Maple & Cheddar Chicken at McDonald’s

McDonald's - Maple and Cheddar with Crispy ChickenLocation: 796 Burnhamthorpe Road West, Mississauga
Website: https://www.mcdonalds.com/ca/en-ca.html

The Maple & Cheddar Chicken was a pleasant surprise.  “Maple” being so prominent in the name of the sandwich, I sort of figured it would be way too sweet.  And yeah, it was sweet.  But the sweetness feels relatively well tuned.

McDonald's - Maple and Cheddar with Crispy Chicken

The Maple & Cheddar Chicken comes topped with maple mustard sauce, “mayo-style sauce,” cheddar cheese, crispy onions, tomato, and lettuce.

It pretty tasty, though the maple mustard sauce is basically all maple with a tiny bit of mustard.  It’s a glaze.  It’s incredibly mapley, and hardly mustardy at all.

McDonald's - Maple and Cheddar with Crispy Chicken

But the salty chicken, cheddar, and crispy onions all do a pretty decent job of balancing out the sweetness.  It works.

Also: put crispy onions on everything, please.  They’re delicious and enhance basically everything they’re on.  Well, maybe not on dessert, but hey –who knows?  Crispy onions on a sundae?  Might work.  I can’t rule it out.

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.

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.

Chica’s Chicken: The Best Fried Chicken in the City

Chica's ChickenLocation: 2853 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Website: https://www.chicaschicken.net/

I’ve said a few times that Chica’s probably serves the best fried chicken in the city.  Well, I take it back.  At this point, I can confidently say that it’s not probably the best fried chicken in the city — it is the best fried chicken in the city.  It’s insanely good.

I just tried the Small Fry Sando, which is Chica’s “small” sandwich (it’s small only by their standards; it’s quite hefty) that comes topped with coleslaw, pickles, and Chica’s Sauce, which they describe as a Thousand Island-style dressing.

It’s so good.  I mean, just look at it.  What’s that?  You want another angle?  Well, okay.

Chica's Chicken

The fried chicken itself is almost improbably delicious — the exterior is crunchy and amazingly well seasoned, and the chicken is profoundly juicy.  It’s weird how good it is.

Everything else complements it perfectly, particularly the sauce, which is clearly about a million times better than any Thousand Island I’ve had before.  It’s a top-shelf sandwich.

Chica's Chicken

I also tried the fried pickles, and hey, wouldn’t you know it — they’re outstanding.  The thinly-sliced pickle chips feature a perfectly crispy exterior; I’ve had some fried pickles where the crisp-factor isn’t quite there, but these are amazing.  The zippy, slightly sweet seasoning complements them perfectly, as does the delicious ranch dipping sauce (which, like the Thousand Island, is way better than your average ranch).

Bacon Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich at Wendy’s

Bacon Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich at Wendy'sLocation: 1520 Aimco Boulevard, Mississauga
Website: https://www.wendys.com/en-ca/home

The Bacon Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich from Wendy’s has pretty much everything I like in a fast food sandwich; it’s got gooey cheese (with both a melty cheese slice and cheese sauce), bacon, jalapenos, crispy fried onions, pickled jalapeno slices, and a smoky japaleno sauce.

So yeah, it’s good.  They’d have to work pretty hard to mess it up.

Bacon Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich at Wendy's

The worst part about this chicken sandwich is, funnily enough, the chicken.  The sandwich features their Spicy Chicken patty, and they keep it in one of those warming drawers (AKA the fast food ruiner).

So it’s dry, of course.  It’s also a little bit too salty, and thoroughly infused with a vaguely unpleasant processed flavour.

Bacon Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich at Wendy's

The toppings are so abundant, however, that it’s barely even an issue.  I only had one or two bites that weren’t crammed with stuff.

You’ve got the richness from the cheeses, crispiness from the fried onions, zestiness from the sauce, a nice meaty bite from the bacon, and a good amount of acidity from the jalapenos to help cut through the sandwich’s richness.  It’s quite tasty.

It also has a decent kick to it — it’s nothing too aggressive, but for something from a fast food joint, it’s not bad.