Anyone who lives/lived in the Strathcona area of Vancouver knows Benny’s Market. Located at the corner of Union and Princess, Benny’s Market is an Italian speciality food store… but more importantly, a great little deli that serves their signature sandwich… the Benny Burger.
Now you might be wondering exactly what a Benny Burger is… well, it’s not really a “burger”. A few years ago when I first visited the place, the owner explained that the origins of the Benny Burger started many years before. Located a few blocks away from Strathcona Elementary, they noticed that kids would come by during lunch time and buy chips or other junk food with thier lunch money. Wanting to see these kids get a more nutritious meal, they started offering a small sandwich to these kids at a very low cost.
But to say that these new creations were merely simple sandwiches is a little misleading. Served on freshly baked Portugese buns, they layer a copious amount of thinly shaved mortadella and serve it along with cheese and mustard (thinly sliced tomatoes and leafy lettuce are added to the adult version).
Now you might say to yourself, “Self…okay, it’s a mortadella sandwhich. What’s the big deal?”
The thing is that you can buy the mortadella, the cheese, the buns, etc… from Benny’s Market, take it home and try to make it yourself but it will never taste the same or as good as the one you get at Benny’s.
Every time I make it down there to get a Benny Burger, I have a ritual about how I eat it. First, take a deep breath and take in the smell of the freshly baked Portugese bun. Then, with each bite, savour the texture and flavours of each ingredient as it melts in your mouth. Mmmm, now I’m getting hungry for a Benny Burger.
If mortadella isn’t your thing, they’ve also got great tuna melts, and daily specials.
Food: 4.5 / 5
Service: 4 / 5
598 Union Street