Peameal bacon sandwich is one of Toronto's signature food which visitors Must Try.
Peameal bacon as seen at St. Lawrence Market
Peameal bacon, also known as Canadian bacon, is made from lean boneless pork loin, cured in brine, and then rolled in ground cornmeal. In the past, cured bacon is rolled in ground yellow peas, hence the name peameal bacon.
The most famous places in Toronto for peameal bacon are Carousel Bakery and Paddington's Pump at St. Lawrence Market. (I have yet to try it there 😛 )
There are many other local favourites for peameal bacon sandwiches - one of them is at Rashers along Queen Street East in Leslieville. It's 30 minutes walk from Queen subway station, heading east.
Rashers is a small take-away shop with just 4 seats by the window. There was a queue when I was there today at lunch time on a rather warm Saturday afternoon by Toronto standards (around 3-4° C).
A single chef was manning the kitchen behind the cashier. He was very efficient and waiting time was kept to around 20 minutes (after placing our orders).
Rashers have various bacon combinations on the menu. Many people order the traditional grilled crispy English style bacon known as rasher. Unlike the lean loin peameal cut, rasher bacon has fat from the belly.
Then, of course, there is the signature Toronto peameal bacon in a burger or sandwich.
For my second taste of peameal bacon, I opted for Rashers' Hogtown Grilled Cheese sandwich (price CDN9 before tax and tip). (My first taste of peameal bacon at a famous chain shop wasn't worth effort blogging.)
It's slices of peameal bacon with cheddar cheese and ale mustard between slices of multigrain bread seared on a greased flat iron griddle.
I like the slight porky sweetness of the peameal bacon as well as it's juiciness and subtle crunch. Rashers' Hogtown sandwich has layers of intense savoury-saltiness from the melted cheddar cheese and the charred toast. I could also taste some bitterness from the carbon.
👉 I enjoyed peameal bacon but felt that the intense savoury-saltiness of the cheese and charred toast have substantially masked the pork's delicate flavours.
Next time at Rashers, I will try peameal bacon neat in a bun (i.e. burger) and without the cheese or mustard. I think I will be able to appreciate more of the peameal bacon's unique flavours.
Rashers at Queen Street East can be reached by streetcar number 301 and 501.
If you prefer to walk, like I do, it's 30 minutes east of King or Queen subway station across the Don River.
Couldn't resist stopping by St. Lawrence Market for the nth time as I was passing by it on the way to King subway station.
Restaurant name: Rashers
Address: 948 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1J7
GPS: 43°39'39.0"N 79°20'28.0"W 43.660830, -79.341123
Tel: (416) 710-8220
Hours: 8:00am to 7:00pm
Date: 25 Mar 2017