Pub crawls are easy. Pick a neighbourhood with several watering holes local to each other and drink your way from one to the next. If you want to get frat-boy fancy about the operation go ahead and google the rules for pub golf.
Food crawls–especially where the aim is to make critical comparisons–are an entirely different beast. Over a series of crawls with friends Suresh, Mike, Alex, and Mark I think we’ve gained a bit of experience that I’d like to share.
Decide on classic vs. outright best: This was a hindrance for us on our wing crawls. Should we care how well a particular restaurant’s offering satisfies a (rigid) standard or do we just want delicious? The answer is probably either but not both. Wings with spicy HP sauce are okay but they’re difficult to compare (and I’m a purist).
Accept oddball suggestions on a whim: Out of nowhere on our last wing crawl Alex announced that he knows where to get stuffed, butter-fried wings. (Bamboo Cafe Chinese Restaurant at 494 Danforth Ave.) These things have a freak-show appearance but were absolutely delicious and I would have regretted it if we’d passed that suggestion by.
Ignore the dirty looks from waiters: At Golden Turtle it took three confirmations for us to establish that yes the five of us intended to share one extra-large bowl of pho and one order of spring rolls.
Take notes: Even if you don’t plan to write about your experience a blackberry note, photo, or (my choice) digital voice recording will be the only way you’ll remember which place had the pho with a distinct hint of cinnamon in the broth and which uses white onions instead of scallions.
Any ideas for what we should do next? Leave a comment below.