New & Notable: Sherbrook Street Delicatessen
There was one point on Sunday, as my wife and I had just dove into our Earl Barish smoked meat sandwiches at the newly opened Sherbrook Street Delicatessen, that she looked up and said, "this is ridiculously good" (with a look that was borderline sensual, I should add).
I didn't want to answer, as I was savouring every chew. This folks, was some damn fine brisket, and I didn't want it to end.
Sherbrook Street Delicatessen just opened this past Thursday (March 5), and co-owner and chef Jon Hochman tells me that they've already gone through 600 pounds of this brisket. It's easy to believe, as it seemed everyone who was entering the place on Sunday had already been there in the three days prior, so word is traveling fast. (We came to this realization after pointing to our food to say how good it was to a friend of ours who was entering with a group of eight. She said "I know, we were here yesterday and we needed to come back.")
The menu is a traditional kosher-style Jewish food (not kosher), where nearly everything except the City Rye Bread (because why mess with a good thing?), is homemade and well executed.
The hot mustard on the brisket was tangy, creamily textured, and had just enough zip; the potato latkes on the breakfast platter were assertive with onion and nice and crispy; the salami was garlicky and well seasoned; the slaw walked the line between sweet and acidic without hammering your tongue with too much tanginess; while the cottage cheese blintzes we had for dessert were a mix between being toothy and pillowy, featuring a runny strawberry topping that didn't try to steal the show with sweetness.
And that brisket, well I'm salivating just writing about it. It was some of the tenderest, juicy, full flavoured-meat I have had in quite some time and would more than hold its own to the smoked meat I've had in Montreal and New York in the past couple years. (I'll leave it up to your imagination as to what a brisket fight would look like, although my guess is messy and mustardy).
The location is the same one that Hochman had opened Fitzroy in, in the summer of 2013. And while Fitzroy had some great dishes (their burger being one fine example), their menu never really resonated enough to find a large audience.
To create the Delicatessen Hochman reached out to Noel Bernier of FB Hospitality Group to partner with him and provided some much needed marketing. This partnership, which Hochman tells me he is thrilled with, has allowed him to be more solely focused on the food, while also providing ample space in a commissary for a team to work on what surely is a large amount of prep.
The early results have seen lineups out the door this weekend with already over 1000 lbs of meat sold. They also do numerous scoops of salads like chopped liver, goldeye, and cream cheese, along with several cuts like pickled tongue, corned beef and salmon lox, with prices ranging from $2.95 to $4.95 per 100 grams.
The menu is big enough that it will take sometime to work my way through, with prospects like pickled herring ($7.45) and matzah ball soup ($6.75) looking great for lunch, while larger dinner offerings featuring two sides include calf liver and onions ($17.85) right up to a 285 gram rib eye ($28.95).
Historical and humorously retro Winnipeg photographs now adorn the wall, with the bones of the former Fitzroy still intact including the interesting footprint laden floor, and the sleek bar and open kitchen. But now, as a deli, it just seems more inviting.
The Sherbrook St. Delicatessen is located at 55 Sherbrook St, and is open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.