Location: 8362 Kennedy Road, Unionville
Big Beef Bowl is another place that serves fresh, chewy noodles, which means I’m pretty much going to love it by default. I’m very easy to please when it comes to a big bowl of delicious noodles.
I got the braised beef brisket noodles, which comes with your choice from six types of noodles: round or flat, with three thicknesses each. I got the round noodles in a medium thickness. And they were great — they might have been ever-so-slightly too soft, but they were otherwise hearty and chewy and satisfying.
The soup itself wasn’t anything too special, but it got the job done. It was a bit spicy by default, but was improved immeasurably by a few hearty spoonfuls of the chili oil they’ve got on the table. You always have to be careful with that particular condiment, because depending on the place, its spiciness ranges from a moderate tingle to volcano hot. The one at Big Beef Bowl isn’t particularly spicy, but it has a satisfying toasty flavour that really improves the soup.
There were also several chunks of fatty, immensely tender beef brisket. I could have eaten a whole pile of these.
Location: 4261 Highway 7, Unionville
Is eggs benedict still eggs benedict if you don’t include the hollandaise sauce? Traditionally, that dish consists of an english muffin topped with meat (usually ham or bacon), a poached egg, and hollandaise.
That’s four things; the hollandaise is 25 percent of the dish. How far can you change something until it’s no longer that thing? Is it still spaghetti and meatballs if you replace the tomato sauce with alfredo? Probably not!
Which is to say that I just ordered the Smash Benedict from Smash Kitchen, and they replaced the hollandaise with gravy. To be fair, they also have a traditional eggs benedict on the menu, so that does kinda give them license to mess around with it in their other offerings.
The problem is, I missed the hollandaise. This particular benedict featured an english muffin topped with pulled pork, cheese, the standard poached egg, and the aforementioned gravy. The pulled pork was tossed in a very vinegary barbecue sauce that, while tasty, absolutely dominated the dish.
A heaping serving of creamy hollandaise might have helped to cut the vinegary sharpness of the pork, but the gravy was completely lost. It may as well have not even been there. I had to eat most of this with some hash browns to help mellow out that strong barbecue sauce flavour.
Still, it certainly wasn’t bad, and the crispy fried hash browns were a very tasty accompaniment. But if I came back, I’d probably just stick with the classic benedict (there was also a crab cake benedict that looked tasty, and yes — that one had hollandaise on it).