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Restaurants

TLP

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Profiled on June 4, 2014 / review policy

TLP TorontoTLP is a sandwich shop masterminded by the same team as Barberian's. Arron Barberian, Pat Orgera and Jon Andrews took over the long-vacant space a few doors down from the legendary steakhouse to offer an affordable lunch spot that is devoted to nostalgic Canadian comfort foods.

TLP TorontoWhite subway tiles pay homage to the fact the address was once slated to become a premium butcher shop but has since been re-purposed as a short order kitchen. Buttertarts and bags of Mrs Vickie's chips are stocked in a display case, while a marble bar rail offers the only eating space.

TLP TorontoPrices have yet to be set, but at the heart of the concept is the idea that $10 should get you a sandwich and a drink. When I visit, the first four sandwiches have debuted at $5 (with a can of pop). "We've got classic Coke, but would've done RC Cola if we could," says Orgera. It's the kind of place that revels in nostalgic, lowbrow favourites. Trendy ingredients like pork belly will not make an appearance any time soon...or ever.

TLP TorontoThe opening menu is being rolled out slowly, but will feature five regular sandwiches and a cast of rotating specials. A vegetarian option and home-style meatloaf have been promised for the near future.

TLP TorontoFor now, there are choices like the Charlie Blake, loaded with a saucy mess of tender braised beef on a puffy Portuguese bun that was selected for being especially take-out worthy (it's sturdy enough to endure a trip back to the office). The sandwich is served au natural, the meat's own rich brown gravy supplying all the sauce it needs. Extra condiments are available, but discouraged.

The signature sandwich, the TLP, sees thin, pink peameal layered up with tomato slices and lettuce. "We found a really good supplier," says Orgera. "It's not loaded with water, it doesn't shrivel on the flat top." This sandwich comes naked too - mayo, Tabasco and Kozlik's mustard are available at the counter for DIY application.

TLP TorontoAlso on a bun: crispy calamari battered with hot sauce and cornmeal before taking a bath in the fryer. Golden rings are piled high and, in this case, dressed up with lemony mayo slathered onto the bun and sprinkled with chopped onions and cucumber. It's a good sandwich, perhaps even my fave, though the mayo kind of disappears into the bun. I wouldn't mind if they had drizzled extra over top.

TLP TorontoTLP is open daily from 9am - they'll even throw an egg onto your peameal for breakfast. The place aims to capture the weekday lunch crowd, so don't expect it to be open super late - maybe 'til 6pm or so. After all, these guys do have a serious steakhouse to run.

TLP TorontoPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

22 Comments

hpo / June 4, 2014 at 01:52 am
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This place looks so good that I'll let that truly awful line of pork belly being "trendy" slide.
jd / June 4, 2014 at 02:25 am
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Been waiting for this spot to open for 6 month. Too bad it's not open late tho.
kioch / June 4, 2014 at 08:38 am
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Everything looks like a lot of work and thoughts went into it.
Sadie / June 4, 2014 at 09:46 am
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This place looks great - I can't wait to try it out for lunch one day! Mmmm.. My tummy is growling at the sloppy joe-esque sammy.
Brandon / June 4, 2014 at 10:16 am
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Oh man, that looks good. Wish I was near this area more often.
192.168.254.1 / June 4, 2014 at 11:08 am
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Went in yesterday. All in all I thought it was good; the bun is indeed travel-friendly and the menu is already nicely varied even with only a few items. I got the Charlie Blake sandwich and didn't add any toppings, but I do think it could use something a bit extra (i.e. I disagree that the sauce is all it needs).

There was a long wait for my sandwich but I'll chalk that up to the fact that the place just opened. Their process will surely get smoother and quicker as they settle in.

The tougher question is whether I'll go back when the price goes up from $6 to $10 for a sandwich+pop. I'm not sure I would. At that price, California Sandwiches on Yonge and Somethin' to Talk About on Gerrard are stiff competition. Burrito Bandidos on Grosvenor is nearby as well.
Mikey / June 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm
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This will be a fresher and healthier alternative to all the offerings on Yonge street. I am too far west to just pop in but I am very much looking forward to my first visit. Congrats Pat and Co. Cheers
Jack / June 4, 2014 at 01:26 pm
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You had me at "Barberian's".
ms / June 4, 2014 at 04:04 pm
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holy charlie blake yum yum! so much flavour.
Liz / June 4, 2014 at 07:26 pm
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I want to go to there.
Seema / June 4, 2014 at 08:38 pm
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Are there any gluten-free vegan choices here?
BillyO / June 4, 2014 at 09:42 pm
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Had the Charlie Blake earlier today, was so tasty, meat was incredibly tender, full of flavour. Would definitely return
WhiteyNeedsToEat / June 4, 2014 at 10:45 pm
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Finally some good old fashioned WHITE PEOPLE food! As White people need to eat too, and I was getting so sick of eating Asian Fusion stuff every other night or burgers or burritos or shawarma as those were the only restaurants opening up.
Kim / June 5, 2014 at 05:35 pm
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After reading this article, I was looking forward to trying this place out. Despite the mention of being open from 9 AM, I walked in at 11 AM and was told they wouldn't be ready until at least 11:30. Couldn't wait that long. :(
Holy Thundering Jesus / June 5, 2014 at 10:34 pm
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Barbarian does meat right, braised beef sangwich good.
Picard102 / June 6, 2014 at 09:28 am
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They are not open at 9 AM. Nor do they serve breakfast sandwiches.
MeatSandwich / June 10, 2014 at 07:04 pm
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Had the braised beef sandwich and it tasted amazing. This place is going on the lunch rotation for sure.
Bruce / June 11, 2014 at 01:09 pm
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I tried three sandwiches from this place. The only one that I really enjoyed was the Charlie Blake beef sandwich, and that is not to say that it was amazing, it was a good sandwich. 7/10

The Calamari sandwich looked good but the calamari was very stringy and it just lacked flavor. For once the I had calamari that was not over cooked, but again not cooked quite right, needs more mayo and more spices. 6.5/10

The Chicken sandwich was a disappointment, very little flavor the chicken breast was cooked well but the whole sandwich was just bland 6/10

I was excited for this place because of Barbarians but to be honest for the price it does not deliver. The sandwiches are small so for a man who wants to have a filling lunch the fries are a must but that will run you almost 12$ without a drink, so add another 2$ for a drink. Now for 15$ around here I can get plenty of good food.

In conclusion these are decent sandwiches but these sandwiches aren't special enough at the portion size to cost this much.

Will I be coming back? Maybe one day for the beef just for the sake of variety but this is not the kind of place that will have you coming back on weekly basis.
Kris / June 24, 2014 at 09:55 am
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I ordered the braised beef sandwich and then saw a chef walk in from the street with a box of mushrooms and then proceed to stick a finger into the beef to check the tempature. No handwashing or gloves involved.

Kris / June 24, 2014 at 10:00 am
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I also agree with Bruce's comments. I have tried all 4 sandwiches and none were amazing. I find the round buns have too much flour on the outside which gets all over your hands, face and desk. I was craving a Porchetta & Co. sandwich afterwards.
danny orgera / July 20, 2014 at 11:28 am
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Peamail as well as the roast beef were great .A variety of comments some good and well some lets just say I would like to see what you people eat at home.Maybe some people watch to much food tv network-hence the so called experts.There is probably over 50 years restaurant and food service successful experience involved in this operation by the owners and yes there may be some adjustments to be made-keep up the good work cuz and company!

Chez / August 26, 2014 at 12:40 pm
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I've been once and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food. The Charlie Blake beef sandwich was really good but way too expensive for the size! It cost me almost $12 with a can of pop. I can't afford to have a $12 sandwich everyday. They should lower their prices or offer a discounted combo for less than $10.
The other weak point is the lack of a vegetarian option. I know that it's all about bacon there (TLP..) but when you go with a vegetarian friend, there's no alternative...

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