Maker Pizza – The Bodega

I’m currently on a huge sandwich kick: I’ve been eating various iterations of Cubano sandwiches, I recently munched a lobster roll from Buster’s Sea Cove in St. Lawrence Market, I’m planning a burger date in the next week or so with my pal Lynsey and I’ve been eating copious amounts of breaded chicken sandwiches from California Sandwiches thanks to Uber Eats.

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While the excessive eating of Uber Eats has to stop (or I at least have to walk to California Sandwiches location that is 10 minutes away from my house), the sandwich eating does not. Sandwiches are the most convenient way to eat meat and cheese. On the weekend GC and I put this theory to the test and headed down to Maker Pizza to try their sandwiches. Yes, we went to a pizza joint to eat sandwiches but I suggest you do too. We both ordered the Bodega which is arguably one of the best sandwiches I have ever eaten.

IMG_5815The Bodega with mortadella, ham, turkey, salami, mozzarella, provolone, tomato, white onion, iceberg lettuce, roasted red pepper, roasted jalapeno, pepperoncini, sub sauce and served on a sesame bun.

This sandwich is as intimidating, epic and ridiculous as it looks. Despite having four types of deli meat (which I now think all sandwiches should), the sandwich is not greasy or heavy. This is because the veggie portion of the sandwich is made into a slaw with a vinegary tartness to it, which lightens the sandwich. By making the vegetables into a slaw, you do not have any of that wet, sliminess that can sometimes happen with having lettuce on a sandwich – which is why GC does not put lettuce on his sandwiches. The lettuce doesn’t shift and pull with each bite, leaving your sandwich intact until the very last bite. The jalapeño and pepperoncini add a nice level of heat to the sandwich which also helps break up the greasiness of the deli meat. The heat doesn’t overpower the sandwich or your palate, simply highlights the peppery tastes of the mortadella and salami. The cheese combination is perfect. Provolone and mozzarella play together to create a smoky and creamy cheese duet that can stand up against the strong flavours of the meat quartet.

I fell in love with this sandwich and Maker Pizza. I am already planning my next date with this sandwich (hopefully this Saturday) and future picnics that will happen in Alexandra Park with various pizzas from this restaurant.

Happy munching!

The Pressed Cubano from La Cubana

When you are in school the easiest lunch is a sandwich. It is quick, and easy and portable. But sandwiches can become routine and boring, pill topped with the same meats, generic cheeses and condiments. There is typically one type of meat, one type of cheese and maybe mayo and mustard. In elementary school it was a turkey breast or ham sandwich with Havarti and mayo. No mustard. I hate mustard. In university, it was an everything bagel, topped with herb and garlic cream cheese, spinach, tomato and sometimes ham. Now lunches consist of soup or leftovers but rarely sandwiches unless they are bought out.

A few weeks ago I was walking down Ossington Avenue with Giancarlo looking for a spot to grab a coffee. We decided to pop into the La Cubana expecting to be greeted with the brunch menu familiar to us from the Ronscevalles location. This location is very different. It is a long, narrow restaurant with a counter for ordering. The menu consists of sandwiches with some plates but no brunch. The only thing resembling brunch is the breakfast sandwiches on weekends made on weekends.

Disappointed, but still hungry, we both opted to order the Pressed Cubano.

IMG_5603The Pressed Cubano with ham, pork, gruyere, red onion, cornichon, grainy mustard and mayo.

This killed my coffee craving. The sandwich was buttery and cheesy. The pickle and mustard added complimentary tang that worked with the sweet tartness of the onion. The gruyere added a nutty taste and the ham and pork were fatty and delicious. This sandwich is the perfect snack while wandering this neighbourhood. However, if I am craving a Cubano/cubana sandwich I will be visiting San Cosme in Kengsinton Market and I am craving La Cubana I will be visiting the Ronscevalles location for brunch.

Happy munching!

The Federal

Over the Easter weekend GC and I managed to squeeze in some alone time for ourselves and of course brunch. We went for brunch on Easter Sunday to The Federal.

IMG_0218As soon as we walked up to the restaurant I was in love. I loved the font the name was in, thumb the fact that the restaurant was located in an old store front with display window flanking the entrance and the retro fixtures and flooring that could be seen from the exterior.

We sat at a small table with a bench and a chair, medicine close to the bar and with a good view of the restaurant. There were a handful of other people enjoying an early Easter breakfast.

GC ordered the Eggs Federal.

IMG_0214Poached eggs on an English muffin with mushroom tarragon cream and bacon.

This is a delightful spin on the classic eggs Benedict. The eggs were oozy and thick, the English muffin was soft and moist, and the bacon was crispy and smoky. I love Hollandaise sauce and love it so much that I have gone on record to say I will never learn how to make it in order to avoid becoming obese as it will be drizzled, smothered and dipped over and in everything. However, I did not miss my Hollandaise with this dish. This sauce is a delicious, healthier (maybe or at least seemingly?) alternative to your traditional Hollandaise. It is sweet, thick and creamy with hints of the woody, richness from mushrooms. It literally tastes like spring. This was the perfect dish to enjoy on an Easter weekend.

I ordered the Cubano Sandwich.

IMG_0215 IMG_0216 IMG_0217The Cubano sandwich with roast pork, cheddar, ham, avocado, Dijon, pickled red onion and dill pickle and served with greens and potato rosti.

This is easily one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. So freakin’ amazing and delicious! It was crispy and toasted, with the right amount of butter to make the bread rich and fatty but not take away from the sandwich. The combination of two types of pork was heavenly: the pulled pork was juicy and the ham was salty and slightly crispy. The avocado was the perfect ripeness where it is tender but not mushy and slightly sweet. I love, love, loved both the pickled red onion and the dill pickle. They both added a tart, sweetness to the sandwich. I would eat this sandwich again and again.

I finished off my sandwich by washing it down with some house-made raspberry mint lemonade that was absolutely divine. I will be searching for recipes for this so I can make it at home.

I loved my experience at this restaurant. It was quaint and simple but with interesting menu items and flavours. I would definitely go back but have to try really hard not to order the Cubano again.

Happy munching!

Yellow Split Pea Soup with Ham

February 24th’s soup: Yellow Split Pea Soup with Ham.

Split pea soup looks revolting so I am not going to force you to look at it. I think this is a good recipe but I think we are just not split pea soup people. The texture of split peas is too chalky for me. The only thing I did do differently from the recipe below is I partly pureed the soup, to give it that thicker, typical split pea texture.

Recipe below the cut – happy munching!

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White Bean and Ham Soup

November 15th’s soup: White Bean and Ham soup.

IMG_4889This is another thick and hearty soup. I love a soup that can stand on it’s own alone as a meal. This soup was my lunch for an entire week of work.

The soup is salty and fatty from the ham and bacon and is overloaded with protein from the two types of pork and the beans. This soup was better after the first day. I didn’t add extra salt since there are so many salty ingredients in this soup. Because of this, the soup wasn’t well seasoned on the first day but afterwards, as the meat had time to infuse the broth, and it was the perfect amount of salt. We both loved this soup and it is being added to the “Make Again” list.

The recipe calls for corn bread croutons which I didn’t make since I am not the biggest fan of cornbread (sacriledge I know) but I have left the instructions for them in the recipe.

Recipe is below the cut! Happy munching!

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