The Federal’s owners Adam Janes and Zach Slootsky always wanted to do something on Roncesvalles. As residents in the area, “We take the neighbourhood very seriously,” says Slootsky. When the owner of Reunion Island Coffee Bar, Adam Pesce was looking for food for his café, but wasn’t interested in launching a restaurant, he looked to The Federal.
Gold Standard Sandwich brings The Federal’s famous breakfast sandwich to Roncesvalles, along with a stunning burger and other drool-inducing sandwiches, all at prices you can definitely afford.
The menu’s small – only three items – but mighty. Not in size (they’re a bit smaller than you’re used to) but in taste.
Expertly made sandos include the Gold Standard Breakfast Sandwich ($6), and The Alternative Sandwich ($6), a vegan selection, based on one now-closed Alternative Groundson Roncey used to be made with garlic mushrooms, hummus, pickles, onions, sprouts and mustard.
Alongside one of the city’s best burgers – Telway Burger ($6) – they will have you travelling far and wide just to sink your teeth into these beauties.
What makes these sandwiches such standouts is the care and attention that each component is given – English muffins are toasted, so you get an added crunch, plus the aioli is made-from-scratch and the bacon done to perfect crispiness.
And what about these prices. “Price is important to us. It’s about the final price feeling right,” Slootsky says.
While the Gold Standard will remain, seasonal and more items will be switched out and added.
You can order drinks (and food) from inside Reunion Coffee.
From the takeout window, there’s bottled Mexican Coca-Cola ($3), Nirvana Coconut Water($4), Harvey & Vern’s Ginger Beer ($2.50) and eye-opener Club-Mate ($5) loaded with yerba mate and caffeine.
Fixtures and Fittings
The fellas did a bunch of work, including putting in new tiles and exhaust. A custom takeout window was added.
They also added a bench for seating, awning and fence to “be a good neighbour.”
Off the Menu
Gold Standard Breakfast Sandwich ($6)
What started off as a staff meal at The Federal soon became one of the most requested items from customers. It’s no wonder. Creamy scrambled egg, oozing cheddar, bacon (or kale), aioli, pickles and hot sauce on a toasted English muffin is a game-changer. You’ll never have eggs without hot sauce or pickles again.
Telway Burger ($6)
“A total rip-off from a place in Detroit,” this Detroit-style classic slider made with American cheese, mustard, pickles and onion, served on Martin’s Famous Potato Roll isn’t fancy (though the gold wrap it comes in is) – but boy is it a thing of beauty.
Similar to In & Out’s Animal Style burger, the grill gets yellow mustard on it first, then the patty. Griddle smashed, salt and really thin onions (“More onions than you think you need,” Slootsky says) are added.
Then this happens: The Martin’s bun is opened up and the top turned around, so it’s top and bottom together. Cheese goes on, then pickles right on top. It gets flipped. The patty’s now got a gorgeous mustard crust. The whole bun is then covered with cloth – the steam cooks the onions and softens the bun. This is the signature “Telway” move, one you’ll want to replicate at home.
And because the patty’s just two-and-a-half ounces, you’re probably going to want to double – or even triple – up.
You can order from inside Reunion Island Coffee Bar and the takeout window. Delivery’s also available.
At the Stove: Zach, Adam, Sally, Riley or Rachel.
Head Honchos: The Federal’s Adam Janes and Zach Slootsky
Map it: 385 Roncesvalles Ave. (behind Reunion Island Coffee Bar) on Neepawa Ave.
Visiting Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 3 pm
How Cool is This?! One of the city’s best spots is also one of the most affordable. And the takeout window makes it easy for people with strollers and dogs to place their order.
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