Mohamed Abu-Taah and his peppers
Come and Get It
170 Spadina, at Queen W, 647-344-3416, facebook.com/comeandgetit416
Come and Get It before They Turn Us into Condos, more like.
"I'd love to be here for the duration of the summer," says Jon Polubriec of his recently launched sandwich shop that's popped up temporarily in the old Ackee Tree at Queen and Spadina. "But as soon as the developer wants us out, we're out."
We have a feeling they won't be going anywhere too soon, not when beautifully braised Butcher Shoppe beef short ribs come dressed with sweet 'n' sour coleslaw and deep-fried onions on Golden Wheat Bakery milk buns spread with smoky ancho chili barbecue sauce. Get It goes Hawaiian with a second made-from-scratch sandwich of slow-roasted pork belly glazed in hoisin set off with fresh pineapple salsa, pickled red onion and crunchy crackling (both $8). Those remarkably tender ribs and belly also turn into poutine (all $7) when tossed with a great whack of very good fries in gravy and local mozzarella curds.
There's even a terrific green bean salad ($9) finished with fluffy quinoa in a garlicky tomato vinaigrette. What ever will they think of next?
"We're working on a jerked pork belly and crispy plantain sandwich," says Polubriec, good news for those still jonesing for the Ackee Tree.
Tuesday to Saturday 11 am to 8 pm. Closed Sunday, Monday, holidays. Unlicensed. Access: four steps at door, washrooms on same floor.
Momo's Groceteria & Bakery
196 Robert, at Harbord, 416-966-6671, momos.ca.
Harbord Bakery isn't the only reason to hit the south Annex's resto row if you're in the market for some serious old-world baking.
Located in the back of the long-running Momo's falafel hut, this two-month-old shop has already garnered a well-deserved following for its massive house-baked spinach pies ($2.50) and eggy breakfast buns ($1.75), notably among the cash-strapped students on their way to Central Tech and U of T who pass by every day.
They come for sweet sugar-glazed bagels ($1) that taste like doughnuts, flaky cinnamon rolls (50 cents) and pistachio-studded halvah ($2). They also grab 16-ounce tubs of vegetarian stew ($3.99) or mild lamb curry ($5.99) and others of lentil rice or stuffed peppers (both $1.99) and assemble super gourmet spreads on the cheap.
There are likely those who'd say that opening a Middle-Eastern patisserie across the street from one of Toronto's oldest Jewish bake shops might not be such a good idea.
"We're not selling loaves of rye bread," says Jerusalem-born owner/baker Mohamed Abu-Taah. "It's a different style. They like our food and we like their food. It's not a big deal."
Daily 9 am to 11 pm. Unlicensed. Access: three steps at door, no washrooms.