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ATTN: Toronto Visitors. RE: Peameal - Back Bacon

Time and time again I see locals recommend that visitors go to St Lawrence Market for a back bacon / peameal bacon sandwich at Carousel.

Personally I find these sandwiches to be far from the quality and taste they once were a few years back. They are often overcooked and dry and more steamed than fried. They lack caramelization and flavour and they are not at all special IMO.

With all these recommendations I have yet to see a visitor write about their experience.

So I am curious to ask YOU, a visitor of Toronto. Did you find this sandwich to be a special must-do experience? Did you go home and tell people about this incredible peameal sandwich? With many visitors coming for a long weekend or less, I hate to think we are sending them to a place that is considered average, or worse, a disappointment.

I hope to hear some first-hand responses from out of towners specifically about the sandwich.

Thanks for sharing!!

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  1. I do agree with you somewhat. I have found their peameal bacon sandwiches to be disappointing too. Care to give a recommendation of a place that makes a good p.b sandwich?

    1 Reply
    1. re: callitasicit

      Grandpa Ken's at the Weston Market is great. $3.75 for a peameal on a bun, and you add your own fixings--tomatoes, onions, etc. Last year he was at the City Hall market too, but not sure about this year.

    2. Well, Dee. I've found Carouselle to be a very fine sandwich. I will agree that if left to my own devices, I'd have a better sandwich but it's still a good sandwich.

      And yes I have seen people post that they enjoyed their sandwiches.

      DT

      1 Reply
      1. re: Davwud

        I think it all depends when you go. At the height of the Sat morning rush, quality control can slip a bit, but I never think it goes THAT far down. Once, a few months ago I had a soggy sandwich, but that was really a first,

      2. Well... it didn't set me on fire but I wasn't overly dissappointed either.

        Loved the St Lawrence Market though!

        1. I agree completely; the peameal sand. is a disappointment.
          For my money, no trip to the St.L mkt is complete without the eggplant parmesan sandwich; lower level, south building..... simply the best; even at 7AM !
          Enjoy

          2 Replies
          1. re: Stewart

            The veal sandwich is pretty good...with respect to the Carousel peameal sandwich, it's still pretty good and it's a St. L. Market tradition...sorta like rooting for the Leafs

            1. re: Finnegan

              I've tried making the peameal bacon sandwich myself. Slice a kaiser in half, add a few fried slices of peameal bacon - it's not so hard.

              A word of caution, though, to any visitors from the U.S. who might be tempted to try this themselves. Stock up on peameal bacon before you go back across the border. That smoked pork loin they call "Canadian bacon" just is not the same stuff.

          2. Well Dee.

            I just got back from SLM and I decided to have a Carouselle PBOAB and be a bit more discerning. I can happily report that my sandwich was piled high with piping hot, moist but not greasy peameal bacon. It was fantastic.

            DT

            2 Replies
            1. re: Davwud

              The breakfast on a bun at Carousel is a good choice. Peameal, egg, and cheese on a great roll. I had a similar sandwich at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. It was okay, but I remember thinking that it was not as good as the one at SLM.

              1. re: Davwud

                Yes DT, I think their product is good and I am sure the sandwich tastes as good as ever at 9am in the middle of the week. But lunches and weekends have gotten so busy that the cooks have become far too careless. They cook too many at once so the bacon gets steamed not fried, some get over-cooked. Then they sit all wrapped up for the lunch crowd to arrive.

                Just up from the market - The George St diner on Richmond near Jarvis makes great peameal but the buns are just ok.

                I love the peameal at Insomnia and it is quite good at The Gladstone. Unfortunately The Drake discontinued what was an amazing homemade peameal in favour of a pork loin.

              2. Before I was banished to North York Centre, I was close enought to the St. Lawrence Market to have the Carousel Peameal at least once a week for lunch.

                During that time, I had many peameals of varying degrees of doneness. Yet, I don't think I ever had a truly awful one. I rarely had a dried out one. More often, they were overly moist and steamed. Even dried out or steamed, they were still pretty good. My only real complaint is that the peameal was not smoked, only brined.

                Occasionally, they were wonderful - nicely seared, the thin edge of cornmeal and fat turned all crispy. The bread simple, light, crusty and doughy, soaking up the grease. I liked to put slather on it the yellow market mustard supplied by Anton's, along with a few dashes of their BBQ sauce for sweetness.

                Maybe one reason for the ubiquity of recommendations for this sandwich is it's utter simplicity? "Go have the salty meat on bread. You'll love it!"

                In any case, for those who prefer a good, seared version of the peameal, the one they do at Paddington's Pump is not without it's charms.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Pantz

                  Steaming just to the point of doneness is an important part of cooking a good peameal(cornmeal) bacon chunk.(I use a covered pyrex dish with a half inch of water ) Sliced and fished off in a pan of butter/oil to brown/grill,is that part of what they do down there at the St. Lawerence?

                  1. re: ultrablue

                    you may choose to steam it, personally I dont. But either way, to get the most out of what the meat offers in my opinion, it is important to panfry it so the edges get golden. It is SO important to not overcook it.