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Feb 27, 2010 07:55 PM

Caplanskys Deli: New Review

My family and I had a wonderful afternoon brunch at Caplanskys Deli today. We met Zane,he is such a mench. I had the lox and cream cheese platter. It was superb. Terrrific lox,great cream cheese, lovely Gryfe's Bagels. My sister had the scrambled eggs with lox and onions and schmaltz. My niece had the scrambled eggs,onions,+salami. I tasted both-boy,they were a real treat. We sampled kishka, it was really good. We also shared a smoked meat sandwich, with Zane's fantastic fries. That too was absolutely wonderful. Coffee was great. We all had desserts,shared cheese cakes (blueberry) sour cheery pie, + rubbarb-strawberry brown betty. The desserts continue to astonish us. They are super great. I took home a sandwich of smoked meat and a pickle for my dinner (which I just ate now) Zane's smoked meat and fries are so good,words fail me. I ordered it fatty,which it was,delightful! The staff made us all feel so much at home. They really care,and Zane does too. For me,as I recall Bennie's Bagel,Switzers,the original Shopsys.Zane's deli is a very special place. I will be back to have dinner on my own later this week. My niece,sister,nephew + myself had a lovely chat with Zane,and we wish him the best.

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    1. re: Dimbulb

      I had a sandwich at Caplansky's the other day, and while it was good, it was quite small and the meat was different than what I remember from Montreal.
      The meat was quite thick, like peameal bacon, and even though I ordered the 'medium' fattiness, it was a bit dry and stringy. I felt it would have benefited from a thinner shave. Flavour was quite nice, however.
      Not terrible, but I've had much more sublime smoked meat elsewhere.

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        1. I think this review is bang on. I actually had breakfast with my girlfriend at Caplansky's today. We had The Leo (onions, shmaltz, and lox) and the Smoked Meat Hash and it was honestly one of the best breakfasts I've had in the city. What made it so good was the eggs... I find eggs are always mediocre in breakfast joints. They're rubbery or liquidy and just plain bad. That wasn't the case at Caplansky's.

          It was my 5th time eating at Caplansky's since September (almost once a month) and I haven't experienced any consistency issues other complain about.

          There's a funny attitude on here... people love the negative reviews and question the positive reviews. I guess people just prefer to read a horror story than a genuinely good experience. It is possible for a restaurant to be great in Toronto.

          1. re: sarnya

            Or maybe people just have different views on which restaurants are great. Ever consider that one?

            Also I find it odd that although Caplansky's main attraction is the deli, the thing that made it great for you was that your eggs weren't rubbery? Sounds weird

            1. re: duckdown

              It's not weird... they make a good breakfast, which impresses me that they do more than one thing very well. I've had four excellent smoked meat sandwiches as well. It's true their desserts are delicious too. I've had the cheesecake and apple crumble, both of which were fantastic. I loved that their ice cream is supplied from Dutch Dreams and all their desserts are made in house. For a while back in September they had black and white cookies, which was great. Where else can find one of those in Toronto? It's one of the few restaurants in Toronto where I really want to try everything on the menu.

              I'm not gloating about the place for the sake of gloating. I really believe it genuinely deserves the praise it receives. I know people have different views on what restaurants are good, that's why this website exists.

              I know you are not a fan of Caplansky's as I've seen you challenge positive reviews here and on other message boards. I can't sit here and debate what restaurants are good or bad... we all have very different tastes and expectations based on how we were raised and past experiences. To myself and many others, Caplansky's is great and if people like it, there's no reason to be suspicious. I really hope this place becomes a Toronto institution over the years to come.

              1. re: sarnya

                I know and value a special deli. Caplanskys is one of the best in my view. Coming from a family with links in the film business in Toronto,I remember Shopsys (the original,on Front Street,when both Sam Shopsowitz and Izzy still ran it, it was a very special deli,and my parents + I used to love to go there often. Then,it began to go downhill,once the family left the business. Katzes deli (Toronto) I was there once,it was nothing special. Meat was dry and tough. I never like the Kosher deli Markys. Aside from being dirty,the food was pretty bad. Since my late father was Kosher,we ate there but I found it unpleasant. I have always enjoyed Yitzes,they still do have good deli. I really want Caplanskys deli to succeed. I think Zane's smoked meat sandwiches are really great,and for me,it brings back fond memories of places like the original Shopsys,Switzers,The Noshery, and Bennie's Bagel. Though I miss Frans,it did go rapidly downhill the last few years. Bregmans also is missed by me. I feel that Zane is doing something very special. I have had quite a few bad meals at places in Toronto over the years: Messis, (haven't been back about 10 years) Studio Cafe, the last time I was at Bumpkins for dinner,it was average.

                1. re: marc Bernstein

                  Wasn't Shopsy's on Spadina before it was on Front? Next to Switzer's and United Dairy across from the Victory Burlesque?

                  1. re: Dimbulb

                    Front St . Shopsy's was backed by corporate money. The family didn't stay connected very long.

        2. yum!! I love their poutine! So much better than Smokes Poutinerie imo.

          Must try their breakfast, sounds delicious

          1 Reply
          1. re: ekim256

            Shopsys was on Spadina many years ago before they moved to Front. Switzers and United Bakers were originally across from Victory Burlesque. Bennie's Bagel also was in the area, they had wonderful soups,esp cabbage. Yitzes has always been excellent as far as I'm concerned. Katzes deli (Yorkdale?) I found poor,meats were dry,soups were blah. Brown Derby in Montreal closed at least 10 years (or more) I love Schwartzes in Montreal and Caplanskys deli in Toronto equally,though I'd give the edge to Zane right now,as his smoked meat sandwiches and fries are fatty and perfect,in my opinion. United is still wonderful,I go each week. They no longer make the noodle and rice milk soup in their present location. Best things at UB are potato soup,vegie soup,been and barley. Dinners at UB: Noodles + cheese, kasha with onions, gefilte fish (pepper) fish + chips, latkas, in fact nearly everything is great, exceptions, their quiches, omelates, lasagnas. Not fond of their pizza bagels. Best bagels in Toronto: Bagel world, followed by St.Urban Bagel. Best breads? Health bread. Ryes,waterbreads,pumpernickels,black russian.

          2. I had lunch today with a friend at Caplanskys...
            to be honest I wasn't very impressed...

            The meat was dry (maybe I should of went for the extra fatty). Not as bursting with smoked flavor as I expected, not very strong on the seasoning either. But I have heard that the place is hit and miss, pickled herring was good. The fries were good, but we go the poutine and probably should of stuck with just reg fries. The gravy was bland, I wanted again bursting smokey flavour from it, but it just tasted not like gravy and not like smoke meat...

            I wasn't blown away by the food I got on this visit. I dont think Zane was there and maybe the staff gets lazy when he isn't watching?

            Here are some pics from the trip