Reviews and Such Restaurants

Nathan Detroit’s Sandwich Pad

A few weeks ago, I was wandering through the underground at Portage and Main. I wandered down underneath the CIBC building, and noticed that Nathan Detroit’s Sandwich Pad has a new location. It’s been years since I last visited, back when it was tucked in the back corner of the building.

If you are interested in a different deli style restaurant downtown, Gabernik’s is just across Portage and Main off of the underground concourse. 

Nathan Detroit's Hot Mustard
The hot mustard from Nathan Detroit’s Sandwich Pad lives up to the name.

It took me a few days to get back there, but I paid my first visit a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, all the pictures I took on that occasion have disappeared from my phone, so the pictures in this post are all from the second time around.
The space at Nathan Detroit’s is wide open, in the shape of an upside down L, with the cross bar at the back of the restaurant. There are plenty of tables, and so I had no trouble getting a seat.

Sandwich Special

The sandwich board outside the restaurant was advertising a sandwich, appropriately enough. That day it was the Reuben. I really enjoy a good Reuben. This one would qualify as good but not great in my books.One thing in it’s favour is that it does come piled high with Corned Beef. The Corned Beef was lean, but not the most flavourful. This kind of describes the sandwich as a whole.
I had a Beef Barley soup along with the sandwich. The order came packed with lots of beef and barley in the bowl. The restaurant advertises that everything is home made and that they don’t use a microwave. The microwave bit is a nice little gimmick, but the food definitely has that home made consistency and taste.

Nathan Detroit's borscht.
Borscht to go along with my lunch special

Nathan Detroit’s Lunch Special

On my second visit I ordered the lunch special with a side of soup as well. There is a lot of variety on the menu, with six different soups on offer, as one example. I went with a pastrami sandwich, a pasta salad, and borscht for my soup, with coffee to drink.

Pastrami sandwich from Nathan Detroiit's
The pastrami sandwich, stacked high.

The soup arrived first. This was primarily a Cabbage Borscht with just a tiny bit of beet in it. The soup has good flavourful if somewhat on the salty side. Like the Beef Barley soup on my first visit, the soup had plenty of substance to go along with a good amount of broth.
I ordered the sandwich with hot mustard, which came in a little container on the side. This was a little oddity as far as the service, which overall is quite good, is concerned. My server, by the comment made when the order was delivered, seemed to believe that although I had ordered the sandwich with hot mustard, I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for
The mustard is indeed quite hot. It also has a real good flavour. It’s not as good as the mustard at the Sherbrook Street Deli, but still is one of the better mustards I have tried.
I also really enjoyed the Pasta Salad. For one thing the pasta was still on the al dente side of things. Another thing in it’s favour is that it wasn’t drowned in the dressing.

Nathan Detroit's pasta salad.
An enjoyable Pasta Salad, from Nathan Detroit’s

After eating the lunch, I decided to add a little sweet to round things up. I ordered a Cinnamon Bun. It turns out my eyesight is failing, because the menu item is Cinnamon Toast. I’ve always enjoyed Cinnamon Toast, so I was quite happy to switch my order. The bread was nicely toasted, neither under or overdone, and made a pleasant finish to my meal.

Cinnamon Toast at Nathan Detroit's
Cinnamon Toast to finish off my lunch.

The lunch special comes with coffee. The coffee is neither here nor there as far as flavour is concerned, but I was refilled, and asked if I wanted a second refill during my lunch.
Nathan Detroit’s will offer you good home made food, and a meal that will leave you feeling full and satisfied. It’s worth taking a little detour to get to if you find yourself underground, downtown.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.