A Decent Sandwich at Gold Standard

Gold StandardLocation: 1574 Queen Street West, Toronto
Website: http://breakfastsandwich.ca/

There’s basically nowhere to go but down from Gold Standard’s breakfast sandwich.  It’s bordering on sandwich perfection.

I just tried the Sabich from Gold Standard’s new location on Queen, and yep: it’s not as good as the breakfast sandwich.  It’s not even close.

Gold Standard

The sabich, per their menu: “egg salad, fried eggplant, cucumber, pickles, parsley.”

It’s fine.  It’s decent enough, but the breakfast sandwich is clearly the thing to order here.

Gold Standard

There’s certainly nothing wrong with it; the egg salad is nice and creamy, as is the meaty eggplant.  The cucumber adds a bit of crunch, though some additional texture would be nice.

The biggest problem is that all of the components are basically on the same wavelength; the flavour is one-note.  It’s boring.  It needs some acidity to round things out.  The pickled onions add a slight vinegary bite, but there isn’t enough of them to make much of an impact.

Roast Beef Perfection at Donna’s

Donna'sLocation: 827 Landsdowne Avenue, Toronto
Website: https://donnas.ca/

Yep, another sandwich from Toronto Life’s top 25.  Another damn good one, too, so clearly this list is not to be trifled with.  These sandwiches aren’t kidding around.

Donna’s serves a roast beef sandwich that’s topped with parsnip, horseradish sauce, crispy fried onions (or shallots?), and watercress.  As per Toronto Life, the meat is marinated in beef fat and honey.  It’s superb.

Donna's

The sandwich is awash with flavour, but everything works so well together — it never feels too assertive or busy.  First and foremost is the very healthy pile of thinly-sliced roast beef.  It’s beefy, tender, and just a little bit sweet from the honey.  It’s great.

Donna's

The horseradish sauce is creamy and zingy, with a nice even burn that makes its presence known, but doesn’t overwhelm.  The parsnip is kind of ingenious.  It’s thinly sliced, and on first glance it looks like cheese.  But it’s soft and creamy, and adds a bit of a starchy heft.

Donna's

It’s all on a soft, fresh, slightly chewy roll that compliments it perfectly.  Toronto Life calls it the fifth best sandwich in the city; that sounds about right to me.  It’s really, really good.

A Delicious Veggie Sandwich at Forno Cultura

Forno CulturaLocation: 609 King Street West, Toronto
Website: https://fornocultura.com/

I recently had a seriously tasty meal thanks to Toronto Life’s list of the 25 best sandwiches in the city.  So it seemed like a safe enough bet to try another entry from that list: the melanzana from Forno Cultura, a great Italian bakery on King Street West.

It’s a roasted eggplant and zucchini sandwich with fior di latte (AKA mozzarella), Emmental cheese, and arugula.

Forno Cultura

I was tempted by the very tasty looking meatball sandwich, but I stuck with the list, and I’m very glad that I did.  The list is on a roll.  It’s an amazing sandwich.

Forno Cultura

The eggplant and the zucchini are both super tasty — they’re meaty and tender, with a very herby, garlicky flavour.  The two cheeses balance quite well, with a nice soft creaminess from the fresh mozzarella, and a sharper cheesy flavour from the Emmental.  Add in the peppery bite from the arugula, and you’ve got a tasty sandwich.

Though as good as the various fillings are, it’s the sesame-studded focaccia that’s the real star of the show.  It’s crispy, fluffy, and amazing.

Forno Cultura

The sandwich is also exceptionally oily — basically as soon as you pick it up, your hands become slick with grease.  Normally this might be a bit much, but I think that oil was also a vehicle for the aforementioned herby, garlicky flavour, because the whole sandwich was tasty and amazing.  It never feels overly oily.

I should have left it at that, but I made the mistake of getting the cornetto cioccolato for dessert.  It looked so good!

Forno Cultura

It tastes absolutely nothing like it looks.  It was barely sweet at all, and the texture was oddly crunchy and dry.  It was, weirdly enough, very similar to a pretzel.  Not a warm, fresh pretzel; the dry kind from a bag.  I don’t know if that was intentional, but I’m guessing it wasn’t because it was blatantly unappealing.  It was quite saltine-esque.

Still; it’s hard to stay mad a place that serves a sandwich that delicious.

Bacon Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich at Wendy’s

Bacon Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich at Wendy'sLocation: 1520 Aimco Boulevard, Mississauga
Website: https://www.wendys.com/en-ca/home

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.

Bacon Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich at Wendy's

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.

Bacon Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich at Wendy's

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.

Guava BBQ Shortrib Medianoche at La Cubana

La CubanaLocation: 392 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto
Website: http://www.lacubana.ca/

I had a bit of an iffy meal on my last visit to La Cubana, but if the sandwich I just had was any indication, that was just a blip on the radar.  La Cubana is still very, very good.

Specifically, I had the Guava BBQ Shortrib Medianoche, which Toronto Life recently called the 11th best sandwich in the city.  I don’t always agree with Toronto Life’s opinions on food, but in this case they’re dead on.  It’s outstanding.

La Cubana

The sandwich features a very generous amount of shortrib topped with “red cabbage slaw, chimichurri, pickled jalapeno, crispy onion.”  It’s served on a soft bun they bake in-house.

The shortrib itself is absurdly good.  It manages to be melt-in-your-mouth tender while still retaining its texture.  It has a nice beefy flavour that’s complemented perfectly by the guava BBQ sauce — the sandwich is saucy as hell (there was a huge pool on the plate when I was done eating), but the sauce is so good that it feels just right.  It’s sweet, but it has a tangy, zippy bite that balances it out.

La Cubana

Everything else complements it perfectly.  The crispy onions are really tasty, and you get a good amount of  crunch and acidity from the slaw and the jalapenos.  It’s a great mix of flavours and textures.

And the bun is soft and fluffy, with just enough substance to hold up to the saucy, generously stuffed sandwich.  It’s so good.