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Sep 11, 2008 06:37 AM

Knish at Caplansky's

It's true. Zane is making knish, and it's damn good. Like everything else on the menu it's sublime, tasty and to my mind, perfectly executed. A delicious blend of smoky, savoury and salt in the filling, and a most pleasing texture to the pastry. Alas I didn't have the presence of mind to slap some of the mustard Zane makes onto it (got it to go) but next time, and there will be a next time, I will be dipping into that.

I've got to say, I'm really impressed. Zane has been on the go since opening day and he hasn't stopped yet. His fries are some of the best I've had in I don't know how long, his smoked meat and turkey are wonderful and welcome additions to the menu of Toronto, his coleslaw is a winner and the soups are absolutely mouthwatering. With the knish and the threatened poutine I think he'll have a very well-rounded menu that will appeal to all. He hasn't sacrificed the quality, service or any the other hallmarks of a successful operation, all the while expanding his menu and keeping up with demand.

I'm looking forward to a fall and winter with the Caplansky's menu to keep me warm and sated. And poutine. I'm looking very forward to the poutine.

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  1. I had knish for the first time ever today. I had it at Caplansky's and was blown away. Because it was my first, I don't have a comparative frame of reference so if anyone makes it better please let me know as I'm an instant knish addict. I suspect that I will be disappointed by any other knish.

    I had a very nice chat with Zane. He is a very likeable, intelligent, hard working young man who is trying to do a few things extremely well. I have had his smoked meat sandwiches 4 times and they have all been different, some perfect, some less so. But, they are the best 4 smoked meat sandwiches I have ever had.

    I have had his fries twice. I love fries. Didier and Jamie Kennedy make great fries, guess what, so does Zane!

    He is open every day except Monday. He used to close Sunday but it is an awkward day to get things done. So he still works 7 days a week but closing on Monday allows him to deal with the myriad of details that keep so many amateurs out of the restaurant business or induce the amateurs to quit and do something easier and less stressful like brain surgery.

    1. Does he make them, or, as embee noted, and as on his blog, are they brought in from someone else? Just to clarify. If they're delicious, I'll definitely be getting them.

      4 Replies
      1. re: tjr

        He certainly made the one I had. Included in the filling mix was a load of his own smoked meat ends, which is hard to fake!
        I think you will be blown away.
        But bear in mind that he doesn't make very much of it and it will not likely be a menu item for a while, so phone ahead.

        1. re: tjr

          my understanding is that it's a joint effort. whether they're made on site though is something i'm not entirely sure of. i expect that, similarly to garlicandwingnut, it will be a small production item for the mean time and may easily undergo a few more changes as the collaborators seek absolute perfection.

          1. re: tjr

            Hi tjr,

            We actually went on Thursday and Zane came over to the table to see how we liked everything(which is very refreshing and very much appreciated!!) . . . We stated we loved everything and that we would definitely be back . . . He then mentioned that he had just made a batch of Knish and asked if we would like to try one . . . I had asked him to wrap a couple to go . . . When we got home I had wished I had asked him to wrap a dozen to go as they did not last long . . . So from what I can tell he does make his own . . . and as for the knish itself . . . the pastry was light and flaky and the inside mixture was smoky, potatoey, meaty and savory . . . definitely give them a try when you are in . . . And as a side note...we tried the broccoli and mushroom soup as it was recommended by our server and boy was it tatsy!!! . . . Zane had mentioned that he does some great smoked meat but he is also really pleased with the soups he is putting out as well...definitely worthy of a try as well next time your in...


            1. re: snackboy

              That's the test of a truly great knish. When you can eat them by the box.

          2. OK I'm so wasp I don't know what knish is, but now I want to try. Poutine? Inquiring minds want to know! Is he topping it with real curds? Smoked meat? What's the gravy?

            5 Replies
            1. re: stapler

              The best way to describe a knish is so - a deep fried ball, about the size of a baseball - the outside layer is mashed potato and inside is a mixture of ground or corned beef. Some people eat it smothered in gravy. I like it straight up.

              1. re: stapler

                This recent thread goes into the subject of knishes at some length and depth:

                1. re: mrbozo

                  I am thinking of going this Friday night. Only thing is I'm concerned about the knishes selling out by dinner time. Would you guys recommend I go Sunday instead to secure myself a knish, as opposed to Friday evening?? Are they selling out by dinner??

                  In that vein, would you say I have better odds of enjoying a lunch there or a dinner there? Lunch being potentially fresher perhaps?

                  1. re: magic

                    Why don't you call first before stopping by to make sure there's a good number left?