Sausage Perfection at Wvrst

WvrstLocation: 609 King Street West, Toronto

I tried Wvrst once, around when it first opened.  It was good, but nothing about it really jumped out at me, so I never felt particularly compelled to go back.

Well, I just found myself back there, and clearly I was wrong about the place, because the sausage I ate was probably one of the best that I’ve ever had.


They have an intimidatingly long list of sausages on their menu.  I got the Kaas: “pork/beef/parrano cheese/light smoke.”  You can either get it on a bun or as currywurst.  I went with a bun, and had it topped with sauteed onions and jalapenos.


Oh man, that sausage.  The texture was absolutely perfect.  To me, the meat in a sausage needs to retain some of its essential meatiness; it shouldn’t have been ground into oblivion.  It should still be sausagey, of course, but the texture should be more rustic than a hot dog.  Wvrst absolutely nails this.

And the flavour was great: meaty and smoky, not overly salty, and with surprisingly generous pockets of gooey, melty cheese.  I was actually pretty blown away by how good it was.


I got the duck fat fries on the side, and they were just as good.  You could pick from a bunch of dipping sauces; I went with the Wvrst sauce (rule of thumb: if something on the menu is named after the restaurant, you should probably be ordering that thing).  It was tangy and delicious, and complimented the fries perfectly.


Cheesecake by Heirloom

Cheesecake by Heirloom

Cheesecake is good.  You know what’s better?  Cheesecake dipped in chocolate and nuts, and covered with chocolate and caramel sauces.

Cheesecake by Heirloom

Cheesecake by Heirloom was in the Concept section of Yorkdale (I’m a bit late posting this, and it’s now gone — super useful blog post, I know, but supposedly they’ll be selling cheesecakes again at a different location in April), and it’s pretty great.  I mean, how could it not be?  They start with a good quality piece of New York style cheesecake, then they cover it in all the aforementioned stuff.

Cheesecake by Heirloom

And all that stuff is quite good.  It’s incredibly sweet and rich — maybe to a fault.  It’s not a subtle dessert.  It’s probably not something you’d want to eat all the time, but man, it’s delicious.

Milkshake Disappointment at the Hershey Store

Hershey Store in Niagara FallsThere’s a Hershey store in Niagara Falls, and I have a pretty vivid memory of the chocolate milkshake there being amazing.

Granted, this was at least a decade ago, but when I recently found myself in Niagara Falls with some time to kill, I got very excited by the prospect of having this milkshake again.

In my memory, this was a superior milkshake with a surprisingly intense chocolaty flavour.  I’ve never been a fan of Hershey chocolate, but this milkshake was something else.  It was special.

Hershey Store in Niagara Falls

Well, either I’m way wrong about this or it’s gone way downhill, because the milkshake was not good at all.  It was throat-burningly sweet, and it didn’t even have much of a chocolaty flavour.  It was just all-encompassing sweetness.  It was bad.

I got about halfway through, ate the Hershey’s Kiss on top (which tasted like nothing after the mouth-annihilating sweetness of the milkshake), then chucked the rest in the garbage.

The Diner House 29

The Diner House 29 in St. Catherines, OntarioI watch a ridiculous amount of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  It isn’t often that I go to a restaurant that feels like it would fit in on that show (we just don’t seem to have a lot of restaurants like that in the GTA).  But Guy would be right at home at the Diner House 29 in St. Catherines.

There were a few things on the menu that caught my eye, but I went with Porky’s Revenge: “Roasted Pork Belly on a Toasted Bagel Bun with 2 Fried Eggs, House-made Onion Chutney,  Niagara-Peach Mayo & Monterey Jack.”

The Diner House 29 in St. Catherines, Ontario

Pork belly is one of those trendy ingredients that’s popped up on pretty much every menu over the last several years.  But I still have a hard time saying no to it.

And the version here is good.  I have a friend who teases me over the use of the word “unctuous,” because it’s one of those words that really isn’t in a normal person’s vocabulary.  It’s pretty much exclusive to food nerds/writers/bloggers (see also: mouthfeel).

That being said, this sandwich was unctuous AF.  Between the rich, fatty pork belly, the runny yolk from the eggs, the mayo, and the gooey cheese, the sandwich screams unctuous.  There’s really no other word to describe it.

The Diner House 29 in St. Catherines, Ontario

And yet it wasn’t too rich.  The sweet chutney helps to balance things out, and the flavours all work so well together that it never seems one-note.

The bagel bun was quite dense, with a very crispy exterior.  It would have been too much for your average sandwich, but there was so much going on here that the hearty bun was just right.

My biggest issue is that the sandwich is so overstuffed and slippery that as soon as I picked it up, it immediately started to fall apart.  I panicked, took a quick bite, then set the sandwich down and proceeded to eat the rest with a fork and knife.

The Diner House 29 in St. Catherines, Ontario

The sandwich comes with a salad, soup, or potatoes on the side.  I got the rice, beans, and pesto soup; it was absolutely crammed with stuff and had a satisfying pesto flavour.  It was hearty and tasty.

Zelden’s Deli & Desserts

Location: 1446 Yonge Street, Toronto

I’d have a pretty hard time narrowing down a top five list of my favourite dishes, but certainly, deli sandwiches — pastrami, smoked meat, etc. — would be on there.  There are few things in life more satisfying than a really good deli sandwich.

Zelden’s is the new kid in town in the Toronto deli scene (such as it is), so obviously I had to give them a shot.


Their specialty is pastrami, and the sandwich comes piled high with meat.  The mustard’s on the side, which is correct.  It’s always better when you get to apply it yourself, because a lot of places tend to slather it on in gobs, which completely overpowers the meat.

It’s a very good sandwich, but sadly, not great.  The meat has a good proportion of fat, and the spicing is perfect — it has a satisfying peppery kick that doesn’t overwhelm.  But the meat probably needed to cook for another hour or so.  Some slices were okay; others were rubbery.  You know that thing where you can’t quite bite through the meat in a sandwich, and it pulls out from the bread?  Yeah.


I also wish the meat were sliced by hand instead of by machine, because I find that the thicker, slightly irregular slices of hand-cut pastrami tend to be more satisfying.  But then again, in this case the meat was so tough that it really needed to be sliced as thinly as possible.  It probably should have been thinner.

It’s a shame, because it otherwise seemed like top-notch pastrami, so I’ll definitely have to give Zelden’s another shot at some point.

The fries were quite good, at least.