Fast Food · Korean

Yum Yum BBQ – Southwood Corner

I invited Lovegastrogirl over for dinner. She agreed on the condition that she would pick up food. We did the whole Chinese etiquette hospitality battle until she ferociously threatened not to come. I meekly backed down and thanked her. I want Lovegastrogirl to meet my mom one day. She’d meet her match.  For this post, and in honour of Stampede, let’s listen to “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash.

Fried chicken is my kryptonite. Lovegastrogirl brought over Yum Yum BBQ from Southwood Corner, her favourite location. I asked her not to bring so much food because the last time she did a fried chicken drop off, I spent the next day hovering over my sink, munching on cold chicken. She laughed and said that was smart move, as the crumbs would go directly into the sink and not my floor.

Photo credit: Lovegastrogirl

Lovegastrogirl has a listening problem. She brought over enough food for four hungry people. She ordered L’s favourite chicken – the Shallot Bone-In (12 pieces, $27.99), Beef Japchae ($14.99), BBQ Beef Poutine ($14.49), and Pickled Radish ($1). I reheated the chicken and poutine in the oven and microwaved the noodles. I asked Lovegastrogirl to take a picture for my blog. She floofed up the shallots and stood on a chair to angle her shots while I looked on with amazement at the effort she puts in.

Photo credit: Lovegastrogirl

The chicken was succulent and gleaming white. After rebaking the chicken, the teriyaki glaze created a brittle, sweet tasting shell. Some of the shallots were wilted from the reheating, which I prefer because the greens reminded me more of watercress. I like that the batter on Yum Yum chicken isn’t as oily as Popeyes or Wow Chicken.

Photo credit: Lovegastrogirl

Despite being saturated with melted cheese and dark, salty gravy, the fries held up. The barbecued beef was sliced thin and tasty. The ridges in the crinkle fries helps to load up on the toppings.

Photo credit: Lovegastrogirl

The sweet potato noodles were sticky and spicy. The noodles stuck together with the vegetables and beef bulgogi, so with each bite, you get a little bit of everything in one mouthful. In both the poutine and japchae, the flavour of the beef stood out.

I insisted Lovegastrogirl take the leftover chicken to Pomp. I did take out one drumstick to eat for later. Some habits are hard to break. Thank you Lovegastrogirl for a delicious dinner. Next time I’ll have you over for dinner and I’ll order fried chicken from Jin Bar or Gorilla Whale.

Bars/Lounges · Happy Hour · Patio

King Eddy – Wubbalubbadubdub!

On Friday, L and I stopped by the King Eddy for Stampede happy hour with Matt Masters. It felt so good to listen to live music again! If it wasn’t for the masks and the social distancing practices exhibited by the staff and clientele, I could have sworn I was back in Nashville.

From now until the end of Stampede, I’m spinning country music on my blog. For this post, let’s listen to “Change the Locks” by Lucinda Williams.

We ordered some drinks to enjoy while we watched the performance. I ordered a glass of Domaine Houchart rosé (5 oz, $11) and L chose a pint of Village Roadie ($7.25 HH). For food, we shared the Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Fries (half a bird, $32).

The batter on the skin was extra crunchy and slipped easily off the meat. The spices in the chicken are unique – I found the seasoning a little sweet, spicy and salty. I got a whiff of paprika or chili, which hit me in the back of the throat. The chicken itself was so tender and smooth, I could easily peel away the layers of white meat right off the bone.

We both agreed that the chef nailed every single item on this dish. These are some of the better fries in the city. The shell was golden brown and oily, so that the exterior shattered when I bit into it. The interior of the fry was still soft and mealy. The cabbage and carrot slaw was fresh tasting and vibrant. I was relieved as my pet peeve is eating slaw that tastes like it’s about to expire. This happens to me more often than not.

The gravy even tasted homemade. There was none of the artificial flavour you get from the powder mixes. Like the spices in the chicken, the gravy was well-seasoned, creamy and most importantly, served boiling hot. Since gravy is pretty much fat and flour, I think it has to be warm enough to only leave a thin coat over the fries when you dip the fries into the gravy.

King Eddy fried chicken is better than Hattie B’s in Nashville, and it has pretty much ruined Popeyes or any other fast-food joint for me. If you want to do some safe Stampeding this summer, drop by the King Eddy from July 9-17th. Check the website for hours of operation and the live music schedule.

Beer · Burgers · Comfort food · Happy Hour · Restaurants

Jane Bond BBQ & Urban Shack Fried Chicken

I wouldn’t go as far as to call myself a political junkie, but I do follow municipal politics. The post below made me smile because it shows how good food can bring people together – no matter where they fall on the spectrum. Below is a picture of Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra and Craig Chandler sharing a meal at Jane Bond BBQ.

As the election heats up, may I can suggest all candidates running in the 2021 race spend some quality time eating at our local restaurants. For this post, let’s listen to “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles.

I ordered the Brisket BBQ Plate ($20), which includes half a pound of brisket, a side and coconut cornbread. I upgraded my side for the macaroni cheese (+$1). Jane Bond is having a special for their new shack style chicken. I ordered the 8 Piece Bird Attack (Regular $45, Featured $22.50), which includes boneless fried chicken (choice of five flavours), two dipping sauces, large creamy slaw, large fries, two Cajun corn cobbs and two pieces of coconut corn bread.

Pro tip – if you want both BBQ and fried chicken, you have to order each separately online. I went to Jane Bond’s website to order the BBQ and for the fried chicken, I clicked onto a subcategory on the website. Not a big deal, but a little confusing if you aren’t aware that Urban Shack Fried Chicken falls under the Jane Bond website.

The restaurant was busy when I went to pick up my order. There were about five customers inside waiting and two people outside in their cars. When I arrived, the staff were busy pumping out orders, so I was left standing there unsure as what to do. Here’s another pro tip. Walk to the front counter, catch an employee’s attention and tell them your name and what method you used to place your order.

After a 15-minute ride home, I thought it would be best to reheat the fries and chicken in the oven. I also microwaved the brisket, corn, and macaroni and cheese. Our fries crisped up nicely in the oven.

The beef brisket was soft, coated in a tangy, smoky sauce. There were some pieces that were well marbled with fat. I enjoyed the caramelized top part of the macaroni and cheese. Underneath the crust, the noodles were soft and saucy. The slaw was light and crisp. I found this salad necessary in between the heavy, rich bites of brisket and macaroni and cheese.

L really enjoyed the fries. The batter on it reminded me of the bulgogi fries at Wow Chicken. I love the corn bread. The texture was crumbly. The flavour was sweet and buttery, with a hint of smoke. The chicken was crunchy and the meat was tender. My favourite dipping sauce was the jerk sauce – it tasted like there was cinnamon in it. I enjoyed the heat and spice in the sauce. The corn was sweet and wet with butter and Cajun spices.

We ordered way too much food and we had ample leftovers for the next day. Below is a picture of all the food we didn’t end up eating. The cornbread was just as tasty in the morning. In fact, everything tasted good the next day.

My last pro tip of the post. I ordered ice tea, mistakenly thinking there was booze in it. I ended up ordering the regular ice tea (4 pack, $12). Get it! It taste like a mix between peach Snapple and SoCIAL LITE spiked lemon ice tea, but sweeter. Jane’s ice tea was a nice complement to our meal.

It’s my birthday week and I am looking forward to writing about our next food adventure. It’s a bit harder to celebrate with takeout because you have to make some allowances, such as the time and distance it takes to get your food and how certain foods are best eaten fresh. If you have any favourite spots ideal for takeout, let me know.

Japanese

Chicken the Hutt Pop-up Event- Bite Grocery and Eatery

Karplop is friends with Kaede Hirooka, the founder and co-owner of Respect the Technique. She wanted to support Kaede and co-owner Jonathan Chung and asked me if I would check out their latest pop-up event at Bite Grocery and Eatery. I looked at the menu and noticed the predominant theme was fried chicken. Say no more, I was in. 

When Karplop called to book our reservation, she was informed that the event was sold out. She told the person on the phone that she knew there were seats available for walk-in. Therefore, he could give her a reservation right when the event was open at 4:00 p.m. I love that about Karplop – she won’t take no for an answer. For this post, let’s listen to “Shut up and Drive” by Rihanna. 

As we examined the menu, I asked Karplop if she would share an appetizer with me. She glanced up and announced that we were going to share everything. Another thing I like about Karplop is that she knows what she wants.

The Gyoza Stuffed Wings ($10) came in a set of three. Is it just me or do these legs look sexy to you? Karplop sized up our appetizer and announced it was going to be difficult to share. 

The wings were lightly drizzled with black vinegar mayo and rayu. Rayu is a Japanese chili oil commonly used on noodles and rice. The pork filling tasted just like a gyoza. I was impressed with how much gyoza stuffing was inside the wing. Karplop noted that stuffed wings are difficult to make. 

Next up was the Fried Chicken Ramen ($15). The spices in the broth made me sneeze repeatedly throughout our meal. The chicken broth was light and the noodles were thick and springy. We both thought the chicken was really juicy and cooked well. Karplop regretted not ordering another piece of chicken because it was that good. Despite the bath of broth, the batter held up and made a loud crackling sound when I bit into the meaty thigh.

The Hutt Sando ($12) came with a macaroni salad. The bun was sweet and the texture was soft and milky, similar to the rolls you get at a Chinese bakery. I liked that the flavours of the tangy slaw, crunchy chicken and melted cheese held up to the heavy proportion of the bun. I can’t get enough of this cold macaroni salad – it is so creamy, generously speckled with mortadella, pickles and herbs. 

Kaede and Jonathan nailed the batter. When I was eating I felt like Jughead Jones in an Archie comic. I just needed a caption with the words “Chomp. Smack. Munch.”

Karplop said she was glad to see Kaede and Jonathan doing more pop-up events. She always enjoys the food and hospitality. I can see why. Looking forward to the next one! Urp.

Cheap Eats · Fast Food · Restaurants

Popeyes Louisiana Chicken

Veronica and I wanted to get together for dinner. I suggested Pad Thai Restaurant or Africana BBQ Curries. Veronica said she felt like Workshop Kitchen + Culture. Her husband Jughead didn’t like any of our suggestions. He wouldn’t bite until I offered to host a fried chicken dinner at my place. For this post, let’s listen to Tom Sawyer by Rush, Jughead’s favourite band. When I told Jughead I never heard of Rush, he looked unimpressed. Get in line buddy.

L and I arrived at Popeyes in Forest Lawn at 3:45 p.m. There was one car ahead of us but I could see the restaurant itself was packed. We ordered a 10 Piece Family Meal ($35.99), which came with two large sides and six biscuits. I picked mashed potatoes and rice and beans. I also ordered a large coleslaw ($5.99) and four cinnamon apple pies ($1.29). L wanted to order chicken strips to eat on the way home. I don’t like chicken strips and didn’t want any. Chicken breasts are my least favourite cut. I suggested he get a kid’s meal ($3.99) instead.

chicken

The young male cashier was obviously new, but sweet and polite. It was a little confusing at first to order and he forgot L’s drink. We waited seven extra minutes for the spicy chicken. The whole process took us about 15 minutes.

strip

L insisted I try his chicken strip so I could experience ‘his people’s food’. The meat was soft but the batter wasn’t crunchy and the flavour wasn’t there. The Cajun fries were barely warm and tasted old. L gave the chicken strip 7 out of 10. I’d give it a 5.

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Veronica, Jughead and their daughter Judge came over to our house at 6:12 p.m. I reheated the chicken, biscuits and sides. For beverages we drank Italian gin with a splash of soda and lime and sparkling sake.

sake

I prefer the spicy chicken over the regular, which lacked any obvious seasoning. The spicy chicken has a hot kick to the batter. Despite being reheated and eaten over two hours after we picked it up, the batter still had a good crunch to it. The meat itself was silky smooth. There was no discolouration or veiny bits on the wings.  Solid 4 out of five.
plate

The biscuits were buttery bliss. The exterior was a dark golden brown that shattered on your tongue. The innards were soft but not particularly flaky or light. For a loony plus a couple of dimes, the biscuits were worth it. Make sure to ask for some honey to drizzle on top of the biscuit.

biscuits.jpg

The mashed potatoes and beans and rice were fine. Better than KFC but that’s not saying much. The beans were too salty.

sides

The coleslaw was not as good as KFC, it had a nice tang to it but too sweet. If I had more time I would have make my own salad, mashed potatoes and rice and beans. I suspect Popeyes is making the biggest profit from the sides. The ingredients are of cheap quality and the portions are small.

coleslaw

The apple pie tasted like a scrumptious churro. The pastry crust was thin and crisp, covered with a fine dusting of cinnamon and sugar. The apple filling had a gel-like consistency but it still tasted like a delicious balance of apples, cinnamon and sugar. I would order this again.

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After dinner we sipped on one of my favourite wines. One thing I like about having dinner at home versus eating out is that the quality of my beverages goes way up.

wine

L was surprised he liked Popeyes. He would go again. I thought for fifty bucks, this was a tasty meal for five people. Hitting the Sauce gives the spicy chicken, biscuits and apple pie two fat thumbs up.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato