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Bites Between Besties: Brock Sandwich

Bites Between BestiesWho Are We? We’re BFFs whose love of stuffing our faces has taken us to the US and Europe in search of the world’s top restaurants. But recently, we decided to have some food adventures closer to home. We’re setting out to try one new (or at least new to us) Toronto restaurant every week for a year – or at least until we can no longer fit into our clothes.
And here’s the catch… we want to give you an authentic experience so all of our reviews are done anonymously.  As far as the restaurant is concerned, we’re just two patrons who take lots of photos of their food. Or are we?
This week, we hit up Brock Sandwich, which opened in Bloorville earlier this spring.
 
Address: 1260 Bloor St. W.
Vibe: Casual comfort food
Price: $$
Closest subway: Landsdowne Station
Drink menu: No
Service: Very informed and friendly
Patio: No
Online: www.brocksandwich.ca, @brocksandwich
Reservations: No 

First Impressions
Toronto is enjoying a bit of a sandwich renaissance. Artisanal, delicately stacked creations are popping up all over the city, and it's the best thing since sliced bread. One of the buzziest new sandwich shops is Brock Sandwich, created by Matt Gregoris, Dom Amaral and Peter Ornelas, who each boast impressive foodie cred (two of them previously worked for Susur Lee, and Amaral was the former sous-chef at Zucca Trattoria). Their enthusiasm is apparent and infectious; while waiting for our order, Gregoris proudly showed us some dandelion greens he’d recently picked. The shop boasts a few tables and some counter seating, but mostly serves as a tasty takeout joint.
 
Brock Sandwich friesFries ($3.50)
We ordered some fries to munch on at the counter while we waited for our sandwiches to arrive, and we're glad we did. Paprika seasoned and expertly cooked, these thick slices of Yukon Gold potatoes were the perfect complement to every sandwich. The portion size is definitely large enough to split.
 
Brock Sandwich  chicken sandwichChicken Sandwich ($9)
Brock's take on the chicken sandwich was a thing of beauty. It starts with a buttermilk-soaked deboned chicken that's been brined for hours, then coated in spices, fried and covered in house-made Portuguese piri-piri sauce and served with charred onions and lettuce on an herbed focaccia bun alongside a pickle. It was spicy, moist and crispy all at once, not to mention HUGE. We definitely understand why the server recommended this one to us.
 
Brock Sandwich  burgerBurger ($10)
The special of the night was a burger was made with house-ground chunk, smoked tomato jam, house relish, onions, lettuce, and mustard seed mayo, served on an herbed bun. It was cooked medium rare and was so juicy that we wiped the drippings with our bun so as to not miss a drop of flavour. This is a real meat-lover's burger, appealing to those who like a simple, beautifully cooked classic patty.
 
Brock Sandwich fishFish Sandwich ($13)
The daily seared fish sandwich was rare tuna topped with house-made guacamole, bean spouts and lime. While the tuna was perfectly cooked, we found this sandwich a bit bland, especially following the previous two show-stoppers. Once we liberated the fish from the bun and sprouts, we liked it a lot more.  
 
Final thoughts
Though the chicken sandwich was flavourful and gloriously messy, the burger was the shining star of the meal. We'll definitely be coming back for that, as well as some of the other menu items we didn't get to try, like the homemade daily soup and the breakfast sandwiches. The shop also features take-home jars of homemade pickles for $10.