Location: 1136 Centre Street, Thornhill
Ah, Centre Street Deli. Other delis have come and gone over the years, but Centre Street has always been around, quietly and consistently pumping out some of the best smoked meat in the city.
A couple of years ago, some of the employees got together and bought the place out. I was afraid the quality might take a hit, but nope — still delicious.
They have a couple of types of smoked meat: mild smoked meat, and old fashioned. One has a bit more spicing than the other, and I don’t know why but I can never remember which is which. I have to ask every time. I just ate this and I’ve already forgotten again. I think the old fashioned is the more aggressively spiced one, and the most popular.
The platter is a great deal — a generous sandwich, a heaping mound of fries, coleslaw, and a pickle for $16.50. Hard to go wrong there, especially when the food is this good.
I got the old fashioned (I think?), and it was quite tasty, as usual. It was, however, a bit too lean, and the meat was slightly tougher than it should have been.
I’m starting to think that I should be ordering my smoked meat sandwiches fatty instead of medium. Ordering your sandwich fatty feels weirdly indulgent, but hey: I like what I like. I think I need to own it.
Address: 3401 Dufferin Street, Toronto
I just got a couple of meat pies from Nadege in Yorkdale — beef bourguignon and chicken basquaise — and they were both fine. they were so middle-of-the-road that I’m having a hard time mustering up the enthusiasm to even write a few words about them, but this is a food blog. It was food. Let’s do this.
They both had the same puff pastry crust, which was light and flaky, if a bit dry. Like everything else about these things, it was fine.
They heated them up for me, but clearly not enough, because they were vaguely hot in some places, and lukewarm in others.
The beef bourguignon had big, tender cubes of beef interspersed with carrot chunks. It wasn’t bad, but nothing about it particularly stood out. There just wasn’t much going on, flavour-wise, and the sauce was nonexistent — it was just dry chunks of beef and carrots.
The chicken basquaise had big chunks of chicken interspersed with pieces of peppers (red and yellow peppers, I think? I ate this just a couple of hours ago and it has already almost completely faded from my memory). Like the other pie, it was a bit bland. It was also entirely sauce-less, and the chunks of chicken were kinda dry. But it was fine.
I know I’ve said “fine” an awful lot, but it’s really the best word to describe these things. By tomorrow they will have both entirely receded from my memory, like they never existed.