Come and Get It (Queen St.)
Come and Get It is back in business, now at a permanent location on Queen St. just west of Bathurst. Unlike the previous pop-up incarnation which was always designed to be temporary, the new spot owned by Jon Polubiec lays the foundation for the long haul.
The 30-seat room designed by Derooted is furnished with a concrete bar, chain link fencing and graffiti'd walls courtesy of Skam (the same artist who lettered their past Spadina logo). Shelves above the bar display bottles and are bookended by speakers to mimic the face of a boom box.
By day the menu offers the same entree-sized formats as it did before, sandwiches ($8.75), poutine ($8.50) and salads ($10.50), plus new to this location, naan wraps ($8.75). Each format can be had in one of seven flavour combinations, meaning the lunch menu can be executed 28 different ways. Take out, delivery and catering are all welcome during lunch hours, but come dinner time things are entirely new.
Evening service starting at 6pm nightly changes up the menu to more sophisticated snack bar variations on the same seven flavours. The menu lists single serving snacks ($4) and sliders ($6) plus sharable mini poutines ($5), bag o'bites ($3) and naan flat breads.
The service style is laid back and guests are encouraged to order at a leisurely pace. A full bar menu means cocktails ($12-$14) and craft beers ($7.50-$8.50/pint) are available to fuel appetites and simultaneously quench thirst. I try the "chill girlfriend," a sweet and easy-to-drink nectar made up of muddled cucumber, gin, St. Germain, Prosecco and basil.
Starting with a few snacks offers a chance to see how different flavours translate into a single bite. The "fried chicken caesar" sees a fried cornmeal-crusted nugget served over canape-sized cornbread with garlic aioli and shaved green apples. The "chipotle short rib" is served as a cube of saucy braised meat on a polenta cake with slaw and crispy onions. The "winter veg" offers chunks of pickled peaches, cauliflower, beans and ginger skewered onto toothpicks.
The same "winter veg" option when ordered as a bag o'bites is re-imagined as root veggie chips with cilantro sour cream dip. If ordered as the aforementioned "chicken caesar," you'll get a bag of fried chicken skins.
Up next, I tried the "mango jerk chicken" in flatbread format. Spread with roasted red pepper purée and topped with shredded chicken, fried plantain chips and iceberg lettuce, it's the most substantial-sized serving of the night.
Finally, the "coconut shrimp" comes as a mini poutine. Served in a mini skillet topped with plump pieces of po' boy style fried shrimp, creamy and tart remoulade and fresh green onions, it's a dainty portion but still satisfyingly greasy.
Come and Get It is open week round from noon for lunch. The kitchen stays open nightly right 'til last call. While the lunch menu is available to go, the evening snack menu is dine-in only. Brunch is expected to launch in the coming weeks.
Photos by Jesse Milns