Friday, January 24, 2014

#FoodPornFriday #FPF featuring Steak Frites from The Honey Badger Bistro

For this week's #FoodPornFriday I've got another shot of a Winter Bites meal. This one was actually my Birthday dinner back on the 13th.

What you see here is Steak Frites from The Honey Badger Bistro. I wrote about them few months ago so check out that review if you want more info. It's a great place and very close to home for us.

This was one of the best steaks I've had in a long time. Ever since Ye Olde Steakhouse downtown closed (oh man I loved that place) I've been looking for somewhere half as good. This was half as good, actually more than half as good.

Have some Foodporn of your own to share? Link up with me. If you are feeling bashful you can use the #FoodPicFriday tag. I won't laugh at you. Also I've gotten a request to return to using #FPF as this is more twitter friendly for those of you who like to talk a a lot with your posts.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Motor Burger: amazing burgers and great beer, what more could you want?

Windsor is turning into a mecca for burgers. There are a ton of amazing places all within a short drive of my house where I can get a burger to die for. Many people in the city think one of these stands tall above the rest and that place is Motor Burger.

It's not just Windsorites that think so either. Reader's Digest listed their Deux Chevaux as one of the top 5 burgers in Canada. They've also been featured on You Gotta Eat Here!

Motor Burger is located in the heart of Via Italia, Windsor's Little Italy, at 888 Erie Street. Right by the roundabout at Parent. Parking in the area is scarce as is seating at the restaurant itself. No matter what day of the week you go if you show up after 5pm expect to wait to get a table. This place isn't a hidden gem or a well kept secret, people know how good Motor Burger is and they pack the place every night (well except Sunday when they are closed).

One of the reasons they are always so packed is that this is a tiny place. They manged to squeeze in about as much seating as possible but the interior with all it's automotive themed artwork and distinctive lime green colour is long, narrow and crowded. It's also noisy. Always noisy. Don't head here for a quiet date night with your loved one, expect lots of people and lots of noise.

As expected the menu at Motor Burger is filled with burgers. Not your ordinary burgers either. Sure they will give a traditional cow patty if you really want it but, why would you do that when you could have my personal favourite the Autostrada? This is a chipotle rubbed Italian sausage patty with Gorgonzola cheese covered in sliced apple slaw. That's a shot of it there on the left.

My wife's favourite is the Twin Barracudas. It's two panko encrusted haddock sliders with creamy Cajun slaw, cheddar cheese and pickle. Though sometimes she's grabs a Shrimp Fuel which has a patty made with ground shrimp covered in chilies, garlic, tomato, cilantro, avocado and mango salsa. There's more options as well including chorizo sausage, fresh chicken or Kobe brisket. There's a burger here for everyone.

In addition to the the burgers they also offer a ton of great sides and appetizers. Last time there we got the Chili Spring Rolls which are made with chorizo chili, black bean, lime and smoked cheese. Have I mentioned I love chorizo before? Well I do. Along with the appetizer we got a bowl of onion rings to go with the burgers. Motor Burger has the best onion rings I've ever tasted. 

If the kids were with us we would have had to grab a side of Motor Mac and 3 Cheese. This is a baked mac and cheese that puts all other mac and cheese to shame. My kids won't eat Kraft for at least a week after a trip to Motor Burger. We didn't have the kids on our last trip which is great because it meant I could have a few Ontario Craft Beers, brewed right there.

That's right not only is Motor Burger a great place to grab some amazing burgers and sides, it's a brewery. Motor Craft Ales are brewed right there on site. 

Motor Craft Ales brews 9 different standard brews as well as a variety of seasonals. My personal favourite is Dragula. This is a Black Schwarzbier Lager Ale. The Big Block Brown is my second choice. My wife is usually partial to the C-hop Top I.P.A but tried a seasonal this time around. Jalopy, a Jalapeno Ale. I had a sip of this and it was rather good. It did pack quite the punch though.

Our last trip to Motor Burger was just before my birthday party and we ended up getting an appetizer, two burgers and a couple beers each and the total bill was about $60 before tip. Extremely reasonable for the amount of food and drink and more than reasonable for the quality.

Despite the fact it's hard to find parking in the area, and it's sometimes even harder to actually get a seat without a long wait combined with the fact that sometimes you can't even hear yourself think, I still love Motor Burger. It's one of my favourite places to eat in the entire city. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

#FoodPornFriday - Shish Tawook from Sarai for #WinterBites

This week is Winter Bites week here in Windsor. This is an awesome week long culinary event put on by WindsorEats. If you've been following this blog since the beginning you may remember that my first ever post was exactly 1 year ago today and it was also a Winter Bites post. Thankfully my experience this year was way better than last year.

The plan tonight was to hit Thai Palace. We tried and it didn't work. The place was packed. We had to park in an adjacent lot just to get to the place and when we got in we were told there would be an extensive wait. With kids in tow (never good for a long wait) we headed out the door.

This ended up being quite fortuitous as we drove all the way across town and arrived at Sarai Restaurant and Lounge. This is a new place that opened near the end of last year. They have billboards all over the city that are somewhat pointless. All they say is: Sarai. That's it. No location. No showing what food they have. Nothing. I don't get it. Though I guess they worked a bit as I was curious as to exactly what this new place was.

Due to them participating in Winter Bites I knew that they were yet another Mediterranean restaurant. Windsor is full of these. Seriously. They are getting to be more ubiquitous than Tim Horton's. I figure the Winter Bites deal wass a great time to give this place a chance, which is why we took the long drive.

So glad we did. Fantastic food. Amazing food. Possibly the best Lebanese food I've had in all of Windsor (did I mention we have a lot around town)? What you see up top there in all it's drool worthy glory is my Shish Tawook. It was so good!

There's only a couple days left in this year's Winter Bites. You really should take the chance to try somewhere new. We personally hit up the Honey Badger Bistro on Monday and we have plans to check out Foia tomorrow.

Oh yeah. It's also #FoodPornFriday - thought that was good timing with food that looks as good as this. As usual it would be cool if you linked up below and joined in on the fun. For the more bashful of you, you can use #FoodPicFriday and I won't make fun of you:

Friday, January 10, 2014

#FoodPornFriday - a close up of my grilled cheese from Toasty's

Today's #FoodPornFriday post ties in with the Toasty's Grilled Cheese and Salad Bar review I posted earlier this week. This is a close up of my Toasty's Club. Turkey, Mozzarella, Cheddar, Bacon and Spinach. I should have had Tomato as well but I'm not a fan.

Have any #FoodPorn you want to share? Link up:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dig grilled cheese? You should check out Toasty's

One of the things we did over the holiday break was take the kids out to Toasty's for dinner before hitting our favourite local coffee shop to play some of the board games the kids got for Christmas.

I remember first noticing Toasty's a couple months ago. We were headed downtown for a Games & Grub Windsor Gaming Resource event when I saw their large red and white sign and asked my wife: "What the heck is Toasty's?"

At the time neither of us had any clue. I think I posted something on facebook or mentioned it at work. I don't remember the details but somehow, someone, told me that it's a place that specializes in grilled cheese.

That's right a restaurant in Downtown Windsor that specializes in grilled cheese. How cool is that? I knew I had to check it out sometime, and I'm glad we finally did.

Toasty's Grilled Cheese & Salad Bar (the official full name) is located at 357 Ouellette in Downtown Windsor. It's in the same block as Maazar, the old Palace (now the Windsor Star), Basil Court and more. The front makes the place look small but it's actually really deep inside with plenty of seating.

It's set up like a Subway. A long bar with all kinds of fresh ingredients with a cashier at the end. You go to the end to  order and pick up your food at the other end. Well sorta. You do this if you order one of their salads. Which are made fresh there and you get to choose between lots of different things. What things? No clue, I'm not much of a salad guy. I was here for a grilled cheese! When you order a sandwich they will bring it out to your table.

The first thing I needed to figure out is which grilled cheese I wanted. There were a ton to choose from. Just check out the menu there on the left. What a crazy amount of types of grilled cheese! 

I was really tempted to try the Toasty's original. This has Cheddar, American, Mozzarella and Parmesan and is only $5.30. That seemed like a waste though. Coming to a place with this much selection I felt I needed to get something more unique. Something I couldn't just make at home. The Chicken Parm tempted me (Chicken, Croutons, Mozzarella, Parmesan and Marinara for $6.85) but I eventually settled for a Toasty's Club Sammich which had Turkey, Bacon, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Tomato and Spinach for $6.85. I ordered mine without Tomato as I'm not a huge fan of the 'mato. The kids each got a BCT (Bacon, Cheddar and Tomato for $6.63) and my wife got a Toasty's Prime (Roast Beef, Onion, Mushroom, Mozzarella, Swiss and Horseradish for $6.85). We chose to combo two of these to get a couple of drinks and some Marconi Salad.

The food was served on plastic trays with the sandwiches wrapped in white and red checked wax paper wrap. Something that just made it feel kind of cafeteria like. For whatever reason this seemed to fit the place really well. The entire meal had a very lunchroom feel to it. I kept thinking that if I lived downtown I would totally be eating here all the time.

While we were there, a couple came in to get take out. I had to smile when I saw that their orders were handed over in brown paper bags. I thought that was perfect. One thing we did wrong: ordering a sandwich for each of the kids. These are big grilled cheeses. Neither kid was able to finish any more than  half of their meal. Next time we will definitely have them split a meal. 

So how was it? Rather good. It wasn't the be all end all. I was somewhat hoping for really high end grilled cheese and that's not really what this was. This was a really cool mix of traditionally made grilled cheese with some cool ingredients. Where I was hoping for fresh turkey breast, I got sliced deli meat. Now this wasn't really a bad thing it just didn't match my original expectations. Now knowing what to expect, I totally appreciate what Toasty's is: a great place to grab an interesting grilled cheese sandwich at a great price.

Friday, January 3, 2014

#FoodPornFriday - Table full of Niko Sushi

Click the image for full resolution, and much more drool worthy pic.
As the first #FoodPronFriday post of 2014, I decided that I would feature my favourite place for Sushi in the area. These two amazing plates of food comes from Niko Sushi in Tecumseh.

We are blessed in the fact that our kids favorite food is Sushi. As it's the last weekend before our oldest goes to school we decided to take the kids out for a treat. We went to see Frozen at Lakeshore Cinimas and then hit Niko after.

Have some #Foodporn of your own to share? Link up below: