Cheap Eat of the Week: Tavolino’s shrimp po’ boy
By Gizelle Lau
Tavolino's po' boy (Image: Gizelle Lau)
Opened about a month ago on King Street West, Tavolino’s concept is all about Italian-style hot gourmet sandwiches. Keeping good company with other new-ish sandwichy spots like Lou Dawgs, The One That Got Away, ZOë’s Bakery Café, Reggie’s Old Fashioned Sandwiches and Big Smoke Burger, Tavolino gives King West locals another great lunchtime option at a similar price point.
Behind Tavolino is chef/owner Attilio Pugliese (previously of Queen Margherita Pizza) and executive chef Justin Zamperin (Scarpetta, Bymark) who offer a menu where every item — mainly sandwiches, a daily soup and a few salads — can be had for under $10 (before tax), like the rib eye sandwich with gruyere, mozzarella and jalapeño pesto ($9.95); the veal sandwich with fior di latte and tomato sauce ($9.95); the porchetta sandwich ($8.95) or the po’ boy sandwich ($9.95).
A traditional Louisiana po’ boy (originally, a sandwich for a working class “poor boy”) is made with a submarine or baguette bun (ideally, New Orleans French bread) and then filled with such variations as roast beef with gravy, fried chicken, battered and fried seafood or even French fries. However, like many things in Toronto, Tavolino’s version draws from the city’s diverse cultural offerings.
To start, the po’ boy is made with crusty-on-the-outside and fluffy-on-the-inside round Portuguese buns from Caldense Bakery, delivered fresh every morning. Next up: buttermilk-marinated rock shrimp that’s dredged in cornmeal and then fried until puffed. To put an Italian spin on it, the po’ boy comes dressed with arugula, garlic lemon aioli, tomatoes and fennel salt that’s made in-house.
Tavolino, 567 King St. W., 647-349-0495
Gizelle Lau is a food and travel writer and photographer in Toronto who lives from one meal to the next. Her column, Cheap Eat of the Week, highlights dishes that costs $10 or less. Follow her on Twitter for your daily dose of food from in/around the city.