I’ve written before about the influence Jewish culture has had upon the cuisine available in the city. Schmaltz Appetizing is another example of this, bringing the concept of the “appetizing shop” from New York, LA and other Jewish cultural centres north to Toronto, and it’s a very welcome addition.
Schmaltz is brought to you by Anthony Rose, whose restaurants Rose and Sons and Bar Begonia I’ve written about and love. Schmaltz is totally different- it’s a little shop behind one of his restaurants on a side street – blink and you’ll miss it. When you step inside, you’re greeted by the friendly staff who take your order at the fish counter. Smoked fish and bagels are the focus here- first, pick your bagel, which are delivered from Kiva’s, a famous bagel bakery in the city. Then, your “schmear” or cream cheese. Then, your fish- lox, gravlax, whitefish, sturgeon… the possibilities are vast and tasty. Perhaps you’d prefer one of their signature sandwiches, like the Chub Chub, which is smoked whitefish, gravlax, horseradish cream cheese and dill cucumbers. So. Good. Just don’t make out with anyone afterwards.
If you’re not in the mood for something so intense, my usual order is an everything bagel, untoasted (as any bagel connoisseur would do it, though there is fierce debate…) with a schmear of scallion cream cheese and some lemon dill gravlax. Grab it and go- no place to sit here, so wander to a nearby park, dig in, and recover from the night before.