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Yitz's still pretty good

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magic Feb 28, 2009 01:44 PM

It might seem like a joke to some but after revisiting Yitz's after, oh 6 years or so, I was happy to find that their corned been sandwiches are still pretty good! The food hasn’t changed at all since I frequented it growing up. It's still good!

It's too bad not many people go anymore. I guess with people being more health conscious these days, old timers passing on, and the amount of amazing dining options in this city (the lack of parking I'm sure is no help as well) people have kind of forgotten about Yitz's over the past 15 years. Me included. But I'm gonna start returning more often. The place is still nice inside, I surprisingly realized. It has character in spite of the fact that not much has changed over the decades. To me, that is what gives the space character – in a good way. I realized ‘ambience’ wasn’t really an issue. The only thing missing are the people that used to pack the place in the old days. I hope people rediscover Yitz’s Delicatessen. For a place that's been around so long it's amazing to me that the food is still quite good!! Or so I think, at least.

I hope others will rediscover it as well. It’s on Eglinton at Avenue Rd.

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  1. duckdown RE: magic Feb 28, 2009 02:31 PM

    I've been wondering about this place ever since I saw it on an episode of Kenny vs. Spenny (The "Who can eat the most meat" episode).. I used to have a link to it but it looks like corny youtube has removed it

    They were eating a huge stacked sandwich like I've seen on TV, like new york deli style

    Usually I'm not a corned beef person, though.. Do they do pastrami or anything else?

    Thanks for the info

    5 Replies
    1. re: duckdown
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      embee RE: duckdown Feb 28, 2009 02:42 PM

      They have an extensive menu - all of the deli standards, flanken, bolied chicken, and their own bakery. It isn't really bad, nor is it special. I don't go there any more.

      1. re: embee
        duckdown RE: embee Feb 28, 2009 04:00 PM

        ah, okay, thanks for the information...

        is their other meats, like pastrami or smoked meat made in-house or is it just that Chicago-brand? (i forget the name, Chicago 41 or something)

        1. re: duckdown
          m
          magic RE: duckdown Feb 28, 2009 04:30 PM

          Well, I guess what I mean is, it's special to me!

          No, I don't think it's a from-scratch operation. That said, I've enjoyed housemade deli and I've enjoyed manufactured cures. To me, tasty is tasty, and I was delighted to find that Yitz’s still was. I think it’s one thing to have memories of something and another to have those memories upheld. It’s hard to do when people’s palates change over time.

          I'd suggest going and ordering a corned beef at least medium - maybe even 'juicy' as they'd call it. Which I guess means fatty. I ordered medium and found it tasty and buttery and slightly sour in a good way. It was like I remembered it. Next time I'll go for juicy, or fatty, and see what the difference is. I was very happy with medium, but I have a feeling I’d be even happier with something more fatty.

          Their specialty is corned beef – and order the double. Have not once tried their smoked meat. It's not their specialty.

          Also good are their baked goods. My slice of blueberry pie was as I remember it. Very good. I smelled their bread pudding too and it smelled and looked great. Their lemon meringue pie is wonderful too. As are their chocolate chunk cookies. Their bagels let me down the last time I picked up a few, last year. But bagels are a whole other thread, haha.

          For now, see what their corned beef is like. And stay in!!! No taking out : )

          1. re: duckdown
            m
            magic RE: duckdown Feb 28, 2009 06:50 PM

            Also, I revise what I said before about it not being made from scratch. I'd say 95% of their menu is made from scratch. Their deli meats however are likely cured/brined by some supplier. Never asked who.

          2. re: duckdown
            e
            embee RE: duckdown Mar 1, 2009 06:19 AM

            It was Chicago 58 at one time. I don't know their current sources - possibly still is..

      2. Ginsugirl RE: magic Feb 28, 2009 09:21 PM

        Having lived and worked nearby for 15 years, I will say that most of the food at Yitz's is very good. I used to think they were way over-priced for what you got, but they don't seem to have been raising their prices as quickly as competing restos in the neighbourhood, so now they seem like an outright bargain.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ginsugirl
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          magic RE: Ginsugirl Mar 1, 2009 06:17 AM

          It's true. Their prices used to be a little steep but while other restaurants have raised their menu prices over the past few years Yitz's hasn't -- so it's levelled out now. I noticed that too.

        2. t
          tribe RE: magic Mar 1, 2009 10:07 AM

          Agree, yitz's is the best deli in the 416. they have a great bakery selection and my 90 year old grandmother still swears by their chopped liver. i like their pastrami. oh, and they have GREAT bagels! people should rediscover yitz's.

          2 Replies
          1. re: tribe
            Captain Maplesyrup RE: tribe Mar 2, 2009 07:46 AM

            I spent Sunday lunch at Yitz's for the first time in 6 or 7 years; I'd been 'warned-off' by someone who said it had gone down hill since being sold. I'm pleased to report that the washrooms were clean, the place has a good bustle to it and our sandwiches (my wife and I ordered Pastrami and Corned Beef and switch halves) were very solid. Service was attenive if a teeny bit slow. It was as good or better than I remember it. Maybe it was because it was freezing cold yesterday - but the place felt warm and comfortable. I'm downtown and can get to a number of places during lunch and can recommend Zoulpy's on King East, Zupa's on Adelaide at Charlotte and The Corned Beef House a bit further east on Adelaide - although the last few time TCBH has been understaffed and too slow for an hour lunch. Caplansky's is great but the set-up is so screw-ee that it will confound even the most seasoned smoked meat 'fresser'. Pay for your beer at the bar - different bill, tax and tip. Pay for your food at 'the counter' tax and tip... Will go back to Yitz's again.

            1. re: Captain Maplesyrup
              m
              magic RE: Captain Maplesyrup Mar 2, 2009 08:00 AM

              I think the natural inclination might be to ASSUME that it has gone downhill since it’s sale years ago, but I really don’t think it has. To me it’s still the same. It’s still very good. And still nice inside.

              Is it a destination spot for those not living in the area? That’s for people to decide for themselves. But as a decent deli, of which there are obviously precious few in this city, I think it has legs.

          2. p
            Pincus RE: magic Mar 2, 2009 08:33 AM

            When I'm in the area I enjoy going there. Nice retro vibe and the deli food is pretty good. Not stellar, but pretty good.

            1. g
              GrosseDouceur RE: magic Mar 2, 2009 09:49 AM

              Yitz's probably has the best knishes I've had in town, though those come in all shapes and sizes and preference is a major variable. But worth a shot if you've never had one.

              The sandwiches are good, not great.

              1. food face RE: magic Mar 5, 2009 03:41 AM

                The new ownership is nice to see (even though it's not that new anymore). The sandwhiches are pretty good for Toronto standards. I have fond memories of being taken there as a child with my mum and brother in between running errands in the North Toronto community. The coin slot fries still exist and they are as puffy and delicious as I can recall. Some of the baking is really stellar including the pies and chocolate chunk cookies. The vibe is 80's retro. I remember when they rennovated it and it was cool and new. Man, I'm getting old. If you haven't tried it and your'e in the area you should. Go for the Corned beef hot with a little fat.

                2 Replies
                1. re: food face
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                  JayDay RE: food face Mar 15, 2010 08:59 AM

                  Just recently went in for first time, and though good selection of foods etc, am still flustered by the lack of listed PRICES for things -- anywhere in the place. You had a 5-6 lineup of people jsut to aks prices of things before comitting. Frustrating experience, because of this... plus no trust at all that employees make up prices on the spot, arbitrarily. Even if they have a list/memorized, I want to know prices and decide whether to buy without consultation with an employee. Not having pricing anywhere is at best lazy and inconvenient, and at worst is opportunistic. I wast tempted to pay what I felt was right for the corned beef sandwiches, as pricing was so clealry open to interpretation. I'm not going back ever, just because of that. Too bad, it seemed pretty fun and good.

                  1. re: JayDay
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                    torontofoodiegirl RE: JayDay Mar 15, 2010 09:08 AM

                    I'm a little bit puzzled.. Their menu definitely has prices. Here's an online version:

                    http://www.yitzs.ca/pdf/Dine_in_Menu.pdf

                2. m
                  magic RE: magic Dec 4, 2011 03:02 PM

                  Still good!

                  Went today. Delish corned beef, kishka, silver dollar fries, lemon meringue pie, chocolate chip cookies.

                  The place looks really great too. They keep it nicely, even after all these years. Beautiful gleaming tiles. Very nice space.

                  Go!!

                   
                  5 Replies
                  1. re: magic
                    prima RE: magic Dec 5, 2011 10:35 AM

                    Good to know. Thanks for including a photo!

                    1. re: prima
                      m
                      magic RE: prima Dec 5, 2011 10:52 AM

                      Pleasure! :)

                      1. re: magic
                        m
                        magic RE: magic Jul 28, 2013 06:01 AM

                        Just a little bump.

                        Yitz's has a corned beef knish that is delicious! Little mustard, little side salad. Great/inexpensive weekday dinner!

                        1. re: magic
                          Baelsette RE: magic Jul 29, 2013 05:00 PM

                          Funny to see this thread. I grew up around the corner and used to love Yitz's. Haven't had it in ages and got some pastrami take out with rye a week ago. Pastrami was amazing! We also had coleslaw which was good, a little too sweet for my liking.
                          Glad to see they are still producing quality deli. A lot of memories of that neighbourhood and yitz's!

                          1. re: Baelsette
                            m
                            magic RE: Baelsette Jul 29, 2013 05:29 PM

                            We're lucky it's still around after all these years :)

                  2. p
                    Pincus RE: magic Aug 2, 2013 09:28 AM

                    Had really nice gazpacho, deli turkey on caraway seed rye, and a new dill there last weekend. All fresh and delicious, and service was great!

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