To address that, I had a sandwich to stay.
From the outside, besides the tasteful yet nondescript facade of the building, there isn’t a lot to draw passerby into the store. There isn’t even an open sign, although usually there is (appropriately) a sandwich board. From sitting in the window, about to sink my teeth into a mouth watering eggplant parmigiana, I see people peek in and then walk away. It is their loss and I implore you, dear reader, to give this place a try. Do not walk away. You will not be disappointed. In fact, you will discover a sandwich shop that delivers on the Ottawa Street slogan of a being an inspiring destination.
Like many of the new restaurants opening in and around the city, they put a new twist on a classic meal. In this case, sandwiches. The traditional eggplant parm, for example, comes with a tangier, garlicky sauce, some greens, and other toppings that make it both familiar and resoundingly new. For someone like myself who grew up eating Italian deli sandwiches in Toronto’s Little Italy, this sandwich did not disappoint. In fact, I can’t even provide a decent description of the many complimentary flavours as I snarfed it up so quickly. I will leave a proper review to the foodies at The Inlet. However, trust me when I tell you it was my fifth sandwich before I finally got a photo to accompany a story.
If eggplant is not your thing (what is wrong with you?), they also offer porchetta, xi’an lamb, french dip, and piri chicken. The only one I have yet to try is the xi’an lamb described as, “Cumin, Szechuan Pepper, Cilantro, Pita”. I have had all the others. I keep going back. I think I may have a problem. Xi’an, you’re next.
Besides the toppings that come with each sandwich, there are additional toppings available. Given my roots, I’m partial to mushrooms and onion (where are the sweet peppers?!), but also available are cheese, avocado, dill pickle and pickled eggplant. There are also a number of sides available to fill out your meal including salads. A piri chicken sandwich demands roast potatoes, and they do have them.
They say they specialize in locally sourced ingredients and slow roasted meats. They’re easy to find right next door to Murray’s Farm Butcher Shoppe at Cannon and Ottawa on the north-east side. Drop in for lunch, but have the meal to stay if you want a photo for Instagram.