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CHATTER: Feeling famished? Go to Hoagie Station (Spring 2022)

April 11th, 2022 · No Comments

A unique and delicious mix of homemade ingredients from traditional Italian-American and Iranian cuisine makes Hoagie Station a must try. FOX OLIVER/GLEANER NEWS

If you’re looking for the biggest sandwiches in the Annex, you’ve come to the right place. Located at 495 Bloor St. W., Hoagie Station is the neighbourhood’s newest sandwich shop, and the owners have a story to tell, while serving up whopping 13-inch hoagies.

Four years ago, business partners Amin Khonsari and Shitel Barakat met while working at a sandwich shop in Richmond Hill. They had both recently immigrated to Canada, and they bonded over food, while working in two different restaurants together. One day, they decided that they could make bigger and better sandwiches, with a more personal touch; however, opening a restaurant is no easy feat. While they both had experience making food, Khonsari and Barakat didn’t have experience running a business, and they didn’t receive government support. This didn’t stop them. After years of hard work in multiple kitchens, they saved enough capital to open their own restaurant. When asked about the hardest part of this experience, Khonsari said it was “the risk. You put so much into the restaurant, and you don’t know if you’re going to get anything back, or if it was all for nothing.” The Annex seemed like the right spot for their restaurant, as it was missing a reliable sandwich place. With all their culinary experience in hand, they were ready to open Hoagie Station in February.

When asked about the secret that makes their hoagies so good, Khonsari said it all comes down to the house-made sauces and the fresh bread. Each sauce is a unique blend of flavours, from both traditional hoagies and Iranian cuisine. Different combinations of toppings make each hoagie unique, and vegetarian options are also available.

Hoagies themselves have an interesting backstory. A hoagie is an Italian American sandwich, similar to a submarine sandwich, that originated in the Philadelphia Navy Yard during World War I. When a nearby butcher saw a worker eating a big sandwich, he thought that only a “hog” could eat something that size. He then started making big sandwiches that he called “hoggies,” which later became “hoagies.”

Hoagie Station is typical of the Toronto culinary scene because it is a perfect mix of  different cultural influences. The combination of Iranian and American flavours makes these hoagies stand out from the rest. From the freshly made sauces to the perfectly seasoned meat, every part of this hoagie experience is unique.

—Fox Oliver/Gleaner News

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