Sassy club sandwich + fries @ Sassafraz

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…

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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!!!

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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. 😉

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Duck confit on a bun for this funky French brunch!!!

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!!!

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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???

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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!!!

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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!!!

Big Lebanese Brunch @ The Depanneur

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:

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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!!!

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Badass beef brisket brunch burger @ Baro

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!!!

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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:

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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!!!

Why settle for a pancake burger when you can have a double pancake pork burger???

So, we’re hanging out at Lisa Marie, this funky fresh joint on Queen West. Now, we’ve been here before for some real-deal ribs at Winterlicious, and I also scarfed down some spaghetti and massive meatballs here on Toronto Beer Week…but I’ve heard that they’re really killing it for brunch — and they weren’t kidding — this place was packed, bro!

And lemme tell ya, their menu goes right after my bacon-loving heart. They’ve got steak ‘n eggs ‘n bacon, a peameal bacon sammy, and even something called the bacon explosion benedict — but when I saw the double pancake pork burger, I KNEW it was gonna be love at first bite!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got two meaty pork patties, topped with lettuce, tomato and cheese, served between three pancakes with a side of maple syrup. Now, I gotta say, this dish was super messy, even without the extra tree juice. The thin pancakes weren’t really designed to hold together that much meat, and everything was falling apart all over the place… But you KNOW I still ate this all with my hands, bro. Dude, eating a burger with a fork is like a five-year sentence in Flavourtown County Jail!!!

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Of course, you can’t have a burger without fries, and these duck fat home fries were like Breakfast Fries Gone Wild! The potaters were hot ‘n crispy, straight from the fryer, with a good crust and a nice grainy mustard smeared on the plate. Not to mention these things are friggin’ huge — pretty sure I’ve seen ducks at High Park that were not as big as these babies!!!

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Now, I don’t always drink beer for breakfast, but when I heard they were taking one of my all-time favourite brews, Big Rock Grasshopper, and mixing it with lemonade, well, I figured that pretty much counts as a fruit juice, right? This was actually quite refreshing, like a summer shandy wearing a toque or something… Too bad it was like -4 outside, bro!!!

Lamb & eggs for brunch @ Bodega

Now, lamb has gotta be one of my all-time favourite meats. Whether it’s lamb chops, lamb shank or even lamb tacos, I’m all over it like a Greek freak on fleek! So when I heard that Bodega, this funky little joint in Baldwin Village, was serving up lamb with scrambled eggs for brunch, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!!!

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Now, I’m no stranger to steak ‘n eggs, but this is definitely kickin’ it up a notch. The New Zealand chops were cooked about medium well (they didn’t ask), but still nice and tender, and actually go good with eggs — who knew? You’ve got a side of skinny, salty fries, as well as a salad with a whole buncha berries. Now, I dunno if I’ve even eaten five salads this year, but this one would hafta be in my top five, though!!!

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Not only are they serving up some funky brunch dishes at Bodega, but this place is also pouring six-dolla pints, bro! You’ve got Sam Adams, Sam Roberts, even Kronenbourg Blanc… but I went with a Grimbergen, this strong Belgian ale, based on the name alone. Now, I thought the fruity, funky brew tasted familiar. I couldn’t place it at first, but then I was like, “Sheeeet son, this beer tastes like prune juice!” So yeah, I maybe won’t order that one next time…

Breakfast of Champions @ The Wickson Social

Now, I don’t always get up in time for breakfast, but when I do, it’s gotta be legit. So we’re hanging out at The Wickson Social, this funky little joint just offa Yonge Street, where they’ve got some wicked awesome brunch, bro! When I came here for Summerlicious, I had a pork chop that was super-delicious, so you know I’m gonna come back for some back bacon—even if it is six dollars extra.

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But for the main event, we’re talking Banoffee French Toast. It’s bananas (and bananas is good), it’s toffee, it’s nice thick slices of bread with a mascarpone whipped cream—you could put it on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good! And did I mention the duck fat home fries???

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These taters were so hot they put an alligator in yer radiator! You’ve got some nicely seasoned crispy potato, which goes great with back bacon, a little whipped cream, candied banana and French toast—this is the perfect bite right here, bro:

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