The fact that Robz still has no proper signage outside is part of its charm. At least that’s what I tell myself — I’ve been coming back here for a weekly sandwich fix since I first discovered the unassuming take-out joint at the end of last year.
I’m always a sucker for a place when I get the feeling there’s a real human being behind an operation. And so it’s no surprise then that there is a Rob (Robert Johnson, formerly the executive chef at Crazy Horse steakhouse) who is always on-site, dancing around the big open kitchen.
What else keeps me coming back? Everything is fresh, nothing is rushed, the meats are seasoned with a light touch, properly slow-roasted and consistently lean and juicy. Everything I’ve tasted — from the smoked turkey club to the pulled pork to the coleslaw has that homemade taste that makes it easy to forget it was formerly the worst kind of Chinese fast-food take-out place.
Johnson may not be the master of quick customer service, but he has taken control of those woks for good instead of evil — repurposing the versatile vessels as smokers.
On one recent visit, rather than ordering another sandwich, I told Rob I was looking to feed three hungry people and he suggested the Family Meal Pack. It included a huge salad, one large order of fries (Robz’ fries are excellent), two toasted buns rubbed with garlic butter, three small containers of coleslaw, several pickles, and a generous serving of two different kinds of meat: hot and juicy roast beef and BBQ beef with sweet peppers and onions (bbq pulled pork was also an option). It was a ton of good food —plenty to feed three with leftovers.
I definitely suggest you call in your order before picking it up because wait times can be long.
Family Meal Pack: $26.54
Robz, 1679 Carling Ave., 613-792-1987.