Swiss Chalet

Swiss Chalet is a Canadian chain of casual dining known for their rotisserie chicken. They have roughly over 200 locations all throughout Canada. I had been to a couple of different Swiss Chalet locations throughout the years, and there's really no consistency sometimes. This specific location in Mississauga was one of the better ones that I have eaten at. I try not to return to the same chain often (as I like trying out new restaurants) but this choice was made by a friend of mine who I was meeting up with.


Cheese perogies ($6.49) - cheese and potato filled dumplings served with zesty Cajun sauce for dipping.  


I ordered the chicken & shrimp ($12.99) - a quarter of our famous Rotisserie Chicken paired with eight shrimp, sauteed in a light Tuscan garlic sauce. Served over our seasoned rice pilaf with your choice of a white or multi-grain roll and Chalet sauce for dipping. The chicken was of a decent size and wasn't overly dry or brunt like I have had at some other locations. Normally, the shrimp would arrive out at the same time as the chicken. However, the shrimp took more than 20+ minutes to come out from the kitchen. Our waitress apologized for the delay and placed down a plate full of shrimp. I believe that the meal only comes with about 4-5 pieces (judging from the picture in the menu), but I got about 10 pieces. She apologized again and explained that the extra pieces was for the delay of the dish. The shrimp wasn't super plump but at least the sauce was flavorful enough without being overly salty.


The quarter chicken dinner ($7.99 + $1.40 for white meat) - slow-roasted Rotisserie Chicken which came with fresh cut fries.

The service was surprisingly good as our waitress was genuinely friendly, and accommodating. It was rather busy that lunch hour, but she was quick to take our order, refill water and bought us extra plates. The food wasn't spectacular (more so on the generic side), but the service made up for it

Address: 1170 Burnhamthorpe Rd W Mississauga, ON L5C4E6 

Swiss Chalet Rotisserie & Grill on Urbanspoon

Hooters

A friend of mine recommended that we meet up at Hooters since they have AYCE wings on Monday. We arrived a little after 6:30 pm, and it wasn't super busy. However, the place started picking up by around 7:30 pm, and it quickly filled up when we left. Hooters can be categorized as a "breastaurant" as the waitresses are clad in tight white tank top and high waist orange shorts. A majority of customers either hate or like the idea of being served by females dressing in tiny shorts; I am neutral. I care more about the food, and the idea of AYCE wings appealed to me.

Hooters offers the typical bar fare such as salads, wings, burgers, sandwiches, and etc. ... Both my friend and I opted to get two of their AYCE Wings deal ($12.99 x 2). Note that since my last visit; they have increased the price by a $1.00.

They have a laminated place card at each table indicating the rules of AYCE Wings. It's as followed:

Rules:
  • Offer valid on Mondays only.
  • $12.99 per person per visit.
  • You must purchase a beverage.
  • Offer valid for boneless or original wings.
  • You must finish at least 1/2 your wings.
  • Extra sauces, dips, celery, or carrots are not included.
  • There is an extra charge of $1.00 for orders of "all drums" or Daytona "style" per serving of original wings.
  • A 15% gratuity will be added to groups of 6 or more.






Hooters on Urbanspoon

Hooters has 13 wing sauces on their menu and my favorite was probably their "honey garlic". For those who like their wings hot; their two hottest sauces are "Habanero BBQ" and "911" (4 flames). We didn't order either of those, so I can't comment on their hot levels. Each wings order arrived on a round tray with 10 wings. I have had Hooters wings before (on a regular night) and the ones served every Monday are slightly smaller in size. Unfortunately, some pieces barely had any meat on them, but hey ... it's AYCE so you can always order more. Overall, my dining experience was rather okay as the wings weren't too bad, and our waitress was friendly, and quick.


The curly fries were good, and it was only $1.99 per basket. Super cheap!

Hooters on Urbanspoon

Banh Mi Boys [Yonge St]

I wouldn't say that I am a regular but I do eat at the Queen St W's Banh Mi Boys, at least 1-2 times every month. I have come to enjoy their take on the traditional Vietnamese sandwiches, as they have added a fusion flare to the classic banh mi.

I have walked by their second location to their original flagship nearby the Eaton's Center a couple of times. It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that I went inside to order. They offer the same fare that can be found at the original location, and the layout/concept of the design is same too. The one main difference was that their second location was larger as it can seat more people.


One of my usual orders at their flagship store is the kalbi beef ($6.99) - short ribs, kimchi, asian BBQ sauce, so I ordered one here. The tender and well marinated short ribs tasted so good with the contrasting crunch of the veggies. Like I mentioned in the previous review; it's served on a toasted sandwich with carrots, Japanese pickle cucumbers, cilantro, and sauce.

You can also customize the spice level of your food as follows:

mid (no spice)
medium (sriracha sauce)
spicy (sriracha sauce + fresh cut jalapenos)
extra spicy (fresh cut habaneros)


The five spice pork belly steamed bao ($3.49) hasn't seen an increase in price like the kalbi beef banh mi, so it's still quite cheap. The steamed bun stuffed with a thick slice of fatty pork belly simply does melt in your mouth and the crispy veggies was plentiful.


Banh Mi Boys also offer their take on tacos by adding Asian flavored filling to them from kalbi beef, pulled pork, grilled chicken, squid and tofu. I got the kalbi beef taco ($3.99) - served with purple cabbage slaw, kimchi, pickled carrots and cilantro.

RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall Dining Experience:4/5
Price: $ || Online Menu

Address: 392 Queen St W, Toronto, ON, M5V 2A9  

Banh Mi Boys on Urbanspoon

Kayagum Korean Restaurant

There are plenty of Korean options at Yonge and Finch. However, one thing that stood out about Kayagum Korean Restaurant is that it's open 24 hours; 7 days a week. The restaurant's interior is rather spacious and its decor is clean and basic.



Their menu is chock-full of photographs of the Korean traditional dishes that they offer. Additionally, they also offer a few Japanese dishes and sushi as well. Prices are slightly higher than the average Korean establishments found nearby, but it's due to the fact that they are open round the clock.


The table displays a bell that you can ring when you're in need of assistance. It didn't take long for our waitress to arrive at our table once we ring the bell. In fact, even though she was quiet and soft-spoken; she was quick and efficient.


We were given five dishes of bachan (complimentary appetizers) to start with. The bachan offered were kimchi, seaweed, mashed potatoes, eggplants, and beans. I wasn't a fan of the spongy dry eggplant, but I did like their seaweed and their kimchi wasn't so bad.


The boyfriend and I do not frequent the Yonge & Finch area often, but did so as he had to conduct a business transaction. Unfortunately for me, I had an early dinner at 5 pm that day, so I was pretty hungry by 11 pm again. There weren't many options in the area that were still open, but my Yelp app led me to Kayagum Korean Restaurant.

I opted for a Japanese dish; the chicken katsu ($9.95) - deep fried chicken cutlet with rice, and he got the dwenjang chigae ($8.95) - stew made with soy bean paste with pork. I didn't find the breaded deep-fried cutlet oily at all, which is always good. However, the chicken meat was a little dry so you do need to coat it in the katsu sauce. Although the dish wasn't arranged in an aesthetically pleasing way; the portion was pretty good with 10 pieces of cutlet for its price.

RATINGS:
Quality of Food: 3.7/5
Service: 4/5
Overall Dining Experience: 3.7/5
Price: $$

Address:  5460 Yonge St, North York, ON, M2N 6K7

Kayagum Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

The Jerk Spot

A friend recommended that we try out The Jerk Spot for a quick bite after he spotted it a couple of weeks earlier.



The Jerk Spot is a small family-run Caribbean eatery located in Kensington Market. The place may be small but there are a few seats in the restaurant, and the menu is displayed clearly on the side. Looking at the menu; The Jerk Spot offers a wide variety of dinner options in two sizes; small or large. Additionally, they also have roti and sandwiches which are all priced under $10 each.




My friend got the jerk chicken breast roti ($8.50). The size of the roti looked pretty reasonable to me. my friend mentioned that there was a good amount of chunks of meat wrapped inside of the traditional flat bread.


I got the BBQ chicken dinner ($6.75) which was served with rice & pea and coleslaw. The chicken was slathered in a BBQ marinade and had a good level of spice to it. Again, the portion was reasonable for its price point and good value for under $10. I wished that the coleslaw was slightly larger but nonetheless, it was flavorful and tangy. 

RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 3.8/5
Service: 4/5
Overall Dining Experience: 3.8/5
Price: $$$

Address:  149 Baldwin Street,Toronto, ON, M5T 1L8

The Jerk Spot on Urbanspoon

Sake Bar Kushi

Many people may recognize the word "yakitori", but did you know that "kushi" also means skewered meat. Both terms essentially mean the same thing, and can be used interchangeably. Prior to my dinner at Sake Bar Kushi; I didn't know myself. 

Sake Bar Kushi opened up last summer in midtown Toronto on Yonge & Eglinton. I was kindly invited by their head chef to try out some of their food items late last weekend. We were provided with a few items from their regular menu and June specials menu. Not only do they serve kushi (skewered poultry & non-poultry), but they also offer a great variety of tapas styled dishes that are meant to be shared.



Additionally, the social culture of izakayas often encourages drinking in a casual and group atmosphere so what does Sake Bar Kushi offer in terms of alcohol? They offer an extensive list of both hot and cold sake priced between $9 (cheapest) to $380 (most expensive). If you're not in the mood for sake, then there are also beer, cocktails, wine, umeshu (plum wine), shochu and soft drinks.


Upon entering, my boyfriend and I were warmly greeted by the waitress. We were shown to our seats, and she provided us with hot green tea. We were seated in the middle of the restaurant on long wooden communal tables that was decorated with bottles of sake and beer. There are also private booths aligned on both sides of the walls; those would provide a more intimate dining experience as they're enclosed.


Anyways, let's move on the food portion of the blog. 


The sashimi salad ($9) - fresh sashimi in mixed salad with wasabi mayo, was a great starter. The bright looking salad contained a fair amount of salmon and tuna sashimi mixed in a bed of green lettuce, onions, and cucumbers. The wasabi mayo and lemon provided a tangy yet refreshing flavor. 


One of my personal favorites of the night was the karaage teriyaki ($9.5) - deep fried chicken karaage & pan fried vegetable with teriyaki sauce. This particular dish is currently being offered as a June special, and it was delicious. The karaage meat was exceptionally tender and I enjoyed the teriyaki sauce that was glazed all over the karaage. The portion was also generous, and this was an interesting take on the popular chicken karaage.


Their namesake derive from the fact that they serve kushi (skewered meat). Looking at the menu; they offer three different sets: kushi moriawase (10 pcs), seafood moriawase (8 pcs) and spicy moriawase (8 pcs). They also have individual skewers priced between $1.90 to $4.20 each. Some of the ones available are negima, bacon with asparagus, unagi, tsukune chicken meatball, buta bara, chicken heart, momo, honey rice cakes, sausage, etc ...

The chef served us the kushi moriawase (10 pieces) ($17) - momo, bara, shishamo, heart. This set comes with a variation of chicken leg, pork belly, heart, and shishamo (saltwater fish). I thought that the set was of good value as you get a little bit of everything for a reasonable price. Unfortunately, I didn't like the shishamo at all as it was too salty. However, I did enjoy the rest of the skewers; especially the spicy flavored skewers, momo and pork belly.


The BBQ unagi ($6) - torched unagi with BBQ sauce, is offered on their regular menu. The thinly sliced unagi was slightly torched to give the pieces a more smokey BBQ flavor.
  

The next dish was the bulgogi ishiyaki bibimbab ($15) - steamed rice with marinated beef & vegetable in sizzling stone bowl. Sake Bar Kushi's bibimbab comes in a heated stone bowl with steamed rice and chock-full of vegetables, half cooked egg and bulgogi (sliced beef). The bulgogi was thinly sliced and coated with a sweet marinade sauce. Served on the side is a small dish of hot chili paste that you can use in the mix (add accordingly to your taste buds). Make sure to stir the bowl evenly to code the chili paste with all of the fixtures in the bowl. One might look at the price tag and thinks it's rather steep for bibimbab, but the portion was rather generous and more than enough for two.


Lastly, we were served dessert, and got the matcha ice cake ($8.40) - green tea lava cake with green tea ice cream. The ice-cream arrived intact, but the boyfriend was in the washroom, before coming back to the table to snap a photo (so it melted slightly). The overall presentation of the dessert was nice and decorated with chocolate sauce. I love green tea flavored desserts, so I was anxious to try it out. The ice-cream was store-bought so it didn't taste any different from other izakayas or Japanese restaurants. However, the green lava cake was soft and so moist on the inside ... scrumptious!! The lava cake was topped off with sprinkling sugar and cherry, and I enjoyed it.


Tuesday is Kushi Day (50% off kushi) and Wednesday is Sashimi Day (50% off sashimi). They also have a party room available in the back which can accommodate 50 people. It's perfect if you want to hold a large party for your birthday or just any kind of celebrations.


Throughout the dinner; the staff were friendly and attentive to everyone in the restaurants. They would periodically check on their customers who were dining in the booths (who were kind of shielded by the wooden panels) and those sitting outside (aka like us). I would say that the atmosphere is warmer and friendlier, rather than loud and lively like the ones downtown. The inviting atmosphere suits many kinds of occasions from casual dining, dates, and even birthdays. Overall, I was pleased with the attentiveness of the staff and the food.

I would definitely return to Sake Bar Kushi to try out some of their other tapas and kushi dishes. I don't live or work in the area, but a couple of my friends do. I would love to come back with a couple of them to introduce them to the food here.

Address: 257 Eglinton Ave West Toronto, ON M4R1B1 
Online Menu: http://sakebarkushi.ca/menus/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KushiIzakaya

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Sake Bar Kushi on Urbanspoon

Burrito Boyz

Burrito Boyz is an establishment offering burritos and quesadillas at very reasonable prices. As of 2014, Burrito Boyz has 17 locations all throughout Southern Ontario. I often frequent the location on College Street, and this location has been consistent for the past 2 years since I have been eating there - both the food and service. 


Burrito Boyz offers no frills, as their decor is minimal, and there are only a handful of seats. However, a majority of their customers usually come in for a quick bite or simply take-out. If you don't like waiting; they do take phone orders so you can call in your order(s) in advanced for pick-up.


 Like I mentioned earlier, the burritos here are consistent. My favorite item is their steak burrito which comes in two sizes; small ($5.97) and large ($7.08). Customers can customize their burrito to your liking from choosing the type of tortilla to the amount of fresh toppings that they want. Some of the toppings that they are offer are refined pinto beans, Tex Mex cheese (triple blended), lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, black beans, jalapenos, corn, guacamole, sour screma, hot sauce, and a few more.The toppings listed above comes at no additional cost, except if you want more cheese.


I ordered their large steak burrito and it came with a generous helping of steak, and toppings (that I selected). The steak was delicious and I liked the seasoning that was used. All of the burritos are grilled to order so it comes out hot, and fresh.


Address: 575 College Street Toronto, ON M6G1A9

Burrito Boyz on Urbanspoon

Burrito Boyz on Urbanspoon