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Murray’s Sandwich Emporium

Posted on April 27, 2011 by in Trinity Bellwoods

3 stars

- The story goes, according to the Murray’s Sandwich Emporium website, that Murray is a weiner dog who loves the finer things in life. Despite the obvious assumptions, Murray does not take kindly to eating regular old hot dogs. He prefers a more delectable, refined meal. What does Murray like the most? Sandwiches, of course! In fact, he loves them so much that he  used all of his love and expertise to build a sandwich shop for his fellow sandwich lovers. Thus, Murray’s Sandwich Emporium sprang to life.

I recently found myself in the exact same conundrum as Murray the dog was; I was sick of my same-ol’-same-ol’ packed lunches, and I was searching for something better. I know you’re thinking that sandwiches have to be the most cliché lunch choice of them all, but one look at Murray’s menu, and you’ll know that you’re in for something much different.

There is not a huge selection (by sheer number) at Murray’s, but each item is unique, and there is a decent range of combinations across the board. There are meatless, chicken, beef, fish, cheese and even sweet sandwiches, plus a decent offering of sides (note: combos and sides are extra).

The restaurant itself is pretty simplistic. It’s small, has exposed and undecorated brick walls and two large wooden tables with stools scattered around them. The chalkboard menu hangs on the wall, and there is a small refrigerator full of beverages just off to the side. It is all very subdued and quite appropriate for a sandwich shop.

I held back a bit on my first trip to Murray’s. I didn’t really know what to expect, how big the servings would be, and what kind of value I would find there. I decided to go with The Uncle Phil: sliced ribeye, onions, green peppers and ooey, gooey, messy, melty provolone cheese on a beautiful baguette.

Truthfully, I thought the bread was the best part of this sandwich. I don’t feel bad for discounting the meat or toppings because, for sandwiches at least, the bread is just as much a star in the meal as anything else. The baguette was clearly very fresh, they keep it tender (but crispy) and most importantly, not over or under-stuffed. The meat was tender too, but it needed a bit more oomph. The green peppers were just slightly sautéed, giving them a nice crunch and, as mentioned above, the cheese was gloriously gooey. All of that was topped off with a pickle – for nine bucks!

I felt that I didn’t really get the whole experience of Murray’s my first time around, so on my second visit I decided to get into some side dishes. I certainly didn’t hold back on my sandwich choice with The BL-Tizzy – double smoked B, of course some L and T, house-made mayo, avocado and an egg (a $1.00 add-on). I threw all of that into a combo with some onion rings and a can of pop, bringing my total to $12 plus tax. This is a bit pricey in my opinion, but considering the amount of food they give you, it’s not so bad. Here again, I thought the bread stood out more than anything else. It was so fresh and tasted of near perfection. Just like The Uncle Phil, the fillings were good but, other than the sheer volume, they were fairly regular…tasty, but regular.

Overall, Murray’s Sandwich Emporium offers a delicious product that is definitely over-sized and that will satisfy your hunger. Plus, they’re open for lunch, dinner and late-night eats. However, as tasty as the sandwiches are, I can’t say anything really blew me away. Yes, the menu item names are unique and fun and the serving sizes are huge, but nothing is really over the top. That being said, sometimes simple is best; they know what they’re good at, they know how to make a good sandwich, and they’re consistent.

Good boy, Murray.

- Nicole

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