Drive-Ins and Dives

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Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives recap: Caplansky’s edition

(Image: Joselu Blanco)

Guy Fieri wrapped up his too-brief tour of Toronto last week with a visit to Zane Caplansky’s College Street deli. The frosted-tipped host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives heaved great approving sighs when he tasted Caplansky’s trademark smoked meat, and was pretty excited too about the shop’s extensive use of schmaltz (“You gotta love it!”). Indeed, Caplansky’s over-sized knish and kitchen manager Patrick Berrigan’s aw-shucks demeanour provided Fieri with endless banter—until a sweet, precocious tyke rendered him speechless with his spot-on analysis of what made the maple bacon doughnuts work so well: “it’s the nice mixture of maple syrup and bacon, with the sweet dough.” After last week’s groan-inducing crack about the meaning of Canadian Thanksgiving and Fieri’s earlier maple syrup–related hesitation, we’re happy to report that he managed to finish his Toronto trip on a high note, joshing Berrigan for his use of “eh” and being pleasantly surprised by the winning flavour combination of maple with bacon. Oh, Canada.

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Food TV

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Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives recap: The Ace edition

(Image: Marc Falardeau)

For the third Toronto instalment of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Guy Fieri stopped in at The Ace, the old-school diner that re-launched in late 2011 on Roncesvalles (bonus points to Fieri for calling it “Roncey”). Fieri was his usual hammy self, helping himself to a sampling of grated cheddar from chef Peter McKnight’s mise-en-place and twirling a wooden spoon like a baton. After last week’s reticent sandwich-dipping performance, we were pleased to see Fieri dig right in to McKnight’s towering, gooey mac-and-cheese burger—after taking several bites, he emerged grinning sheepishly with cheese all over his face. Still, Fieri killed off any hope of truly endearing himself to Canadians  with a painfully lame quip about the origin of Canadian Thanksgiving: “What are you guys giving thanks for? Being next to us?”

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Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives recap: The Lakeview edition

(Image: Matt MacGillivray)

Poor Guy Fieri. For the second Toronto segment of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, he ventured to Dundas West’s favourite 24-hour diner, The Lakeview—a visit that proved to be rather confusing for him. First, Fieri was flummoxed by the pronunciation (not to mention the existence) of peameal bacon, which he initially pronounced “pea-mell” before simply settling on “ham.” Then Fieri made the (understandable) mistake of mixing up a croque-monsieur with a Monte Cristo sandwich (pro tip: the latter is covered in egg before frying); and when he was instructed to dip said sandwich in maple syrup, Fieri shot chef James Bouy an incredulous look and pretended it wouldn’t fit into the syrup-filled ramekin. He then asked Buoy what he called the chips on the side of his plate, to which Bouy replied (with a near-perfect straight face), “homefries.” Better luck next time, Guy.

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Restaurants

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The Dish Power Rankings: Kumar goes to Guu edition

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Toronto Life’s roundup of the restaurants with the biggest buzz, the longest lineups and the toughest tables to snag.

After three weeks of steady climbing, Oddseoul makes it to the top of the list. At the bottom, a couple of older spots get buzz boosts from celeb spottings.

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Diners, Drive-ins and Dives recap: Hey Meatball edition

(Image: Food Network Canada)

Ever since Guy Fieri came to town to shoot segments for his cult Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, we’ve been curious about how Toronto would come off. The verdict: not at all badly. The first Toronto segment aired on Friday in an episode on “Eurocentric” restaurants, with Hey Meatball getting the most screen time (the other two places were in Syracuse, New York and Tacoma, Washington). Fieri was his usual over-the-top self, spouting cheesy one-liners (e.g.: “Hey Meatball uses fresh, local ingredients and meats to make…wait for it, wait for it…exactly. Little round orbs of joy!”). But for our money, he got out-Fieried by Hey Meatball chef and owner Rodney Bowers, himself no stranger to food television. Below, a quick recap of the segment:

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Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives airs its first-ever Toronto episode tonight

(Image: Food Network Canada)

Guy Fieri’s visit to Toronto at the end of last year bears fruit tonight when Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives stops at Rodney Bowers’Hey Meatball (the show is at 10 p.m. on Food Network Canada). Next week, DDD features The Lakeview, followed by The Ace on March 29 and Caplansky’s on April 5. Stay tuned for a recap of the first episode next week.

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