Location: 2814 Lake Shore Boulevard West, Etobicoke
Halibut House is a fish and chips chain with over 20 locations around the GTA, though I didn’t even know it existed until very recently.
I don’t think it’s going to blow anyone’s mind, but if you’re looking for a tasty plate of fish and chips, you could do a lot worse.
It’s also a decent deal. You can get a half plate for about eleven bucks, which comes with a piece of halibut (of course), fries, and coleslaw. The fish is on the smaller side, but the pile of fries is generous enough that it’s pretty much guaranteed to fill you up.
The fish itself is a bit overcooked (it was quite dry), but the flavour was nice, and the batter was just right. A lot of places tend to overwhelm the fish with a thick, overly-crunchy coating, but the batter here was nice and crispy while still allowing the fish to be the star of the show.
The fries are the highlight. They’re crispy, creamy, and very tasty. The coleslaw is a bit bland, but it’s fine, and the tartar sauce is creamy and zesty (if a bit overly oniony). It’s a solid plate of fish and chips.
Location: 5449 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke
Though Dairy Queen comes out with new Blizzards on a regular basis, new sundaes are much more rare. Maybe once or twice a year? If that?
They recently came out with not one, but two new sundaes called Cupfections; obviously I was all over it.
There’s the Brownie and Oreo Cupfection, and the Summer Berry Cake Cupfection. I tried the latter, which comes topped with berries (blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries), vanilla cake, and chocolate pieces.
It’s basically a trifle, but with a whole bunch of ice cream instead of custard.
So yeah, it’s good. I think if you replace any component in a dessert with a whole bunch of ice cream, you’re pretty much guaranteed to wind up with something delicious. The soft serve at Dairy Queen isn’t exactly great, but with all that other stuff, it’s tasty.
I watched the guy make it, and it was kind of interesting — I assumed the cake would just be cake crumbs, but he actually pulled out a full sheet cake from the fridge (frosting and all) and then dug into it with an ice cream scoop.
It would have been nice if the berries weren’t so cold (they were partially frozen), but otherwise this was a tasty dessert. I think it’s a summer-only thing, which is too bad — it would be a solid addition to the permanent menu.
Location: 25 The West Mall, Etobicoke
I just posted about the Nanaimo Bar McFlurry, which is part of McDonald’s soon-to-end (on the 17th) Great Canadian Tastes promotion. And now I’ve tried the other item in that menu, Fish and Chips. Because of course I did. What did you think, that McDonald’s was going to introduce fish and chips and I wasn’t going to try it?? Get out of here.
It’s fine, I guess. When I first heard about it, I assumed they were just going to throw a Filet-O-Fish patty on some fries and call it a day, but this isn’t that.
The meal comes with two pieces of fried haddock that basically taste like any number of middle-of-the-road frozen fish filets you can get at the supermarket (it’s not reconstituted fish pieces, so it’s got that going for it).
They’re nice and crispy, and when I had them at least, they were freshly fried — but they definitely have that distinctive processed flavour that lets you know they were made in a big factory many miles away and then frozen.
The fish itself was dry, but it could have been worse. Like I said, it was fine. Not great, but perfectly edible.
The meal comes with a little tub of tartar sauce, which is zippy and surprisingly oniony. I wasn’t crazy about that (raw onions are the worst; why everyone thinks they’re acceptable to eat is a complete mystery to me), but it was definitely a bit more interesting than you’d expect.
Location: 25 The West Mall, Etobicoke
The common refrain is that you should give a restaurant at least a few weeks before you pass judgment on it. It often takes a little while for the kitchen to work out all the kinks.
Union Chicken is a perfect example of this. Last year, I went there within a couple of weeks of its opening; it was absolutely, positively awful. I tried a few things and they were all horrifically bad.
In the meantime, I’ve heard basically nothing but good things, so I figured it was probably about time to give it another shot. And it was night and day. Everything was really, really good.
The Buffalo and blue cheese fried chicken sandwich was delicious. It’s got everything you’re looking for in a fried chicken sandwich: that amazing exterior crunch, a juicy piece of chicken (the fact that it’s thigh instead of breast helps mightily in this regard), and a zingy sauce that makes it all sing.
There’s something about the magical interplay between vinegary Buffalo sauce and creamy blue cheese dressing that just works, and Union Chicken only elevates that — the blue cheese dressing on the sandwich is seriously tasty, with a mild garlicky bite that sets it apart.
I had the baked beans on the side, and they were also well above average. Sometimes baked beans can be a bit of a sweet overload, but these had a nice vinegary punch to round things out, and a decent amount of spice. The texture was a bit soupy, but they were otherwise top-shelf beans.
That sandwich, though. I was honestly surprised at how good it was. It definitely belongs on a list of the best fried chicken in the city.
Location: 3797 Lake Shore Boulevard West, Etobicoke
I’ve mentioned before that frozen custard is almost impossible to find in the city. Which is completely baffling, because we have about a million ice cream shops. There’s no reason we shouldn’t have a bunch of places serving delicious frozen custard.
As far as I know, we have two: Rita’s, an outpost of an American chain near Kensington Market, and now Woodfire Sandwich Co.
If you’re not familiar with frozen custard (and if you’re living in Toronto, you’d be forgiven for not knowing what it is), it’s basically like regular ice cream, but made more luxurious and creamy with the addition of egg yolks.
Woodfire serves chocolate, vanilla, and a rotating feature flavour. You can also add a variety of optional toppings. I just got plain vanilla so I could bask in the sweet, sweet, custardy glory without anything getting in the way.
It’s good. It’s not quite as tasty as basically any frozen custard I’ve had in the States, but it’s legit. It’s got a pronounced custardy flavour and a satisfyingly silky texture. It could be creamier, and eating it gets a bit one-note sweet after a while, but all things considered, I enjoyed it.
Hey, beggars can’t be choosers. It’s frozen custard and it doesn’t require that I drive hundreds of kilometres to the States. I’ll take it.