Stop by this new delicatessen and try some great, deli-style food
From Black Box Hospitality Group, which owns District Café & Bakery, Speedy’s Burrito Cantina, Salz Bratwurst Co., Fox Burger, and Highlands Liquor, comes a new diner called June’s Delicatessen.
June’s Delicatessen may share the occasional similarity with the other restaurants operating under Black Box Hospitality Group, such as their coffee, but each restaurant is different enough that there is no fear of saturating the market with one type of food.
Located in the historic Gibbard Block in the Highlands, the interior of June’s Delicatessen was designed to suit the building. The interior design, along with its laminated, double-sided, single-paged menu and black and white tiled floors created a manufactured nostalgia that suits the delicatessen perfectly. It all ties in well with the food.
On the cold, rainy Sunday afternoon when we visited, there was a short wait to be seated. The smell of coffee and food hit home and gave us the satisfaction of knowing we made the right choice.
I ordered the Reuben sandwich ($12) with a side of matzo ball soup ($6). Being a fan of Reuben sandwiches, I tend to be overly critical of them, but this one surpassed my expectations. The proportions of cheese (Gruyère instead of the often used Swiss), house corned beef, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing was impeccable. Each bite had the right combination of each ingredient without any one being overbearing. The marbled rye soaked up the butter brilliantly while it was being grilled, preventing the sandwich from becoming too dry. It came with a tiny pickle and a small serving of sauerkraut on the side.
The matzo ball soup broth was flavourful and had a generous serving of vegetables and chicken, resembling the homemade soup your grandmother would make. Yet the sole, large dumpling was a bit dense and tasteless. I felt it took away from the soup.
My dining partner ordered the gluten-free corned beef hash ($12). It was presented in a different manner than what we were expecting, served almost like an omelet with the eggs acting as the base and the house corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, crème fraiche, and chives cooked throughout. It was filling without being too heavy. The crème fraiche was a surprising, yet enjoyable addition, as was the paprika sprinkled on top. Like a typical breakfast hash, the flavours worked well together to create a meal better than its parts.
On the side, we shared a blintz ($10), which is not only gluten-free but also vegetarian. It had a buckwheat crepe wrapped around a cottage cheese mixture that was sweet without being overbearing. The crepe was accompanied by sliced apricots, plums, and dried cherries, along with an apple butter sauce and a few mint leaves. The buckwheat crepe wasn’t too doughy and held the concoction together nicely.
Overall, I would give June’s Delicatessen four forks out of five. The portions were good sizes, but for the price, I felt the Reuben should have come with a side and the dumpling in the matzo ball soup could have had more flavour. If you are into good coffee and deli-style food, I would recommend heading over to the Highlands to give them a try.
6427 112 Ave
7 am-4 pm, Tues to Sun
RATING: Four forks out of five
Featured Image: The corned beef hash is gluten-free. | Stephen Strand