MAPLE SYRUP SEASON
Mark McEwan samples T.O.’s best chicken & waffles
It’s sugar shack season, and what better to pour all that maple syrup atop than a stack of fried chicken and waffles. Chef Mark McEwan sampled some of the city’s best duos and gave us the goods on which are worth devouring. Read on.
WINNER BEST OF BOTH WORLDS WHITE BRICK KITCHEN
“This is really good chicken. It has a nice crust and great bite to it. The waffle is really tender and very good. Best waffle, best chicken and very good house sauce. With the addition of maple syrup, it would be perfect,” says McEwan. 641 Bloor St. W., $14
A BEST IN SHOW SAUCE STOCKYARDS
“The flavour of the chicken is excellent, and it is really well cooked. This sauce is one of the more interesting ones. It has a nice acidity to it. Their sauce is the best in show,” says McEwan. 699 St. Clair. Ave. W., $13 BestSAUCE!
A SIZZLING SCOTCH BONNET ROSEDALE DINER
“Everything is a bit overwhelming. The Scotch bonnet sauce is, the maple syrup is. I don’t get the whipped cream. This is another boneless chicken, and it just needs more of a crust on it,” says McEwan. 1164 Yonge St., $16 FOR THE SWEET TOOTH
“The house honey sauce and the brown sugar butter are both sweet and a bit too sweet for me. They went boneless for the chicken, and they just need to boost up the flavour and give it a good crunch,” he says. 70 Fraser Ave., $21
RUNNER- UP SWEET, SOUR AND SPICY CLUCK CLUCKS
“The chicken is really good. It has really good crust on it, and it is really well cooked. Overall it’s tasty, with nice spice, and it has some sweet, sour and spicy flavours going on,” says McEwan. 222 The Esplanade, $13.09 A SOUR ADDITION
“The addition of sour cream on this one doesn’t really work for me,” says McEwan. “These are boneless and breaded chicken tenders on top of a waffle, served with maple syrup.”
3175 Rutherford Rd., $14.95 r
TOPPED WITH BACON LOVE CHIX
“I like that they left the bone in the chicken, and the crust on the chicken is crunchy. The lavender waffles are good with the bacon and the salted caramel. It just needs a little bit of spice,” he says. 1588 Dupont St., $16
3RD PLACE A WINNING WAFFLE DIRTY BIRD
“This chicken is boneless and has a bit less crisp to it. It has a better waffle than the others. It is more tender. I like the combination of the buttered maple sauce and their house sauce. It is very, very good.” 527 Bloor St. W., $16.95
TOP CHEF TIP McEwan, who is also a Top Chef Canada judge, says a French batter is best for waffles, and the chicken should have a nice crunch.