Where to eat lunch this week: Aunties and Uncles

Where to eat lunch this week: Aunties and Uncles

This urban oasis near U of T nails the ’50s nostalgia and the chicken sandwich

The place: If restaurants were swimsuits, Aunties and Uncles would be on the itty-bitty, yellow-polka dot side. Discreetely hidden from the multi-lane motor rally of College and Bathurst, it’s a neighbourhood favourite with a charming patio, comfort food and nostalgic decor.

The crowd: An eclectic mix of people drawn from Little Italy, University of Toronto and the Annex. Mostly bright-eyed young artistic types for whom the John Deere drapes are associated more strongly with ironic hats than farm machinery.

The deal: We’re usually drawn to namesake dishes, and the Aunties and Uncles club ($8.50) is no exception: grilled chicken, bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato and aïoli on challah. We also grab an apple cider ($2.50).

The dish: Chunks of flavourful chicken dominate this “club” sandwich—each thoroughly moist (at lesser places, it so often isn’t)—with the bacon acting as a crispy, fatty accent. Though three slices are technically required to make a “club,” the two slices of toasted sesame challah get the carb job done. The elements of the sandwich are so well balanced that we happily overlook the cheese’s DayGlo orange hue (it actually contributes to the nostalgia vibe).

The time: 34 minutes to eat, 10 minutes in line. Yes, a line on a weekday.

The cost: $14, including cider, tax and tip.

Aunties and Uncles, 74 Lippincott St., 416-324-1375, auntiesanduncles.ca.