188 Augusta Avenue, Toronto (Kensington Market)
Cost: Lunch specials (Mon – Fri only) $5.99 -8.99
Beside Back Alley Woodfire BBQ & Grill is a fancy place called Amadeus; you can’t tell from the exterior but inside, the cream-coloured walls, dark wood and cloth napkins don’t exactly call out “lunch specials!” and certainly not “lunch specials under $10!!”. No.
We felt like Portuguese food, but not $25 Portuguese seafood. For dinner maybe but not for a hurried lunch date. And where the chicken at? Next door, apparently. So, Back Alley it was to be.
The rustic interior and giant woodfire ovens made for a cosy atmosphere and the wallet-friendly menu wasn’t too shabby, either. The lunch specials are a good deal – which makes this #3 in Foodhogger’s Frugal Fare in the city.
We got the quarter chicken breast and the shrimps in a herbed lemon sauce…each including a salad, which was fairly good and arrived promptly to the table.
Granted the portions aren’t massive, and the sides a bit bland – especially the rice with gravy drizzled over it, but there were 5 jumbo shrimps (in the shell) which weren’t altogether terrible.
The chicken breast looked a tad mightier in size, but a bit fatty for my liking and lacking in any true flavour.
Not an entirely satisfying meal – I think I really really wanted some hearty Portuguese BBQ instead, like churrasqueira-style chicken from Bairrada Churrasqueira Grill on College St….mmm..yummeh – but it’s probably our own fault for not ordering something that would benefit better from a smouldering wood oven. Something like ribs?
Definitely worth another try.