Location: 171 East Liberty Street (Unit 127A), Toronto
Aloette was forced to become a take-out joint last year (for obvious reasons) and I guess that’s worked out for them, because they’re leaning into it; their second location, in Liberty Village, is take-out only, with a selection that mostly consists of fried chicken, burgers, and a handful of salads.
I ordered the fried chicken sandwich, which is simply topped with aioli and pickles. It’s a top-notch sandwich; the chicken is satisfyingly crunchy and very nicely seasoned, with what seemed like an Asian-inspired flavour that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but that I thoroughly enjoyed. The zingy pickles and creamy aioli complement it well, and the bun is nice and fluffy, with just enough heft to hold up to the substantial piece of fried chicken.
The chicken itself is ever-so-slightly on the dry side, and the crunchy exterior is maybe slightly too aggressive (it actually cut the roof of my mouth), but those are both minor complaints.
They have a couple of tempting sundaes for dessert, but I couldn’t resist the lemon meringue pie; it’s a mainstay on Instagram, but is definitely more than just a pretty face. It’s luxuriously rich and creamy, and has a perfect tart/sweet balance. My biggest problem here is the crust: it’s mostly decent enough, but then you get to the big hunk at the end and it’s thick and gummy and, eaten on its own, kinda unpleasant.
Location: 85 Hanna Avenue, Toronto
I don’t want to get too hyperbolic here, but I’m fairly certain that I’ve seen the pancakes from Mildred’s Temple Kitchen about four billion times on Instagram. They pop up on my feed at least once a week. It’s hard to get a big group of people to agree on anything, but everyone is quite unanimous regarding the greatness of the pancakes here.
They’re not wrong.
The pancakes (dubbed Mrs. Biederhof’s Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes) have a really appealing balance of fluffiness and substance, with a lightly crispy exterior that’s unlike any pancake I’ve had before. The texture is almost like an incredibly light and fluffy biscuit.
It’s possible that something had gone a bit wrong, because I suspect they’re not supposed to be this crispy on their exterior (the bottom pancake in the pile was downright crunchy). And yet somehow it totally works.
The flavour is great, too — the pancakes are slightly tart from the buttermilk, with the perfect amount of sweetness from the blueberries and the maple syrup. The whipped cream adds a nice little punch of additional richness, and helps to bring all of the flavours together.
My only complaint? It’s an excessive amount of food. I wish there were a one or two pancake option, because these things are substantial, and they sit in your stomach like a ton of bricks. It’s great while you’re eating them, and unpleasant for the rest of the day.