Location: 1276 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Flora’s Deli is a delightful little shop that offers a takeout menu (they also have a couple of small tables outside) of Italian sandwiches. It doesn’t have the most exciting menu ever, with the usual veal and eggplant sandwiches, various cold cut assortments, etc.
The sandwiches are so well executed, however, that this never feels like an issue. The Norma Gina is generally what people talk about when they talk about this place, and yeah, I can see why. Served on a fresh sesame seed roll and featuring a generous amount of fried eggplant topped with hot honey, creamy whipped ricotta, and fresh arugula, it’s a great sandwich.
The eggplant is perfectly cooked, the ricotta adds a delightful richness, the arugula is nice and peppery, and the honey adds a subtle sweetness that contrasts nicely with the savoury sandwich.
I also tried the Sofia, which the menu describes as “prosciutto, coppa, sopressata, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, arugula, 6yr balsamico.” This one’s a pretty standard cold cut sandwich, but when you’ve got top-notch ingredients that all complement each other so well, there’s absolutely no need to reinvent the wheel. I sort of figured the eggplant sandwich would be the more interesting of the two, but I’d honestly have a hard time picking a favourite; they’re both so good.
(I should also note that since I wrote this, the restaurant’s pop-up location is no more, but supposedly a permanent spot is in the works.)