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Caplansky's moving!!!

gegtik Aug 1, 2009 12:58 PM

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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    OTFOODIE RE: gegtik Aug 1, 2009 02:12 PM

    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. t
      Toronto Fastfoodie RE: gegtik Aug 1, 2009 03:55 PM

      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
        duckdown RE: Toronto Fastfoodie Aug 1, 2009 04:19 PM

        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: duckdown
          paper_bag_princess RE: duckdown Aug 2, 2009 12:33 PM

          I don't like either.

        2. re: Toronto Fastfoodie
          GoodGravy RE: Toronto Fastfoodie Aug 2, 2009 06:50 PM

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

        3. atomeyes RE: gegtik Aug 2, 2009 05:08 PM

          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
            acd123 RE: atomeyes Aug 2, 2009 05:59 PM

            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
              paper_bag_princess RE: acd123 Aug 2, 2009 06:11 PM

              Agreed. I don't like that gravy either.

              1. re: paper_bag_princess
                duckdown RE: paper_bag_princess Aug 3, 2009 08:39 PM

                Ditto, I dislike that one too.

            2. re: atomeyes
              Pincus RE: atomeyes Aug 3, 2009 06:43 AM

              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
                embee RE: Pincus Aug 3, 2009 09:49 AM

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

            3. g
              Gary RE: gegtik Aug 2, 2009 06:50 PM

              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
                Toronto Fastfoodie RE: Gary Aug 3, 2009 06:11 AM

                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
                  Fwagra RE: Toronto Fastfoodie Aug 3, 2009 06:37 PM

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

                  1. re: Fwagra
                    Toronto Fastfoodie RE: Fwagra Aug 3, 2009 07:36 PM

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

                2. re: Gary
                  Rabbit RE: Gary Aug 3, 2009 06:47 AM

                  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. Davwud RE: gegtik Aug 3, 2009 07:15 AM

                  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
                    acd123 RE: Davwud Aug 3, 2009 07:18 AM

                    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
                      atomeyes RE: Davwud Aug 3, 2009 04:16 PM

                      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. e
                      embee RE: gegtik Aug 3, 2009 09:48 AM

                      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
                        childofthestorm RE: embee Aug 3, 2009 10:02 AM

                        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
                          Dimbulb RE: embee Aug 3, 2009 10:08 AM

                          Wasn't that place recently Harvey's?

                          1. re: Dimbulb
                            ziggystardust RE: Dimbulb Aug 3, 2009 04:34 PM

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

                            1. re: Dimbulb
                              embee RE: Dimbulb Aug 3, 2009 04:39 PM

                              It was a Portuguese bakery cafe.

                              1. re: embee
                                sumdumgoy RE: embee Aug 3, 2009 07:53 PM

                                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
                                  Dimbulb RE: embee Aug 18, 2009 05:37 AM

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

                                  1. re: Dimbulb
                                    foodyDudey RE: Dimbulb Aug 18, 2009 06:00 AM

                                    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.

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