Editor’s note: our previous title was deceiving, and we apologize for any false impressions or hope we may have given our readers — believe me, we wanted to believe it as much as you did! To clarify: Wilensky’s was selected as one of the top 20 world-class vendors that should join Bourdain’s Market in NYC by New York Magazine‘s food-focused publication, Grub Street, and that’s still something to be proud of.
Most Montrealers know and love Wilensky’s Light Lunch: with their reputation for simple yet tasty sandwiches and warm customer service—spanning just over 80 years, no less—really, how could you not? As we state in our feature on the iconic Montreal eatery: “The Wilensky Special, a grilled all-beef salami and all-beef bologna sandwich on a delicious roll with a hint of mustard, has been served to loyal customers since its founding in 1932.”
And, evidently, it’s not just Montrealers that have taken notice of this Mile-End gem. Grub Street, a New York-based blog for food news, has even included Wilensky’s in their wish list of 20 world-class vendors to come join Anthony Bourdain‘s new project in NYC, the Bourdain Market. According to their report, “Anthony Bourdain’s highly anticipated food hall is already poised to be a blockbuster: A massive 155,000-square-foot space that will have a full-service restaurant along with an astounding 100 vendors.”
So far, Grub Street’s wish list for the market—an enormous initiative that will bring together not just NYC restaurants, but also select vendors from around the world—only includes this one Montreal institution. Though it’s no surprise an eatery from our city made their list, the humble Wilensky’s Light Lunch might not be the first local spot you’d imagine being on a huge New York magazine’s radar. However, as Grub Street reasons, the beloved Jewish lunch counter would fare well specifically because of its penchant for keeping things simple. “If an outpost opened in New York, that sandwich is all they’d need to serve.”
So, will this famous local lunch counter be crossing the border? With their no-frills concept and an 80-year-long track record of success here in Montreal, we don’t see why they couldn’t hack it in the Big Apple. For now though, we’re content to just stroll down Fairmount to the original location while dreaming of one day visiting Wilensky’s in NYC.
Want the full story behind Wilensky’s Light Lunch? Click here.