What’s In A Name: Fat Sam’s Grand Slam

The Oxford English Dictionary says that names are but arbitrary labels � but we don�t agree. Sure, that which we call a wine, by any other name would taste as sweet, but we think knowing it�s story gives it legs.

With that, we�re digging through some of Ontario�s most oddly named edibles and sharing their stories with you!


FAT SAM�S GRAND SLAM  v. � 1. when an overly large man named Samuel wins an overly large competition. n. �  1. when you take a Zaidy, a Papa and a child musical from 1976 and turn them into a sandwich.

Photo Credit: BlogTO

Photo Credit: BlogTO

Caplansky’s Delicatessen owner, Zane Caplansky says, “Fat Sam’s Grand Slam is the most perfectly named item on my menu. It’s an homage to my family, my influences and my love of theatre.” The sandwich consists of all the deli meats piled high on a couple pieces of rye (unintentional rhyme). It represents the best of everything on the diner’s menu!

What does he mean by all the deli meats? Well, to start, there’s a healthy portion of Ontario raised beef rubbed with his signature spice mixed and smoked low and slow. It’s the smoked meat Toronto’s grown to know and love. Add to that two slices of Silverstein’s rye, some corned beef, grilled salami, smoked turkey, pickled tongue and a healthy dose of Zane’s homemade mustard — we dig the hot and horseradish-y one!

Fat Sam’s Grand Slam has many deep meanings for Zane. Zaidy Jack, Zane�s paternal grandfather, was a larger than life character with a great sense of humour. In his younger days ?he was larger than life in another way: he was enormously fat? and adopted the nickname ?Fat Caplan.� Zane�s other grandfather, Papa, was a man who loved the deli. Sam ?loved to eat and loved to talk.? He was in the “Shmatah” business (textiles) and on Sundays after Zane helped in the factory, they went to Switzer’s on Spadina for corned beef on rye, fries and cream sodas.

The sandwich also pays homage to “Bugsy Malone,” a kid musical starring Jodi Foster and Scott Baio. The movie, released in 1976, features a nightclub called Fat Sam’s Grand Slam.

Now you know.

To find out more about Caplansky’s, check out their Feast On profile here!


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    1. […] Smoked Meat Sandwich to the Brisket Slider. If you visit their restaurants be sure to order the Fat Sam’s Grand Slam — a sandwich as good as its’ […]

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