Tag Archives: brunch

GRAND REOPENING: Duck eggs & bacon @ Farmhouse Tavern

Now, we first moseyed on down to Farmhouse Tavern last September, back when we were still allowed to eat inside. It may be a little out of the way — we’re talking Dundas West and Dupont — but I really, really liked this place. So when I found out their patio had reopened AND they were serving Sunday brunch, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!!!!!

Their whole deal is farm-to-table, so you can expect a small menu, that changes regularly, with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Well, I guess this must be duck huntin’ season, cuz they’re serving up duck two ways in this funky brunch dish called the Quack and Scram:

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Now, what we’ve got here is duck confit, served inside a tortilla, with fresh mushrooms…and then they put a duck egg on top. It’s like Tex-Mex meets French in Flavourtown, bro! Dude, every part of this dish tastes good — even the tortilla is nice ‘n crispy. But the bacon was definitely the best part!!!!!!

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Here’s where I should probably mention that the bacon doesn’t actually come with this dish — I paid six bucks for a side of bacon, and lemme tell ya, that was the best six dollars I’ve spent all year. This lil’ piggy is sooo outta bounds, it ended up in the chicken coop, son! You’ve got thickly sliced pork belly with this amazing smokey flavour…it’s like the beef brisket of bacon, bro!!!

I mean, the last time I had bacon this good wasn’t even in Canada. Can I get, like, seven pounds to go???

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Now, since we’ve entered Year 2 of the pandemic, it doesn’t even hafta be 5 o’clock — as long as it’s, like, 2 p.m. somewhere, this guy could use a beer. So this Square Wheels, a hazy, sneaky strong IPA from Town Brewery in Whitby, definitely hits the spot. There’s a tear in my beer as I type this, Bro-cephus!!!

GRAND REOPENING: Green eggs & steak @ STK

Man, I don’t even know how long it’s been since I’ve been to brunch, bro! I mean, I ordered it for delivery a couple times during the pandemic — including a massive Mother’s Day smorgasbord-board — but actually eating brunch in person, at a restaurant??? Sheeeeet, I think I gotta go all the way back to September on that one! So obviously, once I heard that restaurants would be reopening last weekend, you KNOW I had to break outta this brunch slump, son!!!

We’ve been to STK a couple times before, and it’s on the second floor, so where do they even put a patio? Turns out, they’ve taken over the courtyard in front of Yorkville Plaza, which is pretty much right across the street. And it’s a pretty nice spot, out of the sun and the rain, with enough seating for probably about 50 people — not all of them got up early to crush some brunch as soon as they opened on Sunday, though…

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Now, their $17 Caesar was a little spicy, a little pricey, and just plain little. But I’m so happy to have brunch back that I even ordered more than one!!!

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I dunno if it’s because of grand reopening weekend, or if maybe they just scaled down their menu due to the pandemic, but some of their previous brunch classics, like chicken ‘n waffles or a big stack of flapjacks, were nowhere to be found. I didn’t even see steak ‘n eggs on the menu…but I did get them to whip me up a little sumthin’ sumthin’.

Since they were serving eggs in a couple of dishes, I ordered a 6 oz. filet with two eggs on the side — only catch was I could only get them poached. Also, all their steaks come with a sauce, which is probably against one of the rules of Flavourtown, but I used this opportunity to get some chimichurri, and create this beefed up benny in Flavourtown… Green eggs ‘n steak, son!!!!

Technically, it’s still not on the menu, but you know what they say — if you build it, they will come. Check out this messy field of dreams in Flavourtown:

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Bacon and egg and cheese…and beer!!!

The George Street Diner, this funky little joint in Corktown, is the kinda place that puts the Diner in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. OK, so Guy Fieri has never been here — but as a matter of fact, Harry Potter actually has. We also hit this place up a couple years back for an Irish take on an English breakfast, so when I found out they were doing the Eggs Anytime deal on Skip the Dishes, you KNOW I had to check it out!!!!

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This Egg in a Hole sandwich has just about everything I want for breakfast. We’re talkin’ grilled cheese on challah bread, with Irish rashers (British style-bacon) and an egg in the middle! Now, you can eat this sandwich with your hands, although it gets a bit messy once you break the yoke…

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Served with your choice of seasonal salad or homemade coleslaw. Me, I couldda gone for some hash browns or potato wedges, but I guess I’ll settle for coleslaw…

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This slaw is a little stringier and more peppery than what you’d get in a container, which gives it a little more flavour, and a not-unpleasant aftertaste. Man, this would go really good with some fried chicken, or some BBQ, bro!!!

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And, because it’s Beer O’Clock somewhere, we’re washing this down with a Blueberry Blonde from Ottawa’s Broadhead Brewery. Now, some of the other blueberry beer I’ve had was pretty much purple, but this one has a nice blueberry aroma while still looking like an ordinary beer. And its nice, smooth taste goes good in the morning when we could all use a little Hair of the Dog after that Leafs loss in OT last night, am I right????

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Smoked brisket and smoked salmon Mother’s Day brunch

A few days back, I got an email from Tock saying it’s your last chance to order your Mother’s Day specials. Up until that point, I wasn’t planning on doing anything for Mother’s Day, since we’re still in Lockdown Number 3, and I can’t eat dinner for four by myself. But as I scrolled down the list of Mother’s Day meals, I came across this funky little joint in Parkdale called Noble House that was offering up a Mother’s Day brunch for two with a few of my favourite things — beef brisket, pickles and cake. Oh, and smoked salmon, fruit and veggies, too. Here’s what it looks like with everything unpacked and put together:

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Werd to ya mutha! This smorgasbord board of flavour was meant to feed two comfortably, but it’s more like a light lunch in Flavourtown. We’ve got two beef brisket sammies, with plenty of mustard, four giant pickle spears, a fruit tray, container of coleslaw, apple cinnamon coffee cake and some fully loaded lox. You KNOW I think they’re jiggy, bro!!!!

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But first, we’re getting frisky with the brisky. Seeing the smoked brisket on the menu is what made me buy this brunch to begin with. They give you two handfuls of brisket, four slices of bread and more than enough mustard — along with the super-thick pickles and slaw — to make this a decent deli meal by itself. The instructions were to heat the brisket on a low simmer, and while I eventually figured out what a low simmer was, I probably didn’t leave the meat in the pot long enough. Plus, by the time I put everything else together, it wasn’t really warm anymore…but that didn’t make it any less delicious!

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This brunch kit also came with everything you needed for some fully loaded lox. You’ve got two sesame seed bagels, plenty of cream cheese, smoked salmon, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, dill sprigs and capers. And I used up pretty much everything, except for some of the cream cheese and dill. Only thing I’d say is that the Montreal-style bagels with the bigger hole in the middle made it harder to put everything together without a bunch of it falling off. Maybe I shouldda tried to make a sandwich? And I still dunno what I’m gonna do with all that extra dill, dough…

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Around here, it wouldn’t be brunch without ice cold beer. This Live Transmission milkshake IPA from the righteous bros at Flying Monkeys is brewed with orange peel, grapefruit and coconut tea, so it’s practically fruit juice…although a lot hoppier, and heavier, at 6.3%.

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Now the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad, so I had coffee cake for dessert. This rich, dense cake tastes like apples and cinnamon, with some icing on top. It was probably enough for two people, but you KNOW calories don’t count on Sundays, bro!!!

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And while that was probably the most fruit I’ve ever ate in my life, and I barely even had room for dessert, I gotta say, it wasn’t a bad way to spend Mother’s Day. Mama, I’m Coming Home, Ozzy Os-bro-ne!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Bulgogi Beef Benedict for brunch, bro!!!

Now, I don’t always get up in time for brunch — especially during Lockdown Number 3 — but since the late game on Hockey Night in Canada was between Vancouver and Ottawa last night, I actually went to bed early. And since I had more than a couple beers during the first game on Hockey Night, let’s just say I was a little hungover this morning.

So we’re looking for some classic comfort food, with a bit of a Toronto twist… which brings us to Sisters & Co, this funky little joint on Dundas West that’s only open from 9 till 3, serving up some funky brunch dishes like a Chicken Katsu Club Sandwich, Thanksgiving Chicken and Waffle and Cinnamon Bun Pancakes. But when I saw the Bulgogi Beef Benedict, I was all over that like Calgary over Montreal, bro! You KNOW I love the taste of beef in the morning!!!

Now there’s a forkful of flavour in Flavourtown, right here! The English muffin was a little too toasty, but the nice chew of the beef and oozy egg more than make up for it. They serve the hollandaise on the side, so it doesn’t get too soggy on the way over, and there’s more than enough sauce to go around, son!

Speaking of forkfuls of flavour, I couldn’t stop shoveling these home fries into my mouth, homes! They’re nice ‘n small, with just a little bit of a kick from the seasoning, and there’s almost two forkfuls for every bite of benedict. (This dish also came with a side salad…but hey, if I could substitute the salad for bacon next time, that would be great.) All in all, I’d say this was just the right amount of food for a hazy Sunday morning without making your stomach feel too heavy. Sisters & Co 1, Hangover 0.

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Build your own blueberry pancakes

Now, one thing I’ve noticed since Second Lockdown is that a lot of restaurants aren’t even open for lunch anymore — never mind breakfast. (So much for Ontario being open for business, bro!) But one place that still opens at 10 a.m. every day, and 9 on the weekends, is Old School, this funky brunch joint on Dundas West. I’ve been here a couple times before, but I’ve never had their most famous dish, the Blueberry Hill Pancakes. That changes now, bro!!!

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In this case, there is some assembly required. They give you a four-stack of pancakes, along with containers of syrup, brown-sugar butter and blueberry compote, and then you slather ’em on yourself. I guess things might get a little soggy otherwise, so this makes sense… although my personal pancake stack isn’t as Instagrammable as the ones they serve once indoor dining finally resumes (one of these months). There’s plenty of butter and syrup to go around, but only enough blueberries for two outta four flapjacks. I guess you could just pile everything on top, but it’s kinda hard to cut through four pancakes inside this takeout container…

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Now, this dish does include bacon, but they hide it on top of the second pancake, so at first I didn’t see it, and I was like don’t go bacon my heart, Bro-ton John! But then it’s like whoomp, there it is, Bro-g Team! Still, this bacon could be a little more crispy — it’s more raw than cooked, Fine Young Canni-bros!!!!

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But hey, at the end of the day, these pancakes is blueberries…and blueberries is good!!!!!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Who needs a BLT when you can have a PLT, bro?

Now, back when I lived in The Annex, I knew that Insomnia was the place to go for brunch, and even during Second Lockdown, they open for takeout at 9 a.m. so you can get your brunch on. This place is serving up legit dishes like Challah French toast, huevos rancheros and off-the-hook chicken and waffles, but when I saw the General PLT, I was all over that like Run DMC on a Sucka MC, son!!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got not one, but two slices of peameal bacon on a milk bun, topped with a fried egg, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and a garlic donkey sauce — it’s like a five-star breakfast in Flavourtown! Plus it comes with a side of homefries and a salad…for some reason.

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These fried potaters are smothered in their Legendary Sauce, which is sorta like a house-made ketchup. Plus, I paid a dollar more to add bacon bits, cuz the first rule of Flavourtown is Always Add Bacon, bro!!! Man, this meal was so good, I even ate all the salad — but next time, if I could swap it for a side of sausage, y’know, that would be great…

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Who needs Migos when you’ve got migas???

Now, the last time I had huevos migas, this Tex Mex take on breakfast nachos, was in Austin — actually, it was at the airport, son! I never expected to find this dish in Toronto…so when I heard that Lady Marmalade, this funky breakfast/brunch joint on Broadview, had migas on the menu, you KNOW I was gonna twist it like it’s stir fry, bro!!!!!

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Basically, you’ve got every part of a balanced breakfast, right here. We’re talking scrambled eggs, sausage, cheese, rice, beans, pico, nachos…plus I paid 4 bucks extra for a buncha bacon, cuz the first rule of Flavourtown is Always Add Bacon! Now, when I had this dish in Texas, the tortilla chips were mixed right in, but in this order, they came served separately in a paper bag — which probably prevents them from getting soggy on the way over, I suppose.

Dude, this was one of the most filling breakfasts I had in a long time…and you KNOW I left no crumb behind, bro!!!!!!!!

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Fully loaded waffles from Starving Artist

Now, I don’t always get out of bed in time for breakfast, but the good news is I don’t even hafta get out of bed to order delivery, bro! So when I heard that Starving Artist, this funky, all-day brunch joint, was serving up fully loaded potato waffles, you KNOW I had to check it out!!!

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These bad boys are topped with everything you want on a baked potato — sour cream, chives, cheddar and bacon! I also paid extra to add avocado, bringing even more creaminess to the party….and it is a party in my mouth, bro, believe me! You also get a choice between fruit salad, potato salad or maple beans, as well as a non-optional green salad. At least, I didn’t see any way to remove the salad from my order. Hey, you don’t win friends with salad, bro!!!

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!!!

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