April 2013

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First Draught: Glutenberg American Pale Ale, a gluten-free beer that also happens to be delicious

Every crusty baguette, every flaky croissant and every chewy pizza crust renews my appreciation for my digestive system’s ability to process gluten. I know that not everybody is so lucky, and that beer needs to be avoided entirely by some because barley, wheat and rye — the drink’s principal cereal ingredients — all produce gluten when mixed with water.

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The spice is right: a quest for manhood and Toronto’s hottest chicken wing

It finally happened. After decades of not quite getting along with other men, I finally became a bro. I didn’t even have to grow a chin-strap beard to do it. I didn’t do preacher curls until my biceps exceeded 18 inches in diameter, and I didn’t have to wear a single piece of sports merchandise.

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Drink This: The Antler Room’s It’s a Sin

Hidden in the basement space under the financial district’s The Loose Moose is The Antler Room, a sprawling bar devoted to both sports and music. After the chime of five, Leafs fans tumble in, watching the game on big screens visible from every table. On the weekend, however, it’s all about the music: local bands take to the stage and up the noise factor aplenty.

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First Look: Crossroads Diner, a ’50s-themed food truck

The flowers appear, the birds return and new food trucks open their service windows for the first time — these are the signs of spring in Toronto in 2013. Crossroads Diner is Toronto’s first food truck to launch this season, and it is offering an updated take on ’50s diner classics.

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Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: the Trini doubles from 416 Snack Bar

Loud. Hot. Boozy. 416 Snack Bar is a fixture in the city’s late night eats scene.  Tipsy patrons down whiskey shots while hip-hop beats thump overhead. But don’t be tricked into thinking it’s a bar — as the name proclaims, the snacks are the focal point, and are more than just a mechanism for sopping up beer suds. Think Yorkshire pudding, Korean fried chicken and, for dessert, a take on the trashy Joe Louis.

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Cadillac Lounge ’cues it up

With the recent openings of such restaurants as Electric Mud BBQ and Aft, and with other smokehouses still to come, Toronto is on a barbecue blitz. Now, Queen West’s longstanding Cadillac Lounge is getting in on the action.

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First Look: Pancho y Emiliano, a new traditional Mexican restaurant in Kensington Market

Kensington Market’s newest Mexican restaurant — Pancho y Emiliano — takes its name from two of Mexico’s most famous revolutionaries: Emiliano Zapata and Francisco “Pancho” Villa.

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Cheap Eat of the Week: Aroma Espresso Bar’s shakshuka

While spring has begun to show its colours, winter still taunts us and patio season is weeks away. So we can still sneak in a few more warming stews.

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Weekly Restaurant Recap: Fika, Prairie Girl Bakery, Banh Mi Boys, White Squirrel Snack Shop, Jam Café

Weekly Restaurant Recap rounds up the week’s Toronto restaurant news. In this edition: a Swedish café in Kensington Market, Banh Mi Boys part deux, cupcakes in Yorkville and more.

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Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: a clean, fresh, well-balanced Muscadet

Global warming must have something to do with it because Muscadet from the Loire doesn’t seem to be as austerely dry as it used to be. This wine, currently at Vintages outlets, is a light golden colour, which shows some maturity. It has a minerally, apple nose and well-extracted flavours. If I had this wine blind, I would have thought it was a Soave. It’s well balanced with clean lines and a lingering fresh finish.

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