TOP TASTE TESTS 2013
Over the past year we’ve fed our resident chef, Grant van Gameren, everything from jerk chicken to coconut cream pie. Here, a roundup of the best our city has to offer.
JANUARY: PEKING DUCK
WINNER: PEKING MAN, 1100 SHEPPARD AVE. E., $36 The most impressive-looking of the bunch, the dish delights chef with its tender texture and “mouth-watering” flavour.
WINNER: THE BIG RAGU, 1338 LANSDOWNE AVE., $16 “This one smells delicious,” van Gameren says. The sauce has a nice acidity and the meatballs are the perfect consistency.
MARCH: CAESAR SALAD
WINNER: THE OCTAGON, 7529 YONGE ST., $14.50 (DINNER) “It’s got a good amount of dressing; the flavour’s there; they make their own croutons; they seem like real bacon bits.”
APRIL: COCONUT CREAM PIE
WINNER: SCARAMOUCHE, 1 BENVENUTO PL., $13 (SLICE) This pie is really rich and sweet without being overly saccharine. The white chocolate clinches this as the winner.
WINNER: BRUNO’S FINE FOODS, 1560 YONGE ST. HONEY GARLIC, $6.99/LB This pick ticks all chef’s boxes: salt level, quality of seasoning and moisture level. “It’s super juicy and has a unique flavour.”
JUNE: ICE CREAM SANDWICH
WINNER: UNCLE BETTY’S, 2590 YONGE ST., $5.50 SUGAR DONUT & TOASTED MARSHMALLOW A big fan of cinnamon and sugar doughnuts, chef is taken by the addition of Skor bits and caramel. “It’s a pretty neat concept.”
JULY: BBQ RIBS
WINNER: AAA BAR, 138 ADELAIDE ST. E., SMOKED DRY RUB RIBS, $15 “These are super simple but very well executed,” van Gameren notes. “Someone is serious about their smoker!”
AUGUST: JERK CHICKEN
WINNER: MONA’S ROTI, 4810 SHEPPARD AVE. E., $7.52 “This is hitting every flavour note that I’d like,” chef says. “You get all those traditional flavours –– this is definitely good jerk!”
SEPTEMBER: DELIVERY PIZZA
WINNER: CLASSICO LOUIE’S, 2549 YONGE ST., $13.33 Chef points out the crispy pepperoni, the semolina flour and the thin crust, which folds nicely. “It’s more artisanal,” he observes.
OCTOBER: HOT TURKEY SANDWICH
WINNER: GOOD BITE, 2463 YONGE ST., $10.95 Chef likes the mix of white and dark meat & the mushy peas.
NOVEMBER: BUTTER TART
WINNER: LEAH’S, 621 ST. CLAIR AVE. W., $2.75 “It’s tasty and the flavours are bang on!” chef says.
(see December 2013 Taste Test next spread)