Tag Archives: brunch

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!!!

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?

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