We travelled to Roncesvalle Village to explore the many little eateries this often overlooked area of Toronto had to offer. The Local became our focus as it is normally packed, but one of the window seats was vacant and we chose to enjoy the view.
The Local was VERY different than its website displayed. Having looked before we left to eat, The Local gives the impression that its a spiffy kind of pub; in reality, its a dive inside. Don't get me wrong, its a good solid pub and I know by the crowds its the place to be - but there is no posh-ness whatsoever. Our view from the window offered us the sight of an old man falling and the waitress telling us about how from across the way a couple had been seen having sex in the window. Classy.
We ordered a little feast together as I had missed lunch and was pretty hungry myself. Nee wasn't to keen on the beer list, which did not have a lot of well known ales, but she was happily surprised with the brew she did get. The main dish for her was Nachos with their award-winning chili and guac.
The chili was quite thick, with stewing beef and a flavour we just couldn't identify. It was alright, but we joked about what contest it won to be award winning. The nachos were a giant pile of chips and cheese and a very generous portions of olives and jalapeno peppers (which worked out for us: I don't eat olives, and Nee doesn't eat jalapenos).
We also got a side of fries. There was the option to get it with curry mayo, but elsewhere on the menu I saw wasabi mayo. That sounded exciting to try. It wasn't exciting. Nee asked if it was good and I said no. Not because it was bad - it tasted like wasabi without the heat - it was doing everything it was supposed to - I just didn't like it all that much for my fries. ( I know, why did I order it then? I guess I was just feeling adventerous). The fries themselves were overcooked string fries, which were ok but not noteworthy.
STYLE: deep fried, Buffalo sauce
SAUCES: wimpy(mild)/ daring (medium)/(inferno)hot/honey garlic
SIZE: large 1/2
HEAT: inferno was pretty mild, 4/10
CRISPINESS: nice and crispy 3 /3
WETNAP FACTOR: partly dry partly wet 3 /5
PRICE: $9 for 1lb (about 8-10 wings)
SIDES: veggies & dips & fries 7 /7
WETNAP/NAPKINS: both 8/8
WING NIGHT: none advertised
OTHER: cola was no-name
(ie Nee: do you have Coke or Pepsi? Waitress: yes. Nee: uh, which one? Waitress: oh, uh its no name brand)
The Local's wings are not bad. They are a good size, deep fried well and have a nice flavour. Traditional Toronto pub wings. They come with crisp fresh veggies and a classic blue cheese dip. It even comes with fries at the bottom to soak up the sauce.
There lies my problems with the wings though. I would like the wings to be more wet, although the fries soak up a lot of the sauce. The other problem is no heat. I like that the sauces have funny names like wimpy, daring and inferno - but you have to back that up. Inferno should be burning my mouth. Like the wasabi mayo, there was flavour, but no pain. Also, why was there funny names and then just "honey garlic"? Finish what you start.
We took our time eating dinner - ok I took a long time because I was very hungry and eating what I could. It was nice to just chill without being hounded by the waitress, but there were times where she could have been there a bit more. The place itself was somewhat busy, but nothing packed like I've heard that it can be. Granted we were the supper crowd and not the drinking crowd.
FINAL SCORE: Wings were a good size and had a common pub flavour; they came with fries and nice veggies - but the lack of heat was a big disappointment. Too pricey in my opinion too.l The fries were not that great, the chili was not award winning but the portions were generous. The Local was a decent bar, but I don't think it would be MY local pub if I lived near by. 26/30
396 Roncesvalles Ave