It may sound like heresy but burgers do not need beef. Sure, 100% Angus beef is great, but for my money, I'll take the Garlic Dill Chicken Burger. It sounds a bit exotic but, if you live in the Toronto area
, it's as close as your 100% proudly Canadian neighbourhood bar and grill. Think about it: a Garlic Dill Chicken Burger with an intense and juicy flavour. The chicken is lightly breaded, dipped in Garlic Dill Sauce, with onion straws on a gourmet bun. That's heaven to me.
I like my chicken with a side of that great Quebec classic – poutine. French fries, gravy and cheese curds – it's a mix made in heaven. It's hard to believe that poutine has only been around since the 1950's – it seems like such a natural combination. It began in rural Quebec and, unlike wings, which definitely began in Buffalo, a number of communities in la belle province claim ownership to its invention. But wherever it began, it usually ends up on my plate!
Wings Wings Wings!
The big draw at most sports bar and grills is the wings
. They're a sociable dish – a group of team-mates or work buddies can share them around. Wings are usually deep-fried in oil – though they can be grilled or baked. When they are golden brown they're drained of fat and placed in a bowl with sauce or seasoning – and shaken so that the entire wings are covered. They're then baked until they're cooked thoroughly. They can be then served dry with a dipping sauce on the side.
And it's the sauce where a good bar and grill gets inventive. There's the traditional Buffalo recipe which uses a vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce with butter. But in Toronto there are now a host of variations on this, and one place I frequent boasts at least twenty sauces on its menu. The sauces range from Very Mild to Super Hot and they span the globe: from Cajun to Caribbean Jerk to Sweet Asian sauces. Some of the base components include Honey, Chili Lime, Garlic and Dill.
Ambiance is Key
I go out with my friends to enjoy food and beer and we all agree that ambiance is a very important component for our enjoyment. For our money, we're not interested in going high-end or to some place with attitude. What we're looking for is a pub where they are keeping things casual and comfortable. If I had to give you a few words to describe our favourite spot, I'd say ‘relaxed' or ‘casual'. I don't want a big barn of a place serving loads of people – it's got to be more like sitting in your living room, with friendly staff and a bunch of your friends. And it sure helps when your "local” features daily specials that keep things economical.
Here's my bottom line: if you want wings
, beer, poutine, food specials and a really down-home great atmosphere, you're in luck if you live in Toronto. The 100% proudly Canadian bar and grills in this city that have grilled this recipe to perfection!