Eastside Social opened recently with an east coast theme in its decor and menu. The dishes are meant to be shared, and much of it is comfort food, which is not surprising since one of its owners is formerly of Ruby Watchco, home of shared plates of comfort food.
We started with the house punch, which is offered for either two or four imbibers. The punch was a pretty pink blend of gin, vodka, port, rum, grapefruit, and chamomile syrup. It went down way too easy.
The Salt Cod Balls arrived first. They were true to their name: salty fried balls of flaky fish with Green Salsa and Chipotle Romesco on the side. I do prefer my fish more chunky, but it was as delicious as any fried ball with a thin batter can be.
The Mushrooms on Toast arrived at the same time. It consisted of Mushroom Paté, sautéed mushrooms and Brandy Butter. The mushroom flavour was so dominant that I am not sure I caught any whiff of brandy. It was also hard to eat the toast at the same time as the mushrooms, since for the most part, the mushrooms were left in their original shape, and rolled off quite easily. The Mushroom Paté left the toast soggy.
We were intrigued by the Homemade Hamburger Helper. The dish changed daily with different combinations of meat, pasta and cheese. On the day we dined, we got ground beef, seashell pasta, and an aged cheddar. There was a lot more cheese than ground beef, so technically, the dish was more of a Kraft Dinner than a Hamburger Helper. It was delicious, though again, saltier than we would have liked.
Billed as ‘Not your routine poutine’, the Yorkshire Pudding Poutine consisted exactly that: french fries, curds and gravy on top of Yorkshire Pudding cups. Naughty foods do indeed go well together, though the ingredients failed to meld into a single dish. The gravy was very salty and the only thing the curds, french fries and Yorkshire Pudding had in common.
Finally, we had the Fried Chicken, which consisted of two breaded legs and one thigh, with slaw and hot sauce on the side. The hot sauce was an apple sauce with some heat that I was surprised to like since I prefer my hot sauces to be savoury. I spread the hot sauce all over my chicken to temper the saltiness of the skin.
Maritimers pride themselves on being the salt of the earth. Unfortunately, Eastside Social decided to take this characteristic literally in their menu. Everything was delicious, but oh so salty.
★ ★ ★
Eastside Social, 1008 Queen Street East, Toronto
Dined July 2014 – Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다