CLOSED: Uncle Betty's (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 2590 Yonge Street
Type of Meal: Brunch

You’ve likely seen Uncle Betty’s cheerful blue and orange building if you’ve explored the Yonge and Eglinton area. When the Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here featured them in their program, Uncle Betty’s became known outside of the Midtown crowd.  My friends and I dropped in for brunch (available weekends until 2pm) and didn’t wait more than five minutes for a table.

Their ultimate grilled cheese ($14) is one of the dishes featured on the show. Personally, I don’t think the sandwich is properly named – it’s really more of portable meal than a simple grilled cheese. If you ever felt inclined to have a thick slice of meatloaf, slab of mac ‘n cheese and melted cheese on the go, than this sandwich is for you.

Thankfully, we decided to share this, as having one to yourself would feel gluttonous (we also added bacon for an extra $1.50). It had sweet and savoury elements, with the sweetness coming from the ketchup on the meatloaf. The meatloaf and mac ‘n cheese needed to be hotter to really make this dish better - they were just barely warmed through. Some diners complain that the bread is “toasted” rather than “grilled”. Personally, given the sandwich is so decadent already, I actually preferred that the bread wasn’t soaked in butter.

Betty’s big breakfast ($10) is for those who are indecisive. Comprised of three eggs, toast, choice of meat (bacon, sausage or peameal bacon) a pancake and a side (home fries, fresh-cut fries or green salad) you can have exactly what you want. We opted for scrambled eggs (fluffy but too bland), bacon (nice long strips and crispy) and fresh-cut fries (not particularly convinced these are fresh) with ours. The pancake, what originally drew me to this dish, was way too doughy – thankfully, I had some tea available to wash it down. Strangely, they don’t offer any condiments for the toast, they weren’t even pre-buttered. Luckily, we were too full anyways so ended up leaving the dry sourdough slices behind.

The stuffed French toast ($13) was quite nice. Thick slices of egg bread filled with a ricotta and blueberry preserve mixture. It naturally had a nice sweetness to it so we didn’t even require syrup. Not needing syrup is ideal, as Uncle Betty serves the Aunt Jemima variety. Maybe it’s the Canadian in me, but nothing but maple syrup will do. 

What I may have to come back and try one day is their ice cream donut sandwiches. Made with fresh donuts and all natural ice creams in a variety of flavours, I could just imagine how delicious it’d be. Overall, it’s a good neighbourhood joint, but wouldn’t consider it to be a destination restaurant.

Overall mark - 6 out of 10

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!