Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Jun 7, 2011 08:13 PM

Deli Duel has expanded - June 19th

Hit Stockyards tonight at 8pm knowing I would find most things sold out but I rolled the dice anyway. They were quite busy with people ordering sandwiches, burgers and fried chicken. I really just wanted a slab of ribs or chicken or a pound of brisket (a serving they don't offer). So with limited selection I ordered the brisket sandwich. The woman who gave me the sandwich apologized for how long it took saying that the steamer was on the fritz. Well the truth is that she should not have served me this dry lump of meat.....especially not for over 13 bucks. I tried to eat it, the taste was great, the onions were awesome but the meat was just so dry I couldn't do it. I ordered it without mayo given that I can't imagine why somebody would put mayo on a brisket sandwich, so that made my experience that much worse!

Hungry, I drove to Caplansky's. I wrote that place off because of how inconsistent the meat was time and time again, so it has been maybe 8 months since my last visit. I took home a pound of sliced smoked meat. It was FANTASTIC! Really great flavours and texture and super juicy. The flavour isn't at all like the Monarch days as he has clearly moved away from the southern smoke flavours in favour of a more traditional jewish/montreal profile. I miss that unique sandwich he originally put out, but this was killer meat! I will be back and hope to find a more consistent product given his earned experience. In restrospect I am so glad Stockyard let me down!

Back to the title. While waiting for my meat I saw a poster advertising the Deli Duel. Looking online I see it has expanded from last year to also include Wolfies. Read about it here -

356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. A bunch of us hounds shared a pound and a half of pastrami from SY a few weeks ago and it was incredible.


    1. a little surprised at the Wolfie's shout out here since the stop website only lists 3 - caplansky, stockyards, and goldin's....

      10 Replies
      1. re: pinstripeprincess

        Yea. I wonder if it was an error or if The Stop hasn't updated the site. Nothing mentioned on the Wolfie site.

        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          Had a really excellent smoked meat sandwich at Wolfies the other day. It's an amazing shrine to Coca Cola too if you decide to eat in.
          Also asked about the Deli Duel. Seems that there is some disagreement within management about the value of this venue. The cost in meat, time, and money versus the possible promotional aspects are in dispute. It's simply advertising, and if, like last year, you run out of meat, everyone dumps on you.
          The Duel also expects the participants to provide all their own steamers, trays, gas, etc. which can be a big expense and inconvenience for a small single deli store.
          They have a very small staff/management and participating would impact both the store and the employees home life.
          They have a great product and I think they should stay focused on the store. I doubt if a 'success' at the Deli Duel will bring them more customers or alternately swamp them. They are a local community gem, not looking to be the next 'big thing'. I'm hoping Wolfies decides not to participate and also avoids any of the daily deal sites too,

          1. re: nastyman

            Thanks for the update. You are sharing a lot of details that make it sound like they have no care for the charity (The Stop Community Food Centre) behind the event. I hope that isn't actually the case. This event is meant to be a fun way to give back, not to just take.

            1. re: justsayn

              I apologize if I made it sound like they have no care for the charity. That assumption is simply not true.

              None of us can support all the charities that are out there asking for support. You must make choices. I see Stop as just one among dozens of local organizations that want to do good deeds via food. To suggest that those who don't participate have no care for the charity and just want to take is pretty mean and I'm sure that isn't the case.

              It's also not much 'fun' if the event abuses those who contribute and creates attitudes in the public who attend that are not supportive of the vendors as happened last year.

              These are my opinions, not Wolfies.

              We all support charities, but there are many ways to be charitable and give back. Maybe this particular one is not the best solution for everyone.

              1. re: nastyman

                not to disparage your posting, but if you hadn't said anything... i bet you no one really would have cared if wolfie's participated or not. there might have been some disappointment but such specific speculation would highly likely not have occurred nor now been associated with wolfie's. they're all small establishments and they all make their choices for their own reasons. i suspect this idea all popped up because wychwood is so close to stockyards.

                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  Exactly as ppp wrote. Nobody would care. If you re-read your post nasty man you would see that you quoted them as saying it is only advertising and complaining how the resto is required to provide all the supplies. And then, to go on to say that even a success wouldn't be beneficial to Wolfies is just so void of the giving spirit.of the event

                  Anyway, it sounds like maybe you just attritbuted too much of your own attitude to what somebody at Wolfies may have said. At least that's what I prefer to think.

                  1. re: justsayn

                    Yes, you are correct! As I stated earlier, these are my attitudes and opinions, not direct quotes. Questions were asked, but not by me, and the conversation was overheard.
                    I would be surprised if similar concerns were not discussed by all potential participants before a final decision was made.

                    I still believe the event is advertising and promotion for the vendors, else have them provide the food and services anonymously. It's making a show of being charitable. The spirit of giving can also be a private matter, not a duel which supposes winners and losers.

                    1. re: nastyman

                      Just keep in mind people. I've heard (and on occasion seen) that charities can sometimes be too much take, take, take to the point of discouraging participation. I'm not saying this is the case but at a certain point in time you do have to assess whether you're participation is worth the effort. Ideally, everyone should win.


                      1. re: Davwud

                        ok look, the only issue i take with where this thread is going is that nastyman has:

                        1. regardless of his clarification, attributed thoughts to a business of which they have no known connection to and has no recourse on this board that puts them in the light of being uncharitable whiners

                        2. disparaged a charitable organization for, wonder of all wonders, not wanting to have to put money into an event (kinda keeps the bottom line down) and offering "exposure" in return like every other charitable/non-profit and then classifying them as selfish and inconsiderate.

                        i know neither the business nor the details of how the stop is run, but i think that before one starts throwing around such comments they should be aware of what light they're painting either organization in and have straight solid facts. i feel like the intention was to redeem wolfie's with an explanation for why they may not participate... but seriously, i don't think it helped and probably did the opposite. they have all the right in the world to say "no", i'm not going to think any less of them. i also will not think any less of a charitable organization for asking.

                        so yay! someone decided to do a deli duel and it happens to also support a non-profit/charity. hooray to everyone and thank you for giving me the opportunity to have fun with food and charity.

                      2. re: nastyman

                        Sometimes the less said the better.

                        I went last year, had a great time hanging oot. I suggest you go this year to form a more accurate opinion.

          2. Hopefully they are able to better prepare for the demand this time around and the logistics have been ironed out. Sounded like chaos last year!

            This year it falls on Father's day which could lead to more or less demand I guess.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ylsf

              I'm really happy to see this event back for another year. It wasn't really chaotic last year... Goldin's and Stockyards ran out of meat, which resulted in long lines as they went to get more meat. I remember Goldin's was offering people two different types of mustard, which kind of slowed down their line as well. Stockyards started serving their brisket sandwich, which was nice of them but I guess it defeats the purpose of comparing their smoked meat sandwiches.

              I really do hope this event has another successful year... it was a fun day last year.

            2. I went, save for my grass pollen allergies going buckwild, it was a great event .Lines weren't long, seems all vendors learned from last year. Goldin's won deservedly so, all you Caplansky's haters can put the conspiracy theories to bed.

              I hope this will continue onto a 3rd year.

              356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

              2 Replies
              1. re: aser

                I agree with the OP, Caplansky's is not the same as it used to be when he was at the Monarch, and personally, I am glad for it.

                It used to be too smokey, too spicy, and too dry for my liking... he clearly adjusted the recipe to match the rest of his Jewish deli menu.

                Now if only he could actually make an effort on service in the restaurant which seems to go from extremely great to extremely bad, depending on the day and server you get!

                I agree that Goldin's deserved to win, his fatty deckles are the best, but I have only had it at home, never tried it at the Free Times Cafe, is it as good there?

                Free Times Cafe
                320 College St, Toronto, ON M5T1S3, CA

                356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                1. re: LovelyAsia

                  It's not as good at free times, but still quite delicious. The best is still purchasing directly through him or eating a sandwich served by his stand at the deli duel.

                  I actually prefer the og Caplansky's recipe, enjoyed the bold spicing and found it juicy (I always ordered fatty). I've given up on the current Caplansky's sandwich, I didn't even bother wasting a ticket on one at the duel.

                  356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA