Junked Food Co.
Junked Food Co. wants to divert hungry post-bar revellers away from the neighbouring 7-Eleven and through its doors. It's an easy sell if you've emerged from any one of the watering holes on Dundas West only to find most other kitchens closed for the night.
Owners Brian Mckilligan and Vince Farago are savvy kitchen tinkerers who are currently staffing the shop into the wee hours (until 4am on weekends) while still working jobs at Rock Lobster and Boots N' Bourbon respectively.
They've furnished the casual eatery with a step-and-repeat wall (those branded backdrops usually found on red carpets) and supplied props to encourage inebriated selfie-taking. There are countertops to cling to while you eat and bar stools are on order.
The opening menu boasts mini-deep dish pizzas, tater tots, savoury waffle sandwiches, doughnut sandwiches, and cake cups. It's not just junk food, but bonafide drunk food - the kind of things you'd expect at CNE or on an episode of Epic Meal Time.
They take requests too. Share with them some outrageous Pinterest recipe or wax-on about the taquitos next door, and you might just see it turn up on the menu.
It's not food for gourmands, but commendably they're putting a lot of care into making foods from scratch (aside from the obvious low brow brand names that pepper the menu).
Tater tots for instance, see shredded potatoes hand rolled around a cheese centre, then coated in potato flakes before being fried. They're good au natural ($7) with house-made ketchup, but you can have 'em loaded with chili ($8), Dr. Pepper pulled pork ($9), or made into poutine ($8) too.
Mini deep dish pizzas ($7) are a greasy mass of cheese, sauce and buttery crust that can be upgraded with add-ons like bacon, mushrooms, pepperoni ($1.50 each). Weirder still, you could go for The Legit Pizza Pie ($8) featuring a tear away dessert crust, so each quadrant finishes on a sweet note.
Please consider the above smash bag for illustrative purposes only. Your smash bag will never look this good. It will be served straight from a bag of Doritos and you're not meant to admire it - you're meant to crush it into tiny bits to so that the sour cream, cheese, chocolate chicken chili ($8) or Dr. Pepper pulled pork ($8) all combine and can be eaten with a fork.
Not everything on the menu will induce the same level of regret. Waffle sandwiches are are rather tame by comparison. The Original Junkie ($8) is topped with avocado, bacon, pulled roasted chicken and sage mayo, while the Veggie Delight ($7) is loaded with sautéed mushrooms, goat cheese, pesto and a syrupy balsamic drizzle.
They even do salads, big boxes like the Cherry Chicken ($7) with chicken and dried cherries over a bed of greens with basil, avocado, walnuts and a Greek yogurt dressing.
Look forward to the additions of a slushie machine in shop and cake milkshakes on the menu. There are plans to offer late night delivery as well as to advertise special secret menu items via Instagram.
Photos by Jesse Milns