CLOSED: Murgatroid (Toronto)

First off, thank you Zomato for sending me a Murgatroid gift card, I may have never found this place myself. Located on the city’s east side, its entrance is set back slightly so look for their logo (a large ‘M’ surrounded with orange) to find it. 

You may be thinking, what does Murgatroid mean? It sure doesn’t sound like a restaurant. In speaking to the owner, it’s actually from the Snagglepuss cartoon, where the character’s favourite saying is “Heaves to Murgatroyd”. The name intrigued him and became a placeholder in his life, a promise of things to come. So, while planning for the restaurant and not knowing its name, he used Murgatroid and it just stuck.

And how did I find all this out? I simply asked! Murgatroid is a small neighbourhood spot run by the owner and a chef. So, as soon as you walk in you’re greeted and served by the person who is the most knowledgeable about the place. From every ingredient being used in the dish, to the place's history.  

They focus on lunch and brunch service and are likely most known for their decadent take on eggs benedict. For me, the Murgatroid sandwich ($9.30) sounded delicious. A fluffy Blackbird bakery kaiser is stuffed with a mountain of tender juicy roasted chicken and sprouts. Tons of bold flavours are abound with the rich Ontario gouda-style goat cheese and bit of spice from the fermented pepper relish. But, what really made the sandwich was a thin slice of crispy chicken skin which added the right amount of crunch and saltiness to the sandwich.

For an extra $5 you can add a side and drink. The canoe potatoes are wedges of roasted potatoes finished off in the griddle until crispy and golden brown. If you like hashbrowns you’ll likely enjoy this as the wedges develop a thick crust on the outside. They were good just a tad salty for my taste.

Although I was pretty full I couldn't help but try their cinnamon roll ($2.95) as its one of my favourite sweets. Normally, the ones I eat are of the Cinnabon variety – tall, soft, buttery and doused in a sweet glaze. Murgatroid’s is very different and almost reminds me of a harder cinnamon Danish. It’s flaky but not greasy and has a very pronounced cinnamon flavour. The icing on top is thick and has that tanginess you’re expect from cream cheese.

The owner and chef both show such passion towards their food. All ingredients, whenever possible, is sourced locally and made from scratch. From the not overly sweet ketchup made with local tomatoes, the zingy hot pepper relish smeared in the sandwich using peppers grown in Downview Park and even the locally milled flour that was the staple of the cinnamon roll. Even the table I sat at was constructed from wood salvaged after the demolition.

Murgatroid is what you’d imagine a neighbourhood lunch place to be. Sure their service may not be as quick as some, but it's that individual attention from their chef that ensures their quality is sustained.

And it’s the unhurried pace that makes Murgatroid a place where you feel welcomed to sit around and have another cup of coffee. In fact, they even have a decent selection of board games available so you can sit around and play with your friends and family before you leave.

With so much demand for similar board game cafés Murgatroid may be the hidden place to go for a decent cup of java and food without a long wait.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 568 Parliament Street

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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!