Murray’s Sandwich Emporium

Posted on December 3, 2011


It’s rather rare that I rave about a sandwich.  Two of my closest friends go absolutely nuts on the sight of good bread and I find it amusing.  This is because I have grown up at a place where rice is king.  So for me to blog about how absolutely amazing a sandwich is really quite extraordinary.

It’s one of those days when I have time to kill and I opt to go walking.  Having two solid hours before my Photoshop class at OCAD, I leisurely stroll at Queen St. West, just a bit west of Bathurst.  Knowing I haven’t blogged for a while, I looked for something interesting . I went on reading menu after menu of restaurants I passed by.  One thing that would immediately capture my attention when selecting places to eat is when the curve appeal involves wood in their design.  Minimalistic in presentation really gets me, so I stopped and lingered the longest at Murray’s Sandwich Emporium’s window.  I see a decent choice of sandwiches and the list  lists sandwich combinations that makes so much sense to me in flavor.  As I go up and down the list, I thought I’d have their grilled cheese.

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I walk in and I really liked how the interiors blended exposed brick and solid wood long tables.  There is something about wood and tones of red that makes me feel comfortable and relaxed.  The walls were also adorned with a gallery of B&W photography by a local artist.  Moving closer to the counter, I see a big black board mimicking the menu I read outside and I found an immediate oversight.  The first item in the menu caught my eye, the Dogfather. A sandwich laden with roasted or jalapeño peppers, mushrooms, cheese and tomato sauce with a selection of breaded chicken, veal or eggplant!  I could never resist any dish with eggplant.  I would take eggplant over any meat dish without a second thought.  My tummy starts clamoring in anticipation as I waited for my sandwich.  I think I found another foodie stop.

Not to seem to overly excited, I went looking around and I found more murals of art.  I normally would not go for murals in small spaces but I must say despite the burst of color literally covering the wall of the stairwell and the basement below, I loved the harmony of colors.  Such a surprise distraction were the murals that I think I almost forgot that I needed to be upstairs by my table to get my sandwich.  It takes a lot to distract me from food, but that mural had quite a demanding presence.

It didn’t take long when my sandwich finally arrived.  Still minimalistic in presentation, I have a very handsome crusty bread, oozing with eggplant, tomato sauce and mushrooms right in front of me.  I go to the normal routines of self-torture, snapping first despite the inviting smell wafting under my nose.  First bite was absolutely satisfying, the melding of eggplant with the tomato sauce, sauteed mushrooms and cheese hit right on every note.  Despite the goodness of the filling, I cannot get over the taste and the texture of the bread.  It was crusty with a pleasant dusting of fine crumbs and was airy-soft on the inside, the tomato sauce giving it more flavor.  Most of the times I don’t notice nor gush over bread but no matter how delicious was the filling, it was the bread that made the most impression on me.  I initially thought the sandwich was too big for me to finish but I did finish it to the last morsel.  A few minutes later, I walk in remorse to OCAD, taking the long scenic route, trying to do penance for not having any will to eat only half of the big sandwich.  I would go back to this place again for sure.  Maybe I’d gush over the grilled cheese then. ;)

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Posted in: Toronto Eats