Tag Archives: brunch

PATIO LIT EATS: Breezy Sunday brunch @ the Brick Works

As we start heading into fall, you gotta ask yourself, how cold is too cold to eat out on a patio? I saw a couple places that busted out the heaters last weekend, but if you go out in the daytime, you probably don’t need em…yet. We’re hanging out at Cafe Belong, this funky little joint in the Evergreen Brick Works, on a sunny Sunday afternoon. At 15 degrees, the weather was pretty decent — as long as the wind wasn’t blowing. But with the wind, you definitely needed a jacket.

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This place is serving up the same dishes for lunch and dinner on its all-day menu, and while they did have a couple of Sunday specials that checked all the boxes for brunch, I ended up with the duck confit, served with cherry tomatoes, green beans and creamed corn — the most veggies I’ve had all week. The bird had a nice, crispy skin, and the meat was pretty tender, but man, that corn-to-duck ratio was maybe a bit too high…

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We’re washing it down with a Muskoka Mad Tom IPA, cuz hey, it’s 12 o’clock somewhere. This beer had enough hoppy IPA taste, without being too in-your-face. And I had to hold on to the empty can cuz the wind kept blowing it over!!!

This maple bacon waffle is the breakfast of champions!

Now, I don’t always get up in time for breakfast, but when I do, there’s probably gonna be bacon involved. We’re hanging out at Sunny Morning, this cozy little diner on Yonge St, just south of St. Clair, where they only do two meals: breakfast and lunch. So don’t even bother coming in after 3 pm, bro!

Now, this place has got all the classics — waffles, pancakes, omelettes, eggs benny, and even a few different burgers to choose from. But when I saw the Bacon & Maple Waffle, I knew what I was having… Dude, Bacon & Maple was the name of my doo wop duo in junior high, bro!!!

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Now, on the menu it says there’s bacon baked right in, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. You’ve still got a hot, fluffy waffle completely covered in bacon, and with a small jar of PYOS (pour your own syrup) overtop, so I definitely can’t complain! Man, I could slam at least four of these…but then I wouldn’t have room for home fries:

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Dude, there’s so many potatoes on this plate, it’s almost enough for first AND second breakfast, Bil-bro Baggins! These spuds have got a nice chew, not too crispy, and are nicely seasoned — there’s actually quite a bit of a kick here, which I was not expecting. Man, I would come back to this place just for the home fries alone… There’s no fries like home, bro!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: Kickin’ it Old School with fried chicken bacon mac ‘n cheese!

Now, there’s only like a couple weeks left of patio weather in this city, and I’m definitely gonna make the most of it — even if it means getting up before 11 on a weekend, bro! So we’re hanging out at Old School, this funky brunch joint on Dundas West that starts serving it up at 10 am (9 am on weekends).

Last time we were here, I had some waffles fit for The King, and I know their blueberry pancakes are legendary, but when I saw the Return of the Mac and Cheese on the menu, I knew it was about to go down in Flavourtown!!!

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Noodles are nice and cheesy, with a bechamel sauce and some aged cheddar. But the fried chicken was waaaay overcooked, and the bacon a little underdone. I gotta give ’em credit for using actual bacon strips instead of some fake bacon bits though…

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Good thing I was able to drown my disappointment with a Hot Mess. What’s a Hot Mess? Well, you’ve got tequila, grapefruit and raspberry-hibiscus juice, along with some agave nectar, poured into a wheat beer. It’s like a Breakfast of Champions in Flavourtown, bro!!!!

 

Croque Madame? Don’t mind if I do!!!

Finally… the brunch has come back to Toronto! With the city moving into Phase 3 this weekend, I now have a reason to get up before noon on Sundays again. So, we’re hanging out at Lapinou, this funky French bistro on King West, that’s serving up a three-course Sunday brunch special for 35 bucks a person — that’s like a five-finger discount in Flavourtown!!!

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We’re starting off with some bread for the table — but this ain’t just any day-old bread, bro! We’re talking warm ‘n crusty Focaccia rolls with some tomato vinegar and olive oil for dunking. Pretty sure I could slam, like, six of these…

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You’ve also got some veggies and dip — a killer bay-leaf aioli with some salsa verde on top. Dude, this is body by salsa verde!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. We’re talking French toast, smoked ham, dijon mustard, Mornay sauce…and a fried egg on top. Crip to the Croque, the hits don’t stop!!!

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And then, at the end, a little amuse-bouche of watermelon sorbet. OK, so I couldda slammed a triple scoop of this stuff, but it was still nice ‘n cold and refreshing!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Hot dog for breakfast? Don’t mind if I do…

Y’know, if there’s one thing I’ve been missing the most during The Great Restaurant Shutdown of 2020, it’s brunch. I mean, I’ve ordered everything from mac ‘n cheese to Pekin duck to go, but I didn’t see any places doing brunch deliveries…not until I came across Ramona’s Kitchen, this funky little joint inside the Annex Food Hall, that’s serving up all three meals of the day — with a special brunch menu on weekends.

Now, we’re not just talking French toast and eggs benny, bro — this place is offering all kinds of funkaliciousness, like a green egg omelette, schnitzel benedict and this sausage party in Flavourtown, the Morning Frankfurter:

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Now, this has gotta be one of the most off-the-hook hot dogs I’ve ever had. You’ve got a thick, all-beef wiener, topped with scrambled eggs, holy guacamole, cheddar cheese slices, cherry tomatoes and some great big strips of bacon, all swimming in a spicy donkey sauce. This dog was super messy, but you know what I say — if it ain’t messy, it ain’t tasty!!!

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Now, I don’t wanna sleep on the fries, either. These fresh-cut taters tasted just like something you’d get from a chip truck, and they were still hot and crispy when I started shoveling them down my piehole, cuz the streets were so quiet on Sunday morning that my order was barely 20 minutes from start to finish, making it the fastest delivery since this whole shutdown started!!!

Man, I know there are so many other funky joints offering takeout and delivery all over this city…but I might hafta order from here again, maybe even before restaurants reopen. That chicken schnitzel benny sounds soooo outta bounds, bro!!!!

Mushrooms ‘n waffle @ Planta

Now, chicken and waffles is an all-time soul food classic — but what happens when you make it vegan? We’re about to find out at Planta, this funky vegan joint at Bay and Bloor. I was actually here before for some jackfruit tacos and deep-fried mushrooms, so I knew their shrooms were legit…but how would they taste on a waffle?

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Now, there’s nothing wrong with the mushrooms here — deep-fried, crispy and delicious. The waffle itself wasn’t bad, but not the best I’ve had. I wasn’t really feeling the combo of the mushroom gravy and maple sriracha, though. And I don’t think the flavour of the shrooms works as well with waffles like chicken does. But I would totally put some of those mushrooms on top of a burger, bro…maybe even a Beyond Meat one?

Fried green tomato BLT @ Weslodge

Dude, the BLT is pretty much the greatest non-burger sandwich of all time. But since my favourite bacon joint shut down a little while back, I was having trouble finding a place that really kicks it up a notch. So when I heard that Weslodge, this wild wild King Street West saloon was putting fried green tomatoes in their BLT, you KNOW I had to come check it out!!!

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As you can see, there’s a lot more going on here than just bacon, lettuce and tomato. You’ve got all of the above, plus pimento cheese on the bottom and bacon jam on top — man, I’d put that shit on everything! But it looks like there was only one sad little tomato per side, and even the bacon wasn’t even enough to cut through that pimento…oh, and did I mention this dish also comes with a side of soup?

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Yeah, I don’t think I’d order the soup on its own, or even with this dish, if it wasn’t on the menu as “Tomato Soup & Fried Green Tomato BLT.” Neither smooth nor chunky, it was more than a little lumpy — I couldda used some of that tomato in the sando though, bro!!!!

Brunchin’ on chicken ‘n waffles @ Union Chicken

Now, I’m no stranger to chicken and waffles, son! Let’s see, I’ve had ’em German style, in a purple sandwich at a night market… I’ve even had ’em in Texas (where everyone’s a millionaire, Su-bro-tramp!) But I heard that at Union Chicken, this underground chicken joint inside Union Station, they’ve serving up such a funky bunch that it’s only available for brunch! Check out these good vibrations, bro!!!

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OK, so first of all, there is not one, not two, not three, but four pieces of boneless fried chicken completely covering up that waffle, bro! Chicken is super-crunchy, straight from the deep-fryer, with a sweet maple-honey syrup and some sour cream on top. Dude, there was so much food here that I didn’t even need to eat dinner! (I still did, but I didn’t need to…)

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Now, chicken isn’t the only brunch special they’ve got at this place — they’re also serving up six-dollar Caesars! Nice, medium-spicy, with both lemon and lime wedges, and a couple string beans…so I get at least two servings of veggies this week!!!

Eggy Hammy Cheesy @ Over Easy!

Now, I don’t always eat breakfast, and when I do…there’s usually bacon involved. But not today, bro! We’re hanging out at Over Easy, this funky breakfast and brunch joint inside the Hotel Victoria on Yonge St, just a slap shot away from the Hockey Hall of Fame, where they’re serving up this crazy take on eggs benny, The Eggy Hammy Cheesy:

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OK, now let’s break it down. What you’ve got here is a toasted English muffin, topped with baked ham, a three-cheese sauce, melted cheddar and some sunny side ups, with a little dijon in there for that extra kick. Served with a whole handful of home fries — dude, this is body by home fries!!!

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Now, I don’t always drink beer for breakfast, so when I heard that this place was making its own lemonade AND iced tea, I’m like, let’s do both, bro! This here’s an Arnold Palmer, and it’s a hole in one in Flavourtown! And at $3.99, the price definitely isn’t wrong, Bob…

Pizza for breakfast? Don’t mind if I do, bro!!!

So, the other day we’re hanging out at Constantine, this funky joint inside the Anndore Hotel, just about a block away from the new Chick-fil-A at Yonge and Bloor. But unlike Chick-fil-A, this place serves up a solid spread on Sundays, including this funkalicious brunch dish, the Breakfast Pizza:

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got some spicy n’duja sausage, a couple quail eggs and some great green globs of basil pesto on a thin, crunchy crust. Now, I’d say the size of this pizza is about right for breakfast, but I can definitely eat a whole lot more pizza for dinner…

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Of course, you can’t have breakfast pizza without breakfast beer, bro! This here’s a Vermont Blond from Burdock, a funky craft brewery in the West End. You’ve got a light, refreshing blonde ale with just a hint of lemon, so you know it’s lemony fresh. I could probably pound a few more of these — hey, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, Alan Jack-son!!!!

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