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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Grills on!

The long weekend is almost here, and Pioneer knows that Daddy Pioneer will be itching to immediately turn on the barbecue and get some meat grillin'. We have a small confession to make though: We buy our meat (and most of our groceries) at big box grocery stores... sigh. I know, I know - we can hear the tears and hair pulling from here!! Shame on us. Not only are we not shopping local, but we are only a stone's throw from the best place on the Danforth to buy our much-needed long weekend BBQ sustenance. 

Royal Beef (1968 Danforth) is the place to head if you want something special. Over the years, we've passed by this bastion of beef many a time, but it has been at least a few years since we've gone in.  A recent visit was an eye opener when we noticed that a multitude of delicious, savoury, pre-marinated and speciality meats abound.  

Head butcher Jason Teasdale
Head butcher Jason Teasdale gave Pioneer a tour of what's ready to grill and it truly is astounding, but before we get into the meat of things, we should mention something important: almost 99% of Royal Beef meat is hormone and antibiotic free meat, purchased from mainly Canadian sources. Teasdale is passionate about this point - he also stressed there is a lot of gluten-free products available in store.

Owner Carmen and Teasdale couldn't agree whether they have 37 or 48 different types of in-house, gourmet burgers, but it didn't really matter. When they started rattling down a list of burgers such as steak and stilton, jerk chicken, turkey spinach feta and rosemary garlic lamb, Pioneer's mouth was watering (you had us at Stilton!). Teasdale pointed out that their Bison and Basil burgers are the most popular - at $5 a patty, it's a steal for bison and also the most nutritious meat you can consumer thanks to the gentle bison's diet of greens and more greens. 

Pioneer could have spent a small fortune on their marinated meats section, particularly their "flat" chicken breast packs drenched in Tandoori, Coconut Thai, Madras curry or Piri Piri marinade. The downside is that these pre-marinated options are quite pricey, but that's ok, because Daddy Pioneer is always a big spender on holiday weekends (the upside of our self-imposed 'staycations').

Happy grilling everyone!

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