Two Bite Saloon – under the radar too long

This post was originally called “Two Bite Saloon – get over there but don’t sit in my seat”.

I’ve been negligent. Secretive. Holding out.

Two Bite Saloon moved onto my block last November and I haven’t written about them until now.

Why not? I don’t know. Maybe I’ve subconsciously feared losing my spot at the bar. Maybe I didn’t want to share my precious. However, if I share, there will continue to be a bar for me to sit at.

The Friends had Central Perk, the How I Met Your Mother gang have MacLaren’s, I have Two Bite Saloon. (And Tall Boys Bar, which I wrote about in September.) Hell, I’m the Foursquare Mayor. I adore Two Bite Saloon not for just for its proximity but for its food and charming staff. There are plenty of terrible bars nearby that I don’t visit.

Two Bite Saloon’s menu: smallish but mighty & charitable

Chef Nathan Jones also includes some vegan options on his menu.

  • 7 types of sliders: beef burger, pulled pork, tofu, peameal, cajun chicken, catfish, brisket (3 for 10/5 for $15/ 7 for $19/ 10 for $25). All house smoked bacon or cheese to any slider. Try bacon on bacon. It can be done.
  • Ribs, Southern fried wings, vegan chili.
  • Sides (between $4-7): Frites (hand cut russet potatoes tossed with fresh herbs and smoked salt), poutine with green peppercorn gravy, cornbread muffins, collard greens, Boston beans buttermilk slaw, hush puppies (new)
  • Salads: Southwest Cobb with whiskey glazed smoked chicken, fried green tomatoes and other stuff ($13) and Watermelon ($11).
  • Pecan pie & chocolate stout cake ($4 each)

Animals used are ethically raised, antibiotic and hormone free. Bacon is house-cured, brisket and the tofu, brisket, ribs and pork are smoked out back. Add brisket and/or pulled pork to the poutine. The fries are among some of the best bar fries ever. The tofu slider is damn good, and Post City agrees. The salads are so new to the menu that I haven’t tried them yet.

Donate your buns

New to the restaurant is the Slider Standby Program: Add $1 to your bill every Sunday. With the money collected, sliders will be made and delivered to local shelters. Toronto City Councillor Mike Layton announced this to his 11,642 Twitter followers a couple of days ago.

 

French-trained and preferring not to cut corners, Chef Nathan makes nearly everything from scratch. He makes pickles and shares them with neighbour bars such as Tall Boys Bar next door. If you order a pickleback or a Caesar at Tall Boys (and I strongly urge you to order a Caesar), you’re getting Chef Nate’s pickles. That’s how the neighbourhood works. It’s community rather than competition, something I value highly and have much respect for.

Chef Nathan Jones

Chef Nate

Every saloon needs beer

Two Bite Saloon’s selections of Ontario craft beer include-

  • 5 Ontario craft beers on tap – $7/pint except for when they have $5 specials 
  • 6 Ontario craft breweries represented in six varieties in regular bottle format ($6 each)
  • 8 different tall cans ($7 each)
  • 11 Ontario craft breweries represented in bombers with between 1 and 4 beers per brewery. ($8-$16)

This saloon makes cocktails

Two Bite Saloon’s cocktail list is in transition. The new menu includes cocktails with names such as “Tennessee Sweet Tea” (Knobb Creek, sweet tea infused with peach), “La Paloma” (Hornitos, grapefruit, soda, blood orange/poblano syrup) and “The Wishing Well” (Jim Beam White, triple sec, soda, lime, mint).

Also being added to the cocktail menu (I think) are “The Neighbour” and “The Damn Neighbour”, two cocktails inspired by whiskey sours with a maple twist. One of them replaces whiskey with Sailor Jerry Rum. Both contain simple syrup finished with maple syrup bought locally at the Dufferin Grove Farmers’ Market from Forbes Wild Foods. The story of their origin involves teamwork with neighbours, one of whom is a farmers’ market junkie & one of Forbes’ biggest fans, the other who really wanted simple syrup. The full story of these cocktails is one to ask me about.

I might be drinking one right now, at the bar, as I type this on a Thursday eve.

Sundays are fun days at Two Bite Saloon

Two Bite Saloon’s Southern-style brunch (Sundays only) is one of the best in the city, and yet rarely busy. Best kept secret. I’m not a fan of the coffee but you can’t please ’em all.

On Sunday evenings there are beer and whiskey specials. Jamison shots are $4.

Two Bite Saloon

Owner Daniel Fortin

Enter the pig

This Sunday is special. In addition to brunch from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., it’s their third monthly pig roast. Honestly, on Pig Roast days I discourage you from going for brunch and go exclusively for the pig for two reasons:

  1. We don’t like overwhelming the chef with brunch and pig. He might cry.
  2. Brunch is 4x month, pig is one.

Two Bite Saloon pig roast

RSVPs are recommended. Word is that there will be 2 hogs this Sunday, roasted in the China Box (indirect heat – the pig is inside the box, the fire is outside, so it’s more like an oven). There will also be a whiskey sampling.

Other regular events

  • Karaoke is every second Sunday at 10:30 p.m. with host Shawn Meunier. 
  • Two Byte Tuesdays happen sometimes.  It’s a gaming night featuring XBox games on all their TVs, D&D (Pathfinder), Magic The Gathering, and whatever people bring. Yes, Dungeons & Dragons at a bar.

Please visit my bar and return repeatedly so that I can have it for a long time. Also, visit their Facebook page to learn more about their karaoke dates, live bands and other events. Follow on Twitter at @twobitesaloon.

Flickr set below.
Warning: Slideshow contains photos of pig parts, raw and cooked. If pig heads make you squeamish, don’t click.

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  1. Mother's Day is Sunday - Andrea the Gastronaut - May 9, 2014

    […] Two Bite Saloon is offering a $25 Prix Fixe menu: House made buttermilk biscuits with homemade creme fraiche and country preserve, choice of either Pulled Pork Benedict or the House Smoked Salmon Benedict,  finished with fresh creole beignets served with a chocolate coffee creme anglaise + mimosa. Their new biscuits are FABULOUS. I got a taste test. […]

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