9965 – 82 Ave
What do you know, it’s GROUPON time again!
My thrifty ass had a Groupon for $20.00 towards a meal at Tasty Tom’s on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton.
Now let me tell you what I know about Tasty Tom’s. Back in the day (the day being like, late ’90’s), I lived just a few blocks from this joint and they had a menu that had a lot of German cuisine on it. Schnitzel, sauerkraut, European wieners, and great beer. When they opened, they gave me my first experience of a Cuban Sandwich. (Yes. Cuban. Who am I to question it?) Anyway, if you don’t know what a Cuban sandwich is, it’s pretty much a menage a trois of sliced pork, sliced ham and awesome swiss cheese on a ciabatta bed with mustard, pickles and other condiments in the mix. Then the whole sandwich was toasted panini style – waaaay before paninis were the shit.
I LOVED this sandwich. They at one point took it off the menu, which made me cry, but they said would still make it on MY request. (well, and probably others’ requests as well, but I like to think I’m special.) That made me happy again.
Anyway, I moved away from the area and stopped going to Tasty Tom’s but always had fond memories of the great times I had there with friends, and the fantastic food. So when the deal showed up in my Groupon email, I took it, anticipating another great meal… and at the back of my mind, the most faintest little itty bitty hope that I might again have my beloved Cuban sandwich. HEY! A girl can dream, right?
Even being under new management since the middle of 2013, (so no Cuban sandwich for me), the decor was about the same that I’d remembered. I wasn’t really sure if that was good or bad, actually. Simple and unassuming, a mishmash of different tables and chairs, but clean. My friend and I were told we could pick our table, so we did, made ourselves comfortable, and service began.
After checking out both menus (breakfast that goes till 3, and lunch that goes til 5………. odd, but ok), I decided upon the Schnitzel Burger (Breaded pork cutlet, Swiss, mustard, mayonnaise). My friend chose The Weiner Schnitzel (Breaded pork cutlet with lemon and potato salad). Those descriptions were taken verbatim, so I had to wonder, did they pay the printer by the word or something? Wouldn’t one want to snazz up those descriptions just a tad??
Anyway.. here’s my Schnitzel Burger:
(sorry for the crappy phone pic!!)
Sooooo yeah. What can I say about this thing? I had asked her how thick the schnitzel was before ordering and she said it was a thick piece. Well, if by thick she meant really thin, then I believe she was correct. The burger came to the table looking ridiculous. Thin and long, the schnitzel overhung the bun by a few inches on either side – I mean, why not slice that beast (skinny beast) in half, bread both pieces and double-decker it?? Then, just to make it that extra bit worse, they used one slice of barely melted, cheap processed “swiss” cheese on top.
Culinary mastery right there, folks.
Taste? Sigh. It was booking first class on the bland wagon even with all its accompaniments in tow. I actually had to ask for extra mustard because the slight little swipe that was put on the bun was simply a tease. The cutlet was dry as a popcorn fart and simply flavorless,…. oh, unless you wanted to call a bit of old oil taste from the deep-fried breading, flavor.
The home fries on the plate were plentiful and super yummy, but the house brand “ketchup” was like watered down Heinz 57 mixed with weirdness. I didn’t like it.
My friend’s plate:
My friends meal was basically the exact same schnitzel that was on my burger, but on a plate. And sadly, tasted the same way as well. Dry, dry, dry. So terribly overcooked. Even the slice of lemon couldn’t save that poor pork cutlet. Now, I understand that schnitzel is not a dish that wins first place at the spice fair, but I’ve had really good schnitzel in the past. The flavor comes from the combination of a fresh-cut piece of meat, nice breading, and clean oil. Oh, and not frying the living crap out of it helps. This little cutlet was tired. VERY tired. The potato salad on the plate was pretty decent though, but not good enough.
Gone are the days of my beloved Cuban sandwich and excellent German food. The whole meal was a huge disappointment and not even close to being the tasty part of Tasty Tom’s. It seems as though management has given up and don’t care about the quality of food they present. Here’s a great tip: Just down the road a few blocks is K&K Foodliner. A German owned food import store and deli. They have everything you could want to make wicked schnitzel……
the REAL schmackhaft, or, tasty way.