Sherman's Food Adventures: Alphabet City

Alphabet City

Happenstance.  Sometimes I stumble upon a restaurant not because I knew about it or that even someone tipped me off.  Take Alphabet City on Main Street for instance, it has been open for a year and I had no clue it existed.  I even walked and drove by it several times while going to pick up cakes at Trafiq!  Located in the old Splitz Grill location, I only found out about the place because they noticed my fried chicken quest and asked if I would like to try theirs.  I was absolutely game and brought Mijune with me after our meal at Shin Ka Gyuu (yes, second dinner...).  We definitely ate their chicken sammie as well as many other items as well.

Before we got to the sammie, we had their popular Tuna Bites dusted in an array of spices including togarashi.  Yah, the tuna was seared just enough on both sides that left the centre rare and tender.  But the real draw of this dish was the layers of heat and spices with every bite.  It was hot enough to make our tongues tingle without destroying the actual delicateness of the tuna.  Served on the side was a soothing sesame ginger mayo.

Continuing with the same theme of spiciness, we had the Pound o Wings with "D" spice consisting of cayenne and paprika.  These were coated with rice flour (hence making them gluten-free) and dusted with plenty of dry rub.  These were pretty crunchy with properly rendered skin.  The meat was moist and juicy while the heat from the spices made for some tingling lips.  Really good wings.

Let's not stop there with the heat as we ventured into "F" spice with the Fried Boneless Chicken Leg (thigh and drumstick).  Once again, the rice flour batter resulted in a crunchy exterior.  This was even juicier than the wings as the liquids ran amok from the meat with every bite.  The spiciness from the F spice was very noticeable leaving a lingering burning sensation on my lips and tongue.

Of course we can't forget about the real reason I was here - the ABC Chicken Sammie in "E" spice.  OMG.  This was totally unexpected, but I'll happily take it - this sammie was delicious!  The fried chicken breast was explodingly juicy with plenty of heat.  Tangy and crunchy, the slaw brought the heat down a notch while the pickled onions added tanginess.  Toasted brioche was on point, holding things together.  One of the best sammies I've had in town!

Other than their fried chicken, another prominent part of the menu is dedicated to their burgers.  Stacked high thanks to a mess of house-made hickory sticks, The Smokeshow consisted of a 6oz patty, whiskey BBQ sauce, bacon, smoked provolone, green relish, garlic mayo, pickle and the aforementioned hickory sticks.  This was surely a hearty burger with a well-charred patty that was not dry.  Lots of textures and full-bodied flavours including smokiness, sweetness and meatiness.  The fries on the side were also excellent with a crispy exterior giving way to tender potatoness.

Almost anti-climatic after trying the smokeshow, the Classic Jr. sported one 3oz patty, American cheese, ketchup, mustard, mayo and LTOP.  Yes, this looked more like a lettuce burger than anything, but for those who don't want to eat something heavy like The Smokeshow, then this would be it.  There was still meatiness to be found here, but the burger ate light with a toasted soft brioche and the usual condiments. 

As if we needed anymore food, we had the ABC Nachos with chorizo, refried beans, cheese, pickled jalapeños, onions, cilantro and house made tortilla chips.  On the side, we found pico de gallo and sour cream.  This was prepared and served on a sheet pan so that every chip was kissed with toppings.  As such, this was a hearty serving of crispy nachos.  Lots of different flavours and no need to layer the ingredients and get everything wet.

Lastly, we had the Mac n' Cheese with a 3 cheese blend, panko/parm crust and chives.  The noodles in this were al dente despite being bathed in a creamy cheese sauce.  There was definitely ooey gooey cheesiness that was mild and subjected to a crunchy aromatic topping.  Overall, I thought the food was solid and definitely filling.  The spice levels here are spot on and can satisfy a variety of tastes.  If you go for the spicier letters, beware, they aren't playing around here!

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:

- They don't mess around when it comes to the spice level

- Good portions

- Solid eats

The Bad:

- You might not be able to handle the spicier "letters", start slow (we loved it though!)


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