Location: 384 Bloor Street West (inside the Annex Food Hall)
I mentioned recently that I think Chica’s Chicken serves the best fried chicken in the city. I still think that, but PG Clucks is giving them some serious competition for that title.
I tried the Jalapeno and Honey (Toronto Life’s pick for the second best sandwich in the city): “Honey Dipped Chicken, Sweet Pickled Jalapeños, Fermented Jalapeño Sauce, Ranch Sauce.”
It’s so good. It’s quite sweet from the honey (the chicken is tossed in some kind of honey sauce) but it’s balanced perfectly by the zingy pickled jalapenos and the abundantly delicious ranch and jalapeno sauces. It’s almost absurd how delicious it is.
And the chicken itself is absolutely perfect — it’s super crispy, juicy, and flavourful.
Bonus: their new location, in the Annex Food Hall, is way nicer than the original on College. That one is just a closet-sized take-out joint, but this one actually has tables, which means that you don’t have to eat your sandwich hunched over on the sidewalk like an animal. That’s always nice.
Location: 874 Yonge Street, Toronto
Fat Lamb Kouzina is a delightful little Greek place near Yonge and Bloor that, as you’d guess from the name, specializes in lamb. It’s mostly a take-out joint, though they do have a communal table and some stools.
The menu’s pretty simple — you can either get lamb, pork, chicken, or eggplant, and you have the choice of getting it on a pita, or with a side of potatoes or salad.
I went with the lamb; it’s right there in the name. It’s an easy enough choice.
There’s nothing better than well-prepared lamb — there’s something about its distinctive flavour that’s fairly irresistible. And they prepare it very, very well here. It’s slow-roasted and seasoned perfectly, with a zippy, herb-packed flavour.
It’s also incredibly tender. Maybe a touch too tender? I would have liked it to have a bit more texture, but it’s hard to complain when it’s this delicious.
I got it with the potatoes on the side, which were perfectly creamy, and just as herby and delicious as the meat. It comes with a cup of creamy tzatziki that amps up everything’s flavour. It’s good stuff.
Location: 633 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Ice cream is the best. And while what they’re serving at Put A Cone On It probably isn’t going to knock anyone’s socks off, it’s above average ice cream. Which means that, yes: it’s the best.
Plus, they make their own ice cream, which is always nice. There’s nothing more disheartening than going to an ice cream shop only to realize that they’re serving commercial stuff like Kawartha or Nestle. I can buy that at the supermarket. Get out of here with that.
They have a handful of dairy and non-dairy flavours available; I tried the roasted banana, which is one of the dairy options.
It’s quite tasty. True to its name, it has a very pronounced banana flavour that almost reminded me of banana bread, only with a more amplified fruity flavour.
The texture was ever-so-slightly icy, and it could have been richer, but it was quite good. Like I said: it probably won’t be your favourite ice cream in the city, but you’re definitely going to enjoy eating it.
Location: 515 Bloor Street West, Toronto
After ramen disappointments at Konjiki and Kinton, I was starting to worry that a really good bowl of ramen might be impossible to find in the city.
Well, here’s Santouka, riding in to save the day. Their ramen certainly wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but it was a solid bowl of noodles. I enjoyed it.
They specialize in tonkotsu ramen, in which pork bones have been boiled down for hours until you get a rich and creamy broth. They have shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), miso, or spicy miso. I went with shio.
It’s a quality bowl of soup. The broth doesn’t quite have the magical complexity that you’ll find in the best versions of this dish, but it had a rich porky flavour (without the heavy greasiness that can bog down tonkotsu ramen), and a good amount of salt that doesn’t overwhelm.
The noodles were slightly thinner than I’d like, but they have a nice chewy bite. They’re satisfying.
The egg is an add-on, but it’s worth shelling out the extra cash; it’s nicely seasoned and perfectly-cooked, with a gooey but — and this is the key — not runny yolk.
Location: 510 Yonge Street, Toronto
Creme brulee: delicious. Crepes: delicious. A creme brulee crepe? Yes please.
I will, however, admit that I was skeptical; would this be one of those Instagram-friendly food mash-ups that never should have been mashed up?
Nope, it’s exactly as delicious as you’re hoping it’ll be. Actually, no; more delicious.
My only real complaint is that the top didn’t have the sugary, crackily crispiness that you’re looking for, despite being thoroughly torched.
Other than that, it was top notch. The custard was a little bit too sweet — I suspect that it came from a mix — but it was still quite tasty, and certainly got the job done.
There was also quite a bit of it; every bite had a generous amount of custard, even right at the bottom of the cone.
The crepe itself was the highlight; it was freshly made, with a chewy interior and a lightly crispy exterior that set it apart from the norm. It complimented the custard perfectly.
I enjoyed it so much that I went back a few days later for round two. I tried the Mango Raspberry, and it was just as good as the creme brulee. The crepe had the same addictive crispy/chewy contrast, and the filling featured a great balance of tartness and sweetness, with perfectly ripe chunks of fruit.