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Caplansky's moving!!!

So I biked down to the Monarch Pub to grab a smoked meat sandwich today and to my surprise Caplansky's is moving!


I'm sore that I went down there for nothing but I figured I'd pass the news along.

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  1. If you have checked either their website or this board, you would have seen that this was posted weeks ago. Zane announced on his website in early-mid-July that he was not going to smoke any more meat at the Monarch and when the meat ran out, we was finished there. The fact that they've been planning the move had been known for months.


    1. So while I do love the meat there, I gotta say that I think that this move may be a jump the shark moment for Zane. Part of the charm of this place was its location & the fact that the menu was so limited...also, I don't really like the smoked meat gravy (I am going to duck now while you all hurl insults at me).


      3 Replies
      1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

        i don't like the gravy either... and the last time i had it there was huge onion chunks in it as well

        1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

          I love the gravy. Good food is good food no matter where it is. I'll follow him to his new location.

        2. wow, the knives come out while he is switching location....
          you absorb "charm".
          you eat food.

          I personally suggest that one holds comments and critiquing until his new kitchen open. then you can draw your knives again or use them to spread mustard on his smoked meat sandwiches.

          5 Replies
          1. re: atomeyes

            I tried poutini last week. Yeah, Zane's gravy isn't traditional, but it's tasty. The gravy at poutini is not. It's boring.

            1. re: acd123

              Agreed. I don't like that gravy either.

            2. re: atomeyes

              Chowhounds love to speculate about future events. myself included It's our passion for food that makes us crazy.

              I for one am looking forward to seeing what Zane can do with a bigger space. How long has he been at this, anyhow? This is a phenomenal growth surge for him and his business, so I can understand why people who love his stuff are nervous. I think he will rise to the challenge, along with the initial growing pains and mistakes everyone encounters when they step up their game. There, I've just speculated, now I'm happy. :)

              1. re: Pincus

                Soft opening in June 08. Official opening less than one year ago.

            3. I enjoyed everything I tried at the Monarch, but from reading his blog, it sounds like he simply outgrew that location. I think he has more than earned the right to try making what he wants in his own space. So long as he doesn't screw with the basics, I think he'll be fine.

              Let's wait til he opens and judge him on the food and service in the new space, rather than on speculation. I don't think a little place near Kensington is going to be much of a "jump the shark" moment, it sounds like a natural progression to me. I look forward to it.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Gary

                I heard it was a much larger space on College. I guess for me, location is just as important as food. That is the point of going out to a restaurant and not just getting takeout.

                1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

                  Location is just as important as food? Surely you jest!

                  1. re: Fwagra

                    Then I hope you never complain about the service in a restaurant...if it is truly just about the food.

                2. re: Gary

                  I'm in quiet mourning over the move-from-the-Monarch too because I love the dive-y (by Caplansky's own characterization) feel of the place. But I'm optimistic that the integrity and commitment Caplansky has demonstrated throughout the growth of his business will translate into a new location with its own unique charms.

                  And I have a secret hope that maybe some good karma will stay in the Monarch kitchen and perhaps it can turn into an incubator for another great food experiment in Toronto.

                3. To those who are worried that the quality may suffer.

                  Instead of looking at the larger space as a reason why the food will no longer be as good, I look at it as the little place on Clinton was restricting and look forward to what Zane can do if he's able to spread his wings.


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Davwud

                    I think that's exactly right. He needs the proper facilities to make everyting top notch. The Monarch didn't give him that.

                    1. re: Davwud

                      he now will have a proper space to do things properly.
                      in my opinion, his only knock will be to expand the menu to too many items instead of keeping things simple.
                      personally, i'd love to see him expand his meat sandwich options to a damn spicy pastrami, corned beef, smoked turkey and a home-made salami (i assume he'll do all except the salami). i'm indifferent about the kishka and rib steak options, but I am sure some people are licking their chops.

                    2. College St is a great space, with a brick wall and a real terrazzo floor. The fact that it used to be a kosher deli may provide some good karma. It's on a corner with a big patio alongside. There's enough space to cure the meats. The kitchen is big enough to cook in and everyone can maneuver without crashing into someone else. There's lots of prep space. Parking is at least a little easier, with a lot across the street.

                      If Zane doesn't get exhausted, bored, or greedy, and can get good staff, all should be well. He dumped the bakery equipment the space came with (I wouldn't have), which is probably a good sign.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: embee

                        And to follow up on my conversation with him - he also mentioned the floor, I am kind of excited to see it - Zane mentioned the need to keep things simple, serve 4 or 5 nice options for each time of day. Breakfast he'll have some eggs, and also smoked salmon (sourced from Viking) and bagels (Gryfe's for the regular, Bagel World for the twisters and flat bagels). Talked about having smoked turkey sandwiches regularly, and also about having a really nice $20 rib steak dinner...as a Montrealer who ate plenty of the rib steak special at The Main on St. Laurent, I applaud this move. He'll also be delving into some other deli items like chopped liver and pickled tongue, and I am incredibly curious to taste his take on such things. Oh, and the slicing station for the smoked meat will be in the center of the room, which will be awesome.

                        Of course, things might have changed, and I may not be remembering the conversation with complete clarity. I'm sure he might come on the board and discuss his plan himself. But his mantra seems to be - keep it simple and honest, don't screw it up. I doubt he will...I mean, this guy bowled Ruth Reichl over, he's gone from virtual unknown to "local treasure" pretty quickly. We gotta have some faith.

                        1. re: embee

                          Wasn't that place recently Harvey's?

                          1. re: Dimbulb

                            Isn't it the place across from the fire station that until recently was a very short lived Italian coffee shop?

                            1. re: Dimbulb

                              It was a Portuguese bakery cafe.

                              1. re: embee

                                The Monarch was a dirty dive with an impossible kitchen.

                                Zane is a really good, driven guy who will knock us over with stuff he couldn't do at the old place.

                                Go for it buddy!

                                I promise not to show up in the first week!

                                1. re: embee

                                  And before that it was a Portuguese restaurant called Leao D'ouro and before that it was Harvey's (circa 1995).

                                  1. re: Dimbulb

                                    I never made it over to the original location as it was inconvenient, but I see that the new location is 5 doors away from Canada Computers, which I get to at least 10 times each year so I hope to try a Caplansky's sandwich soon. There is also a book store with a good selection of cookbooks about 2 doors away, so I can get to all three in one visit.