August 23, 2014
Mar 12, 2013
02:57 PM

First Look: Boar, the new Italian sandwich shop from the Black Camel team

Boar's portobello sandwich, $7 (Images: Karolyne Ellacott)

Irwin Schwartz is known for his sandwiches. For close to a decade, the owner of Black Camel has been serenading sandwich aficionados from near and far with legendary pulled pork, beef brisket and more. This week marks the arrival of Boar, the Italian-inspired younger sibling to the well-loved Camel.

“When we opened,” Schwartz says of Black Camel, “nobody was doing pulled pork or brisket. Designing a sandwich was a new concept.”

Now, of course, brisket is on the tip of everyone’s tongue.

Schwartz originally toyed with the idea of turning the Camel into a mini-franchise, but he eventually opted against it, deciding instead to open up a new joint with a more narrow focus: Italian sandwiches.

Taking over what was once the storage area of an electronics store, the new venue, located near Yonge and Davisville, is just as — if not more — compact than the original, with just a handful of seats inside (though a summer patio is in the works).

Like the Rosedale outpost, Boar offers what Schwartz dubs “slow-cooked fast food.” High quality ingredients are key: extra virgin olive oil, San Marzano tomatoes and meat from The Butcher Shoppe. The menu currently features five sandwiches, though the potential combination of toppings means that there’s quite a range of flavour profiles available.

“I’m a traditionalist,” says Schwartz, noting that his favourite pick is, of course, the veal sandwich ($8.25). Starring veal strip loin, the breaded meat pairs well with tomato sauce and caramelized onions ($0.90), the lot of which is tucked into a white bun from Nino D’Aversa Bakery.

The chicken sandwich ($8.25), featuring a blend of drumstick and thigh that’s roasted and char-grilled, can be matched with arugula ($0.90), roasted red peppers ($0.90) and arugula pesto (any sauce beyond the first is $0.50). Other toppings include cremini mushrooms ($0.90), mozzarella di bufala ($2) and puttanesca, a blend of olives, capers, chili peppers and garlic ($1.25).

“We have an idea of how to make sandwiches,” Schwartz jokes.

Just be sure to check Twitter before heading over — as with the Black Camel, there will be a countdown until the last sandwich has been gobbled up.

Boar, 3 Glebe Rd. E., 416-482-1616

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