Location: 365 Wilson Avenue, North York
If you’re looking for tasty roast pork, go to Wilson’s Haus of Lechon. Trust me on this one; just do it.
As you might imagine, this place specializes in lechon, the Philippines’s version of roast suckling pig. I knew I was probably in good hands as soon as I walked in the door and saw the whole, glorious pig sitting behind the counter.
I wound up trying the roast pig and the roast chicken, and both were pretty much incredible.
The pork is absolutely fantastic; it’s tender, juicy, and absolutely exploding with flavour. The meat itself was thoroughly infused with a delightfully garlicky, herby punch of flavour. But the pork itself still shines through. It’s so good.
I wish the skin had been a bit crispier, but it was otherwise so delicious that it didn’t really matter.
The chicken was also pretty amazing, though it’s hard for anything to compare to that pork. I wanted dark meat and wound up with a breast, but it was surprisingly tender for white meat, and of course it had that same garlicky/herby flavour.
The combo comes with sticky rice and lumpia Shanghai, which is a very tasty pork-stuffed Filipino spring roll. It’s all so good.
Location: 162 Ossington Avenue, Toronto
The last time I tried Bobbie Sue’s Mac + Cheese, I had the carbonara — it was absolutely delicious, but not exactly a traditional bowl of mac and cheese. I figured I should probably try the real deal.
So I went back and tried the jalapeno and bacon, which is a classic mac and cheese with pickled jalapenos and cubes of bacon (which I’m pretty sure is the pancetta from the carbonara) mixed in. This was a special, so it may or may not be on the menu when you visit.
It’s delicious. The mac and cheese is abundantly rich and cheesey, with perfectly al dente pasta and a nice crispy top from the oven. The meaty bacon and zippy jalapenos compliment it perfectly.
Bonus: the service was great. I picked up my mac and cheese from the counter and then immediately dropped it on the sidewalk (and the plate landed face down, because of course it did). The woman behind the counter witnessed this and quickly made me a new one free of charge, which was very much appreciated.
Location: 30 Courtneypark Drive East, Mississauga
You might recall that last year, McDonald’s released three progressively spicier McChicken sandwiches: jalapeno, habanero, and ghost pepper. I was, sadly, out of town when this happened, otherwise you’d better believe I would have tried all three.
Well, McDonald’s has done me (and you?) a favour by bringing back one of them — the middle one, habanero. I wish I could have tried the ghost pepper version, but beggars can’t be choosers, I guess.
Anyway, it’s nothing anyone should get too excited over; it’s just a standard McChicken with a creamy habanero sauce subbed in for the classic McChicken sauce.
The sauce is pretty tasty, though. It’s got a nice zippy flavour and a vague level of heat.
No, it’s not particularly spicy (I’d put it somewhere between mild and medium), but there’s definitely a noticeable tingle. Between that and the slightly zestier flavour, I’d say it’s an upgrade over the standard McChicken sauce.
Location: 120 Peter Street, Toronto
It’s hard to imagine this now, but there was a time in Toronto when you couldn’t find a shop selling baby-sized burritos on every other block. But of course, Burrito Boyz opened on Peter Street in 2003 and basically launched a city-wide obsession.
After a split between the owners, that spot became Burrito Banditos, and now it’s Burrito Gordito. I have no idea if either of the original Burrito Boyz boys are involved here, but the menu is pretty much the same.
I ordered the steak burrito, which was always my favourite back in the original Burrito Boyz days, and yeah, it’s still good. I don’t know if it’s quite as tasty as I remember it being way back in the early aughts, but then how can you possibly compete with warm and fuzzy memories from well over a decade ago?
The quality of the steak itself is quite good, and there’s a generous amount of it. It’s nice and tender but still has a satisfying chew, and it has a mild but enjoyable beefy flavour.
As for the rest of it, it’s as crammed with rice, beans, and sauces as you’re expecting, with a nice variety of zippy flavours. I ordered it spicy and it was barely hot at all (I remember it being legitimately fiery back in the Burrito Boyz days), but aside from that it’s quite satisfying.
It’s also nicely toasted on the outside — they even roll it over to toast it on its sides, which is a nice touch.
Double Cheese Nachos at Moxie’s
Before having these nachos, I hadn’t been to Moxie’s in several years. My recollection is that the place was deeply mediocre, and hey, wouldn’t you know it, it’s still deeply mediocre. The nachos were fine-ish; they’re somewhere in the vicinity of fine, I guess? For something called “Double Cheese” nachos, there were a lot of dry chips, and there otherwise isn’t much going on here other than some chopped tomatoes and sliced jalapenos. It’s one-note in its flavour, and desperately needs something with a bit of acidity/zinginess to perk it up a bit (salsa could have filled this role, but the salsa here tasted like it came out of a jar — and a particularly shoddy one, at that).
It’s also crazy overpriced for what it is; with the pulled chicken (which was basically stewed chicken mush) and guacamole (which was exceptionally bland), the platter comes up to a whopping 29 bucks, which is a galling amount to pay for such a mediocre plate of nachos.
Hot Fudge Sundae at Tom’s Dairy Freeze
I’ve written about Tom’s Dairy Freeze a couple of times before, which is why I didn’t bother writing a whole post about this, but it’s worth noting that the hot fudge sauce here is above average. It’s not great, mind you (the ice cream itself is definitely the reason to come to Tom’s), but it has a decent chocolate flavour, and it’s not overly sweet. It’s definitely a cut above a place like Dairy Queen.
Cinnamon Bun at Blackbird Baking Co.
Like the almond croissant at Blackbird Baking Co., the cinnamon bun is a lot more subtle than you’re expecting it to be — but it’s also delicious. It’s basically like a croissant and a cinnamon bun had a baby. The croissants at Blackbird are quite good, so yeah, this is as good as you’d hope.