A lousy meal. Cabbage borscht, cucumber salad, potato salad, pastrami on rye. Real standards. The next day I called the manager, perhaps it was the owner I spoke with, out of respect for the good memories going back to 1971 when Yitz was in the basement of the Thompson Building on Queen and Bay. I was told that was my fault that I didn't like the food.
Mostly summarizing the conversation.
Cabbage borscht. It tasted muddy but had strong offensive notes. Too sour, seemingly from vinegar, too sweet , seemingly from artificial sweetener. I was told that the kitchen uses lemon juice and sugar. The base tasted muddy, no discussion of this. I ate only a couple of spoonsful. Then I let it cool, tried a spoonful and it was worse.
Cucumber salad- "mizeria". Too much vinegar. I ate perhaps 20% of it.
At this point I was asked if I had complained at the time. I answered, no, I had just pushed the plates, almost full, to the edge of the table, thinking that the waitress would say something and I would tell her then. She didn't. I continued, saying that I figured that she was used to customers' leaving the food, so what's the point.
What was my fault was that I didn't ask for a bowl and a glass of water and use them to rinse out the cucumbers. I have done this sort of thing elsewhere to wash out mayo (in the washroom). But I had figured that two almost full plates sitting would get the waitress's attention.
I did get congratulated by management for getting it right on the cucumber salad, that it is vinegar that is used with the cucumbers.
Potato salad. The potatoes were good, the salad part was mostly missing in action. To the kitchen's credit, there was not too much mayo. I "adjusted " the dish by pouring the vinegar marinade from the cucumbers onto the potato salad. It took the manager a while to understand what I had done . He thought that I was complaining that there was vinegar in the potato salad. Incidentally, two scoops, no lettuce leaf underneath (which I would eat), $4.75, plus plus.
Pastrami on rye. No point in talking about the bread. The pastrami was very dry. I acquiesced to the indifferent cure and spicing in this day and age of poseurs, incompetents and expedient don't-give- a- shits. But the sandwich turned into a chore and not a pleasure.
I was told that it was my fault for not specifying that I wanted the meat fat and that nowadays customers object to the slightest bit of fat. Nobody had asked me. I thought that I would be getting a "middle of the road" sandwich.
It wasn't only the lack of fat, the whole thing was just dry and hard. Only they know about the meat and what they are doing to it.
(The coleslaw that came with the sandwich was a decorative attempt at refinement but failed as coleslaw.)
We politely decided to end the conversation. In keeping with the spirit of courtesy, albeit mock, I didn't ask why they had bailed out of the Richmond Hill branch after about a year.
Yitz, who sold the place some years ago, should sue for defamation.
In no way should my post, critical of Yitz's, be an inducement to try Caplansky's.
With food like this, all that a coupon does is attract the potential customers from the market pool, but they won't come back. Also lose revenue from existing customers who get the coupon.
The owner needs to hire a cook who understands what this kind of food should taste like.
The owner needs to shift the blame from the customers to himself.