Average Meatball Sandwich at Little DaiLo

Little DaiLoLocation: 111 Richmond Street West, Toronto (in the Assembly Chef’s Hall)
Websitehttps://chefs-hall.squarespace.com/

Little DaiLo in the Assembly Chef’s Hall currently has a garlic sambal meatball sandwich on their menu.  I just tried it; it was a meatball sandwich.  The End.

I should write a few more words, I suppose.  But there’s not all that much to say about it — despite the presence of napa slaw and garlic sambal, it’s a super run-of-the-mill meatball sandwich.  It’s perfectly tasty, but there isn’t anything about it that stands out.

Well, that’s not strictly true: though it doesn’t add all that much flavour, the sambal has a pleasant kick that makes the sandwich a bit more fiery than the norm.

Little DaiLo

The other thing that should set it apart is the napa slaw, but aside from a mild crunch, you can’t even tell it’s there.

Other than that, the beef meatballs and the sauce were standard-issue (though the meatballs in a meatball sandwich can sometimes be a bit mushy and these had a nice texture, so I appreciated that).  The sandwich is ostensibly Asian-inspired, but it tastes like what you’ll find at any number of Italian sandwich joints around town.  It’s good, but nothing about it stands out.

My only real issue here is with the bread.  It was cold and clammy.  I wish it had been even lightly toasted (or at least warmed up somehow), but it was otherwise fine.

Pizza Perfection at Descendant

Descendant Detroit Style PizzaLocation: 1168 Queen Street East, Toronto
Websitehttp://descendantdsp.com/

Is the pizza at Descendant the best in the city?  I don’t know.  It’s not not the best pizza in the city.  It’s a contender, that’s for sure.

It’s so different from the Neopolitan-style pies that you’ll find throughout the GTA that it almost tastes like a completely separate dish.

Descendant serves Detroit-style pizza, which is cooked in a square pan and features a thick, substantial crust that’s delightfully crispy and greasy on the bottom.  It’s kinda like the pan pizza from Pizza Hut, but a million times better.

Descendant Detroit Style Pizza

This was my second time at Descendant; I liked it a lot on my first visit, but I liked it even better this time.  It’s just so satisfying.

The thing that’s so impressive about this place is that the pizza itself is so good that they could easily phone it in with the toppings and just offer the usual suspects.  But a lot of the flavours here are surprisingly bold and interesting, and it all works so well.

Descendant Detroit Style Pizza

Take, for example, the Electric Avenue: “jerk chicken, fresh pineapple, curried lime aioli, green onion, Mama Lil’s Peppers, Diablo’s Fuego hot sauce.”  It’s sweet and spicy, with flavours that are about as far from a traditional pizza as you can get.  But it’s so good.

Descendant Detroit Style Pizza

We also tried the special, which on this visit was the Mexican: “chorizo, pickled peppers, lime-pickled red onion, sour cream, tomato sauce, fresh cilantro.”  This was probably my favourite pizza of the day — but they were all delicious.  The flavours were so well balanced, with the brightness of the pickles balancing out the rich sausage and cheese.

Descendant Detroit Style Pizza

The last pizza was the pepperoni, which was more traditional, but no less delicious.

One of the great things about this style of pizza is that you get such a great contrast between the crispy exterior and the soft interior of the crust.  Plus, there’s a ring of cheese on the edges of the pizza that’s dark and crispy and amazing, and it’s just the best.

Fried Chicken Wing Perfection at Chica’s Chicken

Chica's ChickenLocation2853 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/chicaschicken/

Well, I’ve now tried everything on the menu at Chica’s Chicken, which means I can say the following with a reasonable amount of authority: it’s the best.  The literal best.

I honestly can’t recall having better fried chicken anywhere in the city.  It’s everything you’re looking for: it’s got that amazing crispy crunch, it’s so damn tasty, and the chicken itself is ridiculously moist.  Perfection.

Chica's Chicken

I got the wings this time; an order comes with four giant wings, and it’s an absurd amount of food.  They don’t cut the wings into segments like most places — it feels like a pain at first, but it gives you more of that crispy, crunchy skin.

You also get a side, and two slices of plain white bread.  For 16 bucks, it’s a absolute steal considering the quantity and quality of the food.

Chica's Chicken

Sorry, every other chicken wing I’ve ever had: you’re absolute garbage compared to what Chica’s is serving.

I got it hot AF; as on my previous visits, they aren’t kidding around with the heat.  It hurts so good.

I think I’m ready to install a cot in the back of the restaurant so that I can eat all my meals here.  Will I die of a massive heart attack by my 40th birthday?  Probably.  Will it be worth it?  Absolutely.

Tasty Pies at General Assembly Pizza

General Assembly PizzaLocation: 331 Adelaide Street West, Toronto
Websitehttps://www.gapizza.com/

After my horrifying Pizzeria Libretto experience, I wondered: am I being too picky?  Was Libretto actually not that bad?  Are my expectations just way too high?

Thank you, General Assembly Pizza, for letting me know that I’m not crazy.  Pizzeria Libretto was indeed terrible.  I am still capable of enjoying pizza.

General Assembly Pizza

They’re certainly not the best I’ve ever had, but the pizzas they’re serving here are all-around solid.

The first thing you notice is the even char on the crust; clearly, the temperature/time in the oven is just right.  Remember the disturbing photo of the colourless bottom of the slice from my Libretto post?  Here’s what the bottom of a slice of pizza should look like:

General Assembly Pizza

That’s not to say that the crust here was perfect.  I liked the subtle crispiness on its exterior, but it didn’t quite have the chewiness that you’re looking for, and it was a bit bland.  It wasn’t quite at the Wonder Bread level of Libretto’s crust, but it was definitely lacking.

The toppings do a pretty great job of hiding the crust’s shortcomings, however.  I tried three pizzas: Sweet Heat (tomato, mozzarella, hot salami, chili, honey, basil), Falco Sausage (tomato, parmesan, sausage, red onion, bread crumb, garlic, black pepper, chili flake, basil), and Garden Smash (tomato, squash eggplant mash, red onion, spring onion, garlic, sesame, basil).

General Assembly Pizza

All three were quite tasty, with a great sweet/salty contrast on the Sweet Heat, and a nice savoury punch on the Falco Sausage.  Even the Garden Smash — a cheeseless pizza, which I was deeply skeptical about — was fairly satisfying (though I still missed the cheese).

You can also kick things up with a nicely potent chili oil they have on the side.  I strongly recommend that you do this; it’s great.

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.