Flock's chalkboard menu entices with poultry-focused and poultry-free options alike — Photo courtesy of Paula Wilson / Flock
The summer might be the time that ice cream sales boom. But it's also when people flock to restaurants. Who wants to be in the kitchen when green grass and icy drinks are beckoning? So it was just good business sense for Cory Vitiello and Chris Shiki to open Flock Rotisserie + Greens in Toronto.
When you think about it, chicken is an ambitious food to build a restaurant around. The fact that it's extremely common both works for and against it if it's the linchpin of a restaurant's menu. We all know what chicken tastes like, which can make it a comfortable craving, yet we may also associate it with the dinners we make when we aren't really in the mood to cook.
But Chef Etienne Regis has elevated the humble bird and made it fantastic in its simplicity. As you may have heard, the ingredients are the key thing when it comes to cooking.
Handcrafted by The Harbord Room's Cory Vitiello Ââ€“ and pretty good for you, too — Photo courtesy of Paula Wilson / Flock
Chickens that are hormone free, antibiotic free and naturally raised just taste better. Don't you yourself feel better when you are naturally raised and free of hormones? We rest our case.
"We take a lot of pride in the quality of both raw product and technique," says co-owner Vitiello. "Everything is prepared daily from scratch by professional chefs. I think this alone separates us from most other quick-service rotisserie joints."
This Adelaide Street spot has just 14 stools for quick, finger-licking fun, but it operates primarily as a takeout establishment.
Note to food photographers everywhere: checkered paper makes everything look better — Photo courtesy of Paula Wilson / Flock
Unlike many restaurants committed to the art of meat, this poultry-loving hub wants the vegetarians to flock (We will stop using that word. We promise.) as much as the meat-eaters.
Salads are delightfully complex. Kale combines with quinoa, sundried tomatoes, beets and pomegranate seeds for a sweetly hearty bite. Arugula is tossed with green beans, French lentils, roasted cauliflower and hardboiled eggs.
If you think you can do better with your salad creation, you can choose the custom greens with six toppings and the choice of chicken on top (in case you can't get enough). It's food that's faster than fast food, but it's still "pretty good for you," as Flock's website states noncommittally.
"We're not just about the chicken," insists Vitiello. "I've always taken salads very seriously on all of my menus; they should be layered with flavors, textures, colors and bursting with freshness. Fun to eat â€“ that's important, too."
Healthy eaters who are looking for an easy dinner? Be birds of a feather.