Between load-in and set time: Rock The Walls’ Patrick Walford talks Toronto

Posted by on September 29, 2016


Besides websites like this one, there are still plenty of places for fans of metal to get their fix, hear new music and catch interviews. One of those is Rock The Walls, a weekly two-hour show on internet radio station idobi Howl. Hosted out of Toronto by Patrick Walford, the show, which airs on Thursdays at 8pm, has featured interviews with the likes of Whitechapel, Lamb of God and Bring Me The Horizon. We thought we’d have Patrick tell us where to go if you’re in Toronto for a show, either playing it or  attending. Here’s what he came up with:

If you’re in Toronto and have time between load-in and set-time, here are some rad places within walking distance of venues like Opera House, Hard Luck, and Mod Club (or in Sneaky Dee’s case, downstairs from the venue!). There are a lot of great places to eat in this city, but here are three of my go-to’s:

Playing Opera House

Dangerous Dan’s Diner


Dangerous Dan’s is located a few doors down and across the street from The Opera House at the corner of Broadview and Queen. This isn’t your typical diner, as these burgers are HUGE. It is one of the greasiest, most filling and amazing burgers you will ever eat—made to order with fresh beef. Dangerous Dan’s also has a wide array of other options like chicken wings, grilled cheese, pulled pork sandwiches, AND the poutine with the steak-cut fries is amazing.

Back to the burgers, whenever I’m interviewing bands or seeing shows at OH, my personal favourites are The Big Kevorkian (fried onion, fried mushrooms, two slices of bacon, deep fried pickle, garlic dressing, mayo), The Big Kahuna (pineapple slice, peameal bacon, and mozzarella served with mayo, lettuce and tomato), and The Big Pig (two slices of bacon, two peameal bacon strips, cheddar, mayo, lettuce, tomato).

To finish it off, go all out and try the deep-fried Mars bar for dessert.


Playing Hard Luck

Sneaky Dee’s

Most bands who have consistently toured Toronto have heard of Sneaky Dee’s or have drunk a beer there with their buds—maybe got rowdy on a Friday Night at Homesick… SD’s has some of the best Mexican food in the city, as well as a few amazing music-themed creations from popular Canadian artists like:

City and Colour’s Northern Blues Nachos – diced steak, bacon, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, mixed peppers, green onions, jalapeños and Dine Alone’s signature Northern Soul BBQ Sauce.

Death From Above 1979’s Nachos – salsa roja, melted cheese, pulled pork, guacamole, black beans, jalapeños, habaneros and green onions topped with sliced avocado and whole habanero peppers.

Cancer Bats’ The Destroyer Nachos – french fries, melted cheese, gravy, ground beef, tomatoes, onions, peppers, jalapeños, topped with guacamole & sour cream (veggie & vegan versions also available).

Fucked Up’s Breakfast – two enchiladas with eggs, peppers, cheese and salsa mole + a flour tortilla bowl filled with beans, diced onions, tomatoes, peppers and topped with cheese + two poached eggs swimming in salsa mole on top  of corn tortillas, all with rice and beans, chilli, tortilla chips, salsa verde and ensalada.

And for all the vegetarians and vegans out there, they can make most of their dishes vegan or veggie friendly.

My personal favourite is the Destroyer Nachos—if you’re planning to play a show after eating these, get a bandmate to give you hand. It’s a lot of food!


Playing Mod Club

Smoke’s Poutinerie

In case you couldn’t tell from my pick of Dangerous Dan’s, I enjoy poutine. If you need a filling meal or just a snack before a show at the Mod Club, this Canadian franchise that’s just a couple buildings down the street is my personal favourite. Smoke’s Poutinerie has been growing pretty rapidly over the past decade. They’ve even opened a Burritoerie and a Hot Doggerie to go along with the Poutinerie over the last year here in Toronto.

I typically get the traditional poutine, but there are a ton of awesome and pretty insane combinations. There’s the Big Mac Poutine with all the toppings (special sauce, lettuce, cheese), but Smoke’s has incredible pulled pork, chicken, and vegetarian poutine options as well.

I recommend traditional if it’s your first time trying poutine, but if you are a meat lover, the Bacon Cheeseburger & Philly Cheesesteak Poutines are great picks. If you are vegetarian, give the Rainbow Poutine a go. Also the Chicken Bacon Ranch Poutine is a newer one that I’m really enjoying.

I’ve got to go grab some food before my next interview, but hopefully if you’re playing in Toronto you can give these places a shot!

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Categorised in: Between Load In and Set Time