Harlem… good for any meal of the day

I’m a huge fan of southern food.  Bold flavours, spicy, meaty and deep fried. What’s not to love?  There seems to be a growing BBQ trend in this city but there is a tried and true place downtown that has been serving up southern favourites for years, Harlem.  And it’s good for all meals of the day.

Brunch.  This is the Harlem Benny.  Poached eggs, garlic collards, sausage patty, a top grit cakes with spicy hollandaise with a side spinach salad with a light vinaigrette.  There are also some random side vegetables.

Lunch.  Corn bread.  Fresh and delicious.

The Harlem sammy.  A grilled three layer sammy of black forest ham, jerked chicken salad, avocado, mango mustard and two types of cheese on challah bread.  The jerk spices give it a lively kick and the cheese and sauces balance the kick with nice smooth flavour.  It’s a meaty sandwich was fantastic bread.  Winning!

Roasted Jerk Chicken sammy.  Served with fried plantains, monterey jack cheese, scotch-bonet mayo served on toasted coco bread.  I have to admit, I was sweating a little while eating this sandwich.  The bread is interesting.  It’s light and tasty and doesn’t take anything away from the main show, the jerk chicken.

Dinner.  This must be one of the best values in the city.  Try the prix fix.  You basically get to try everything on the menu.

Spinach, Mandarin and goat cheese salad with toasted almonds topped with a balsamic mango vinaigrette.  Very healthy and refreshing.  The goat cheese gives a creamy taste contrasting the oranges and almonds.  There’s a lot going on and I love it.

Harlem Crisps served with avocado ginger hummus and a spiced walnut pate.  The crisps are nice.  A very nice way of delivering the spread to the mouth.

Catfish lafayette.  Deep fried morsels doused in a sweet chili hot sauce.  These are very addictive.  Sweet, spicy and savoury.  The fish is light and fluffy once you get through the lovely, crisp, deep fried layers.

Jerk chicken quesadillas with spicy coconut honey and greens.  Like all the other jerk items on the menu, this is delightfully spicy and the cheesiness just adds more goodness.

Jambalaya…enough said.

Mac-n-cheese.  Pretty standard mac and cheese.  Compared to others in the city (Weezie’s and Prohibition) it’s meh.  But those other ones are pretty amazing so the bar is set pretty high.

Southern fried chicken.  They put corn flakes in the batter.  It adds a very prominent *CRUNCH* and a nice sweetness to the already juicy and succulent chicken.

Blackend catfish served with shrimp and crab étouffée.  Rich sauce with light and incredibly tasty fish.  This is one of my only life experiences with blackened anything.  It makes me wonder, why don’t we blackened spices on more things?

Bold flavours, sweat inducing spice, rich and flavourful….everything!  Oh man, why don’t I go here more often?

http://www.harlemrestaurant.com/

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~ by jlowjlow on July 30, 2013.

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