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Caplanskys or Free Times Cafe

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I want to eat a nice smoked meat sandwich. Which of the two is better, food and value wise? If neither, a better place downtown?

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  1. Try both and report back. There are fans of both here on CH.

    Caplansky's can be very inconsistent. When right, their sandwiches are sublime and hard to beat. When off (poorly cut, over salted, slow service, so the sandwich is not hot enough as examples) it can be extremely disappointing.

    I haven't been to Free Times in a while. The smoked meat had been bagged and reheated in hot water. It was a good sandwich.

    Free Times was darker and more intimate, while Caplansky's is bright.

    Chacun a son gout!

    1 Reply
    1. re: OTFOODIE

      +1.

      Give Caplansky's a go and when you sit down, ask for a taste of the smoked meat. If it's good, grab a sammich, which when it's good is excellent. If it's off that day (and you don't have offal issues), get a tongue sandwich which is consistently delicious.

    2. Caplansky's seems to have serious consistency issues. Is it worth the risk to go there only to find that the entire place is having an off day? So far, Free Times seems to win out purely on this basis.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ziggystardust

        The "consolation prize" of their tongue sandwich, to my mind, more than justifies the trip. And I agree w/OTF; when the smoked meat is good, it's very very good indeed.

        1. re: biggreenmatt

          I don't eat offal so the tongue sandwich is off. With that in mind, that we're talking only of smoked meat, should I pass on Caplansky's and go straight to Free Times?

      2. I prefer Caplansky's. I've had great luck with the fatty smoked meat sandwich there. My young dining companion got medium once and it was more on the lean side. Free Times version tastes a bit more generic.

        They are both fairly affordable, so why not try both and report back?