caplansky's at the monarch is pretty damn fine smoked meat, if i do say so myself. the environs leave a little to be desired (it's in a rather dingy, smoked-stained tavern, in every sense of the word) but the food was top notch and pretty affordable.
we all got the combo plate. this came with a coleslaw that was slightly under-everythinged. it could have used a little more vinegar, a little more sweetness, a little more salt and pepper and it would have been fine. i likes me a vinegary coleslaw, but this was just short of the acidity and tasted like weak, room-temperature, limp cabbage.
you have you choice of lean, medium or fatty smoked meat. i got the fatty (for obvious reasons, the primary being that fatty = better). it comes on silverstein's rye. the smoked meat is capped with a topping of grainy mustard and cracked black peppercorns, which makes additional mustard a little superfluous. i tend to do my smoked meat sammies straight up anyway. it was delicious. what i liked most about it was that the meat was really, really juicy, hand cut in thick slices that were tender and extremely flavourful, with just the right hit of salt and capped with a melting bite of fat. i've actually found schwartz's smoked meat a little dry in the past.
another thing that makes caplansky's a delight is the hand-cut fries. crispy, salty, textbook correct. that's the kind of love i like to see. schwartz's is more old school in that they give you standard-issue deli (read: mccain's or american equivalent) fries. the option for the combo plate ($11) is soup OR fries and a nice, crunchy stubb's pickle.
dessert is a selection of pies from wanda's pie in the sky. i peeped wanda's on my way through kensington with dr. rei yesterday...they looked aight. definitely "homey" but i'm not one to pay for homey when my own pies are so stellar. i suspect mine are better. just sayin'. we opted for ice cream from the big chill instead.
according to our server, caplanksy's will be having a grand opening party at the end of august, and have enough interested investors and a solid client base that they're going to have their own stand-alone location soon (right now they're just renting the kitchen at the monarch).
i have the best friends. in addition to being treated to dinner by dr. rei, she also got me a sarah dessen book! AND bwong came back from chicago bearing a par-cooked, frozen deep dish chicago pizza for me, to be reheated and inhaled at a later date with a insta-heartburn chaser. so so so nice! i love the goosetang clan.
today is wedding mayhem! i'm so pumped!