Pancer’s Deli Emporium
Address: 9960 Dufferin St #12
Phone Number: (905) 417-1719
Pancer’s Deli Emporium is an authentic deli serving up classic deli goods like sandwiches stuffed to the brim with juicy smoked meats, fresh cut fries, knish, a variety of soups, and homemade pickles. Their menu also features all day breakfast options, burgers and hot dogs, and fish & chips. The location is a bit difficult to find given that there is no signage for Pancer’s on Dufferin, but this is a spot you surely don’t want to overlook.
Inside, walls are decorated with various posters, some featuring some sharp-humored text and all with a classic feel. The chalkboard menu is immediately visible when walking into the medium-sized space and tables sit in neat rows ready for hungry customers to claim them. To the left of the service counter, the week’s daily specials can be seen in a chalkboard panel spanning that wall of the dining area. The service at Pancer’s is friendly and the owners make you feel like regulars, even if it’s your first time visiting.
Now let’s talk about the food. The Daily Special ($14.75) includes a sandwich on rye, coleslaw, a house-made pickle, and a choice of fries or potato salad. This deal is well worth it, as a deli meat sandwich on its own starts at $9.75. We tried the smoked meat and pastrami sandwiches. Both were excellent choices and featured thin-cut, tender, juicy, and flavorful meat stacked high on fresh rye bread. Mustard adds a nice spiciness to the sandwich, and we recommend you enjoy your sandwich with some inside. In terms of the meats, if your preference is for something more flavorful, the pastrami has more spice (but is not spicy). The smoked meat is best for those who prefer the simple and delicious taste of good ol’ deli meat that hasn’t been messed with.
Now, let’s get to the sides. The coleslaw is vinegar-based and provides a nice bite of freshness to the heaviness of the sandwich. The cabbage is crisp and fresh and the portion is just enough between bites of sandwich and fresh-cut, crispy French fries. The pickle is also not to be overlooked as it is evidently homemade and super garlicky, which we loved.
Now, we have to dedicate one special paragraph of this to Pancer’s French fries. These may just be the best fries in all the GTA. “Fresh cut” is not a term we use loosely here at North of the 6ix, but we would use that label without hesitation in describing these bad boys. They are evidently made from real potatoes, fried to crispy, golden, lightly salted perfection. We can’t say enough good stuff about these fries. If you’re really hungry, you can get the pastrami poutine ($9.75), which features these perfectly made fries topped with just the right amount of glossy brown gravy, pastrami, and cheese curds. The curds are not as salty as some that we’re used to in other poutines, but the pastrami’s saltiness makes up for it and the whole dish packs a serious punch of flavor. At any rate, the lesson to be learned here is PLEASE ORDER THE FRIES. You’ll thank us later.