When The Pig Came Home
When The Pig Came Home is no stranger to the Junction. Locals will surely recognized owner Ryan Gatner as a fixture at local markets, where he's known for slinging out peameal bacon sandwiches and BBQ .
When asked, "why a deli?", Gatner calls upon memories of eating kielbasa and cabbage rolls as a kid and notes that his favourite butchers are slowly retiring as they age.
His whole concept is a tribute to the old-school, Eastern European delis of yesteryear. Designed in collaboration with John Baker of Mjolk , the retail space features white subway tiles, painted tin ceilings and salvaged brass rails.
There are chits impaled on butcher hooks as well as porchetta and Montreal-style smoked meat on display.
And it's not just any smoked meat. In lieu of brisket, Gatner uses beef cheeks - the resulting sandwich ($11) is awesome. The hand carved meat is thick and sweet with a supple texture.
This sandwich needs nothing more than mustard, and comes dressed accordingly. It's built on thinly sliced bread from Prairie Boy , which is almost too fresh and too soft to support the mass of meat piled on top.
The porchetta ($9) uses Perth pork shoulder and belly and comes seasoned with lemon zest and a fennel rub.
Once carved and piled onto a ciabatta bun with lettuce, tomato and optional provolone (plus $1) and rapini (plus $1), the Northern Italian-style roast is finished with crackling and dressed with a roasted garlic-basil aioli.
The deli also offers WTPCH's original $5 peameal sandwich, featuring rounds of house-cured, nitrate-free pork loin on a soft fluffy bun. A slice of cheese, a fried egg or an extra strip of bacon are a dollar more each, but $8 for a fully loaded sandwich is money well spent.
Along with the signature sandwiches, the shop is stocked with charcuterie from fellow artisans. There are pepperettes and kielbasa from Perth, 'nduja from Niagara and various other types of smoked and cured salami, ham and sausages,
House aged steaks in a range of cuts from hanger and bavette to picanha and sirloin, are joined by pork chops, belly and double smoked bacon in another refrigerated display case.
A few shelves comes stocked with a modest selection of pantry items, including kosher salt, Kozlik's mustard and jars of seasoning rubs.
Photos by Jesse Milns