Quick Bites: Bobbie Sue’s Mac + Cheese, Bang Bang, A&W

Blue Buffalo Chicken from Bobbie Sue's Mac + Cheese
Blue Buffalo Chicken from Bobbie Sue’s Mac + Cheese

I’ve tried Bobbie Sue’s Mac + Cheese a couple of times and enjoyed it quite a lot.  Alas, this visit wasn’t quite as stellar.  I had the Blue Buffalo Chicken, which features chicken and Buffalo sauce mixed right in with the pasta, and crumbles of blue cheese on top.  It’s a tasty combo, and it certainly wasn’t bad — but the pasta was overcooked, the whole thing was weirdly soupy, and it wasn’t evenly heated (the edges were piping hot, and the middle was surprisingly cold).  Hopefully it was just an off day, because my last couple of visits were actually pretty special.

Beer and Brown Bread ice cream from Bang Bang
Beer and Brown Bread ice cream from Bang Bang

Beer and Brown Bread is a flavour that’s been popping up on Bang Bang’s menu for years, though for whatever reason I hadn’t tried it until now.  It’s… weird!  The ice cream itself is actually not that sweet, and captures the beer flavour with unnerving accuracy (it’s fairly bitter, like an IPA).  It took me a while to warm up to it, but once you wrap your mind around it, it’s actually quite good.  It’s also got somewhat crispy pieces of brown bread mixed in, which complements the beer flavour of the ice cream quite well.

Chocolate Turnover made with KitKat from A&W
Chocolate Turnover made with KitKat from A&W

Not much to say about this one — it’s a fried pie filled with chocolatey goo, with little crispy bits interspersed throughout.  I feel like any fried pie is going to be tasty, and yeah, it’s good.  The combo of the crispy exterior and crispy bits within adds some nice texture, and the chocolatey goo is satisfying.  The whole thing is a bit too sweet and doesn’t quite have the punch of chocolate flavour that you’re hoping it might, but I still quite enjoyed it.

A Mind-Blowing Burrito at Comal y Canela

Comal y Canela
Location: 1692B Jane Street, York
Website: https://www.comalycanela.com/

I’m a bit late to the party here, but I feel like there was a time on Instagram recently where every other post was someone dipping a beefy taco into a cup of soup.

I’m talking about birria tacos, a dish in which braised beef and cheese are crammed into a tortilla, dunked in a beefy soup, griddle-fried, and then served with even more soup for dipping.

Comal y Canela

You can get this at Comal y Canela, and yeah, it’s good.  How could it not be?  Tender beef, gooey cheese, flavourful soup?  It’s like a French dip sandwich but better, with amplified flavours and textures that are an absolute delight to eat.

The really surprising thing, however?  The birria tacos weren’t even the highlight of the meal.

I also tried the michoacano burrito, which the menu describes as “giant flour tortilla with a cheese crust, black bean puree, braised pork, onion, jalapeno, avocado, crema fresca and queso fresco.”

Comal y Canela

Good lord, that burrito.  I don’t want to overstate this, but I think this might have been the best burrito I’ve ever had?  I’m skeptical that a better burrito exists.  Okay, maybe I’m overstating it a tad, but I really, really enjoyed this burrito.

Comal y Canela

Every part of it works so well, though that cheese crust (I’m guessing they just take a pile of cheese and let it brown on the griddle) is downright genius.  The combination of the gooey, crusty cheese and the ultra-tender pork (not to mention the creamy avocado and literally every other ingredient in this thing) is pure magic.  I guess I could do without the raw onions, but there’s so much else going on here that they really just add some crunch.

Comal y Canela

It’s hard for me to say that this is the best burrito I’ve ever eaten, because I’ve had quite a few burritos in my lifetime, but I can honestly say that I cannot remember eating a better one.  It’s that good.

Quick Bites: Pizzeria Via Napoli, Ikkoi Japanese Family Cuisine, Nani’s Gelato

Pizzeria Via Napoli
Margherita pizza from Pizzeria Via Napoli

I suppose you could order something from a Neapolitan pizza joint that isn’t a margherita pizza, but why would you?  As I’ve mentioned before, it’s the perfect food.  It’s also a great test of a restaurant’s chops, because it’s so simple that if your technique isn’t on point, and if the ingredients you’re working with aren’t great, it’s going to show.  Pizzeria Via Napoli’s version absolutely hits it out of the park; the crust is flavourful, perfectly chewy, and has a good amount of char on its exterior (including the bottom of the slice).  And the other ingredients are just right.  Margherita test: passed!

Ikkoi Japanese Family Cuisine
Ramen from Ikkoi Japanese Family Cuisine

Speaking of food that’s perfect: ramen.  It’s the best.  I ordered the tonkotsu ramen from Ikkoi (they serve several other styles of ramen, along with sushi and other Japanese standbys), and it’s pretty decent.  Is it the best bowl of ramen that I’ve ever had?  No; their menu is so broad that they’re probably spreading themselves a bit thin.  But there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with it.  I wouldn’t go out of my way for it, but if you’re in the area and you’re craving a bowl of ramen, it’s worth a shot.

Nani's Gelato
Dark Chocolate Oreo at Nani’s Gelato

Nani’s continues to be great.  I don’t particularly feel the need to write about Nani’s every time I eat there, because I think it’s fairly clear by this point that I think Nani’s serves some truly stellar gelato.  But I would like to note that, even though it’s not technically on the menu, Nani’s does have a kids size cup that’s pretty much the perfect amount if you’re not super hungry.  It’s the same size cup as the small, but the gelato pretty much only goes to the brim instead of being mounded way up.  I’m not sure why they don’t advertise this size, but I’m definitely glad I know it exists.  And now you do too!

Top-Notch Sandwiches at Vilda’s

Vilda's
Location
: 209 Dovercourt Road, Toronto
Website: https://www.vildastoronto.com/

Sandwiches!  I think I’ve mentioned in the past that there are a few dishes that I think are the perfect food.  A margherita pizza, for one.  A great bowl of ramen.  And of course, you’d have to add sandwiches to that list — but is that cheating?  A margherita pizza is a pretty specific thing, but with all the different combos of bread and fillings, a sandwich can be about a billion different things.

Vilda's

Still, who doesn’t love a sandwich, particularly when they’re as great as they are at Vilda’s?

(That’s mostly a rhetorical question, but if you’ve legitimately never had a sandwich that you loved, then there might be something medically wrong with you.  Go see a doctor.)

Vilda's

I tried a couple at Vilda’s: the Duca di Zucchine, and the Tuna à la Mediterranean.  Both were very good, but the Duca di Zucchine (which the menu describes as “Hard-roasted, lemon-marinated zucchini ribbons.  A vibrant spread of garlic scapes and tahini.  Parmesan cheese!  Bacon AND mint?!  Together?  Yes.”) was the highlight.  The combo of the tender zucchini, the crispy/meaty bacon and the zingy vibrancy of the various sauces was extremely delicious.

Vilda's

The Tuna à la Mediterranean (“Cut up artichokes, whipped tuna, melted cheddar, olive-dressed butter lettuce and mayo”) was a bit less impressive, but still quite tasty.  This one tasted more like something I might be able to make at home (or more accurately, something I think I could make at home, but could never actually make at this level of deliciousness).  It was also a bit odd in that it was ostensibly a tuna melt, but featured cheese that was completely unmelted.  You’d think that this would be an issue, but it was delicious regardless.  It’s hard to go wrong with the combo of the creamy tuna spread and the crispy freshness of the veggies, not to mention the great bread.

A Decent Cheeseburger at Matty’s Patty’s

Matty's Patty's
Location
: 923a Queen Street West, Toronto
Website: https://www.mattyspattysburgerclub.com/

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first.  This place is called Matty’s Patty’s, but should clearly be called Matty’s Patties.  Apostrophes: they’re not that complicated!  Maybe spend the five minutes it would take to figure out how they work before you name your restaurant?

You might argue that the name is wrong on purpose because it looks better, since both words are so similar, to which I would reply that no, you need to get out of here with that.  That’s BS and we all know it.

You might also argue that no one cares, and that maybe I should be talking about the food, since that’s the point of this whole thing.  And yeah, that’s fair.

Matty's Patty's

The food is fine!  They have two main things on the menu: “Matty’s,” which is a hefty seven ounce burger that comes with mustard sauce, pickles, and onion.  I tried this about a year ago, when this blog was on hiatus, and enjoyed it.

The other thing on the menu is “Patty’s,” which is a more traditional griddle-smashed cheeseburger that you can get as a single, a double, or a triple (a vegetarian version made with Impossible Meat is also an option).  This one comes topped with either Matty’s Patty’s sauce, pickled jalapeno mayo, or spicy ketchup sauce.  I went with the single and had it topped with pickled jalapeno mayo.

Matty's Patty's

It’s pretty decent.  Nothing about it blew me away, but the patty has a very mild beefy flavour and a nice texture thanks to the course grind.  It could stand to be beefier and juicier, but you could absolutely do worse.

The pickled jalapeno mayo mostly just tasted like a slightly zingier version of regular mayo, which is too bad because the burger really needed something a bit more acidic to cut through the richness of the gooey cheese and the patty.

The bun was probably the highlight, oddly enough.  It was super soft, squishy, and fresh, with just the right amount of heft to stand up to the patty.  It kinda reminded me of the potato rolls that have become so popular in the GTA, but better.