Location: 35 Tank House Lane, Toronto
Cluny is a French bistro in the Distillery District that also has an attached bakery where they sell various pastries and sandwiches.
The bakery has the requisite sweets, of course, along with a handful of tasty looking sandwiches and savoury pastries (the quiche looked good, as did the tourtiere). I went with the ham and brie sandwich.
I got it toasted, though I think untoasted might be the better option. Toasting gets the bread a little too crunchified, and melts the fat in the ham, making the sandwich a drippy, greasy mess.
Even so, it’s a tasty sandwich. The bread, even in its over-crunched form, is top-notch, and the speck ham and brie work nicely together. It’s a simple sandwich, but if you’re dealing with high quality ingredients that compliment each other well, further ornamentation is unnecessary.
Location: 172 Baldwin Street, Toronto
The ham and pimento cheese sandwich from Blackbird Baking Co. is exceptionally simple. It’s just ham, pimento cheese, and arugula. Less is more.
Getting a sandwich from a good bakery is usually a pretty safe bet; if nothing else, you know the bread is going to be good.
And the bread here was especially tasty, with a great flavour, a lightly crispy exterior, and a nice hearty chew. I could eat a big hunk of that bread on its own and be satisfied. The filling is almost a bonus.
Pimento is a southern sandwich spread consisting of cheddar, mayo, and pimentos; its presence in this sandwich takes the classic ham and cheese combo and kicks it up a notch.
It’s creamy and rich, with a nice sharp cheesy flavour and just a little bit of spice and garlic. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the meaty ham. It makes for a top notch sandwich.
Location: 92 Ossington Avenue, Toronto
I love the cubano sandwich at La Cubana. Or at least, I usually do.
I was going to order something else, but then I realized that I’ve never actually written about the cubano here, and I really don’t need much more of an excuse than that.
And here’s the thing: it was good. It certainly wasn’t bad, per se. That’s the problem with serving truly great food; there’s nowhere to go but down, and even something that’s quite good is going to seem like a letdown in comparison.
The cubano here is normally the perfect amalgam of gooey cheese, savoury meats, and zingy pickles. It’s astonishingly good. Usually.
This time? It was off. Though the cheese was nice and gooey, the pork had a mildly gamy, leftovery flavour, there were almost no pickles to cut the richness of the cheese and the meat, and the bread was dry and overly crunchy. I ate the sandwich as carefully as I could, and it still thoroughly mangled the roof of my mouth.
Has La Cubana gone downhill? Or was the kitchen just having a bad day? I’ll feel bad if it’s the latter — but they served me what they served me, so I don’t feel too bad about it.