Showing posts with label beef burger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beef burger. Show all posts

Parcheggio and Beauty BBQ (Toronto)

My husband had apprehensions about eating on a patio when Toronto’s stage two plans were announced. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that we finally made our way to Parcheggio – after I promised we could ditch the reservation and leave if the table set-up seemed unsafe.

Thankfully, it never came to that; the tables were more than amply spread out and the extra safety measures immediately set us at ease. Of course, every staff member was donning a mask and they disinfected tables and chairs in between sittings. This was further augmented with a host of other tactics:

  • Menus were printed for single use or you could bring it one step further and scan the QR code to display on your phone.
  • Our table had an extra on the side where our server placed a tray with our drinks, water (in a bottle), and cups to serve ourselves. This table was also where we should put things we wanted taken away, so they could be removed without them reaching over our food.
  • All cutlery was tightly wrapped in napkins to keep them sanitary until ready for use.
  • Guests had to wear masks to enter the building to use the bathroom, a rule that was tightly enforced.

While choosing a restaurant, I sensed Parcheggio would be safe. After all, it’s owned by O&B, a chain with such a longstanding reputation that they wouldn’t risk tarnishing it with packed tables and sloppy service. The restaurant is also located in a structure detached from the rest of Bayview Village to keep the foot traffic around the patio minimal. If you’re also faced with a hesitant diner, this is the place to bring them.

Another attractive aspect to Parcheggio is their patio menu also includes items from their adjoining sister restaurant, Beauty Barbeque Smokehouse. Italian and Southern food in one? Sign me up!

We started on the Beauty side, with the Southern fried shrimp ($24 for 1lb). It’s exactly what fried shrimp should be: clean sizeable prawns that are lightly dusted in cornmeal flour and fried until they’re just cooked through. Boy are they good, and the “white sauce” accompanying it – like a less tangy ranch – was the perfect pairing.

In hindsight, we miscalculated the order size and would have been more than satisfied with half a pound… I couldn’t even count how many came on the plate. Luckily, they taste equally delicious re-heated in the toaster oven the next day.

From the Parcheggio side came the chicken parmigiana ($24). The chicken was breaded in the same light cornmeal flour and topped with a lovely tomato sauce and mozzarella. It’s one of the better chicken parmigiana I’ve had, using just enough of each ingredient to blend into a harmonious flavour. Plus, the addition of roasted cherry tomatoes is genius, a burst of freshness to lighten the dish. Even the side of spaghetti pomodoro was delicious, made from chewy fresh pasta tossed in a thick marinara and basil.

The only faux pas was how the chicken was served: the two thinner slices on the bottom, sandwiched between a warm plate and the hot thicker slice on top. It meant the first portion was juicy and absolute perfection while the other two seemingly drier after such a great start. To be fair, I had to pack the other two to go, so they likely would have dried out from re-heating anyways.

Having snuck a bite of my husband’s smoked brisket burger ($19), I had to have another taste. The combination of a perfectly seasoned smashed beef patty topped with a slice of smoked brisket is a brilliant blend. The fixings are kept simple – a thick slice of juicy beefsteak tomato, shredded lettuce, and caramelized onions that almost resembles a chunky chutney – all on a soft potato bun that disintegrated halfway through the burger. It could have easily become too salty, too saucy, or steeped in oil, but Beauty kept it balanced and smartly left off cheese.

The burger is served with either fries or tater tots – yes, you heard right, tots! Those delicious nuggets of miniaturized hash browns. We ended up getting both as they noticed the side was wrong while bringing it out and was already firing up the right side, which arrived minutes later.

By this point, I was in a delirious carb heaven. While the shoestring fries were a bit salty, they were nonetheless cooked well … crispy with a bit of creaminess in the centre. The tots were crunchy, hot, and fresh. As delicious as they were, I must admit it’d be too heavy with the burger, so the substituted fries were likely the better choice. Instead, the tots came home with us and was a great addition to breakfast.

A common thread to the meal, aside from all the dishes being scrumptious, is that the portions are BIG (almost every table was asking for a takeout container). Thankfully, Parcheggio also invests in biodegradable paper containers carried out in a paper bag. A big nod of appreciation from me, on behalf of our environment!

It was a great dinner (and breakfast and lunch to follow). Such a success, that my husband’s already asking when we can return. Apprehensions I’ll be damned.  

Overall mark - 9 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 2901 Bayview Avenue (at Bayview Village)
 Delivery: Uber
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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


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The Abbot Pub and Fare (Toronto)


Having recently moved, the change in location means a new local watering hole and a whole slew of fresh establishments to dine at. In the area, there’s a fair number of casual eateries and regardless of the evening, pubs such as The Abbot are filled. Rain, snow, cold weather … nothing will stop North Yorkers from getting a cold glass of ale (or in my case, wine).

As the calamari ($12) was presented, the tell-tale perfect rings signified frozen seafood. Get ready for the shriveled insides and coating that falls off, I thought to myself. Surprisingly, my worries didn’t materialize and the appetizer was decent – the calamari relatively plump and the light crispy coating adhered just fine on the seafood.


It doesn’t seem fair to write about a pub without trying a couple of their staples: fish and chips or a burger. Sadly, the staples are also what the Abbot seems to rest on their laurels with.

I’m told the thick oily batter on their fish and chips ($15) is a typical English style. For me, it’s too heavy and despite the pieces of fish actually being quite thick, still remained buried in coating; especially the ends that were so mummified I had to peel them off. Perhaps if the batter actually incorporated enough of the “Abbot Ale” or there was some other flavour incorporated into the coating it’d be better. Unfortunately, each piece of fish simply tasted like oil … the only respite was once I doused it with a liberal splashing of malt vinegar or added the respectable coleslaw to the mix.


The beef burger ($14 with an extra $2 for cheddar and caramelized onions) looked impressive with a thick patty, colourful garnishes and a fluffy buttered bun. Looks can be deceiving as upon biting through the bun everything was just… so … plain. Aside from the liberal squirt of ketchup, I really couldn’t taste much else. Despite being warned that their burgers are cooked to medium (the proper way any real burger should be prepared, in my mind), the actual patty arrived completely cooked through.  


Maybe it was an off evening and the cooks simply forgot to dip into the spices. Somehow, both dishes were so bland – even the tartar sauce could only add so much interest to the fish and chips. I know what you’re thinking, there’s salt on the table, just sprinkle it on. Sure, this helps a bit but I’m a firm believer that what makes a dish good is the layering of flavours (i.e. having spices incorporated into the beef patty and sauce on the burger bun) so that everything works together. Moreover, making a dish taste good relies more than just salt … that’s just table stakes.

Another visit yielded tastier meals. The chicken and waffle ($20), a special for the evening, had an amazing side: the bacon and Brussels sprouts hash was bang on in terms of flavours as the slivers of vegetable and soft bacon melded together into a wonderful accompaniment. I could have easily had a large plate of the hash as a meal.

Although showing promise, the chicken and waffles just wasn’t executed very well. The coating on the chicken was nicely seasoned (the saltiness pairing nicely with the maple bourbon glaze) and the meat was juicy, yet the breading fell off as soon as the knife pierced through. Chicken meat with hard crispy shards of coating anyone? The buttermilk waffle was made with a delicious batter, but so dense it could have been pancakes; the soft cake-like texture good on its own, but much too heavy for fried chicken.

The sole dish I’d order again is the beef brisket ($22). Each thick slice of meat so tender and flavourful, having been braised in beer. It’s a real "stick to your ribs" comfort dish paired with buttery scallion mashed potatoes. Mmm… meat and potatoes, perhaps this is what pub fare is all about.


The Abbot does offer a great rendition of sticky toffee pudding ($8), served hot in a ramekin that keeps all the buttery syrup soaked into the soft cakey cinnamon bread. Yet, the syrup isn’t overpowering – just sweet enough to bring justice to the dessert, but balanced out by the neutral whipped cream on top that adds a creaminess to everything.


What I’ve learnt from attending the local restaurant: forget about the fried dishes, go for the meat and potatoes. And by all means, save room for dessert!

Overall mark - 6.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3367 Yonge Street

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


The Abbot Pub & Fare Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato