Amazing Roast Beef at Woodfire Sandwich Co.

Woodfire Sandwich Co.Location: 3797 Lake Shore Boulevard West, Etobicoke
Websitehttps://www.woodfiresandwich.com/

You can’t go wrong with a really good sandwich.  And the folks at Woodfire Sandwich Co. certainly seem to know their stuff.

In particular, the First Date — a roast beef sandwich with crispy onions, arugula, gorgonzola, sauteed mushrooms, and mayo — was something special.

Woodfire Sandwich Co.

The sandwich is crammed with an absolutely absurd amount of rare roast beef; this would be overwhelming with lesser quality beef, but here it’s amazing.  The meat is perfectly tender, with a really satisfying beefy flavour that’s only amplified by the fact that they serve it cold.

Woodfire Sandwich Co.

Beef and mushrooms are best friends, so I don’t need to tell you that this combination was great.  The cheese and the mayo add a nice amount of creaminess, and the peppery arugula does a great job of keeping the sandwich’s richer flavours in check.

It’s served in a sesame seed roll that perfectly straddles the line between lightness and heft; it makes its presence known and holds up well to the onslaught of beef and mushrooms, but it never overwhelms.  It’s a great roll for a great sandwich.

Woodfire Sandwich Co.

I also tried the fried chicken sandwich, which was less great (or more accurately: not great at all).  It was fine, but nothing about it stands out.    The exterior didn’t really have the crisp factor that you’re looking for in a great fried chicken sandwich, and the seasoning was ho-hum.  Plus, the chicken itself (white meat, sadly) was slightly overcooked and a bit dry.  It was a perfectly acceptable sandwich, but nothing about it stood out like the amazing roast beef.

Decent Fried Chicken at Love Chix

Love ChixLocation: 111 Richmond Street West, Toronto (in the Assembly Chef’s Hall)
Websitehttp://www.lovechix.ca/

I got nervous when, after I ordered my chicken sandwich from Love Chix, they opened a drawer filled with pre-cooked chicken pieces and then dunked one in the fryer to reheat it.

Thankfully, it certainly could have been worse, but the chicken was dry and overcooked, and it’s easy enough to see why.  This might have been less of an issue if they started with dark meat, which has a bit more leeway during the cooking process before it dries out.  But it was white meat, and “moist” was not a word in its vocabulary.

Love Chix

The sandwich was otherwise quite tasty.  It’s tossed in a honey hot sauce and topped with buttermilk ranch, coleslaw, and arugula.  The honey flavour was quite pronounced, but there was enough of a spicy kick and a vinegary bite to balance out the sweetness.  The creamy ranch and the peppery arugula helped to round things out.  It was actually quite tasty.

And while the crunch factor wasn’t quite as pronounced as it could have been, it was certainly satisfying.

I just wish the meat itself weren’t so dry.  I certainly understand why they serve their chicken this way; people might get impatient to wait the almost ten minutes it would take to fry a piece of chicken from scratch.  But I wish they’d give you a choice.

Italian Pesto Chicken Sandwich at McDonald’s

McDonald'sLocation: 5310 Dixie Road, Mississauga
Websitehttps://www.mcdonalds.ca

Next stop on the World Taste Tour: Italy, with the Italian Pesto Chicken Sandwich.  This is a McChicken patty topped with a pesto aioli sauce, shaved parmesan, arugula, and tomato.  It’s served on a “toasted focaccia bun sprinkled with rosemary.”

It’s actually not bad.  It’s definitely a lot better than the Chinese Szechuan Burger, and probably about on the same level as the French Creme Brulee McFlurry.

Like with the Szechuan Burger, the biggest issue here is with the meat itself.

McDonald's

The chicken patty is what it is.  It’s spongy, salty, ultra-processed, and has about as much resemblance to an actual piece of chicken as a Hyundai has to a Ferrari.  They’re in the same general ballpark, but they’re really not the same thing.

It’s junk, but then anyone walking through the doors of a McDonald’s knows exactly what they’re going to get.  Again: it is what it is.  It’s fine.

And everything else was pretty good.  The pesto aioli sauce has a surprisingly vibrant pesto flavour, and the shaved parmesan isn’t bad at all.  Parmesan, pesto, and peppery arugula are a boffo combination, and McDonald’s doesn’t mess it up.  The whole thing is aggressively salty, but other than that it tastes pretty good.

There wasn’t much rosemary flavour from the bun, but it was fresh, hearty, and a little bit chewy.  It suited the sandwich nicely.

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.

Waffle Double Down at KFC

Waffle Double Down at KFC

As ridiculous as the Waffle Double Down looks (and yeah, it is ridiculous), it’s basically just an oddball presentation of chicken and waffles.  And everybody loves chicken and waffles.  So it follows that this thing must be pretty good too, right?

Right?

Well… it’s not awful, I’ll give it that.

The Waffle Double Down is actually pretty simple: it’s two fried chicken patties encasing a Belgian waffle with maple aioli.

Waffle Double Down at KFC

I sort of figured that the aioli would be subtly sweet, but I think it might actually be sweeter than just plain maple syrup.  As soon as I unwrapped the sandwich (assuming that this thing even qualifies as a sandwich, which is questionable), the maple aroma hit me in the face like a ton of bricks.

And that was one of the main issues: the sandwich is way, way too sweet.  I like the combo of sweet and salty, and I quite like chicken and waffles, but this is leaning way too hard in the direction of in-your-face sweetness.  It’s almost dessert.

The other issue is the chicken itself.  You can get it regular or spicy; I went with spicy, because if someone asks you if you want something spicy, the correct answer is always yes.  And it’s not bad — the exterior was crispy and tasty, with a decent kick.  But the chicken was overcooked and dry, and since there’s so much of it, that’s an issue.  I had to constantly chug water between bites just to keep my mouth from completely drying out.

Waffle Double Down at KFC

The waffle was exactly what you’d think it would be.  If you’ve ever had prepackaged Belgian waffles, then you know what you’re getting.  It’s fine.

I actually wish that they’d drop the gimmick and just make this a regular waffle sandwich.  Because as it is, there’s an absurd amount dry chicken and not enough waffle.  The proportion is off.  It doesn’t taste right.

Oh, and this thing cost about $10.50 with tax, which is crazypants.  It is absolutely not worth that much money.