HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


What's up with Ben and Izzy's?

No new tweets since Jan. 25. Anybody know when an opening is planned?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: Davwud

      I would think it's hard managing people's expectations. Post too often and people think you are building up hype and not working fast enough to open. Post too infrequently and folks get suspicious whether the opening is a sure thing. Oy Vey. That being said, bring on the smoked meat!

    2. Funny that you mention that. I was thinking the exact same thing today.

      3 Replies
      1. re: kwass

        I've been checking their twitter pretty much on a daily basis. I need that sandwich!

        1. re: Michael N

          I dunno. The last tweet was about how the electrician downed an entire pound of smoked meat. Maybe the dude had a coronary and now they can't turn the lights on.

          Probably they're just a little too busy to tweet. Do you want updates or do you want open doors?

          1. re: Googs

            IKR? If I were opening restaurant I'd try to stay far far below our radar... so much pressure before they even open!

      2. I drove by again last weekend and unfortunately they don't look anywhere near ready to open. I think Mr. Ben and Izzy were a bit premature with some of their earlier twitter posts.

        1. They've finally updated their twitter!

          "In a couple of weeks we should have an opening date planned. Stay tuned!"

          Not exactly the "we're opening immediately" I had hoped for, but at least there's some news.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Michael N

            Sounds promising. Hopefully they'll be open by the middle of April. I imagine they won't open before the end of March since it will be Passover @ the end of March, which they would close for.

          2. According to their Twitter page, they say they're planning on opening the week after Passover

            1. Just read on Twitter that they're still aiming for the 1st week after Passover. Passover ends on the 2nd of April, so they'll probably be open the week of the 8th.

              1. Sounds like Ben and Izzy's may be opening on Friday (tomorrow) according to their Twitter feed.

                8 Replies
                1. re: kwass

                  I saw that! But I can't tell if he knows that guy and is inviting him to come by the still-closed store for a sandwich, or if they're open to the public. Either way, it looks like they'll be open very soon.

                  1. re: Michael N

                    Funny! I was wondering exactly the same thing:)

                    1. re: kwass

                      I saw it just now. But I think he knows this guy and its a "friends and family" event vs. being open to the public. I wouldn't bet them opening any time soon.

                      1. re: barneyvernon

                        You're probably right that he's a friend. But you really think it's going to be awhile until they open?

                        1. re: kwass

                          I think they will probably open in the next week or so... but, sounds like it is definitely worth following them on twitter :)

                            1. re: kwass

                              If you go to through their Twitter feed, the guy tweeted that he missed the Friends and Family night, so they invited him to come by tomorrow.

                              They also tweeted the following yesterday:

                              "Izzy and I are planning something special for all of our very patient twitter friends. Exclusive first taste to follow. Stay tuned."

                              1. re: CarNut

                                So everyone was right about him being a friend :(

                2. Davwud, you were too funny on Twitter. If you go, you have to report back. I'm dying to hear how it was :)

                  1. Apparently they are opening April 9th...yum!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MeMeMe

                      That's awesome! How did you find that out?

                    2. Davwud, just saw your pics on twitter. Food looks awesome!! Now we need deets :)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: kwass

                        Do you follow me?? If so, who are you??


                        1. re: Davwud

                          I don't follow you. I just happened to go on the B & I page and saw your name. My name on Twitter is Pugglemumm.

                      2. Okay, first things first, don't hold your breath on April 9. They still have a bit of fitting out to do and are, for the most part, waiting on the Board of Health. They feel 2 weeks or so is a better guesstimate. But stay tuned on Twitter.

                        I sat and talked to the guys for a while this afternoon and sampled both the pastrami and smoked meat.

                        I will point out ahead of time that Ben does the curing and loves, loves, loves pepper. Both the pastrami and smoked meat have a peppery taste and kick.
                        Also, if you're a big fan of fatty sandwiches you may be a bit disappointed. Ben pointed out that locals are really only interested in leaner sandwiches. A point supported by the myriad of locals who stopped by. ALL asking for lean. There are some fatty points on the meat but they're more in the "medium" range. The good thing is, if that's what you're after, you won't have much competition.
                        The bread (rye) is from just down the street at Isaac's Bakery.

                        The pastrami (1) is fabulous.Very peppery with all spice adding most of the backing flavours. Plain, I got a good hit of smoke which is tempered by the bread in sandwich form. They only had prepared mustard today but will offer spicier when they open. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

                        The smoked meat (2) has more going on. The flavour profile is much more rounded and honestly, perhaps, the best smoked meat I've had. Absolutely incredible. This is Ben's own spice blend and isn't supposed to be Montreal smoked meat. Just his take on it.

                        The place will eventually seat 30 and is really nice looking inside.

                        The boys are very ambitious. The plans are to do EVERYTHING in house. Except mustard I guess. Smoked meat, pastrami, corned beef, turkey, pickled tongue, pickles, kraut, the whole mess. They plan on making hot dogs and will have 28 day aged steaks and burgers on their menu as well. I asked Ben about the burgers and I almost kissed him when he said "My idea of a burger is grind the meat, form a patty, salt it and put it on the griddle."

                        Anyway, they also plan on doing shelf stable soups, stews and chili they'll sell in Mason jars.

                        The feedback from locals was overwhelmingly positive. Many had been watching closely and reiterated Izzy's belief that a kosher deli was filling a void.
                        Of note, someone who works at The Village Shul and the guy who owns Omni Jewel Crafters both stopped in and loved their sandwiches.

                        There's still a long way to go but this place could prove to be a gem.


                        13 Replies
                        1. re: Davwud

                          Wow!! That sounds awesome Davwud!! One thing I wasn't sure of in your description is, if we ask, will we be able to get the fattier cuts, or are they only doing lean cuts?

                          1. re: kwass

                            From what I gather, there won't be an "Fatty" cuts. Medium will be about the fattiest you'll get.
                            That said, they seem to welcome feed back so if fattier cuts are being requested, I'm sure they can adjust accordingly.

                            I should also point out, they don't own a meat slicer. All hand carved.


                            1. re: Davwud

                              Good to know! Thanks Davwud! I do think it's amazing that they just invited you down for a sandwich. Talk about great customer service :)

                                1. re: magic

                                  Me too!! Like Davwud said, maybe if enough of us request it, they'll comply.

                                  1. re: kwass

                                    I will definitely ask. Thanks!

                                    1. re: kwass

                                      I got the impression he's trimming them himself. I'm sure I saw cryo packages of brisket. If you get the fattiest they have, you should be okay. Like I said, not "Fatty" but more "Medium."


                                    2. re: magic

                                      magic, just so you know Groupon is offering a coupon for Yitze's. And I know how much you love it there. So here is the link if you're interested:


                                      1. re: kwass

                                        Oh nice, thanks kwass!!!!! Will get it. Yay!

                              1. Stopped in to the restaurant and spoke to Ben today, and he seems to think they'll be open by Monday. Fingers crossed everyone.

                                The restaurant looks amazing. They've done a really nice job in there.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: kwass

                                  I should stop reading this thread until they actually open.... Keep hoping that each new post is about to say "and they are now open" :) Did you get the same treatment as Davwud? A sample at all? ;)

                                  1. re: ylsf

                                    They told me last week that when I was in the area I should stop by for a sandwich. So I went in today, but they didn't have anything. That being said, Ben was super-nice. He said that they were hoping to be open 2 months ago, but contractors tend to work on their own schedules. And like Davwud said, now they're just waiting for the "all-clear" from the Board of Health", who also don't seem to be in any rush :(

                                    I wish these guys much success though. Ben seemed like a great guy, and the place is really cute.

                                    1. re: kwass

                                      I think Davwud also mentioned that everything will be smoked in-house from beef-fry (beef bacon) to smoked meat, pastrami, and corned beef.

                                      1. re: kwass

                                        Yep. Even gonna cure their own pickles and will have premade chicken soups and chili and the like in Mason jars for purchase.

                                        Basically, everything but the bread will be done by them.


                                2. IT'S HAPPENING.

                                  As per twitter: "The moment we have all been waiting for. This sunday we will be opening our doors."

                                  3 Replies
                                    1. re: kwass

                                      Any idea what their hours will be?

                                      1. re: Frids

                                        I tweeted to ask them but haven't gotten a response yet.

                                  1. Ben & Izzy's is now open!

                                    Had the Pastrami ($9.95) which was excellent. Very juicy with a perfect amount of smoke.

                                    They are still working out kinks and some items are not yet available i.e. soups, burgers, latkes.

                                    The big surprise is that they have a 16 oz. USDA Prime rib steak for $29.95. The same that the fancy butchers sell for $30/lb.

                                    The staff members are very pleasant too!

                                    The Grand Opening is scheduled for May 7th.