Location: 209 Dovercourt Road, Toronto
Sandwiches! I think I’ve mentioned in the past that there are a few dishes that I think are the perfect food. A margherita pizza, for one. A great bowl of ramen. And of course, you’d have to add sandwiches to that list — but is that cheating? A margherita pizza is a pretty specific thing, but with all the different combos of bread and fillings, a sandwich can be about a billion different things.
Still, who doesn’t love a sandwich, particularly when they’re as great as they are at Vilda’s?
(That’s mostly a rhetorical question, but if you’ve legitimately never had a sandwich that you loved, then there might be something medically wrong with you. Go see a doctor.)
I tried a couple at Vilda’s: the Duca di Zucchine, and the Tuna à la Mediterranean. Both were very good, but the Duca di Zucchine (which the menu describes as “Hard-roasted, lemon-marinated zucchini ribbons. A vibrant spread of garlic scapes and tahini. Parmesan cheese! Bacon AND mint?! Together? Yes.”) was the highlight. The combo of the tender zucchini, the crispy/meaty bacon and the zingy vibrancy of the various sauces was extremely delicious.
The Tuna à la Mediterranean (“Cut up artichokes, whipped tuna, melted cheddar, olive-dressed butter lettuce and mayo”) was a bit less impressive, but still quite tasty. This one tasted more like something I might be able to make at home (or more accurately, something I think I could make at home, but could never actually make at this level of deliciousness). It was also a bit odd in that it was ostensibly a tuna melt, but featured cheese that was completely unmelted. You’d think that this would be an issue, but it was delicious regardless. It’s hard to go wrong with the combo of the creamy tuna spread and the crispy freshness of the veggies, not to mention the great bread.
Location: 162 Ossington Avenue, Toronto
The last time I tried Bobbie Sue’s Mac + Cheese, I had the carbonara — it was absolutely delicious, but not exactly a traditional bowl of mac and cheese. I figured I should probably try the real deal.
So I went back and tried the jalapeno and bacon, which is a classic mac and cheese with pickled jalapenos and cubes of bacon (which I’m pretty sure is the pancetta from the carbonara) mixed in. This was a special, so it may or may not be on the menu when you visit.
It’s delicious. The mac and cheese is abundantly rich and cheesey, with perfectly al dente pasta and a nice crispy top from the oven. The meaty bacon and zippy jalapenos compliment it perfectly.
Bonus: the service was great. I picked up my mac and cheese from the counter and then immediately dropped it on the sidewalk (and the plate landed face down, because of course it did). The woman behind the counter witnessed this and quickly made me a new one free of charge, which was very much appreciated.
Location: 3035 Dundas Street West, Toronto
The peameal bacon at When the Pig Came Home, a delightful little deli in the Junction, is probably twice as thick as any other peameal that I’ve had. It’s also twice as good.
They have a bunch of optional toppings, but the Original Peameal Sandwich is quite simple, with just peameal, baby kale, tomato, and Maple aioli.
The bacon is substantial and cooked to order; it’s phenomenal. It’s super tender (and it isn’t dry at all, which tends to be an issue with peameal), and features a really satisfying level of saltiness that lets the flavour of the pork shine through.
None of the toppings particularly stand out, and I mean that in a good way — they step back and let the bacon be the star of the show.
The bun is great too — it’s nice and fresh, with a crackily exterior that gives the sandwich a decent amount of texture.
Location: 189 Augusta Avenue, Toronto
I think it’s safe to say that Egg Bae isn’t for me. I think it’s fine — actually, it’s better than fine. All of their sandwiches use high quality ingredients that are prepared well; they’re just not particularly to my taste.
The last sandwich I tried — the eponymous Egg Bae — was tasty enough, but I found it to be one-note soft and rich.
This time, I went with a pick from Toronto Life’s list of the 25 best sandwiches in the city: the Eh Bae Bae (“Soft Scrambled Eggs, Sweet and Spicy Bacon, Muenster Cheese, Tomato, Arugula, Pickled Shallots, Bae Sauce”).
Once again, the individual components are all top-notch; the sweet bun is fresh and fluffy, the bacon is meaty and satisfying, the Muenster is nice and gooey, and the eggs are ultra creamy and luxurious.
But while this sandwich actually has a bit more balance from the pickled shallots, it needs a lot more; it’s incredibly rich. It does have some texture thanks to the bacon and the veggies, but it’s still mostly just soft overload.
That’s not to mention that between the glazed bacon and the very sweet bun, it’s an intensely sweet sandwich.
Still, it’s enjoyable enough — but considering the quality of the ingredients, it could be so much better.
Location: 1520 Aimco Boulevard, Mississauga
The Bacon Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich from Wendy’s has pretty much everything I like in a fast food sandwich; it’s got gooey cheese (with both a melty cheese slice and cheese sauce), bacon, jalapenos, crispy fried onions, pickled jalapeno slices, and a smoky japaleno sauce.
So yeah, it’s good. They’d have to work pretty hard to mess it up.
The worst part about this chicken sandwich is, funnily enough, the chicken. The sandwich features their Spicy Chicken patty, and they keep it in one of those warming drawers (AKA the fast food ruiner).
So it’s dry, of course. It’s also a little bit too salty, and thoroughly infused with a vaguely unpleasant processed flavour.
The toppings are so abundant, however, that it’s barely even an issue. I only had one or two bites that weren’t crammed with stuff.
You’ve got the richness from the cheeses, crispiness from the fried onions, zestiness from the sauce, a nice meaty bite from the bacon, and a good amount of acidity from the jalapenos to help cut through the sandwich’s richness. It’s quite tasty.
It also has a decent kick to it — it’s nothing too aggressive, but for something from a fast food joint, it’s not bad.