When I make the trek to Queen West I make sure that I plan a visit to both, Chantecler (they have the most amazing fish lettuce wraps) and Grand Electric. Since you can make a reservation at Chantecler online, I always plan it so that I put my name on the waitlist at Grand Electric on my way to my reservation at Chantecler, and because I am usually with a group of 5+ people, I have 1 hour + to dine at Chantecler before my table is ready at Grand Electric. In the past I have found the staff at Grand Electric to be on the cocky side – it always felt like they were doing you a favor by taking down your name for a table. That they were “the shit” and you should feel privileged to be allowed entrance into their castle – per-se. This Saturday however, I was very pleasantly surprised by the service. At 5:55pm I walked into a busy Grand Electric and asked the lady at the door (from this point forward she will be called “Cool Girl”) if she could place me on the waitlist for a table for 6. She took down my name, phone number, and quoted 7pm as the time the table would be ready. I then walked over to Chantecler to meet my friends (Chantecler is located only a few doors down – east of Grand Electric). At 7:30pm I checked my phone concerned that I had missed the text from Grand Electric, telling me that our table was ready, but there was no text. So I put on my coat and walked over to check-in on my reservation. I asked Cool Girl if she had the correct number, and she told me that she had texted me 45 minutes earlier, and showed me the number she had on file. Turned out that the number she had was incorrect. So she took down the correct number and profusely apologized for the mistake and inconvenience. I kept telling her that it was no problem, and that my friends and I were dining somewhere else anyway, so there was no rush. At this time she quoted me 30 minutes – so 8pm. At 7:50pm she texted me an update – that it would be a little longer because the people at the table that was meant for us, had just ordered another round of tacos. So my friends and I decided to grab a coffee and wait. At 8:15pm I was texted that our table was ready. As soon as we arrived, Cool Girl once again apologized and showed us to our table – the best table in the house as far as I am concerned – the bench by the window that sits 6 people perfectly. I love this table because you get a decent amount of light, and it is quieter. What I dislike about it is that it is by the door, so on a cold evening you get the cold draft, and when people are waiting for a table, they often bump into you when you are eating. On this particular evening several of my friends had to politely ask that people move away as they were hovering over them while they were trying to eat.
Whenever I am with friends that have never been to Grand Electric, I encourage them to get at least one fish taco. And lucky for me, they always love them as much as I do. This time around one friend ordered the guacamole and chips, and I fell in love with the chips. Generally tortilla chips taste the same to me, regardless of where I order them, but what separates the chips at Grand Electric from the rest is that they have a hint of lime. Something that seems so simple – the addition of lime – takes what could be considered a simple and boring dish, to another level – a memorable level. Yes, I know that Grand Electric sells more than just fish tacos, or tacos for that matter, but since I hate onions, and love their fish tacos, I don’t see the point of trying anything else. If I could get them to omit the onions, I would probably try their pork belly taco since I love pork belly! But until I get sick of the fish tacos (I don’t think that is even possible), I will hold off on trying anything else.
Next time you are in the Parkdale area, I encourage you to try the fish wrap at Chantecler, and then the fish taco at Grand Electric! Make it a mini food tour!