For the many who have already bitten, this won’t be news but I’ll say it anyway: Bite This is about as perfect a place for lunch as the western end of the city can muster on a stunning September afternoon.
The last time I ate at this ‘cook shack’ on Richmond Road (tucked in behind ‘Urban Turf’, across from the Superstore, just west of Kirkwood) the place was more outhouse in size, attached to a food truck. And I don’t remember tasting as much cooked food: I remember sandwiches and ice cream and choc-chip cookies.
Now, either I’m out to lunch (I am, often) or Bite This has expanded considerably: it’s now a proper kitchen shack, with a proper wait room, and its charming, quirky picnic grounds are more developed. It feels a little oasis of colour and greenery, rocks and trees, chandeliers and party lights, on the edge of a busy street.
I should probably have re-discovered it earlier, since it’s a place best used when the weather is kind. But the cooks (led by Donna Kyd, who birthed Bite This in 2010 in a food truck across from the old Trailhead location on Scott Street) tell me they were still serving till Christmas last year, so I figure better late than never. And look at this late summer weather we’re getting! Perfect for classic Szechuan street food.
They make a mean Dan Dan Noodle dish, both the egg noodles and spinach-pork threaded chili sauce with good bite. Bean sprouts sop up some of the spice and, with a topping of chopped peanuts, add a welcome crunch.
The Dan Dan dish was a blackboard special. So was a chicken curry, rich and smooth with coconut milk, the moist meat sharing the bowl with carrots, celery, sprouts and sweet potatoes on a bed of basmati rice. Portions were generous.
Everyone around me was having tacos. Next time.
Pecan butter tarts and lemon bars for dessert, both shack-made and both delicious.
Opening hours? I’ll let Bite This tell you about them. “Usually open Monday to Saturday at 11am. Bite This reserves the right to close early and open late or remain closed any day for any reason. This includes but is not limited to bad weather, beautiful weather, bad bicycle days, great bicycle days, exhaustion, hangover or a good party. We don’t recommend this establishment if you are in a hurry, sensitive or accident prone.”
So now you know. Use at your own risk. And with a parka in December.