1001 Douglas G12
Hours: 11:30 am to 10pm
Phone: (604) 782-8592
Sadly, La Fiesta Café, the Mexican diner at the corner of Douglas and Broughton, is no more. In its place is Smile Chicken. I think the fact we have two new Korean Fried operations (one still coming) downtown is amusing when considering there was a chicken shortage in 2021. One year is more than enough to regrow a population, but are the hens happy? It’s safe to say most likely not.
I’ve been here three times now, and when this operation has corn dogs on the menu, why not? When I’m craving this carnival food staple, it certainly satisfies.
But this operation is making its name for itself as a place for hot, crispy chicken that even a certain Kentucky fried colonel would be jealous of. This operation is very generous when piling moist sauces on top. Even for take out, and you live not too far from them, all that crunch and flavour stand out. The meat is moist and tender. I’m fairly sure I could taste the buttermilk sweetness.
So far, I’ve sampled two of the four flavour toppings–the regular, and sweet spice. I’ll be back for the other two. Next up is the honey mustard.
Although this diner doesn’t have a lot of variety in their menu, the staple is at least bang on. Also, this operation looks like a family run business. When compared to High5 Chicken, located six blocks away and still months away from opening, I think I’d rather lay my money down with them than the other (since they’re a recognisable franchise).
I can’t find a lot of online information about Smile Chicken Canada other than they registered the name and were incorporated in 2021. The local operation may well be the first of many and they don’t have the same splash and pomp that accompanies an opening of a franchise operation. And as for whether there’ll be any more Smiles in Canada, it’s not likely they’ll want to cross the road (Strait of Juan de Fuca, in this case) too soon, otherwise they’d be buried in the competition.
4 Blokes out of 5