Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Johnny Pastrami's, St. Catharines, Ontario

A few weeks ago while visiting family in the Niagara region, my boyfriend and I were driving around St. Catharines on the hunt for good thrift stores. After checking out a few stores, we decided to drive around a bit more and find somewhere new to eat. Along Ontario Street, we drove passed a tiny little restaurant called "Johnny Pastrami's". It's safe to say I will never be the same person again. 

As the name suggests, Johnny Pastrami's specializes in smoked meats. When you walk in there is a sign above the open window to the kitchen that reads "Half Pound of Pastrami on Rye $5.95". I knew we had selected the right place for our lunch.
The restaurant is very small and when we arrived around noon the place was full and we had managed to scoop up the last free table. Their menu was short and to the point: it listed amazing breakfast options, starters, sandwiches, burgers and of course, smoked meats.

My boyfriend opted for the reuben (pictured above) and I got a little crazy and ordered two items. First, the pastrami burger and second the Italian Poutine.

Before we go any further in this blog, I should tell you that I love poutine... I really, really, really love poutine, all kinds and at any time of day, night, season, etc... There will never in my life be a time where someone put fries with gravy and cheese in front of me and I say "no thanks".  I am in the process of putting together an homage to poutine blog post which will hopefully go up soon!

Now back to the Italian Poutine.

Beautiful golden french fries are covered in mozzarella, topped with marinara and parmesan! The fries get a bit soft but maintain their crispiness surprisingly well.  I was in a happy place. (In fact, I did stop eating for about 5 seconds to say that exact phrase to my boyfriend before returning to the magical land of food heaven). Now, I know that there is some discussion as to whether a poutine must include curds and gravy in order to be called 'poutine'. Possibly this has been an internal discussion that I have been having with myself. Regardless, these were amazing and I am happy to add them to my list of delicious poutines.

With my amazing poutine I ordered a giant burger and I am not ashamed to say that I ate the whole thing.
This was a beef patty, topped with pastrami (the kind that is so tender and juicy it just melts in your mouth) and cheese. Oh and for good measure, some onion rings. It was really super amazingly tasty. My boyfriend equally loved his reuben with tasty russian dressing and zesty sauerkraut.

I cannot wait until we are back in the region to visit again!


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