Yo, so last Sunday we’re hanging out in Yorkville at Buca Osteria & Bar, for some real-deal Italian brunch. And we ain’t just talking ’bout pasta and pizza in the morning — although you KNOW there has to be pizza involved. They’ve also got this crazy Italian take on eggs benny…they call it bombolone:
OK, now let’s break it down. What you’ve got is an Italian doughnut, topped with porchetta, non-fried green tomato, salsa verde, a perfectly poached egg, and then a whole lotta marscapone on top. It sure beats the hell outta back bacon on an English muffin at Tim Horton’s, son!!!!
Of course, Italian brunch means you’re not just eating one thing. We’re also throwing down some far-out farinata! This Genovese chickpea crepe is topped with stracciatella, hen’s eggs and a buncha black truffles, all the way from Lazio… Mamma mia!
And like I said, it wouldn’t be Italian brunch without pizza. This funghi pie is topped with mushrooms, gorgonzola, more marscapone — dude, this is body by marscapone! — and then some marjoram leaves, for that one serving of green stuff. Man, this fun guy is crispy, chewy and soooo not leaving for L.A. anytime soon, bro!!!!
Dude, we’re hanging out at Leña, this funky South American joint inside The Bay, right on Yonge St in the heart of downtown Flavourtown. This place is serving up all kinds of funky brunch, like a brisket burger, breakfast beef empanadas and this South American cowboy’s desayuno, The Full Gaucho:
OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got these super-runny herb fried eggs, two kinds of pork, with blood sausage AND pork shoulder bacon, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, a couple pieces of warm flatbread and some tasty griddled taters — dude, this is body by griddled taters! But I gotta say, the blood sausage is what makes it:
Now, this sausage is definitely a different texture than you get from one made of meat. But it’s got a nice spice to it, bit of kick from the onions, and goes great with eggs and taters. Man, I don’t even need a fork — I would eat this off a flip-flop!!!
Of course, even after eating all that grub, you KNOW we’ve still got room for a plate fulla churros, bro! You gotta love deep-fried dough, sprinkled with icing sugar, and then a whole teacup of chocolate for dipping… Dude, I could totally chug that teacup of chocolate, son!!!
Now, I’m no stranger to steak and eggs, and you know this is body by bacon – it’s right there in the name of the blog, bro! But when I heard that Figo, this modern Italian place on Adelaide, was serving up porchetta and eggs for brunch, you know I had to duck into the nearest phone booth and change into my pig-eating costume!!!!
OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got some super-crispy pork, cooked in their wood-fired oven, with these perfectly fried eggs – don’t break the yolk, bro! Salsa verde adds a bit of a kick, and I swear to King Diamond that’s the second time a restaurant has made me eat arugula this month. It was very… arugul-ey, I guess?
We’re washing it all down with a spicy Figo Caesar, made from Ketel One, Clamato, Tobasco, lime juice, Wor-chester-chester-shire and then some salsa verde for an added kick. I stuck the jalapeno garnish in there right away, and I gotta say, it was pretty spicy. Now where’s the raisins when I need ‘em???
Now, I don’t always wake up in time for brunch, but when I do, there’d better be bacon awaitin’ for me. So, when I heard that Sassafraz, this upscale funky joint in Yorkville, was serving up a brunch club sandwich with house-roasted turkey and peppercorn bacon, I knew I had to come check it out…
Now, this had to be one of the top five club sammies I’ve ever had, and I’m pretty sure I was partying in da club when it was invented. The turkey was fresh-carved and tender, the bacon was super-crispy, the way it should be, and then you had some crunch from the apples, melty cheese with a bit of sharpness from the brie at the end… You could put that on a flip-flop, sprinkle it with chicken base and garlic salt, serve it with bananas…and it would still taste good!!!
As you can see, the fries were thin ‘n salty, but I loved the fact that they gave you both mayo and ketchup for dipping. You could go back and forth all day, or even make your own Mayochup… although you might wanna avoid getting shitfaced at 11 am. 😉
Now, I don’t really celebrate Easter — I pretty much eat Peeps 24/7, bro!!! — but I’ll take any excuse to go for brunch that I can get. So, we’re hanging out at Le Paradis, this funky French bistro that’s kinda in the middle of nowhere, on Bedford north of Davenport. This place has got everything on their brunch menu from steak tartare to eggs benny to a raclette cheeseburger — although I see they’ve omitted the beer-braised lamb, which makes me a sad lambda. But we’re still eatin’ good in this neighbourhood!!!
We’re starting off with moules a la marinière, these PEI mussels steamed with white wine, garlic and onions. Dude, who needs muscles from Brussels when you can have mussels from Charlottetown???
But you know that was just a light snack in Flavourtown, so now we’re moving on to the main event — a duck confit sammy on a ciabatta with a fried egg on top! It’s like if Italy was facing off against France in the kitchen, and they both laid an egg — which sounds kinda like a soccer game, eh? The duck is nice and tender, you’ve got the crunchiness of the ciabatta, and then that egg oozing all over the place… Man, I’d actually sit through a soccer game if you fed me a few of these!!!
Now, here’s where we kick brunch up a notch with a pint of Averbode Abbey Ale, this Belgian brew from the 14th century. Well, OK, I don’t think this one was actually brewed in the 1300’s — that would be some pretty skunky beer, bro! But I gotta say, it was a nice, fruity, brunchy beer with a deceptively strong 7.5% kick. I’m not drunk or anything, but I might have led the resto in a round of “Frère Jacques” — sonnez les matines, son!!!
Now, if there’s one thing I love more than shawarma, it’s brunch, bro! And at The Depanneur, this funky little pop-up kitchen on College, they’ve serving up the best of both worlds with their Big Lebanese Brunch:
OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got a personal pan pita, topped with halloumi cheese, chunks of salted lamb, scrambled eggs, hash browns and bit of middle eastern fried tomatoes, for that added colour. Man, if this was an actual pizza, I could slam at least seven slices, no problemo!
Now, the portion you see at the top of the page is actually intended for two people, but you know what they say… Just another light snack in Flavourtown, son!!!
Now, I don’t always eat brunch, but when I do, you’d better believe there’s beef brisket involved! So, we’re hanging out at Baro, this funky Latin joint on King West. Last year, we went here for some legit lomo saltado, so I know they know their beef. And when I saw the brisket sangwich on the brunch menu, I knew that it was heading straight down my piehole, son!!!
OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got a whole buncha pulled brisket on a potato bun, swimming in a tangy guava BBQ sauce, with a fried egg on top — don’t break the yoke, bro!!! Then you’ve got dill pickles, shredded lettuce and a side of home fries. Dude, my freestyle rap duo was called side of home fries!!! And then to wash it all down, we’ve got this classic Colombian cocktail called a refajo:
What you’ve got here is light beer, mixed with Colombiana cream soda, and a bit of mango, garnished with an orange wedge. Now, I wasn’t that big on IC Light Mango, but this summer shandy from south of the border is pretty darn refreshing!!!