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(Toronto) Thoughts on Caplansky's?

Okay, so, the fries and gravy thread mentioned Caplansky's. It sounded good for the fries so I checked out the site.

How is it for the other things?

Also, what kind of poutine is it? That is, what kind of cheese is it? I'm not a purist, although I love the traditional squeeky cheese curds, I'm pretty okay with a good quality mozzarella or something. In fact, before poutine was a thing people generally knew about in SW Ontario I first had 'fries with cheese and gravy' at a restaurant that was amazing. Fries, gravy then shreeded mozzarella and cheddar cheese (on top of the gravy) then the whole thing put under the broiler for a bit. It was delicious.

So, for the sake of those purists out there... How is the fries with cheese and gravy at Caplansky's?

And the smoked meat?

It really does sound like a tasty place and I'm wondering if I should make the trek to try it out.

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  1. I haven't been personally but here's a review that might help you out:

    http://curdsade.wordpress.com/2008/10...

    1. There are several threads on here about Caplansky's. Check those out - they should give you a good idea of the food and answer your questions.

      Suffice it to say - I love going there, the food is delicious and Zane really knows what he's doing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: escoffier

        Finally had a chance to check this out while back home in Oct. Took a friend who lives on the block but didn't know about it.
        We had a combo (fatty) a medium sandwich and the knish. Service was great and Zane said hello. I judge these places by the Katz's (NYC) and Schwartz benchmark as they were my first delis. I've tried all the regular places in Toronto mentioned on this board but never had a sandwich I would return for.
        Sandwich was great. I could taste the smoke when first launching in, but it is kinda subtle, so by the end I had forgotten all about it. Fatty is definitely the way to go. Fries were perfect, as was the meaty gravy on the side.
        Soft drink servings were a bit strange, a huge glass half full.
        Place is definitely popular. Steven Page of the BNL sat at one table, Getty Lee at another.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. Great food for sure -- the poutine uses curds but they don't have a squeak.. At least not the time I had it

          I just hope he moves out of the monarch and into a regular store some time

          1. Mmmmm, totally yummy. Went yesterday for a late lunch. I loved their take on poutine and the sandwich was very very good. We tried to order the knish but they were all out. I liked the coleslaw but then I've always preferred my coleslaw to be on the vinegary side. The coleslaw is probably not for everyone but I found that paired with the sandwich it was quite tasty.

            I agree with others that the ordering process needs to be corrected. Alcohol from the guy at the bar and everything else from the waitress/Zane. But since they were so busy the bartender came back and provided us with our pop. I wasn't until I saw our bill from Caplansky's that I realized we had to find the bartender to get his bill. I wasn't crazy about having 2 bills but memories of that sandwich have made up for the slight inconvenience.

            5 Replies
            1. re: jillybean38

              Co-workers and I went in for lunch on Friday. Sat for 20 minutes and weren't even acknowledged by Zane or any of his people. Bartender seemed sad to see us go.

              Is there a specific time/day to avoid?

              1. re: Davedigger

                I had the same experience - wasn't acknowledged and had to go and get the waitress for some assistance.

                Food was mediocre - smoked meat was not as good as when I went in June when Zane first opened (much less smoke and flavour) as was the overhyped knish with a way too salty gravy.

                1. re: Pizza Lover

                  Oh that makes me so sad. I've never had a knish and really wanted to try Zane's.

                  On another note, the bartender told the waitress twice to come to our table. Instead Zane finally showed up to take our order. I realize that this is a new business and money is tight but after reading Zane's blog and seeing it in person - hire more staff seems like the logical solution

                  1. re: jillybean38

                    I hate to say it, "if you want something done.." service just ok, meat was cold and dry, fries were way over salted. BUT Meat had good flavour bread was fresh.Tonnes of potential! I really hope he finds staff to do it his way or stays closed when he wants a day off.

                    1. re: jillybean38

                      Nope, I don't think more staff is the answer; I think taking away her laptop is. I went twice, had the same girl serving, and she spent more time on the web than serving me. Not that I required a lot - I placed my order (combo and drink), she brought my drink after a few minutes, and brought the sandwich over promptly when it was placed up. It was the 10 or so minutes I sat alone at my table before she came over to take my order that ticked me off.

                      On another occasion, I had a young guy serving me, and he was very prompt and efficient. So I think it's attitude, not the number of people.