Elm St. Deli
Here I go again.
I’ll be honest, I’ve started this post a few times. I’ve wanted to write, I’ve wanted to create food content, but it just hasn’t felt right. Simple as that. Every time I sit in front of my setup to write, or every time I try a new food spot and take all the pictures with the idea of writing, I just can’t do it. In a time full of uncertainty where all the shit I had going for me pretty much got uprooted (like everyone else, I know you get me) it’s tough to put the thoughts away and write about a sandwich.
But, if you know me, you know I ain’t no bitch. I’m pretty fed up with not doing much of anything with my extremely full camera roll of all the dope shit I ate and made. Let’s get it going kids.
There is something special about a sandwich. So simple in design, yet can be so complex in execution. Now, you have options. You can be boring and live in your bread-cheese-meat bubble. Simple, cheap, understandable. Or, you can explore what the world has to offer. Have a banh mi and you’re basically in Vietnam. I see you with that choripan brother, you wear that Argentina flag well. You deserve a french kiss if you’re whipping out that croque monsieur. The options are endless, and I chose to check out Elm Street Italian Deli by Yonge and Dundas.
I like sandwiches, but I fucking love a bella sandwheech. You know the ones where it takes two hands to hold and you’re going to need a napkin? Ya, those ones. That’s a bella sandwheech. Elm St.’s got an all star lineup of bella sandwheechs, and I tried the Don.
This thing is a monster, stacked high with mortadella, pepperoni, salami, and provolone. The big boy (or girl, it’s just a phrase calm down) is rounded out with red onion, lettuce, roasted red pepper, tomato, and muffuletta (ital pickled veg for those that are uncultured). Let me break this down and see if it passes my extremely well versed and experienced bella sandwheech palate.
Bread: The vessel. Like the car that drives you to work, it’s fundamental. Elm St. bakes theirs fresh every morning, and you can tell because it’s got a good chew and it’s been proofed properly.
Meat: The most important guy at the party. The backbone of the entire thing. If you don’t have the quality then you’re wasting my time. They got the quality. The owners are the same guys that own Cherry Street Bar-B-Que, so if anything you can count on the meat being housemade and money.
Condiments/Toppings: Anything that isn’t bread and meat. The supporting cast. I don’t care for lettuce and I think it’s pretty useless here. What is important and almost makes the thing for me is the muffuletta. It’s pickly and bright, which is very much needed to cut through the fattiness of the meat. Think of a mini antipasto in your sandwich and you get the vibe. The red onion and tomato are fresh, offering another note of brightness, and the roasted red peppers round the thing out as a welcome addition.
Overall this eats like a tank. Big and dense but still soft enough to bite through, this one took me a few napkins to tear through and I fucking loved it. It all comes together like a solid deli sandwich should, and to be honest, after hearing it was the same owner as Cherry Street I had expectations. Too often do I go to a sandwich spot and something is off. The bread’s too hard, the meat might not be as strong as it should be, maybe it’s a little soggy, maybe that mayo’s tasting a little bit old. But at Elm St. it’s pretty clear that they don’t mess around when it comes to the final product. All of it is homemade and FRESH. That’s a fucking bella sandwheech for ya.