visited Friday, October 4, 2013
If you're looking for casual well made food in a trendy setting then this is your place. This small restaurant is another fabulous addition to the James St. North food scene that is emerging in the city right now. Nice big windows, a well lit red sign and a sidewalk chalk board easel inviting you to come in, will not have you simply walking by this place. They did a nice job of the inside as well, with a long exposed brick wall, stainless steel accents along their open kitchen station, open duct work and a pressed tin ceiling. With only 6-8 tables this is definitely a small little place, but cozy and efficient.
Charred focuses on a few key items and does them well. Rotisserie chicken cooked over charcoal is their star player....and the only protein they serve. The homemade piri piri sauce that ranges from mild to extra spicy is also another key menu item. Fresh cut fries, poutine, ceasar salad and house salad are the only other main items...but they are all done well. Our food came out very quickly, within only 5 min of being seated.
|Charred Sandwich $7|
|Caesar Salad $5 as combo|
I also upgraded to the combo meal for an extra $3, to get a side and a drink. Standard sides are roasted potatoes, fries or house salad but I paid an extra $3 for a Caesar Salad. And normally I never ever order a Caesar salad when out for two main reasons; 1. most places do not make a proper Caesar salad and have garbage out of a bottle fake dressing and 2. you might as well not call it a salad since its the furthest thing from healthy. But I had a good feeling about this place so took the plunge and ordered one anyway. And my risk taking greatly paid off. The Caesar had large shavings of parmesan cheese, REAL chunks of crispy bacon, crunchy homemade croutons and a proper Caesar dressing with lots of garlic, olive oil and egg yolk. It was really good and worth the caloric splurge.
|1/4 Leg & Thigh w/ side $8.50|
|Poutine $3 extra as combo|
For $27 we had a filling well prepared dinner, that was flavourful and made with care. It's definitely a casual spot maybe more suited to lunch but a quick dinner there was enjoyable too. I'd keep it in mind when wanting to get take out for a weekday meal. A whole rotisserie chicken will run you $14, which is not much more than Fortinos, and it packs more flavour for sure.
Food 4.0*, Value 4.0*, Service 5.0*, Décor/Ambiance 4.5*
Overall: 4.3 Good food at a decent price and a pleasant setting to enjoy it in. A couple minor tweaks like a toasted bun, better proportioned plates and maybe another one or two menu items with the signature Charred chicken in it (i'm thinking a taco or pizza) would elevate this place just that extra bit more. But they have definitely stamped themselves as the charcoal rotisserie masters and they do an excellent job of it.