I think I found my life’s passion… I think I’m going to become a chicken + waffles connoisseur.
At the beginning of March, a new chicken + waffles joint opened in Toronto right in the heart of Kensington Market. Let me introduce you to The DIRTYBIRD Chicken + Waffles, a restaurant specializing in Northern Fried Chicken. Located at 79 Kensington Avenue, the DIRTYBIRD brings you a southern staple with a Canadian twist — blending some form of maple into fried chicken.
The restaurant is small with limited seating, similar to most other restaurants in the area. My friend and I luckily managed to snag seats along the wall. I ordered the ODB — the original dirty bird — which was basically just a large piece of boneless meat on top of a waffle.
The waffle was quite delicious — light, fluffy, and warm with a hint of maple buttery goodness. The chicken was perfectly cooked — moist, juicy, and tender. I’m not sure what the red sauce on top was, but it was amazingly flavourful, the perfect combination of sweet and tangy. When you combine all these components into a single bite, it’s like heaven in your mouth.
Just over a week ago, I was on a “mini vacation” from work where I finally got the chance to catch up with some friends over good food. Initially the plan was to go get waffles, however, little did we know, the waffle place we planned on going to was closed at 6 pm. Disappointing. However, we chose the next best option. Chicken and waffles.
To the left, lo and behold, the holy grail of chicken and waffles brought to you by Harlem Restaurant. They have two locations, the one we went to was on 745 Queen St. West and the other one is located at 67 Richmond St. East. The ambience on Queen West was great, with very attentive and patient servers. But above all, the food was amazing. The dish came with three sauces: maple syrup for the waffles, a gravy and a scotch-bonnet-coriander-lime syrup which was a bit too spicy for my liking.
There were a bunch of other things like the jerk chicken and the jambalaya that I was considering trying… however, I was already dead set on getting the chicken and waffles so I couldn’t not get them.
I would love to make another visit to Harlem in the near future to try out the other dishes, which I am sure would not disappoint!