Look it, I love rotisserie chicken. I buy bubble chickens from the grocery store or I will line up for 30 minutes at the best churrasqueira in the city. I like it in a boat, I like it with a goat, you know what I'm saying? I was first in line when I was invited to come to their sneak peak of their newest restaurant in Toronto.
Nandos originated in South Africa in 1987 but didn't come to Canada until 1994 so some of you may be still living under a rock and have remained unaware of the wonder of this spicy, Portuguese chicken that is the love child of Portuguese explorers and the African Bird's Eye Chili. This addictive hot sauce is full of citrus flavours and garlic and I pour this shit on everything. I keep a bottle of Nandos Piri Piri in my fridge at all times but I have to say, I rarely visit the restaurant, only doing take out, because it seems like the only ones I ever see are in the suburbs and feel too fast foody for me, but their new spot on Queen St West is really nice. With prime patio real estate, I can now go and get my Piri Piri fix al fresco with a cold beer and enjoy some prime people watching.
The menu is pretty extensive for a flame grilled chicken restaurant but I will stick to the straight up 1/4 chicken (breast and wing) with extra hot sauce on the side but there are wraps, sliders, sandwiches and whack of sides for those of you who want to shake it up a bit. One thing that made me laugh were the soft fries because, while in Portugal, I started out hating the lack of crispy fries but, by the end of my trip, I had actually grown quite fond of then and the fries here are definitely of the soft, bendy Portuguese variety.
**I was invited to a preview of the restaurant so my meal was free of charge but my opinions are my own
Shack has been keeping this place under his hat but now that I know it's there, I am going to be demanding that he pick up dinner after work all the time. Situated on Cherry Street, right across the road from T&T. It seems that Lawrence, a location guy from the movie world, has finally realized his dream of opening up a restaurant and judging by the number of familiar crew member faces I saw there, I am clearly the last to know.
Because I wanted to try a few things, Shack and I shared side ribs, pulled pork, mac and cheese, potato salad, slaw and beans. The ribs were tender and flavourful, as was the pork and not drowning in sauce. I like to taste my meat and let the spicing complement the flavours and too many places are all about the sauce instead. The Kid deemed his pulled pork sandwich to be delicious and judging by the speed at which he consumed it before starting to pick at MY food, I would say that this was an accurate assessment. Although the potato salad was my least favourite said, The Kid (who dislikes mayo based salads) loved its vinegary tang.
So many pluses - great patio, great food - it was so jam packed on a Wednesday night that we couldn't even get a seat out there. The only downside, for me, is that you have to line up to order your food, pay for it and then mosey over to the bar and order your drinks, pay for them and carry them back to your table. I would love to see some table service but the food is so tasty that this isn't enough to dissuade me from returning asap.
Cherry Street Bar-B-Que
275 Cherry Street
The July SupperClub at the Kingston Social is in the can and it was a fun night full of tasty food, yummy drinks and great people. Our guests enjoyed a meal that was mainly Middle Eastern with a few Jamaican kisses from my beef patties, spicy gazpacho with pickled jerk shrimp to jerk lamb kofta and then a trifle made with Moroccan orange cake soaked in cardamom orange syrup, homemade yogurt and berries.
If you are in Toronto, keep your eye out for the August date and menu announcement coming soon.
PIKACHU FOR PRESIDENT! COULDN'T BE ANY WORSE, RIGHT?