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What’s on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks

By Liza Agrba| Photography by Daniel Neuhaus
What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks
Here we have the six-piece fried chicken box ($24.99) served with macaroni salad, steamed rice, chicken gravy and creamy slaw. Pictured with a mango peach pie ($4.50) at the top left. You can opt to sub spaghetti ($3) or curly fries ($2) for the steamed rice.

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Name: Pepper’s Food and Drink Contact: 189 Wallace Ave., @peppers.189
Neighbourhood: Wallace-Emerson Owners: Ihn Huh, Leemo Han (Hanmoto, Pinky’s Ca Phe, Seoulshakers) Chef: Julian Ochangco (BB’s Diner) Outdoor seating: Some picnic tables, but they’re off limits for now given the current lockdown restrictions COVID-19 safety measures: All high-traffic areas sanitized and disinfected; Covid safety screening for all staff; clearly marked areas to allow for distancing; mandatory masks for staff and customers; staff has been trained on Covid protocol, safety and sanitization processes

The food

Pepper’s Food and Drink is part takeout kitchen, part curated selection of Asian-Canadian staples and snacks. “This food is a culmination of our upbringings,” says co-owner Ihn Huh, of the menu designed by Julian Ochangco, who creates dishes based on his Filipino roots, along with some inspiration from Hawaii and Japan. “It’s comfort food: things like fried chicken, rice and Korean side dishes. Basically an eclectic mix of foods that somehow all work together. At the end of the day, it’s all comfort food for us.” Comfort food is right—Pepper’s current menu includes deep-fried apple pie, spaghetti with sliced hot dogs, a fried chicken box with a bevy of sides and a loaded chili cheese dog.

Everything’s made in a bustling on-site kitchen; there are also two fridges full of Korean dishes made by co-owner Leemo Han’s mother, known around Pepper’s as Mama Han. Her unique take on Korean food reflects western and pan-Asian influences—the selection, rotated daily, includes everything from classic banchan to Mama Han specials like cilantro kimchi. Try the smooth, subtle pork curry sauce—a marriage of Japanese and Korean influences—or the rich, herbal braised chicken stew with dates and ginseng. The imitation crab salad, with vermicelli, cucumbers and lemony mayo, is an early favourite.

What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks
Fresh off the hot dog roller, here we have (front) the Chili Cheese Dog, topped with beef chili and grated cheddar ($4.50); and Pepper’s Philly Dog, with hot mustard and pepper hash ($3.50).

 

What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks
Steamed buns filled with beef, veg and kimchi pork, staying warm and toasty along with some hot dog buns.

 

What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks
Assembling the Yummy Burger, a beef patty topped with house tartar sauce, cheddar, and shredded lettuce on a Martin’s potato roll. $7.50.

 

What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks
Here it is again with a side of crispy curly fries ($4). Because anyone who tells you curly fries aren’t more fun than regular doesn’t have your best interests at heart.

 

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What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks
Straining spaghetti that’s soon to be topped with the stuff of childhood dreams.

 

What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks
Pepper’s spaghetti ($10.99) piles sliced hot dog rounds and orange cheddar on a base of hearty red sauce. Pictured here with a side of homestyle garlic bread ($2.50)

 

What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks
Here we have the six-piece fried chicken box ($24.99) served with macaroni salad, steamed rice, chicken gravy and creamy slaw. Pictured with a mango peach pie ($4.50) at the top left. You can opt to sub spaghetti ($3) or curly fries ($2) for the steamed rice.

 

What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks
The Hamburg Steak Plate ($14.99) comes with two beef patties topped with a fried egg, creamy gravy, shredded cabbage, macaroni salad and two scoops of steamed rice. If you prefer, you can sub spaghetti for steamed rice for $3 extra.

 

What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks
Mama Han’s incredible homemade Korean dishes. Top row from left: spicy garlic scapes ($4.99), pork curry sauce ($9.99), chicken stew ($14.99), pork bone soup ($14.99). Middle row: daikon kimchi ($4.99), daikon radish pickle with red cabbage ($4.99), Napa kimchi ($6.99), broccoli with tofu and soybean essence ($4.99), pickled lotus roots with yuzu honey and vinegar ($4.99), anchovies with walnuts, almonds, sweet soy glaze ($4.99). Bottom row: crab salad with lemon mayo ($5.99), spicy soybeans with garlic scapes ($4.99), wakame salad ($5.99).

 

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What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks
Pepper’s is serious about its noodle selection, offering a wide range of options in both cup and block form. Try the Ottogi sesame ramen, a staff favourite that comes with a dehydrated egg block.

 

What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks
There’s also a sweet selection of frozen treats

 

What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks
A basket of goodies including instant ramen, roasted sesame kewpie mayo, pocky sticks and puffy corn Turtle chips.
The drinks

Pepper’s has a wide range of Asian soft drinks and a small selection of craft beers and wines to accompany their extensive takeout menu. Grab a can of bubble tea, Sac Sac orange, or milky Calpis (a popular Japanese soft drink) to go with your meal.

What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks
Dranks
The space

For obvious reasons, Pepper’s is operating as a takeout-only destination for now, but plans to open dine-in and patio seating as soon as it’s safe to do so. The bright, funky interior is studded with retro details—the menu above the kitchen was repurposed from a bowling alley, there’s a fully functional movie theatre–style hot dog roller, and colourful neon signs that glow above the beer fridge. You’ll want to take a look at the snack selection while you wait for your order—if you don’t walk out with a basket of fun stuff, you’re not doing it right.

What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks
What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks
What's on the takeout menu at Pepper’s Food and Drink, a fun new fast-food counter for fried chicken, burgers and Korean snacks

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