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Restaurants

Brock Sandwich

Posted by Staff / Reviewed on August 9, 2013 / review policy

Brock SandwichBrock Sandwich, a new restaurant that opened earlier this week in Bloordale Village, doesn't leave much to the imagination. The idea is just as simple: a dine-in (if you can) and take-out sandwich joint that serves espresso drinks and a few simple sides dishes.

But just because Brock's concept is uncomplicated doesn't mean the food isn't top notch.

The place is owned in part by Dominic Amaral, former sous-chef at Zucca Trattoria. Brock's menu consists of a two breakfast sandwiches: strip bacon ($6.75) and peameal bacon ($7.50), which are both cured in-house. They serve four lunch sandwiches: Crispy buttermilk chicken ($9), seared albacore tuna ($13), pulled pork ($10), roasted vegetable ($10). They also serve fries ($3.50) and a mixed green salad ($7).

Brock SandwichThe shop has received a hospitable welcome at Bloor and Lansdowne neighborhood and seems to be a fortunate addition to the growing list of good restaurants opening there (think The Emerson and Whippoorwill).

The sandwich joint has an accepting attitude - catering toward everyone from university kids to construction workers. The staff possess a casual friendliness you'd expect to find in restaurant you'd already been going to for years - so that probably can't harm Brock's reception.

Brock SandwichThe crispy buttermilk chicken sandwich with Piri Piri sauce seems to be the menu item gaining the most hype. In case you're unfamiliar, the spicy sauce is a Portuguese favourite. To make this sandwich they brine the chicken for 24 hours in-house with herbs, spices, salt, sugar and water. Afterwards, it's soaked in buttermilk then doused in flour, cornstarch and onion powder. Finally, it's fried and smothered in the spicy sauce. This basically makes for the most simultaneously crispy and tender chicken you've could imagine.

Think of all the saucy delight of a pulled pork sandwich meets the texture of authentic southern fried chicken. Served on a soft bun, its complimented by the seared onions and the lettuce that gives it a bit of much-needed crunch. However, this is not for the faint of heart- or should I say mouth. While the unique, almost-sweet spiciness of the dish seems tame at first, by mid-sandwich I could easily say my mouth was on fire (in a good way).

brock sandwichI also tried the roasted vegetable sandwich. Served on sourdough, the sandwich is a great vegetarian option that holds up in heartiness to its meaty counterparts. The sandwich consists of with Fior di latte, marinated artichokes (that are also battered and fried), roasted red peppers, house-made olive pesto and arugula. The sourdough stood up well to the oiliness of pretty much all the ingredients (except the arugula, obviously). This was a dish I will definitely be returning for (and recommending to disheartened vegetarian friends who are tired of salads.)

brock sandwichBoth sandwiches were made better by the addition of their casual counterpart: Yukon potato fries. Spiced with paprika, and heavy on salt (even for fries) these were hard-won improvement on a staple. They were perfectly crispy and the paprika added a good kick.

The place seems intent on remaining as authentic as possible, making pretty much all the ingredients in house, except their bread and few other things. The price point is low, which makes it a great spot for lunch.

The only thing it's missing, other than a liquor license and few extra square feet, is variety. Brock has plans to develop that in time (they have a soft-shell crab po-boy in the works).

In whole, I was pleasantly surprised by this unassuming little place, and its well worth the trip to Bloor and Lansdowne.

brock sandwichWriting and photos by Courtney Reilly-Larke

Discussion

18 Comments

4ChanApologist / August 9, 2013 at 09:54 am
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Hnnnngh. Oh my god, that title image is such hardcore foodporn it needs an NSFW tag.

Next time I'm in the west end I'm totally stopping by this place and pigging the f out.
Laura / August 9, 2013 at 10:43 am
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This food is awesome, and the owners are crazy-friendly. The sauteed onions on the chicken sandwich made me want to weep with happiness.

"Blandsdowne"? Psh! Great sandwiches right beside a "3 for $1" samosa place. Can't go wrong.
p / August 9, 2013 at 11:07 am
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these pictures are killing me, I'm on a diet
Kbomb / August 9, 2013 at 02:42 pm
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This place sounds amazing... I can't wait to check it out!!! Word to G! My mouth is watering from these pics.
me / August 9, 2013 at 04:23 pm
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blansdowne? whats wrong with you people. stop it.
Went / August 9, 2013 at 04:24 pm
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was awesome. would do again.
sw / August 9, 2013 at 05:44 pm
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You all are daft.

Blansdowne = Bloor + Lansdowne... Not bland + Lansdowne.
spig replying to a comment from sw / August 9, 2013 at 06:29 pm
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Unfortunately, the connotation more often than not favours what you are saying it isn't.

Blansdowne is a ridiculous moniker.
EricM / August 9, 2013 at 10:15 pm
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Blansdowne is a really stupid term regardless of how you want to spin it. Brock Sandwich however is very very good! Bring on the 'po boy!
Boo / August 10, 2013 at 09:39 am
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Surprise surprise, another "amazing/underground/best little spot in the city" sandwich shop... Just another follower of the vintage seating + artisan buns formula. TO needs another sandwich shop like it needs a shot in the foot.
Ell / August 11, 2013 at 11:48 am
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Ahhh.....I recall the good 'ol days when pulled pork was not available in Toronto, maybe about 3-4 yrs ago.

It's terrific Canadian hog raisers can now breed such an animal for this type of meat.
lol / August 17, 2013 at 10:14 pm
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$15 for a sharply made sandwich, limonata and some friendly service - it's obvious the owners are planning on sticking around. The chicken is fantastic (juicy white on the inside, impossibly crispy on the outside) and the grilled fish is rich and buttery.

wilhelmson / August 23, 2013 at 05:45 pm
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The piri piri chicken sandwich was *TO DIE FOR*. I would call it my ideal version of a chicken sandwich. I don't take my chicken lightly either.. it was wonderful. Moist. Crispy. Spicy. Those pickles are YUM as well!
jabbajabba / September 18, 2013 at 08:08 pm
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This place is amazing. Sandwiches are fantastic and everyone is really nice.
BillyO / November 30, 2013 at 04:51 pm
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Absolutely wonderful chicken sandwich, humongous, tender juicy, crunchy exterior just simply out of this world. The veggie sandwich is really great as well, you can tell these guys know what ingredients go well together

Very friendly staff too. Highly recommend this place to anyone in the area
haha / January 17, 2014 at 09:15 am
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Lol, best cheap eats? PRICEY!!
Kelly / March 24, 2014 at 03:15 pm
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I've eaten here twice and this place is overrated. The porchetta sandwich was bland and full of fatty pieces. How do you make that tasteless? I don't know. This place might have buzz but it lacks flavour.
Marwan / May 31, 2014 at 03:36 pm
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Anybody who actually calls the area "blansdowne" needs to be publicly hung iranian style!

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