Inigo - Review
For lunch today I went to Inigo, the new churrasqueira spot on Queen W opened by Carlos Hernandez, former chef of Torito.
It's a small, clean modern spot opened in the former bike shop run by Igor Kenk (the only allusion to its legacy seems to be a whimsical painting of a bike on the wall).
There are precious few details available online about the place beyond the Toronto Life article which has pics of the chalkboard menu and some interior shots. See here:
You order and pay at the counter cafeteria-style and take your tray to your table. I ordered the half chicken with a side of French lentils and squash.
What's interesting (and undoubtedly annoying to some) is that only a knife and spoon are provided. The restaurant has no knives for customers. You're forced to rip it into the chicken with fingers and teeth, a messy experience that begs for wet naps or a water bowl (also not available).
But oh is the chicken moist, tender and flavourful. Its slicked with grease and generously salted (though not overly so) but the freshly roasted skin retains its slight crackliness and umami-like flavour. The meat itself is of quite good quality, ripping nicely into shreds rather the dense, almost gelatinous texture of Swiss Chalet birds.
The lentils and squash were properly prepared and were refreshing next to the messy chicken. I had one of their carbonated orange beverages (forget the brand) which they recommended over limonata.
I'll be happy to return and would recommend the place, but you have to manage your expectations. This is a quick daytime bite and not an indulgent, refined experience.
Inigo is open every day (except Monday) from 11:30am till 6 or 7pm.
I've been looking forward to the opening of this new chicken place for some time. Unfortunately, they close at 7, sometimes earlier. Pretty silly hours since many people in the neighbourhood work and getting there before 7 p.m. can be challenging. I'm having a hard time figuring out why a place that is essentially a take out restaurant would close so early, at dinner time when people want to buy take out, and lose business. Maybe one of these days I'll be able to get there when it's open ...
Yeah, hopefully after they've been open for a while they'll extend the hours a bit, even 7:30pm would be good. I had the beef cheeks and the chicken when I went for lunch and was thinking it'd be nice to pick up a whole chicken after work sometime. Beef cheeks were good but the chicken...I totally agree with vidkid, that is one tasty chicken.