Sunday, 26 November 2006

The LOON ~ Toronto ON

Cowboys ride off into it, someone told some young man to go there, and the Doors said that it was the best. I'm talking about the West. More specifically, Toronto's West end.

This is an area quite unexplored by myself despite my time in T-Dot. Having traveled not much farther than Dufferin Ave for its low cost mall, it remains mostly a mystery. I've been East, I've been South, I've been North. Little West. Most of my experience here in the city have been the confines on Yonge/Bloor/Spadina - everything else is the outskirts to me. Of course, its only a hop on the Rocket and I'm out visiting Nee in the Roncesvalle Village.

Nee had a number of places in mind for me to try out a wing review - Whelan's Gate (or as I thought she said over the phone, "wheel'n'skate"), The Local (that's all its called, The Local), and some place with 'Weezel' in the title that neither of us could find evidence of via the interweb. We walked to the Local, but it was packed. Instead we back tracked and walked into The Loon.

Nee at first was hesitant for us to take in this Canadian fowl named pub ~ she said there was an awesome patio out back that we would have to check out in the spring or summer. She also was hesitant because the Rayzor had a bad experience with wings here. Having gone to places before that I knew had bad wings just to review them, I had no problem testing them out here.


SIZE of WINGS: large to JUMBO!
HEAT: hot 4/10 suicide 6/10
PRICE: $8.99 for small (approx 7-8 wings) $12.99 for a large


SAUCE CHOICE: mild/medium/hot/suicide/honey garlic/Cajun/teriyaki
SIDES: veggies and blue cheese dip
WETNAP: 2 thank you very much
: breaded, then deep fried
WING NIGHT: Tuesday 1/2 price night
OTHER: live music, apparently good patio

Well, I was quite surprised by these wings. Rayzor must have had them on a bad night because these monsters were good (and I have faith in his suggestions). The first thing that caught me by surprise was how large these wings were. Despite the batter, the size was magnificent. Big and meaty, these put so many other wing places to shame.

These had a simple flour batter on them, making them crunchy and just right for soaking up the sauce. This is where The Loon loses some points: hot was not. The sauce was mild at best. There was a faint Buffalo flavour to it, but it was incredibly weak. Suicide had a small bite - maybe medium/hot. It had a more concentrated flavour, but the taste lies more with the 'hot'.

Nee followed the ancient tradition of fish on Fridays, ordering classic pub fish and chips. They looked great with the fish flaking off in a beautiful white chunks. The fries were great - hand cut, skins still on. The way I like them. Nee added a wonderful Belgian addition to the fries: mayo. One thing we both agreed on about this as a good pub was the 'condiment caddy' brought to our table. Ketchup, mustard, vinegar, salt n pepper, extra napkins etc (and the bonus mayo here at The Loon that other places don't have) all available without having to ask. Its just right there. The only time I'm not a fan of the 'condiment caddy' is when you have a tiny table and it takes up half the table. We had 2 to ourselves, so it was all good.

Service was friendly, the food was good, and there was entertainment on the way (we left just as the band was setting up). Yes, I heard the call of The Loon. A good Canadian English-style pub that does chicken big, The Loon has the wings half right; now if we can just get them to spice up the sauce, they would definitely be in the top 10 of Toronto.

***1/2 out of ***** flappers

The Loon Restaurant and Pub
416 Roncesvalle Ave
The Loon

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