When I went to NYC this summer I had the opportunity to try chicken and waffles in Harlem for the first time. So what can I say? I fell in love. So when I returned to Toronto I was on a mission to find the best chicken and waffles in the city. I was surprised by the limited amount of establishments that offer chicken and waffles in downtown Toronto. There was however one establishment that has consistently received good reviews, so one Sunday morning I managed to talk a friend into joining me on a Southern brunch journey at The Stockyards on St. Claire West.
They do not have tables, so all seating is bar-style seating.
Started off by ordering a glass of water and a coffee with milk. While we were reviewing the menu, the guy sitting next to my friend received his order and wow, it looked delicious. And it was huge! So we began to scan the menu to see what it was and my friend pointed out that it looked like “the whole 9 yards.” So it was settled, we were going to get the chicken and waffles and the whole 9 yards.
Fried chicken over Belgian waffles with a chili maple molasses citrus glaze. I loved the waffles; they were creamy and soft and a perfect vehicle for the chicken and glaze. The chicken was fried to perfection (crispy skin but moist and juicy meat), but there was something about the sauce that I was on the fence about. Maybe it was because it was not the sweet syrup that I was expecting, but rather it was more of a savory glaze with hints of maple. I am also not a fan of orange citrus, and I could taste this flavor clearly and I felt that it overpowered all the other elements of the glaze. My friend however loved the sauce. So really, this is a subjective matter. I would order this again, but I would ask for the sauce on the side.
The issue with ordering food when you have been starving yourself for this moment since the night before is that you want it all! Plus, I have a habit of always studying the menu the night before, so I had a pretty good idea coming into The Stockyards of what I wanted. According to the online menu, they also sold beignets (otherwise known as fritters or donuts) and since I always like to have something sweet with my savory breakfast, I asked them about the beignets even though I could not find them on the menu. “I am sorry,” said the hostess, “we stopped selling them for about 6 months now.” What?!!! NO! I had dreamt of hot, gooey centered, fried beignets all night! You can’t do this to me! Well, apparently the chef that used to make them is no longer with them, and no one could make them like her. Talk about a tease! I can only imagine how good they must have been. Sigh.
“So…..do you have anything sweet,” I asked. I know what they were thinking, “do you know how much food you have ordered? Enough for a small army, and STILL you want MORE?” Well, yeah! I needed something SWEET! “Sorry,” said the hostess, “I can’t think of anything sweet.”
Several minutes later we got the whole 9 yards. Literally. And wow, we got our food within 5 minutes. Crazy quick! It consisted of fried green tomatoes, bacon, hash browns, sausage patties, refried beans, 2 deep fried poached eggs and a massive buttery biscuit. My friend and I stared at the food in awe. That is a lot of food! Where do we begin? So we strategized (i.e., he started with the chicken and waffles and I started with the whole 9 yards). But that is not all folks. As I maneuvered around the food feeling absolutely giddy, the chef put a pancake in front of me and said, “this is for you.” Awwww really? For me? But in all honesty, I was not sure if what I was feeling was appreciation or plain old panic. How am I going to eat ALL this?! Ha! But I am brilliant! Whatever we do not finish, I get to take home. Duh! So I got back to business and attacked the feast.
My friend and I had a great time at The Stockyards. The portions were plentiful, the taste was delicious, but what I will remember the most about this great restaurant was the service. I highly recommend that you pay them a visit. I plan to visit them for lunch next. I heard their burgers and pulled pork sandwiches are amazing and so naturally I need to determine the accuracy of these rumors for myself.