Delicious Fried Chicken at PG Clucks

PG ClucksLocation: 384 Bloor Street West (inside the Annex Food Hall)
Website: https://www.pgclucks.com/

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.”

PG Clucks

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.

PG Clucks

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.

Tasty (and Cheap!) Eats at Shanghai Dim Sum

Shanghai Dim SumLocation: 330 Highway 7, Richmond Hill
Website: http://www.shanghaidimsum.ca/

If you’re looking for a delicious and delightfully affordable meal, you could absolutely do worse than Shanghai Dim Sum.  If you show up before 11:00 AM (and you should definitely do this) you can order off a special early morning menu that includes an order of four soup dumplings for 99 cents.

Shanghai Dim Sum

99 cents!  Are they they best soup dumplings you’ll ever have?  No, but they’re quite tasty, and for the price, they’re outstanding.

Shanghai Dim Sum

Everything else was quite good as well.  We managed to try a generous amount of stuff (I was quite full by the end of the meal) — the total bill?  About 30 bucks for three people.  You can’t argue with that price.

Shanghai Dim Sum

The restaurant also has the distinction of serving what might be the garlickiest dish I’ve ever had.  The boiled pork with garlic paste features tender slices of pork belly doused in a sauce that’s effectively pure, uncooked garlic.  It was actually quite tasty, but that garlic taste lingered on my palate for a solid 24 hours.

Nine Layer Burrito at Fresh

FreshLocation: 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto
Website: https://freshplantpowered.com/

Fresh, a chain that specializes in vegan eats, is fine.  I recently had their “burger” and thought it was fine (though it obviously bore no resemblance to an actual hamburger).  I just tried the Nine Layer Burrito, and yeah — it’s fine.

It’s definitely crammed with a lot of stuff: “mushroom & artichoke chorizo, marinated black beans, pico de gallo, cashew queso, jalapeno crema, avocado, shredded lettuce, brown rice, pickled jalapenos.”

Fresh

It’s…  fine.  It’s not as good as a burrito from any decent burrito place, but if you find yourself at Fresh, I’m sure you could do worse.

There’s a whole bunch of stuff in there, and it tastes like there’s a whole bunch of stuff in there.  It doesn’t have a ton of cohesion, but it’s tasty enough for what it is.

I was kinda curious about the  faux “chorizo”, but of course, it’s hard to pick out any one element with all of the flavours that are going on here.  So I tried some on its own; it basically just tastes like funky pureed mushrooms, with absolutely no resemblance to chorizo.

Fresh

The only element of the burrito I found overtly unappealing was the whole wheat tortilla.  I like whole wheat bread as much as the next guy, but it’s just wrong on a burrito.  It calls attention to itself and tastes off.

I also tried the salad with house vinaigrette.  The vinaigrette seemed like it might have been okay, but it was applied so sparingly you could barely taste it.  The “salad” basically tasted like undressed greens.

Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich at Porchetta & Co.

Porchetta and Co - Korean Fried ChickenLocation: 545 King Street West, Toronto
Website: https://porchettaco.com/

Though the fried chicken sandwich at Porchetta & Co. used to be one of the best in the city, sadly, I think those days are long gone.  The last few I’ve had have been nothing too memorable — and that includes the Korean fried chicken sandwich, one of their recent specials.

The sandwich, per their menu: “Sweet & Spicy Korean Chili Sauce, Lettuce, Pickles, Kimchi, Cilantro, Green Onion Lime Mayo, Milk Bun.”

It was fine.  It certainly wasn’t out-and-out bad; the rich mayo and the sweet chili sauce are a tasty combo, and the pickles and the kimchi do a good job of cutting through the richness.  I wish it had been spicier (the spice level was basically at a vague tingle), but it was tasty enough for what it was.

The chicken was a bit of an issue, however.  It wasn’t quite as crispy as you’d like, and the meat itself was pretty tough.

The bun was probably decent at some point, but it was stale and dry.

Though I didn’t hate eating it, the sandwich added up to a whole bunch of meh.  I think I’ll probably stick with the porchetta from now on, which is still great.

Crispy Pork Gyros at Alexandros

AlexandrosLocation: 484 Danforth Avenue, Toronto
Website: http://alexandros.ca/

I knew as soon as I looked at my wrap from Alexandros that it was going to be tasty.  It’s a pork gyros wrap (chicken is also an option), and I mean, come on.  Look at that.  Look at those crispy bits.

Alexandros

And yeah, it was good.  Again: look at it.

It was maybe even too crispy?  They clearly waited a bit too long to carve it; some of the pieces were dried out.  But that’s a minor complaint.

Alexandros

Mostly, the meat is fairly tender, with a decent amount of fat, and — of course — a substantial amount of flavour and texture from the deeply browned exterior.

The bread wasn’t anything too special, nor was the tzatziki, but the pork was tasty enough to make the whole thing worth eating.