Knuckle Sandwich Toronto

Knuckle Sandwich

Knuckle Sandwich in East York packs a serious punch with its hearty menu dedicated to poutine, salads, soup and of course, a selection of massive sandwiches.

Co-owners, and longtime friends, George Talidis and Ran Han grew up in the neighbourhood and went to high school next door. "It's a little surreal being right back on the block," says Talidis.

Knuckle Sandwich Toronto

Clearly, opening up next to a school was a good move because the joint is jam-packed with students by noon (about 20 minutes after we took that photograph). Though, that's not the only crowd Talidis and Han hope to impress - they want to cater to young couples as well.

Knuckle Sandwich Toronto

That's why Talidis, who used to be the general manager of the King West Bier Markt , designed a craft beer program. He and Ran currently offer up tall cans from local breweries including Left Field, Henderson Brewing Co., Great Lakes Brewery, Sweetgrass Brewing Co. and Lost Craft Beer .

Much of their food also comes from nearby vendors. Fresh From The Farm provides their grain-fed, hormone-free meat. Talidis, however, remains tight-lipped about where he sources his bread from.

Knuckle Sandwich Toronto

Regardless, chefs Kevin Brannick and Max Kuleszynski use it as substantial base for each one of their sandwiches. The beer braised brisket ($9.50), for instance, is simple and homey. They top it with pickled red onion, arugula and horseradish aioli.

Knuckle Sandwich Toronto

The porchetta sandwich ($9) comes with parmesan, salsa verde and grainy Dijon mustard; I have trouble lifting it up to mouth, so I end up digging in with a fork and knife.

Knuckle Sandwich Toronto

I have the same problem with the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich ($9) with roasted poblano slaw. It's a monster, albeit a rather tasty one.

Knuckle Sandwich Toronto

My favourite sandwich, however is the charred portobello mushroom on a multigrain roll. Despite being vegetarian, it's super filling thanks to a smattering of toppings, including roasted eggplant, feta cheese, arugula and olive tapenade - yes, there's a lot going on, but somehow it all works well together.

Knuckle Sandwich Toronto

Those looking for lighter fare can choose from three salads ($5/$9), including one with kale, cranberries, prosciutto, sunflower seeds and a lemon and olive oil dressing.

Knuckle Sandwich Toronto

Although, there are also plenty of indulgent sides, including beer-battered onion rings ($4) and three types of poutine - brisket poutine with guacamole and pico de gallo is an especially decadent treat ($7).

Knuckle Sandwich Toronto

As I get ready to leave, it's hard to find a seat in the rustic-looking room and the kitchen is busy cranking out sandwiches and filling catering orders.

Knuckle Sandwich Toronto

"We're definitely neighbourhood boys trying to just open up a cool little funky sandwich shop," says Talidis. And it looks like Knuckle Sandwich is just what the neighbourhood wants.

Knuckle Sandwich Toronto

Photos by Hector Vasquez.


Knuckle Sandwich

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Knuckle Sandwich

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