Saturday, 17 March 2012

The Stockyards - Smokehouse and Larder

The Stockyards - Smokehouse and Larder
699 St. Clair Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario


In her opinion:
I've been thinking about trying out this restaurant since the new Toronto Life Eating and Drinking, 2012 came out and gave them top honours for their fried chicken in the whole city.  So with the nice weather upon us, we drove the hour to Toronto and went to The Stockyards. I'm so glad we did.

This restaurant is not at all what I expected.  I was expecting a huge space serving ribs and fried chicken.  The restaurant was mostly kitchen counter and a few seats around the perimeter of the interior. After waiting about 10 minutes we were seated near the front window.

We ordered off both the regular menu and the Saturday brunch menu. I ordered their famous limeade and Edgar got their ice tea with ginger.  After trying his ice tea he declared that he didn't really like the ginger flavour so we switched.  I didn't mind the ginger flavour of the tea.  It was very refreshing.

I decided to order off Saturday brunch menu and got the "chicken and waffles". It's described as "fried chicken over Belgian waffles with chili maple molasses citrus glaze".

To be honest, I was just a little bit scared by the glaze.  I had definitely heard amazing things about their fried chicken.  After all, it is rated the best fried chicken in Toronto but the glaze is what worried me.  Was I wrong.  The glaze has the right amount of heat without being to overwhelming. The glaze was the perfect accompaniment to the best fried chicken I have ever eaten in my entire life. Apparently this chicken gets 24 hours in brine, 24 hours in buttermilk and then a shake in thyme and jerk-seasoned flour. The Belgian waffle is perfect, studded with herbs. So good. This is a huge portion and Edgar ended up finishing it for me. 

I loved our experience at the Stockyards.  The service was very efficient, the place was full to capacity and there was quite a few people waiting to be seated at the limited amount of seating but the servers were still on top of their game. The food is so so good.  I tried Edgar's "butter burger" and I was amazed at how complex and delicious this burger was.  I will definitely be visiting the Stockyards again.

In his opinion:

How can you argue with the "Best Fried Chicken ", " the Third Best Burger " and "Best BBQ in Toronto" ? Well, unless you are not a fan of Toronto Life Magazine's rating system, you probably can't! Taste their food and you won't!
Tom Davies and his smoker have been collecting accolades for a while now but now it's not just considered good eats, it's top eats in town. And usually that's enough to get me to run and try a place like that. 

Julie had been keeping an eye on this place for a while and I'm glad she decided to finally try it and take me along for the ride.

Eat-in space is quite small but lively and somehow well run given that the demand of seats far outweighs the number of people wanting to be seated at any given time. A seat at the bar gives you a front row view for the "creation of goodness". For those not fortunate to have their eyes full before their meal, the first bite will make up easily for facing the wall, while eating.

At first glance there is nothing I wouldn't want to try on the menu. Well it is menus, because they have their regular, Saturday brunch and Sunday brunch menus. Although, I knew I was in for a hard choice, I decided to be obvious and try the delectable "Butter Burger", rated third best burger in the city.
I mean, butter and burger in the same sentence has to be an attraction for any food lover as well as a death wish, but I'm up for an occasional artery clogging and I guess I was due for one.

The "Butter Burger" is comprised of a crispy on the outside but super soft on the inside patty. It is compound with what seems like a pound of butter, bone marrow, red wine and blue cheese. This has to be arguably the best tasting burger beef patty I have ever tried in my entire life. As toppers, they provide thinly crispy fried onions done in butter, and blue cheese again. Every bite I took made me hope this burger would never end. It's up there with some of the best burgers I have ever had, and I have a lot to compare to. It is seriously one of the only ones I wish I could have every day, without the health risks that I'm sure are associated with butter, butter and more butter.

I ended up having the rest of Julie's chicken and waffle plate and let me tell you, I don't remember the last time I have had crispy chicken like that. It had so much flavour, crispy on the outside and so soft on the inside, just like I love it. Combine that with the amazingly well balanced chili maple molasses citrus glaze and I could have had a few chickens by myself.

Insert the Southern US combination of having waffles with fried chicken and suddenly you are wishing that more people would combine traditional breakfast dishes with chicken, well at least I wish they did! Belgian waffles go perfectly with the chicken but oddly enough go even better with the glaze/sauce drizzled all over them. You can't help to be impressed when such a sauce works so well with fried chicken and waffles alike.

Highly recommend this place for any BBQ, fried chicken or burger lover, so pretty much anyone that's not a vegetarian. I intent to go back and try as many items off their menus as possible and hope that everyone sees the drive to St. Clair Ave. West in Toronto, well worth it, as I did. 

The Stockyards Smokehouse & Larder on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. While waffles were my weekend breakfast extravagance, others will no doubt want other foods for their personal weekend treat, which is why the guidelines above are general in nature and can be applied to other choices.

    Waffle Glaze