Chips Off the Old Block

Chip wagons, those small outposts of gluttony and deliciousness, appear to be a dying breed in KW.
With only a few bastions of deep fried-ness remaining, do the survivors maintain the cheap and greasy fast food commandments of their ancestors?20160702-IMG_8382Despite the name, Manitou Takeout isn’t located on Manitou Drive — a few years ago it moved to its current home, tucked between two nondescript commercial buildings on Courtland Avenue. Manitou makes its home in an actual trailer that’s been converted to sling chips and burgers to the masses.

And boy, do they sling em’. The chips you’ll find here fall between a traditional fat cut wagon fry and a McDonalds shoestring style, and they do not disappoint. (For the non-expert, this means they’re neither too thick, nor too thin.

Serving sizes are large, whether you get them in a combo, as a side or as part of their dizzying selection of poutines. The pint sized kitchen also serves up a wide range of standard beef, poultry, fish and pork based meals, but the golden, plentiful fries and the left over crispy bits are the real reason to visit. Next time you’re in south Kitchener, skip the drive thru and search out this classic chip wagon.

Seating: Indoors and patio

Delivery:  Yes

Wait after order: Under 10 minutes

20160730-IMG_9112David’s has been around for more than a decade, after graduating from an actual chip wagon on King Street to their current standalone drive-in on Lancaster Street, just north of the railway tracks. The old school take-away style building tells passersby that their fries are fresh cut and Straight Outta Newfoundland. After making my order at the window I waited at the side patio for my clichéd order of burger and plain fries. And, not that presentation should be a factor at a place like this, when my food arrived it looked somewhat grim: a smaller serving of fries than I expected, and a tinfoil disc the size of a small frisbee.

But presentation be damned! That tinfoil disc was hiding a seriously solid burger patty on a bakery bun (about half an inch too big, but thankfully I like my breads). The classic chip wagon style, thick cut, crispy outside and soft inside fries were gone in what felt like seconds. Two greasy thumbs up.

Seating: Patio only

Delivery: Call ahead, take away

Wait after order: Under 10 minutes20160726-IMG_9159“Famous since 1965,” reads the sign that greets arrivals to this local mecca of fast food goodness. Sonny’s has been slinging patties of chuck and fries for a long time, and the small joint oozes old school nostalgia from the Ms. Pac-Man machine (still 25 cents per play) in the corner to the red tiles and the weathered neon marquee out front.

When your food is ready you instantly understand why Sonny’s has stood the test of time. The burgers, while frozen, are more than enough to hit the spot, but still only act as a side to the main attraction, the french fries. If I was getting married I’d only have a Sonny’s fry buffet, and I’m pretty sure the guests wouldn’t miss their steak and mash. They’re just that good. The only downside to Sonny’s are the seagulls swarming above the building. But can you really blame them?

Seating: Patio and indoor standing

Delivery: Nope

Wait after order: Five minutes