CHARRED: A NICE SUR­PRISE

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO -

244 James St. N. 289-396-0662 www.charred.ca

The look: Red and black; brick and metal The feel: Trendy and friendly Wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble: No Hours: Mon­day through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun­day, noon to 8 p.m. What you’ll pay: Matzah ball soup $8; large Cae­sar salad $14; house salad $10; half chicken with one side $15

piri piri may­on­naise and cilantro. The bun — from Ola, the bak­ery a few doors down — had a nice chew and ten­der­ness to match the chicken. Again, the piri piri sauce on the side, when added, brought the flavours of the sand­wich to life.

Our server was ef­fi­cient and main­tained a cor­dial, help­ful de­meanour, even though he was work­ing in heat that was im­pos­si­ble to ig­nore. He was a lit­tle quick, how­ever, to clear un­fin­ished dishes.

He rec­om­mended we try pie for dessert, le­mon meringue or co­conut cream. I chose the lat­ter. The fill­ing, a bit more dense than fluffy, was full of creamy, co­conut flavour. The crust was very good but had gone a lit­tle soft from the hu­mid­ity in the kitchen.

When I went to pay the bill, I re­al­ized the per­son tak­ing the pay­ment was one of the peo­ple who cooked in the kitchen. Had she made the soup, I asked. She said yes, adding that ev­ery­thing but the bread was made in house.

Charred is a place where the staff care about the food and it showed, de­spite the heat.

Alana Hud­son has cooked at restau­rants in­clud­ing Vong, Le Bernardin, and Avalon.

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