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Exciting News for Smoked Meat Fans in Toronto

I have discovered the best smoked meat in Toronto and maybe anywhere. And I think the vast majority of you don’t know anything about it yet. It's Goldin's Smoked Meat.

A couple of months ago, I saw a post on Chowhound claiming to be posted by the friend of a guy who is making and selling 'real-deal', Montreal smoked meat in Toronto. I was lucky enough to see the post before it was removed.

The post noted that people who want to buy should send an email to smokedmeat1@gmail.com, which I did.

I don't claim to be a deli expert like David Sax, Embee, Montrealer70 or some of the others on this board, but I have eaten a lot of smoked meat in my time. I've been to Schwartz's (too many times to count), the Main, Reuben’s, Ben's, Smoked Meat Pete's, Snowdon Deli, Caplansky's, Centre Street Deli, Coleman's, Pancer’s, Yitz's, Shopsy's, Pickle Barrel, Marky's, Carnegie, the Stage, etc. etc.

I lived and went to school in Montreal between 1990 and 1995, and I consumed a lot of smoked meat during that period. Also, I've been going to delis in TO since I was weaned.

I have to say that the smoked meat I had last night was some of the best I've ever had.

I emailed the guy for a 1.5 pound piece of smoked meat. It came vac-packed in heavy duty plastic. On the side was written, "1.5 lb, Medium", exactly as ordered. I noticed that the piece I got was the deckle. In the bag, the meat was covered with whole and crushed spices, similar to how the briskets look in the south window at Schwartz's.

It came with a sheet of paper with a description and instructions. The instructions were to boil the bag for 3 hours, drain the bag (be careful not to burn yourself!!), then slice thinly against the grain. The flip side of the instructions noted that the meat is marinated for two weeks in spices then smoked over hardwood. It is available in various sizes and in degrees of fattiness (lean, medium, or fatty). It also notes that organic briskets are available.

When we finished boiling the bag, we cut a small hole in the bag and drained a cup or two of liquid that was not in the bag prior to boiling. When the meat fell out onto the cutting board, I knew immediately that it was something special. The smell was unbelievable. Spices were falling off onto the board with some juice, but the meat still had a thick layer of spices. I'm sure there were peppercorns, fennel seed, garlic, salt, but I'm not sure what else.

When I started slicing I couldn't believe how tender the meat was. It was beautifully marbled and the fat was meltingly soft. In some areas, the meat was breaking apart into tender, red shards of juicy smoked meat.

We piled it high on rye bread and put on some spicy mustard. I took a bite and immediately said, "Oh my god - this is it". I felt like I was sitting at the counter at Schwartz's. My wife started laughing because I must have said, "oh my god" about 50 times before I finished the sandwich.

This was either as good as, or better than Schwartz's. It is salty (maybe a tiny bit too salty), spicy, tender, meltingly fatty, perfectly cooked, and all around delicious.

It is not "Toronto's Own" smoked meat, like Caplansky's, it is real honest to goodness Montreal smoked meat that is perhaps better than even Schwartz's.

I have to say that his product won't be for everyone. Although it's very easy to prepare and requires only boiling in the bag, it does take three hours.

Again, you can reach him at smokedmeat1@gmail.com.

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  1. so how much is this stuff? maybe he's really giving you vac packed schwartz ;)

    2 Replies
    1. re: pinstripeprincess

      Totally reasonable. $10 per pound uncooked. Quite a bit of shrinkage during cooking, however. It's worth every penny.

      I have eaten enough Schwartz's in my time to recognize it :-)

      He makes it himself. It seems like he got quite a skill and he's looking to make a go of his smoked meat business.

      1. re: acd123

        good to know! i think the schwartz's is $11/lb and even then that's a total gamble. the last time i had someone bring one back and they specified medium... dear lord it was so lean, lacking in smoke, and salty that we threw most of it a way. a total and utter shame.

    2. How long did it take for the meat to arrive after placing your order?

      1. I saw the post before it got deleted, but didn't catch the e-mail addy

        Sounds excellent.. I'm gonna give him a shout

        How did you pay? Paypal?

        4 Replies
        1. re: duckdown

          I got the meat the day after I placed the order. I think he lives close by so he dropped it off at my house. I don't think he would do that if you're not in his neighbourhood. You would probably have to pick it up, at his house perhaps.

          I paid cash.

          I just have to say again that his meat is abosultely amazing. My wife and I have another piece in the freezer and we can't wait to devour it.

          I plan on buying several hundred pounds (or more) of smoked meat from him (Alex) over the next several decades. I want him to do well so that he keeps on doing it. The downside of posting this info is that if everybody loves his stuff, there may be a shortage and I won't be able to get any :-)

          1. re: acd123

            Ah, that was also what I wanted to know... pickup or dropoff would be ideal ( i dont mind picking it up ).. shipping the meat through a parcel service could be difficult

            I emailed him but I haven't gotten a response, sadly

            I'll probably buy two 1.5lb pieces

            What did the 1.5lb piece shrink into? How many sandwiches roughly, 3-4 ?

            cheers

            1. re: duckdown

              the 1.5lb piece shrunk to 3 sandwiches, or 4 sandwiches if you like them less piled up, which we do not.

              1. re: acd123

                Yeah I like them really stacked high

                the only other person in my house that enjoys the meat would be my Pops, so 1.5lb pieces sound about right so they don't go to waste

                Thanks bud

        2. I'm concerned about public safety. How are these briskets sourced, cured and smoked. Caplansky has to meet Toronto public health standards, but I don't know anything about Alex' operation, and I am suspicious about the mail order only aspect.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jayt90

            Folks, we've removed a number of replies to this. Whether you think health inspections are necessary or important is off topic for this board. As a general rule, all discussion of health inspection results, food poisoning incidents, etc, is considered off topic, but we're going to allow this question since there seems to be some question of whether it's inspected at all.

            If you know what name/address Goldin's is inspected under please post that info, so that people who are concerned can check it out on DineSafe for themselves. Opinions on whether or not this is a valid concern are off topic, and will be removed.

          2. The original comment has been removed