legal tenders toronto

Toronto's new takeout joint for chicken tenders is hidden inside a tiki bar

Legal Tenders is a Vegas-themed chicken finger takeout joint hidden in an unexpected place: a tiki bar.

Located inside Shameful Tiki in Parkdale, the concept is inspired by owner Alana Nogueda's childhood in Las Vegas, brought to life with help from partner Aviva Rosnick. 

"People are excited because it's something you normally only see on the kids menu," says Rosnick. "It's a good time to have comfort food. It's something that people really want and we're hoping to fill that void."

legal tenders toronto

Though they come with all the comfort and nostalgia of the tenders that come frozen in a box, they're far from that, and are more inspired by the likes of the Peppermill in Vegas.

They're made from whole nine-ounce breasts, each yielding three three-ounce tenders, so they're incredibly hearty: even one of these would make a filling handheld snack. They're coated in a secret seasoning blend with Panko and cornflake for what Nogueda calls that "crazy crunch."

legal tenders toronto

Three piece ($9), five piece ($15) and seven piece meals ($21) come with a small tub of super creamy coleslaw and a dip of your choice. The only one that's not scratch-made is a Diana's BBQ sauce. 

legal tenders toronto

The others are a ranch, a spicy mustard that's kind of like a honey mustard, and a cayenne honey that feels a little like a sweet plum sauce.

legal tenders toronto

Waffle fries ($5) are the only other thing on the menu not made from scratch, though they are blanched prior to frying for a sturdy, crispy texture.

I'd highly recommend upgrading to Jackpot Fries ($7), dressed with Buffalo garlic butter, ranch, raw diced scallion and grated parmesan cheese.

legal tenders toronto

Don't miss Garlic Swirl Buns of Fortune ($2) either, basically a savoury cinnamon roll with lots of butter, garlic and cheese, served with a thick, sweet Marinara.

They also have glass bottle drinks like Topo Chico, root beer and Coke as well as Miller High Life. Americana-inspired cocktail kits may become available, and delivery is being considered as an option as well. 

To start, however, Legal Tenders is pickup-only, with a menu online and a QR menu to scan with your phone outside Shameful Tiki. Preordering is highly encouraged, but walk-up orders are okay too.

legal tenders toronto

They even have their own merch, tees for $25 with $5 from each sale going to Parkdale Community Food Bank.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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