We woke up late the next day and headed over to Banh Mi Boys. Our Airbnb host Kimmy recommended it for lunch. L ordered the Grilled Chicken ($6.99) while I picked the 5 Spice Pork Belly ($7.50) banh mi and a can of coconut water.
I was surprised that the sandwiches contained so much meat considering the price. My favourite of the two sandwiches was the Grilled Chicken. The chicken was hot and smothered in a mouth-watering BBQ sauce. I really liked the pork belly and the fact the cut of meat contained quite a bit of lean meat and not all fat. I thought the seasoning in the pork belly smelled like dim sum.
Excellent prices, good quality ingredients and delicious flavours, I think Banh Mi Boys deserves all its hype. I can see why it is such a popular spot.
We checked out the U of T campus and then the Annex before we met Thomas at the Mill Street Brewery. I know Thomas would have preferred to head to Kensington for drinks, but I wanted to show L the touristy Distillery section. We drank free samples in the tasting room and then landed a table on the patio.
L ordered a Tankhouse Radler, poured with grapefruit juice ($8.00) while I drank a pint of Mill ST Organic and a shot of bierschnaps ($14). The bierschnaps tasted like whisky. L’s radler was refreshing and delicious.
We munched on the Cheddar Ale Dip ($12.00), which is made with Tankhouse ale, four cheeses and came with fresh potato chips. I thought the dip was not the most flavourful and the chips were too oily to go with the watery consistency of the dip. Regardless, I’m glad we went as the speciality drinks were good and not something I can get back home.
We walked back to our hotel room to get ready for the main event, dinner at Black Hoof. The only show I watch on Netflix besides Narcos is Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown. I saw that he raved about Black Hoof, as well as our friend M, so I made it my mission to check it out.
We arrived at 6:30 pm and were the second couple to arrive. However, within an hour, the entire restaurant was packed. L went crazy over his Trou du Diable ($9.00), a beer made in Shawinigan, Quebec. The IPA was a juicy, slightly hoppy, with small bubbles. Based on my server’s recommendation, I ordered a glass of the Charles Baker riesling ($11), which I found not sweet and fragrant.
Our server recommended five dishes but I’m glad we only ordered four as the food was so filling. We ordered Pistachio Hummus and Chicken Livers ($10, plus $3.00 for bread), Tongue on Brioche ($15), Horse Tartar ($18) and the Smoked Scallops & Sobrassada ($18).
The horse tartar was quite delicate in texture and flavour. To me, it was clean tasting, fresh and much lighter than a beef tartar.
One of our favourite dishes was the Pistachio Hummous with Chicken Livers. By the way, no chickpeas were used in this dip. The sweet nuttiness of the pistachio went well with the richness of the chicken livers. With or without the bread, this was a divine dish.
I enjoyed the smoked scallops. The scallops had a buttery smooth texture without a trace of fishiness. This dish, like the horse tartar, was a light and subtle in taste.
The tongue was delicious. The meat was sliced super fine and was kinda like pastrami but less strong tasting. Mixed with whole grain mustard and the richness of the mayonnaise, the tenderness of the salty meat and crunchiness of the brioche made me forget all about what a whole beef tongue looks with its skin on.
After dinner, we were meeting with my sister’s best friend M and her husband D. They were running late so we headed over to Bellwoods for a table. I’m glad we were early as the place was packed. The garage-like interior was such a cool space, I wished there was one like it in Calgary or Vancouver.
Based on the server’s recommendation, I ordered a Diable Pitoune, an unfiltered pilsner. This beer was fruity with tiny bubbles that reminded me of champagne. It was very easy to drink.
M and D ordered some snacks. Fries with garlic mayo toscano cheese, fine herbs ($7) and foie gras terrine ($12) with sour cherries and house-made brioche. The food looked and smelled so good, but I was so full from dinner, I couldn’t even try a bit nor another beer.
When L and I return to Toronto, we’ll give Bellwoods Brewery a go for dinner, and Bar Isabella, M and D’s favourite hang-out. I’m happy to report that day 2 in Toronto was a success.