I’d have a pretty hard time narrowing down a top five list of my favourite dishes, but certainly, deli sandwiches — pastrami, smoked meat, etc. — would be on there. There are few things in life more satisfying than a really good deli sandwich.
Zelden’s is the new kid in town in the Toronto deli scene (such as it is), so obviously I had to give them a shot.
Their specialty is pastrami, and the sandwich comes piled high with meat. The mustard’s on the side, which is correct. It’s always better when you get to apply it yourself, because a lot of places tend to slather it on in gobs, which completely overpowers the meat.
It’s a very good sandwich, but sadly, not great. The meat has a good proportion of fat, and the spicing is perfect — it has a satisfying peppery kick that doesn’t overwhelm. But the meat probably needed to cook for another hour or so. Some slices were okay; others were rubbery. You know that thing where you can’t quite bite through the meat in a sandwich, and it pulls out from the bread? Yeah.
I also wish the meat were sliced by hand instead of by machine, because I find that the thicker, slightly irregular slices of hand-cut pastrami tend to be more satisfying. But then again, in this case the meat was so tough that it really needed to be sliced as thinly as possible. It probably should have been thinner.
It’s a shame, because it otherwise seemed like top-notch pastrami, so I’ll definitely have to give Zelden’s another shot at some point.
The fries were quite good, at least.