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Chick-N-Joy... finally tried it.

So after several years of driving past Chick-N-Joy on Queen East (east of Greenwood before Coxwell) I finally hit them up for takeout on Monday. I came across a good review on here (from Feb. 2006) so figured I'd give them a shot. Fairly clean place, an interesting assortment of autographs on the wall (Chris Rock and Al Pacino have dined there?), friendly service and the food was ready pretty quick.

The good... the fresh cut fries were great, wouldn't be out of place at a good fish & chips shop. The homemade coleslaw was also very tasty.

The decent... the chicken itself was just ok, was very similar to KFC original recipe in flavour/appearance but a bit better (ie. more juicy, crispy skin). I was hoping for something out of this world but unfortunately this was not it.

The bad... the (bright yellow) chicken gravy, no wonder it was free with the meal (although I admit to dunking my fries in it).

So back to Popeyes for me I guess. Why can't Mary Browns open in the downtown area!!

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  1. Wow, I'm sure that gravy has put more guys underground than Al Capone.

    1. Yes! They still have the yellow gravy! I love that stuff. Gross, I know, but I do!
      www.mishsplayground.com

      1. I second the Mary-Browns-in-downtown opinion!! MmmMmMmMmmm.. Mary Browns. Taters 'n chicken....................

        1. The chicken filet sandwich at Mary Browns is a thing of beauty... yet to find a better one anywhere.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Vise

            I like Mary Browns but IMO the best fast food chicken sandwiches are the Spicy Asiago Bacon Chicken at Wendys or the Popeyes sandwiches (their fish and popcorn are good too...)

          2. personally I would call their french fries the best in the land. Anywhere.

            1. Has anyone checked out the location at Morningside and Kingston rd? I remember the very first location there and its always been the best place for chicken anywhere! I'll even make a detour when Im driving by just to pick up my "fix".

              1 Reply
              1. re: thegrimm

                I didn't know this was the original Chick'n Joy, but I have frequented the White's Rd/K.R. location. Service has always been quick and attentive from the hard working Filipino family behind the counter. But the chicken tends to be overcooked, and I have never asked for moister pieces, because they always seem to come out of a holding bin, while the fries get a second frying. Maybe I should ask!

              2. Chick-N-Joy is the best fried chicken in Toronto, bar none. Mary Brown's, in my opinion is overpriced (really overpriced) and very undercooked.I went twice and everytime, the coating is tastes barely cooked, just boiled enough to stick on the chicken. When Chick-N-Joy is closed, I go to Bene at Queen and Coxwell, same cooking method, pressure cooked and slightly cheaper. Still very good but Johny is still the master...

                2 Replies
                1. re: Fredster

                  Just discovered Chick'n'joy and after spending 4 years in the South (where Fried Chicken is a true culinary delicacy), I gotta say this beats all Canadian options hands down. What seals it are the great salads - the bean salad is just like my mom made.

                  1. re: scarborough

                    Good chicken and sides for less $$ and better quality than the Colonel.

                2. Just check this place out again after I stopped going there a year ago; I have to say this place is WAY better then it used to be. I can see they have a new chef which is GREAT. Chicken was juicy, fries were crispy and the colslaw was amazing. Way better value the kfc. The only thing I don't like is that they close at 8pm on Fridays & Saturdays. Either way, I'm still going back, I just gotta hustle ;)

                  1. This is the best chicken 'n chips I've had in Toronto, for sure. The chicken is super-juicy and the fries are pretty addictive too. I've only had the coleslaw salad, but it's also great. However, it is a pretty punishing meal [it's hard to breathe afterwards... or could that be because I just ate 4 pieces of chicken and half a box of large fries? :) ]. Like other posters, I agree that the yellow gravy is weird, but also de-rigeur. I was there once a few weeks ago and they had run out of the chicken gravy and were giving out beef gravy instead... it just didn't seem right!

                    1. The first time I went into a CNJ (about 16 years ago) I swear I saw the cook add some butter like substance to the fries. I've called them artery blockers ever since. It is true the fries are killer. As others have mentioned the chicken is better than KFC and I'm going to side with the "better than Mary Brown's" crowd.

                      1. CNJ is the best fried chicken in TO, R U kidding me? You folks need to get down to Stockyards BBQ at St. Clair/Christie ASAP, before you forget what good fried chicken is altogether. It is a bit pricey at $12 but you get 4 pieces of brined, buttermilk marinated, well seasoned, crispy goodness also served with some of the best fries to be had anywhere.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: bogie

                          4 pieces with fresh cut fries would be under $6 at Chick 'n Joy. Same take out ambience.
                          It's just chicken, after all.

                          1. re: jayt90

                            So which locations are we talking about here? Are they all good? The same?

                            1. re: magic

                              Google Map says there's only 2 locations!!! Scarborough and Pickering! That's not fair..

                              1. re: jennjen18

                                There is also Leslieville and Whitby.
                                The Queen East location seems to be different from the other three.

                                1. re: jayt90

                                  Was there last Tuesday and totally forgot how great the chicken and fries were. Will definitely be returning, especially because you can't beat the delicious lunch special (2 pieces, fries and pop) for $4.95 plus taxes coming to a total of $5.60. Forgot how great the portions were because my box was packed with fries and they actually taste as good as the chips at reputable Fish&Chips shops, if not better.

                                  I'm actually gonna start grabbing halibut separately at the F&C shops and stop by Chick 'N' Joy afterwards for the fries. They are simply just that GOOD!!!

                                  Got to admit the brunuette girl working at the front is sort of cute. Is she the owner Johnny's daughter? LOL

                                  Here's a great new link with more info and reviews:

                                  http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/chi...

                                    1. re: magic

                                      I tried the Scarborough location yesterday and although the crisp was ahead of KFC, the taste and seasonings were pretty mediocre. The fries were pretty pedestrian.

                                      So I don't think the Chick N Joy in Leslieville is the same as the chain http://chicknjoy.com/ I haven't tried the Leslieville location but I don't see anyone raving about the chain's chicken. Also the website doesn't list the downtown location.

                          2. Finally went in after decades of driving past the Chick-n-Joy at Queen and Woodfield, a few blocks west of Coxwell. I think this location is a one-off and not associated with the place with the website and three locations.

                            It was fantastic. Chicken was nicely seasoned, not too salty, crispy on the outside and moist inside. As good as the 'broaster' chicken I've had and almost as good as Stockyards.

                            The generous portion of fries were the best I've ever had. Fresh potato flavour and crispy.

                            It was like the food I had as a kid, that my mom made from scratch, before people got too busy and relied on shortcuts and convenience in food prep -- just like how the owner said on the blog.to link that expanding would mean going to frozen fries.

                            19 Replies
                              1. re: childofthestorm

                                +1

                                I think the opening of Paulette's has been a very good thing for Chicken Joy. Seems everyone is re-discovering them.

                                1. re: millygirl

                                  If you had to compare choose between the 2, which is superior?

                                  1. re: kwass

                                    For me - Chicken Joy hands down.

                                    I'm not suggesting Paulette's isn't good it just that Chicken Joy tastes like how I think good old fashioned country fried chicken should taste! Paulette's is like its snooty sister from the city :)

                                    Designer style and price to match.

                                    1. re: millygirl

                                      I'm with Millygirl on this one. I don't think Paulette's is bad but it is not my thing. A few times a year I really enjoy some Chicken Joy and that strange yet addictive gravy.

                                      1. re: JennaBean

                                        Ok. I'm sold! I'm going to make a special trip and try Chicken Joy.

                                        1. re: kwass

                                          Good. You must report back. Enjoy!

                                        2. re: JennaBean

                                          FTR, my recent trip to Paulette's was much more enjoyable than my first. It went from a hard case, almost inedible shell to a much more reasonable integrated batter... I've been back twice since.

                                          _______________
                                          www.foodnerds.ca

                                          1. re: justxpete

                                            Re Paulette's I wanted to like them but three bad goes and I will pass. The last happened after returning to have my order corrected (they gave me all dark meat and I had a picky kid with me who would only eat white meat) the white meat they gave me was seriously undercooked - pink and cold near the bone. That was the third strike for me. As well, I don't like donuts so there is no draw there for me either.

                                            1. re: JennaBean

                                              I love donuts, and I've only read about their flavours, but they don't seem to do it for me.

                                              1. re: kwass

                                                Since I don't get out that way very often, maybe when I go, I'll try both Chicken Joy and Paulette's so that I can do a side-by-side comparison.

                                                1. re: kwass

                                                  Someone should also compare Chick 'n Joy in east Toronto with the mini franchise of the same name, Morningside and Kingston Road, also Whites Rd. and K.R., and somewhere in Whitby.

                                                  1. re: jayt90

                                                    I'll revisit my original thread starting post from 2006 to state we love Chick-N-Joy and go there regularly. The quality seems to have steadily improved over the years and when the chicken is fresh out of the fryer it is fantastic... plus price wise it is hard to beat. It is our go to chicken spot, usually once per month or so. Def recommended for those in the area.

                                2. re: neighborguy

                                  Hey Neighborguy does the resto look like a Chick-N-Joy chain i.e. same logo, design, etc.? Or, as you're suggesting, only similar in name only? I looked it up and as you said the web site only shows three locations : Scarborough, Whitby and Pickering not Queen and Woodfield. Strange.

                                  1. re: scarberian

                                    Hi scarberian,

                                    It's not the same. The menu on the website has more items on offer than the Queen street location, which is primarily chicken and fries with some salads and that yellow gravy that I want to try now.

                                    1. re: neighborguy

                                      That yellow gravy is disgusting and we eat every drop of it at our house, haha. It's strangely addictive and works really well with ChickNJoy's amazing fries. Their chicken is my favourite, by far.

                                      1. re: neighborguy

                                        Finally tried the Chick-n-Joy at Queen E. and Woodfield. I love their fries. Fresh cut fries are the way to go and they know how to cook it there. We ordered the 9 pc. chicken with small fries and gravy. As for the chicken it really reminded me of KFC's original recipe, but better. My wife thought it was pretty good and my daughter only left bones. As for the gravy I was the only one that liked it (I hang my head in shame for admitting that). It has a chicken soup based flavour to it. It did compliment the fries.

                                        1. re: scarberian

                                          Don't feel bad...I LOVED the gravy too ;)

                                  2. OK, after all the buzz, I dropped-in to the Morningside & Kingston Rd. location last week. It was Tuesday evening, so I had the 2 piece special with fries and gravy.
                                    I have to say I was MASSIVELY disappointed.
                                    I didn't get yellow gravy, it was typical made-from-powder fast food brown gravy, the fries were pretty good, not great (I'll take Swiss Chalet fries any-day) and the chicken was really not good at all - way too salty, and otherwise bland and flavourless.
                                    Now everything was freshly made and hot, and the chicken (leg & thigh) was indeed moist and not dried out, but it had no real flavour other than salt-salt-salt.
                                    Maybe I caught them on a bad night, there seemed to only be 2 women working there, but I'd put this chicken well below Popeyes, Mary Browns, AND even KFC, which is also fairly salty, but KFC has other seasonings and actual chicken flavour, this chicken did not.
                                    I will have to try the Queen St. location sometime before I write them off, but this was not a good experience at all.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: TorontoTips

                                      Read the post just above yours. It seems the Queen location is totally separate except for name from the chain restos. I need to try the Queen location and especially that yellow gravy. I wonder how it'll work as a poutine gravy.