As you may know, I have been on a mission to eat an authentic dish from every country in the world, right here in Toronto. I knocked off 30 countries and then took about a six month break. I want to get into it again…I’ve missed eating with a purpose! So I’m back with country number 31 – America!
You can find all past recaps here. Eating the US colours in a significant portion of my map, so I’m pretty excited about that.
I’m aware that in America, like many other large countries (Canada, India, China, etc.), food tends to vary by region. I can’t hit all staple American foods with one restaurant, so just keep that in mind. For my American mission I got my friends Emily and Hannah to join me at Home of the Brave, an open-kitchen on King West with creative interpretations of American dishes. I apologize in advance for my pictures being dark and crappy.
We chose to go last Wednesday, the day the election results were announced. We planned this in advance thinking eating American would be fitting, and we hoped to be celebrating the first female president. Unfortunately that’s not what happened, so our celebratory eating sort of turned into stress-eating. Good thing carbs were plentiful.
If I have one negative review about Home of the Brave it’s that they were reluctant to accommodate three people. I guess we were an awkward party number. They didn’t want to give us prime booth real estate since we were a smaller group, so they first started us out at a bar table seated in a row on stools, facing the street. This didn’t work out well as we were having a hard time chatting while sitting side-by-side, and also the stools were hard and uncomfortable with no backs (you know you’re getting old when you start to complain about the comfort level of your seating). We didn’t like. Next we squeezed onto a table for two, which was okay until our abundance of food started arriving and didn’t fit on our tiny table. It took some convincing (and ordering many, many dishes off the menu) but eventually they moved us to a coveted booth and it was much better. So if you happen to go there DEMAND a booth. Don’t take no for an answer! It’s times like these that I want to be like “I have a blog and I am going to write about you on the internet” but I can’t bring myself to do it. I’ll just quietly judge and take note to later write about on the internet.
Anyway, Miller Lite was on special for $5 a tall can so we all started with a round.
It felt very American but I would just like to point out that if we were actually in America it probably would have been cheaper.
The first dish to arrive was the buffalo cauliflower.
Beer battered cauliflower with Buffalo hot sauce and ranch dressing. It was AMAZING. The stand out dish of the night. I was expecting it to be soggy and sort of ho-hum but it was crispy and crunchy and perfectly flavoured. So, so good. I would have been happy just eating that. But you know we didn’t stop there…
That would be the cornbread, a staple of the American south. Of course, this is a creative interpretation and it was basically cornbread extreme. It had roasted garlic and shallots, smoked cheddar sauce (that white sauce on the bottom), double smoked bacon, green onion and herbs. It was as delicious as it looked, though it was heavy, very heavy. Luckily I was sharing it.
We also ordered the tater tots, because when in America…
These were fancy ones with cheese, gravy and herbs. Didn’t compare to that cauliflower but those were some good tots!
And we ordered the freedom fries, which came with Heinz Ketchup, malt vinegar and manchego cheese. Pretty good, but not very exciting compared to everything else. Hannah and Emily both ordered cheeseburgers for their main dish.
They said that their burgers were good but they were like small fast food burgers, like Checkers burgers or something. So I guess accurate as far as American fast food burgers go.
For my main I ordered the chicken and waffles.
Fried chicken with sour cream, spicy maple syrup, green onions, and sourdough waffles. I didn’t ever think I’d like chicken and waffles so I did not have high expectations, but I was really surprised at how good this was. The maple syrup was perfect, it was almost a savoury maple syrup, like a barbecue maple syrup, as weird as that sounds. I absolutely loved it, I ate every last bite, and I would definitely order it again.
We obviously couldn’t leave without getting dessert, so we ordered the funnel cake. The staple of American carnivals!
Not just any old funnel cake, red velvet funnel cake! Delicious, but by this point we were getting pretty full so I don’t feel like I could fully appreciate it.
And we got a giant ice cream cone. Home of the Brave is featuring a Sweet Jesus (a Toronto ice creamery) pop-up menu with six of Sweet Jesus’ signature cones. We got the chocolate peanut butter EpiPen (actual name).
Soft serve coated in peanut crumbs with peanut butter chunks and a melty peanut butter core. Just in case we hadn’t already eaten enough calories, you know.
I’m happy to be Canadian but eating America sure was a good time! I do think I’m going to have to hit up a traditional southern barbecue joint though at some point…
Evan and I are going to Florida next week and we will absolutely be eating all the things, so this was just practice.