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The best deli in TO


Jake
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So, as it happens I've been eating a lot of deli the last few months. Mostly because the SO or friends I've been out with have cravings, and really, who can turn down a great corned beef/pastrami/smoked meat sandwich after all! Now, I should clarify that having spent an enormous amount of time in Montreal, there is no TRUE comparison in TO, imho. Most places use the same supplier (name escapes me, sorry) and just depends on the length of steaming and cut. However, we still have some good places here that are making their own corned beef and pastrami, among other things. Some thoughts on recent experiences:

Mo Pancers: Have been twice in the last 3 weeks. Wow. It's still really, really good. I prefer the corned beef to the pastrami, unusual for me. Both are made on the premises. They use Silversteins bread and Strubs pickles. Fries are decent & crispy, service excellent. No wonder it's been around forever, it stays great.

Wolfies: Haven't been here in years. Any thoughts?

Centre Street Deli: Been here lots, our basic go-to for smoked meat cravings, but way out of the way for us. Pastrami is good too, fries okay. Service good. This place is consistent and I've only had one bad sandwich there (really dry, even though ordered medium..) My SO appreciates the Black Cherry soda they don't have at the other 2.

Katz (on Dufferin south of 401): stopped in here before Christmas and had one of the worst pastrami sandwiches ever, and snarky service when I asked the availabilty of hot mustards such as Keene's or Colemans. Wouldn't return. Friend I was with had a hot dog that was pretty much grey, and according to him, tasted the same.

Mel's on Bloor: Smoked meat sandwich a couple months ago. Hand cut meat, nicely cooked/steamed, friendly service, good bread and pickles. Didn't try the fries.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head........

What are your thoughts, faves, etc?

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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I disagree with Sadistick on Zuppa. I tried it on a recommendation from an earlier thread. It is not a Jewish style deli and, in my opinion, not in the same league as Centre Street's Montreal Smoked or Moe Pancer's Corn Beef. Don't get me wrong, its good, just not what I want from a deli. I want my corn beef (or pastrami) on rye with decent deli mustard, piled high, with a side of a pickle and kishke (gravy on the side). Maybe a small thing of coleslaw too.

Colemans on Bathurst is blah. Wolfies still uses Lesters (blech!) meats. Steeles Deli Warehouse hasn't been good in years, but is better than it was in the early nineties. Pickle Barrel meats are usually not very good either. Katz never really had a good corn beef sandwiche, one step up from Druxy's in my opinion.

Mark

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How is Yitz's these days? I always grab cigars but I've never eaten there

I have had non-deli from Yitz's on Eglinton, including kishke, turkey (catered), and their blintzes. Not bad, but nothing I would rave about. They just opened one in Thornhill that has gotten some okay reviews. They are more known for their humidor these days. If I remember, their latkes were pretty good.

Mark

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I disagree with Sadistick on Zuppa.  I tried it on a recommendation from an earlier thread.  It is not a Jewish style deli and, in my opinion, not in the same league as Centre Street's Montreal Smoked or Moe Pancer's Corn Beef.  Don't get me wrong, its good, just not what I want from a deli.  I want my corn beef (or pastrami) on rye with decent deli mustard, piled high, with a side of a pickle and kishke (gravy on the side).  Maybe a small thing of coleslaw too.

Colemans on Bathurst is blah.  Wolfies still uses Lesters (blech!) meats.  Steeles Deli Warehouse hasn't been good in years, but is better than it was in the early nineties.  Pickle Barrel meats are usually not very good either.  Katz never really had a good corn beef sandwiche, one step up from Druxy's in my opinion.

Mark

If when you say "not in the same league" you mean not as dry or bland then I would agree with you. The corned beef and/or pastrami is served on rye, with good ol french mustard, piled VERY high (even the small ones) with a pickle on the side, and even coleslaw. You sure you went to Zuppa's?!

Zuppas meats are much more moist and flavourfull than any other delis in this city. Moist being the key in my books.

Edited by sadistick (log)
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I disagree with Sadistick on Zuppa.  I tried it on a recommendation from an earlier thread.  It is not a Jewish style deli and, in my opinion, not in the same league as Centre Street's Montreal Smoked or Moe Pancer's Corn Beef.  Don't get me wrong, its good, just not what I want from a deli.  I want my corn beef (or pastrami) on rye with decent deli mustard, piled high, with a side of a pickle and kishke (gravy on the side).  Maybe a small thing of coleslaw too.

Colemans on Bathurst is blah.  Wolfies still uses Lesters (blech!) meats.  Steeles Deli Warehouse hasn't been good in years, but is better than it was in the early nineties.  Pickle Barrel meats are usually not very good either.  Katz never really had a good corn beef sandwiche, one step up from Druxy's in my opinion.

Mark

If when you say "not in the same league" you mean not as dry or bland then I would agree with you. The corned beef and/or pastrami is served on rye, with good ol french mustard, piled VERY high (even the small ones) with a pickle on the side, and even coleslaw. You sure you went to Zuppa's?!

Zuppas meats are much more moist and flavourfull than any other delis in this city. Moist being the key in my books.

I tried the pastrami from Zuppa's and felt it was only so-so. I didn't really care for the seasoning (and it was not enough seasoning anyway). It didn't have any of the Jewish sides I wanted. The coleslaw is a maybe, not a given. I don't think either Pancers or Centre Street are dry and flavourless, unless you ordered lean (which no one in their right mind would do). Zuppa's just wasn't worth the trek downtown for me. Its still better than that Lester's stuff that so many pseudo-Montreal establishments peddle.

Mark

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Thanks for your replies, guys, sorry I've been absent, unavoidable business trip. :sad:

So, to answer some questions, Mo Pancers is on Bathurst, north of Wilson, West side in a strip mall. Definitely a Jewish deli, and I do agree with Mark, I like real Jewish deli. I order the corned beef here usually and have never found it dry.

I have never been to Zuppa, but I guess I should add it to my list and see.

I forgot about Yitz on Eglinton. Went there about a year ago, wouldn't return. Meat was bland, cole slaw was watery/oily, soup was a bowl of grease.

Any others we've missed?

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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