so speaking of fucking whatever, have i mentioned the unconscionable excess of my recent spiral into carnivory? fact is, i’m faintly embarrassed by it (although it is awesome) so i’ve been sort of sidestepping owning up to publicly/on the blog. which of course makes no sense, because obviously every second person i run into in my day to day life knows because i’m clearly always, like, eating a chicken wing or something, whereas all of i imagine two people read this thing, so i don’t know who i think i’m fooling.
anyway, it was just becoming impractical, because a lot of the shit i’ve been eating lately has been a. meat, and b. really good, and worth telling people about, but i’ve been too much of a shit-brained coward to face The Internet. til now, at least.
the embarrassment is just a matter of having been vegan/vegetarian for around a decade, and still maintaining (or at least claiming to maintain) a concern about the ethics of meat-eating, which under ideal circumstances would mean concertedly eating only “happily” raised, local free range whatevers and not all of the fishes the fishing thereof is destroying the world/fish. however, under the decidedly not ideal circumstances (ethical accountability-wise) of my awesome life, i’ve decided to allowed myself, in the name of gustatory wordliness, permission to eat basically anything once, if i haven’t had it before – which more or less means i can Do Whatever I Want, because there is a shitload of things to have killed and cooked out there.
also lamb. lamb is the other exception because (as i understand it) the particularities of lamb-rearing, and the scale upon which it is done mean that the majority of local lamb you eat was more than likely not grown in a cage and was allowed to cavort happily about under the watchful and loving eye of its sheep-mother for the glorious say 5-10 months before it was axed, which i can feel pretty good about, because probably if someone had killed and eaten me before i realized what a shit-show the world was, i’d have had a pretty proportionately awesome life and i wouldn’t drink so much.
also, i would taste delicious. have you eaten this stuff? lamb is without a doubt the most delicious damn meat.
there’s also an element of metal satisfaction in the only meat one eating regularly being arguably the most adorable/symbolically exploited by the more cowardly and hypocritical of vegetarian propaganda (à la The Simpons’ “Lisa, I thought you loooved me. loooved meeeeee..”).
so expect a deluge of bloody carnage in the coming months, until i get over this meat infatuation/eat every thing there is to eat. it’s not going to be pretty. kind of like the way the table was wasn’t very pretty when we were done with it at Pho Pasteur (525 dundas, just off spadina) in Toronto. shit, man.
in our defense, it was 4am and we’d been drinking solidly since 4pm, and Chris (pictured) is a beastly minotaur whom no chains can bind.
in the spirit of Total Effing Excess, Chris and i ordered the most “interesting” looking of the pho options, which proved to be, and has resonated like a mantra or a Jay-Z chorus through my head all damn day: the shoulder, tendon, tripe.
yeah, you heard me. i’d heard good things about this Pho Pasteur place (and it was 4am and raining buckets on our poor, drunk, underdressed and nearly hysterical asses), and we figured Hey, Go Big or Go Home, and honestly it was amazingly delicious. this was my first time eating any of those things (what’s up, offal?), and upon comparison with my friends’ chicken and just plain ol’ pinky beef selections, i stand by the horror we chose to wreak. we also had some manner of weird rice flour fungus-stuffed somethingorothers with some other horrible meat (i honestly don’t even remember what it was) on the side, and besides the horrible side meat, that was pretty good too. Pho Pasteur honestly just does it right because 1. their broth itself is astonishingly good, and i would happily have it without meat or even noodles at all, hell, 2. the plate of shit to add to your pho – bean sprouts, lemongrass, lime, mint and thai basil is fresh and awesome and epicly generous, and 3. hot peppers in 5 forms, motherfuckers! sriracha, whole fresh chilis on the side, sambal, chili oil, and shredded pickled hot peppers! boo ya. yeah, i said it. that shit was awesome.
i mean the downside of that sort of pepper access is that i have apparently reached the age or state of liver-death that my body can not just handle dumping tons of the hottest crap i can find into it all night and expect not to suffer any consequences. this is new with me. i used to be indestructible. now i wake up and have to say things like “hey, my urethra is feeling pretty distressed right now,” the satisfaction i derive from doing so aside, i wish i didn’t have to say.
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earlier that day (that single day, that well less than 24 hours i just spent in Toronto), i went to Perola’s Supermarket (274 augusta, in kensington market) for tacos, and i advise you to do the same. it just looks like a little mexican market, but you go to the back of the store and there you will find a couple of ladies with ones stove, some tortillas and some boiling pots cooking up – i shit you not – the best tacos i’ve ever had. 2 for 5$, i got a chicken and a pork, topped ’em up with some pickly slaw, mixed chopped onions and cilantro, and the hottest of the available 3 homemade salsas, took my paper plate and sat down to enjoy. no table, no counters, just you, borderline euphoric, squatted down on a rickety, child-sized metal stool (of which there are i believe four) in the aisle of a tiny grocery store.
no offense, but nuts to you, Big Fat Burrito.
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on the beer front, i tried Trailhead Lager (which you should avoid, because it’s actively meh), Tankhouse Pale Ale (which you should seek out – not an IPA, but a good standard, a good everyday, but with a bit of a hoppy bonus), Durham Hop Addict (an IPA, not as hoppy as i had hoped, given the name, but still solid), and Duggan’s Number 9 IPA (a good IPA, but a little sweeter than i like, bitter being more my bag, big news that). also an undetermined number of Red Caps, which have a cute bottle, are inoffensive if not good, and upon which i blame waking up with an unidentified animal bone in my shirt pocket.
(also a lot of Chartreuse. why in god’s name were we drinking Chartreuse?)