Fried Chicken Wing Perfection at Chica’s Chicken

Chica's ChickenLocation2853 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/chicaschicken/

Well, I’ve now tried everything on the menu at Chica’s Chicken, which means I can say the following with a reasonable amount of authority: it’s the best.  The literal best.

I honestly can’t recall having better fried chicken anywhere in the city.  It’s everything you’re looking for: it’s got that amazing crispy crunch, it’s so damn tasty, and the chicken itself is ridiculously moist.  Perfection.

Chica's Chicken

I got the wings this time; an order comes with four giant wings, and it’s an absurd amount of food.  They don’t cut the wings into segments like most places — it feels like a pain at first, but it gives you more of that crispy, crunchy skin.

You also get a side, and two slices of plain white bread.  For 16 bucks, it’s a absolute steal considering the quantity and quality of the food.

Chica's Chicken

Sorry, every other chicken wing I’ve ever had: you’re absolute garbage compared to what Chica’s is serving.

I got it hot AF; as on my previous visits, they aren’t kidding around with the heat.  It hurts so good.

I think I’m ready to install a cot in the back of the restaurant so that I can eat all my meals here.  Will I die of a massive heart attack by my 40th birthday?  Probably.  Will it be worth it?  Absolutely.

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Rudy: Still Great

RudyLocation: 619 College Street, Toronto
Websitehttp://rudyresto.com/

I recently named Rudy the best burger in Toronto.  So from now on, I’m always going to be afraid that, one day, they’ll lower the quality of their hamburgers and make me look like an idiot.

That day may come.  It hasn’t yet.

I just went back, and I can confirm that it’s as great as ever.  The burger is still juicy, beefy, and amazing.  And that crust from the griddle?  Bonkers.  Absolutely bonkers.

Rudy

I mean, look at that.  It’s perfect.

Along with the burger and fries, I tried the deep-fried pickle chips, and they were pretty great too — particularly when you dip them in the tasty ranch sauce that comes on the side.

Rudy

Fried pickles is one of those things that sounds weird until you try it, and you realize that it’s actually amazing.  I wish the batter here was a little less chewy and a bit more crunchy, but aside from that they were tasty and addictive.

Tasty Pies at General Assembly Pizza

General Assembly PizzaLocation: 331 Adelaide Street West, Toronto
Websitehttps://www.gapizza.com/

After my horrifying Pizzeria Libretto experience, I wondered: am I being too picky?  Was Libretto actually not that bad?  Are my expectations just way too high?

Thank you, General Assembly Pizza, for letting me know that I’m not crazy.  Pizzeria Libretto was indeed terrible.  I am still capable of enjoying pizza.

General Assembly Pizza

They’re certainly not the best I’ve ever had, but the pizzas they’re serving here are all-around solid.

The first thing you notice is the even char on the crust; clearly, the temperature/time in the oven is just right.  Remember the disturbing photo of the colourless bottom of the slice from my Libretto post?  Here’s what the bottom of a slice of pizza should look like:

General Assembly Pizza

That’s not to say that the crust here was perfect.  I liked the subtle crispiness on its exterior, but it didn’t quite have the chewiness that you’re looking for, and it was a bit bland.  It wasn’t quite at the Wonder Bread level of Libretto’s crust, but it was definitely lacking.

The toppings do a pretty great job of hiding the crust’s shortcomings, however.  I tried three pizzas: Sweet Heat (tomato, mozzarella, hot salami, chili, honey, basil), Falco Sausage (tomato, parmesan, sausage, red onion, bread crumb, garlic, black pepper, chili flake, basil), and Garden Smash (tomato, squash eggplant mash, red onion, spring onion, garlic, sesame, basil).

General Assembly Pizza

All three were quite tasty, with a great sweet/salty contrast on the Sweet Heat, and a nice savoury punch on the Falco Sausage.  Even the Garden Smash — a cheeseless pizza, which I was deeply skeptical about — was fairly satisfying (though I still missed the cheese).

You can also kick things up with a nicely potent chili oil they have on the side.  I strongly recommend that you do this; it’s great.

A Mixed Bag at Tabule

TabuleLocation: 2009 Yonge Street, Toronto
Websitehttp://tabule.ca/

I like Tabule a lot; it’s probably one of the better Middle Eastern restaurants in the city, though this particular visit wasn’t particularly awe-inspiring.

The starter was fantastic, at least — we got the sampler platter, which came with hummus, babaganuj, and tabule.  The creamy hummus had a nice garlicky bite without overwhelming, the tabule was fresh and zingy, and the babaganuj had a mild smokiness that really set it apart.  It comes with a basket of soft, toasty pita bread.  It’s great.

Tabule

My main wasn’t quite as good.  I got the eggplant, which comes served on mujaddara, a Middle Eastern rice dish with lentils and fried onions.

The eggplant was perfectly cooked; that particular vegetable can easily be mushy, but in this dish it had a satisfyingly firm texture and an amazing creaminess.  I think it might have been some of the most well-prepared eggplant I’ve ever had.

But while it and the rice were both quite tasty, the whole dish was one-note rich; the tahini sauce didn’t do much to contrast with the eggplant and the rice.  Something with some sweetness or acidity would have really rounded things out — as delicious as it was, I was getting tired of eating it by the end of the plate.

Tabule

I had the kunafa for dessert, which was a more unambiguous failure.  I actually had this on a previous visit, and that time it had a really great balance of creaminess and crispiness, without being overly sweet.  This time?  Not so much.

But to quote LeVar Burton: you don’t have to take my word for it.  Here’s a side-by-side of the the one I just had, and the one I was served on my last visit.

Tabule

Yikes.  And it was as bad as it looked — it was absolute mush all the way through, with an unpleasantly intense, throat-burning sweetness.

Epic Fried Chicken Sandwiches at Chica’s Chicken

Chica's ChickenLocation: 2853 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/chicaschicken/

I’ve already talked about the Nashville hot chicken at Chica’s, which is amazing.  Well I just went back and tried the sandwich, and yeah, it’s pretty damn good, too.

The first thing that you notice is that it’s monstrously big.  The piece of fried chicken in the sandwich is almost comically oversized.   It’s not easy to eat.

It looks like it might be one of those fried chicken sandwiches that’s about fifty percent batter and fifty percent chicken, but it’s surprisingly meaty, with a pronounced (but not overbearing) outer layer of crunchy goodness.

Chica's Chicken

I think they might have somehow managed to combine chicken breast and thigh into one enormous mega-patty, because aside from the fact that it was insanely large, some of it tasted like dark meat, and some of it tasted like white.  Maybe I’m going crazy and it was all white meat; either way, it was perfectly cooked and not even remotely dry.

I ordered it hot AF, and like on my last visit, it was abundantly spicy — but not overwhelmingly so.  It’s an outstanding sandwich.

Chica's Chicken

I got the bean salad on the side, which was corny, beany, garlicky, and delicious.  I also tried the waffle fries, which are battered and crispy.  Battered fries aren’t my favourite, but these were good.

I’ve pretty much tried the entire menu at this point (the only thing I haven’t had are the wings), and there isn’t a dud in the bunch.  If you haven’t tried this place yet, you need to rectify that immediately.