Mason's Fine Foods
Mason's Fine Foods is a boutique grocery store operated by Peer to Peer Hospitality who also operate restaurants Chabrol and Tanto. In addition to selling ingredients used in dishes at their restaurants, they also serve prepared foods for take-out or dine-in.
Seating for this purpose is provided by a large round table, a ledge at the window and smaller tables squeezed between shelves of dry goods and an open kitchen tucked behind a case displaying cheeses, meats and more.
As soon as you enter, you're immediately greeted by a pintxos-bar-style table of free samples that run the gamut from house spreads to preserved peppers and house olives.
A standard range of cafe offerings include espresso beverages made with Rufino coffee.
There's usually some sort of savoury pie on special, like a shepherd's pie or a Galician pie.
Tortilla espagnole ($4.99 per slice) is made every day, a filling, rustic classic with lots of chunky potato and a candied piquillo pepper on top.
House lasagna ($7.99 per slice) is made with an egg pasta and a generous amount of beef meat sauce.
A marinated mushroom sandwich ($9.99) with Valdeon dressing and radicchio provides a hearty vegetarian option from a range of sandwiches on house focaccia.
A Montreal steak spice short rib sandwich ($12.99) has to be my favourite; the meat cooked sous vide for 48 hours and balanced out well by buttery old cheddar and a bright salsa verde.
I also wouldn't miss a jamon serrano and manchego sandwich for $10.49, though. The meat is freshly shaved and fatty and the bread fluffy, served with some spicy peppers on the side.
Salads in $4, $6 or $8 sizes include a kabocha squash with walnut and sesame salsa.
There's also a roasted cauliflower salad boldly paired with fishy salsa anchoas, plus parmigiano reggiano and migas (house fried breadcrumbs).
Tinned conservas like small squids in ink sauce ($15.99) and mini scallops can be peeled open and enjoyed at Mason's with some Torres chips.
Otherwise, take them home along with a bag in a flavour like caviar or black truffle for a restaurant-quality pintxo in your living room.
Spice mixes, marinades and dry goods used to make prepared foods are also sold here so you can recreate the recipes on your own.
A butcher shop component of the store dry ages products like Berkshire pork and prepares their own charcuterie, as well as sourcing some products from local producers like Seed to Sausage. You can even order a meat product and have it cooked from scratch to stay or go.
Dine on your selections next to an impressive display case of hanging Iberico jamon from revered Spanish producer Blazquez. Brunch is also served here.