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The Works Danforth Opens with Free Meals

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The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro chain* has opened their first location in Toronto. They’re opening this week on the Danforth across from Square Boy and down the street from the current pub-burger champ (by my estimation, at least) Allen’s on the Danforth.

To mark the grand opening this Thursday, May 3, 2012 their entire menu (alcohol excluded) will be free. In exchange they’re collecting monetary donations from diners for the nearby Pape Food Bank. The promotion runs from 11 AM to 2 PM for lunch and from 5 PM to 8 PM for dinner. (more…)

Holy Chuck Burgers Opens

I carried a mixture of high hopes and skepticism on the short walk down the west side of Yonge Street from St. Clair. On a tip from @momwhoruns I was going last night to check a new burger place that allegedly could rival the best in the city.

Holy Chuck Burgers has been slotted into the space that Retro Burger occupied for a short period. The irreverent logo and the delicious aroma of griddled, high-quality beef is a sure sign that the new owners are doing things entirely differently.

Update: I took a bunch of friends back for a second shot at Holy Chuck Burgers. I’ve added some more photos and the one of the menu is now clickable for a larger version.

(Double) Cheeseburger with pickles and mayo; hand-cut fries

(Double) Cheeseburger with pickles and mayo; hand-cut fries

I tried the cheeseburger ($7.99, $14 and change as a combo with fries and a water, all in) that is two American-cheese covered patties (cooked to order), between a barely-toasted, note-perfect, squishy Wonder Bread style bun. For a first taste I did my usual charitable thing and ordered it with pickles and a bit of mayo.  (more…)

One Step Safer

Beef ready to be sterilised

As our neighbours in the EU are finding Escherichia coli (or e. coli for short) is a frighteningly dangerous bacterium. It kills more frequently than it should but this is still a statistically very low number. Just as concerning though are the cases of life-altering kidney and liver disfunction that can afflict the survivors. E. coli ought to be taken seriously and as new, more dangerous strains evolve eating like our grandparents did is not good or safe enough.

The two leading causes seem to be improperly-washed green vegetables (spinach, sprouts, lettuce) and ground beef. At this point I am unequivocally unwilling to give up eating and making my own hamburgers, cooked medium-rare to medium, from freshly-ground beef.

I feel that by grinding large cuts of meat that were bought from trusted sources I can reduce the risk of infection enough that the burgers can be cooked to the temperature where I would eat steak. Or at least that’s where my feeling stood before this large outbreak. Even though the tragic events in Germany are probably not (directly) related to beef I’m willing to consider options that will make hamburgers safer. (more…)

Points of Comparison

It’s pretty easy to identify the top and bottom restaurant in a particular group of ten but how do we distinguish between the rest?  What are the controls and the markers?  An easy, though not very accurate measure, is to only consider one dish that they all have in common.  In my younger, innocent days that was my dedicated modus operandi.

At first it was Caesar salad.  I ate every combination of romaine lettuce, bacon, croutons, and dressing I could get my hands on.  It being the late nineties –also therein lies my defense, I was seventeen or so–that was an easy task to accomplish.  Also in my defense there are few salads as savoury as Caesar’s combination of  parmesan cheese, bacon, and worcestershire sauce and let’s not forget that when properly prepared this salad has the stones to include raw egg.  I was also really into the adult control that could be had in directing exactly how much black pepper I wanted dispensed from those giant grinders. (more…)

Best Recipes of 2009

I made a lot of bacon this year

Many times when I post about my experiences in front of the stove (or over the pickle crock) I intentionally don’t post an actual recipe with an ingredient list and step-by-step instructions.  Usually, this is because I haven’t reached a conclusion on what method is best or because some else has already done a better job than I could and it’s easier for me to just link to them.  So, because not all of these are actual recipes, I could have titled this post “Favourite Kitchen Moments of 2009″ or “Top Cooking Experiments of 2009″ but this way seems more succinct and will cause less havoc in the little “Recent Posts” section at the right.

From those who I talk to about Food With Legs I get the distinct sense that I have developed a reputation for only liking to eat, cook, and write about meat.  This is decidedly not the case.  For instance in July of 2009 leaving aside the posts about restaurants (and interior decorating) I wrote for an entire month about jam, pickles, mead, and other non-carnivorous digestibles.  In August I did cure and cook with bacon and I reviewed a hamburger but this was balanced by gardening,  more pickles, and even a vegetarian restaurant.  The posts from September reached an even greener height with more gardening, apples cooked and preserved every way imaginable, and even some deep-fried (pickled) vegetables. (more…)