The fashionable tyranny of 'shared plates' and 'molecular gastronomy' occasionally requires overthrow in favour of something a little more substantial than culinarily deft and hell, even a little bad for you.
When craving excess, the magnetic north of my guilty pleasures is a modest little dining hall specializing in Tedesco soul food located in the maze of an unassuming industrial park just south of Kipling station.
While weekday evenings are the province of diehards like myself, Bavarian ex-pats, fans of Deutsche draft beer, or stragglers from the various warehouses and offices in the area, a recent visit finds a lively atmosphere and the dining room--a dining room that is quite possibly the Ultima Thule of kitsch--packed to the rafters with German and Austrian retirees who come once a month to enjoy the special of the day (in this case a smoked pork chop dinner) and then make their way to the back room for screenings of old black & white movies from the fatherland.
My dining companion, every bit the German himself, is a bit of a schnitzel purist who wisely decides to enjoy the Musket's classic take on the breaded pork cutlet ($14.95). Moist and flavourful without being greasy at all, it arrives served with what turns out to be the de facto side for every meal on the menu: modest heaps of onion-y home fried potatoes and pleasant tangle of sourly sweet, caraway scented sauerkraut. In fact, about only things vegetarian on the menu formerly oinked and mooed before making up the bulk of this sinfully tasty home cooked fare.
I forego the safety of the schnitzel for the immense, succulent barbecued pork hox ($17.95) which sits like an artillery piece on its ceramic battlefield, pooling warm juices all over the previously mentioned side dishes which cower at the edges of the plate; this is one huge, fuck-off piece of meat. Crispy on the outside, fall-off-the-bone tender and wonderfully marbled with fat, this intimidating ducal joint of meat is pure artery-clogging, chest-seizing bliss! And try as I might, I can only finish about half of it.
Both of us wash down the meal with several Hacker Pshorr weissbiers ($6.50), a fruity, complex 'white' beer revealing added depth with the application of a squeeze of lemon and compliments the meal perfectly.
The Musket's a naughty little treat that ends up revealing more about your appetites than you'd care to admit. It's proof that nourishing the soul is just as important as nourishing the body even if it takes years off your life in the process.
The Musket - 40 Advance Rd. (at Kipling) - 416.231.6488