If Boots and Bourbon got downhill, The Wren is definitely a good replacement for southern saloon-style pub — albeit more hipster. Located along the stretch of Danforth where street activity decreases as one heads east, it was surprising to find this place busy, especially on a Friday night.
Went with a group of friends on a Friday night for our monthly get-together where we alternate between downtown and uptown, we took up a large communal table, which was great for us, but not great for the people waiting for a table. I’m sure there were people whom probably waited for a good 45 minutes for table and wished we would quickly finish. Personally, I wouldn’t wait merely out of principles.
We ordered popcorn chicken, calamari and guacamole and chips to share (sorry, no pictures). I really liked the calamari as was not heavily coated in batter and not rubbery. For the guacamole and chips, I just ate the chips until I was told that the guacamole does not have the taste of avocado, more on the citrus-y and chunky side. Honestly, this place is probably the only place where I’ll have guacamole.
For the main, I originally wanted the Pulled Pork Chimichanga, but when I asked to omit the queso fresco, I was told it had to have the cheese (I asked for no guacamole and sour cream, so why can’t it not have cheese??), I had the Fried Chicken Sandwich ($14) with fried buttermilk chicken, southern remoulade, chipotle BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato and pickle. I wanted to like it, but the chicken was heavily battered and too fried for my liking. I felt I was going to break a tooth with every bite. My friend Grace had the same thing and while she also felt the chicken was too fried, the sandwich was spicy for her.
Despite the sandwich, I do like The Wren and definitely going back just for their guacamole. Several things to note is, it’s not really a good place for a group on peak nights because you will have to wait. Also, they don’t take reservations.
1382 Danforth Ave.