Location: 545 King Street West, Toronto
I love Porchetta and Co. Their porchetta sandwich? Classic. Best porchetta in the city. Their fried chicken sandwiches? Usually delicious! Their Nashville hot chicken sandwich? Uh…
Hey, they can’t all be winners. And it wasn’t all bad. The fried chicken itself was superlative, as usual: perfectly-cooked chicken with a crispy, crunchy, tasty exterior. It’s good stuff.
Nashville hot chicken is a notoriously spicy dish that involves a post-cooking dunk into spice-infused oil to give the chicken additional flavour and heat. It’s typically sprinkled with more spices, just to kick up the heat factor. Porchetta and Co. appear to have remembered the oil — the sandwich was absolutely dripping with it — but forgotten the spices. The oily coating on the chicken was bland, and worse, it wasn’t spicy. At all. The spice level here never registered beyond a mild tingle. WTF?
The other components of the sandwich — lettuce, mayo, pickles, plain white bread — were fine, though the sugary-sweet pickles were a bit overpowering.
Location: 609 King Street West, Toronto
I tried Wvrst once, around when it first opened. It was good, but nothing about it really jumped out at me, so I never felt particularly compelled to go back.
Well, I just found myself back there, and clearly I was wrong about the place, because the sausage I ate was probably one of the best that I’ve ever had.
They have an intimidatingly long list of sausages on their menu. I got the Kaas: “pork/beef/parrano cheese/light smoke.” You can either get it on a bun or as currywurst. I went with a bun, and had it topped with sauteed onions and jalapenos.
Oh man, that sausage. The texture was absolutely perfect. To me, the meat in a sausage needs to retain some of its essential meatiness; it shouldn’t have been ground into oblivion. It should still be sausagey, of course, but the texture should be more rustic than a hot dog. Wvrst absolutely nails this.
And the flavour was great: meaty and smoky, not overly salty, and with surprisingly generous pockets of gooey, melty cheese. I was actually pretty blown away by how good it was.
I got the duck fat fries on the side, and they were just as good. You could pick from a bunch of dipping sauces; I went with the Wvrst sauce (rule of thumb: if something on the menu is named after the restaurant, you should probably be ordering that thing). It was tangy and delicious, and complimented the fries perfectly.