I love veal sandwiches. A veal sandwich is fried veal cutlets, tomato sauce, provolone cheese and assorted toppings on a kaiser bun. It sounds simple, but it’s a childhood favorite of mine. For some reason, I’ve never had a veal sandwich outside of Toronto. I’m sure they are available in many cities around the world, but I’ve never had one outside of T.O. I was first introduced to them in junior high school, when my buddies and I would go grab veal sammies at lunch or after school. Toronto has a huge Italian community and shops selling pizza, panzerotti and veal sandwiches were extremely common and popular back in the day. I’m going to have to find out if I can find me a good veal sandwich in Vancity and I’ll report back on that in the near future.
Over the past 5 years, each time “Monk” and I would visit Toronto, we would make a trip down to the St. Lawrence Market. Though the primary goal is to source out specialty ingredients for a dinner I’m preparing, the secondary objective is to eat a veal sandwich at Mustachio’s. I’ve been eating these sandwiches for many years and they have been a local favorite in Toronto since 1995. I like my veal sandwich fairly simple and this time around, I had a sandwich with veal, fried eggplant, tomato sauce and provolone cheese on a kaiser. It was delicious, a generous amount of meat and eggplant, the sauce was tasty and overall it satisfied my veal sandwich craving perfectly. “Monk” prefers her sandwich with veal and eggplant, mushrooms, onions and peppers all on foccacia. A much more messy and involved sandwich, which lacks the purity I prefer, but to each his/her own.
A few days prior, we were doing some last-minute Christmas shopping at Sherway Gardens and we decided to have lunch at Faema. It’s an espresso shop which also serves a few different sandwiches. Since I was reserving a table in the small sitting area, I asked “Bass Pro Bro” to pick something out and surprise me. He came back with a veal sammy and an Illy Americano for me and I quickly got down to business. What can I say, my brother knows me well and knows of my appreciation for veal sandwiches, but unfortunately, this sandwich was mediocre at best. It was simple enough, with just veal, sauce and cheese on a kaiser, but unfortunately, the sauce was bland, the meat was a tad chewy and the sandwich overall was under-seasoned and not hot enough. The coffee on the other hand was perfect, beautiful crema and a treat for me, since I’ve dialed back on my coffee consumption during my vacation.
For the past few visits to Toronto, Monk and I have been meaning to try California Sandwiches. I’ve got her hooked on veal sandwiches and we have heard good things about them. There are quite a few locations in the Toronto area and we finally managed to build a visit to one into our tight schedule. I ordered two sandwiches, one with just veal and cheese for me and “Monk’s” with mushrooms, onions, eggplant and cheese added on. She got all fired up because her sandwich ended up adding up to $11 plus, while she is mainly familiar with the sandwich at Mustachio’s for 6 bucks and change all-in. Let’s just say, she wasn’t too impressed with her sandwich and that we needed to make a trip to the St. Lawrence Market asap. My sandwich was actually quite good. It was hot, tasty, decent sauce and very reminiscent of the veal sandwiches of my youth. To gild the lily, we also had a fried panzerotti to round out our healthy lunch and that totally brought back memories of yesteryear.
During the salad days of high school and university, we used to go to a joint call San Francesco’s and though we didn’t go to one on this trip, I had a veal sandwich there on our last visit to Toronto. In my opinion, I’d have to say that my favorite veal sandwich in Toronto is at Mustachio’s. There’s a ton of places that I have yet to try and I’m sure there’s a fantastic veal sandwich lurking in Little Italy, but I will always crave my visits to the St. Lawrence Market and sharing a veal sandwich with “Monk”.