HARLEM 67 Richmond East, at Church, 416-368-1920 745 Queen West, at Tecumseth, 416-366-4743, harlemrestaurant.com.
Southern Fried Chicken ($16.95)
Toronto hasn’t had an authentic down-home Southern U.S.-style soul food restaurant since the Underground Railroad went out of business back in the 70s. Our loss.
But Carl Cassel’s funky downtown cantina and its Queen West cousin come close, adding Cajun and Caribbean undertones into the swampy mix. See it most notably in his none-more-classic reinterpretation of cornflake-crusted, fried grass-fed buttermilk chicken coupled with ultra-cheesy macaroni and collard greens kissed with coconut milk. The Colonel this ain’t.
Church: Sunday to Thursday 11 am to 11 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am to midnight. Bar Friday and Saturday till close. Brunch Saturday and Sunday till 3 pm. Queen W: Monday to Thursday 4 to 11 pm, Friday 11 am to midnight, Saturday 10 am to midnight, Sunday 10 am to 11 pm. Brunch Saturday and Sunday to 3 pm. Bar nighty till close. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms on same floor (Church) one step at door, washrooms in basement (Queen W).