I had just gone with the plain brisket. Good brisket is hard to prepare; it has the tendency to be a bit dry and tough, but this was moist, with just the right amount of fattiness and a nicely subtle smokey flavour. It was good enough that the other stuff felt more like a distraction than anything else; with brisket this good, all you really need is meat and bread, with maybe a little bit of barbecue sauce for flavour. There were a lot of flavours going on in this sandwich, and ultimately they just took away from the brisket.
The bread was perfect po boy bread — lightly crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. The whole thing was pretty good, but I’ll definitely be going for the plain brisket if I ever find myself back in the vicinity of this truck.
Location: 1550 South Gateway Road, Mississauga
Driving by, you wouldn’t be blamed for completely missing the food court in Dixie Park. Housed in a nondescript building in a somewhat industrial stretch of road along Dixie, it doesn’t look like much. The seemingly perpetual construction right outside certainly doesn’t help matters.
Those who venture inside will find a pretty good Asian food court. It’s generally nothing you’d want to go too far out of your way for, but most of the vendors here serve decent quality Chinese food (they’re mostly Chinese, with one Vietnamese place and one Japanese), with cheap prices and voluminous portions.
The best one is easily Dynasty B.B.Q. (Well, there was a Korean place that I used to really like — their pork bone soup was particularly delicious. Sadly, it closed down and was replaced by the aforementioned Vietnamese place. R.I.P., Korean place. You are missed). They have a typically comprehensive menu, though the real gem is the dish that comes with a combo of roast pork and BBQ pork.
Featuring a heaping portion of both types of pork served on top of rice (it also comes with a cup of mediocre soup that you should probably skip altogether), it’s a steal at $5.50. Though the less showy BBQ pork is certainly tasty and absolutely worth eating, it’s the roast pork that is the real reason to come here. I can’t claim to be an expert on this particular dish, though I have had it at a few different places. This is the best version of it that I’ve had. Perfectly cooked and yieldingly tender, with a satisfying layer of unctuous, melt-in-your-mouth fat, not to mention the salty, addictively amazing crispy, crunchy skin, it’s pretty outstanding.