I'd watched a Food TV programme on deli's and included was Caplansky's in Toronto, on College Street near Kensington Market, so I had to try it out for myself. Mind you I decided for some reason to go in the evening rather than daytime but wasn't going to be deterred as apparently their smoked meat hash was the bees knees.
It isn't an imposing building or that neat really either. Its sort of long and thin with a bar at the back (that I missed until I saw someone else slurping on a beer) and the counter taking up most of one side behind which was a sweaty young guy, not the guy that's on the website, carving up large chunks of meat with aplomb.
It was pretty busy as being a deli its not a place to break the bank as most of the customers appeared young, college types no doubt from one of the universities that dot the city and surrounds.
I ordered chicken soup with matzo balls and the smoked meat hash -- "We do it differently here so we can't really call it corned beef or pastrami although its closest in flavour to corned beef" said the waitress.
The chicken soup was just great and the matzo balls really nice and doughy. Call them what you will, they're only a different type of dumpling but they taste really nice in that soup I can tell you. Real comfort food. Had I been sick, I'd have felt better already.
The hash came after quite a long wait -- "We ran out of one of the ingredients so had to do up a fresh batch" was the reason.
Now I consider myself not quite an expert but definitely a devotee of hash. I will always eat it if its on a menu so I was looking forward to it coming as it did with a couple of fried eggs on top.
This last I think is the perfect accompaniment to any meal. If you like the meal, add 2 fried eggs on top and that will elevate it to all new heights. One word of warning though, it doesn't work that well on top of a chicken curry, but that aside there's precious little that fried eggs won't enhance.
It worked well here though as the hash was yummy. So yummy that I bought a pound of the smoked meat to take home with me.
356 College Street
Tel: 416 500 3852