Jalapeno Popper Fried Chicken Sandwich from Chica’s Chicken

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

I’ve written about Chica’s Chicken many, many times on this blog.  I’ve mentioned that I think they serve the best fried chicken in the city, and that’s still probably true — even if I wasn’t crazy about this particular sandwich.

The Jalapeno Popper Sando, as per their menu: “boneless fried chicken topped with chipotle aioli and pickled jalapeños, served on a toasted brioche bun.”

The fried chicken is as delicious as ever; it’s the perfect combo of crispy (but not overbearing) exterior and juicy interior.  It’s so damn good.

Chica's Chicken

I’m not quite as sold on the rest of the sandwich, however.  It’s that chipotle aioli.  It’s sweet.  I like the sweet/salty combo as much as the next guy, but holy moly the level of intense sugariness here is a bit intense.  It overpowers the other flavours of the sandwich.  I find the Sweet Heat sandwich at Chica’s to be a bit on the sweet side, and this one is even sweeter, somehow.  Between the sweet sauce and the sweet brioche bun, the flavour is extremely one note.

It also tastes absolutely nothing like a jalapeno popper, which is odd.  The whole point of a jalepeno popper is the contrast between the tangy cream cheese and the spicy bite of the jalapeno, and I don’t think there was any cream cheese here??  Or if there was, I couldn’t taste it over the aggressive sweetness.

Also, I don’t think I’ve ever had a jalapeno popper that was even remotely sweet.  Am I the weird one, or is Chica’s?

Oh well.  Everything else on the menu is so good that I don’t particularly care, but this is still an odd misstep from an otherwise great restaurant.

Sweet Heat Sandwich from Chica’s Chicken

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

I’ve written about Chica’s many times on this blog, so I’ll make this brief.

Most importantly: yes, their fried chicken is just as good as ever.  And the restaurant was packed (the other times I’ve visited it’s been half full at best), so I think the word is finally getting out that Chica’s is doing something amazing.

The sweet heat has been an occasional special up to this point, but they’ve recently added it onto the regular menu.  It is predictably delicious.

Sweet Heat Sandwich from Chica's Chicken

It’s maybe borderline too sweet, but it’s balanced out quite well by the vinegary bite of the pickled jalapenos.  It’s probably my least favourite thing on the menu, but that says more about the deliciousness of everything on offer here than it does about this particular sandwich.  It’s still incredibly good.

It’s the fried chicken itself.  It’s magical.  The contrast between the perfectly crunchy exterior and the juicy interior is the stuff dreams are made of.  If you like fried chicken and you haven’t tried Chica’s yet, you’re living your life wrong.

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).

Quality Peameal Bacon at When the Pig Came Home

When the Pig Came HomeLocation: 3035 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Website: https://www.whenthepigcamehome.ca/

The peameal bacon at When the Pig Came Home, a delightful little deli in the Junction, is probably twice as thick as any other peameal that I’ve had.  It’s also twice as good.

They have a bunch of optional toppings, but the Original Peameal Sandwich is quite simple, with just peameal, baby kale, tomato, and Maple aioli.

When the Pig Came Home

The bacon is substantial and cooked to order; it’s phenomenal.  It’s super tender (and it isn’t dry at all, which tends to be an issue with peameal), and features a really satisfying level of saltiness that lets the flavour of the pork shine through.

When the Pig Came Home

None of the toppings particularly stand out, and I mean that in a good way — they step back and let the bacon be the star of the show.

The bun is great too — it’s nice and fresh, with a crackily exterior that gives the sandwich a decent amount of texture.

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich at Chica’s Chicken

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

Last summer, I tried just about everything on the menu at Chica’s Chicken, and decided that it was probably the best fried chicken in the city.

It’s still probably the best fried chicken in the city.  The Buffalo fried chicken sandwich is a newer addition to the menu, and it was every bit as amazing as I was hoping it would be.

It’s normally served on a brioche bun, but since they were out of those, it came on sliced bread instead.  I’m sure it would have been delicious on the bun, but the bread didn’t feel like a detriment.  It was an outstanding sandwich.

Chica's Chicken

The fried chicken was as crispy, flavourful, and juicy as ever, and the zingy Buffalo sauce just enhances it.  It’s topped with coleslaw and blue cheese sauce, and it’s absolutely perfect.  It’s the perfect Buffalo chicken sandwich.  I can’t think of a single thing I’d change.

Actually, that’s a lie — it’s only mildly spicy, and I wish it were a little bit hotter.  But the sandwich was so thoroughly satisfying that I only barely missed the spice.