As I posted earlier, January is all about saving money. Ideally that would mean no eating out but Husband and I are weak people so we’ve just cut things back. On Saturday, we put that approach into action and instead of going to the Lakeview for brunch as originally planned, we grabbed some cheap sandwiches from local Ossington churrasquiera Alex Rei Doe Leitoes.
I have walked by this little place many times and if it’s open it smells delicious. Okay, yes, it’s not as pretty as some of its neighbours and yes, I’m sure this place looks about the same as it did when it first opened over 35 years ago but when a restaurant is really about takeaway, who cares about décor and atmosphere? (The sign does say “eat in” but all that means are a few stools along a counter.)
Now, I need to pause here and state that I’m not a food blogger. I am actually a very picky eater with a very undeveloped palete so just a heads up that what follows wouldn’t be a nuanced discussion of this restaurant’s offerings. But despite all of that, trust me when I say this place is good (or just conclude that from the fact that this place has been in business over 35 years on a street that has seen some major changes).
ARDL’s menu is a simple one that revolves around charcoal-barbequed meat and fish offered in various dinner formats (including yes, a quarter chicken dinner), as well as chicken, pork and beef sandwiches. The sandwiches also come in two types: A small for $5 and a large for $7. The small is larger than my hand so I opted for a small chicken sandwich while Husband picked up a small pork one. We also ordered a side of potatoes to share. These cost $3 and were more than enough for two people.
Our total ended up being $14 for a meal that was quite large and more importantly, quite tasty.
My favorite part is a tie between the bun and the potatoes. The latter were skinless, baby potatoes that appeared to be soft but that actually did have some firmness when you bit into them. Overall, the texture was just right and the seasoning was ever better. I don’t know what’s put on these potatoes but it was amazing (and orange in colour).
The bun was super-fresh, fluffy and could have easily have been eaten on its own. The next time I go in, I’m going to ask where ARDL gets its buns from because I also want to be getting my bread products from there.
My sandwich contained white, breast meat and while the meat was on the thin side, it was still juicy and satisfying. It was covered in a clear sauce that contained garlic and other spices and give the sandwich some personality. However, the sauce wasn’t overwhelming in flavor and it wasn’t hot or spicy (but if you want heat, you can ask for hot sauce to be added to your sandwich).
Husband’s pork was similar in taste: Nicely cooked with the same clear, house sauce.
Both sandwiches came with our choice of toppings, which we got to pick. As a picky eater, I really appreciate that option.
Besides being cheap and tasty, the service was also great. Within a minute of us walking up to the counter, someone was helping us (and yes, he was fluent in English). Our sandwiches took about five minutes to heat up and make and were still nice and warm by the time we sat down at home to eat them.
I will definitely be returning to ARDL again for another sandwich. Or maybe we’ll go one evening at dinnertime and give the codfish a try