Have you ever been to a Canadian diner? Many of us have been to American diners with their pancakes, slices of pie and hotdogs but now replace those notions with poutine, bagels and moose ears.
Owner of Al’s deli, Aleks Lazic is a Montreal native who brought his hometown food to Auckland in 2013. Bagels are made on site as well as the brioche buns for the burgers – they even have their own onsite smokehouse so all meats are smoked in house. With the opening of their new brewhouse on O’Connell Street they are even now making their own beers, ciders and spirits!
Now onto the food! We started with the quintessential Canadian dish of poutine. Freshly made French Fries topped with homemade cheese curds and poutine gravy. We opted for the addition of the smoked brisket and we would definitely recommend doing this.
Thick, flavoursome gravy topped with melting cheese curds was comfort food at its best. We’re sorry to our friends at The Fed but this poutine just nudged you into second place! You can even have poutine on a burger if you so wish.
One of the specials on offer was the Mac and Cheese Burger. A burger with mac and cheese slathered on top of the patty? Surely this should be a permanent fixture on the menu! The brioche bun had a lovely chewy texture and the mac and cheese was creamy and oozed down the sides of the burger.
We also thought we’d sample one of the Deli Sandwiches. Note that you can choose to have the sandwiches on a home made or gluten free bagel, a brioche bun or sourdough rye. The Main contained smoked brisket with Kosher pickle and French’s mustard. Only go for this if you have an appetite!
Not pictured but also ordered were the Plateau Bites – Boneless Chicken coated in secret spices. We didn’t rate these at all unfortunately, they were dry and had maybe been left in the fryer just a little too long. The ranch dipping sauce they came with was very nice though.
The Saint Bagel comprised of home-cured maple smoked salmon, piled on top of Philly and garnished with onion, capers and black pepper. Al’s certainly aren’t stingy on the toppings! This had a generous amount of both salmon and cream cheese.
As we walked in we couldn’t help but notice the donut display and promised ourselves we wouldn’t leave without one.
Naturally we chose the decadent Snickers donut with it’s own syringe filled with salted caramel. Heaven! Earmarked for next time are the Moose Ears which are hot, wholemeal Canadian flat donuts with a variety of toppings to choose from.
And what meal is complete without an alcoholic Nutella Irish Cream Milkshake?
So next time you fancy a diner meal, why not go Canadian?
1/492 Queen Street
Tel: 09 373 2961