Mary Be Kitchen (Toronto)

Mary Be Kitchen is light, bright, and airy … pretty much an Instagrammer’s dream. With the sparse wooden table tops and touches of white and blue, I can just imagine the number of strategically placed purse, sunglass, book, and food photos that will soon be geotagged against the restaurant.

Something about the atmosphere makes me want a pretty drink. Normally, for breakfast, I stick with a hot pot of English Breakfast. But, after seeing the atmosphere, I switched to a latte instead … actually, on second thought, make that a lavender latte ($4.95).

I don’t know what I was thinking: aside from the flora in a gin-based drink, it’s generally an ingredient I wish was left out. But, everything is so darn pretty that I felt the need to order the girliest morning drink they served. For the first half, while hot, the aromatic element went nicely with the warm milk and golden tasting espresso. Maybe I do like lavender, I thought to myself. Once the latte became cold and I’ve already had so many sips, I remember why it’s a nauseating ingredient.

Mary Be follows the fast-casual concept, ideal for the weekday lunch crowds in the Yonge and St. Clair neighbourhood. On weekends, it’s still an easy-going place: order, receive a number, find any empty table, and soon the food comes to you. Their menu consists of various salads, proteins, stews, and breakfast items that you can order separately or mix-and-match. The menu is limited to breakfast options on weekends with several other brunch choices.

The dahl and eggs ($13.95) is part of their brunch menu. A big bowl of red lentil curry where the pulse is soft and thick. Mary Be’s dahl has the customary hit of spice but also a tanginess that’s mellowed by fresh diced tomatoes. I only wish it was hotter, especially since the two poached eggs were so runny that a hot stew could have cooked them more. If you’re like me and enjoy the yolk oozing and creamy instead of leaking upon first poke, ask for them to be done medium.

With a sizeable piece of grilled organic multigrain sourdough toast and a side of leafy greens you’ll leave stuffed, but not feeling glutinous. In fact, I left feeling healthy – not in a juice fast sort of way, rather like I had a well-balanced hearty filling meal that also happens to be plant-based. Despite not having an ounce of meat, I stayed full until dinner after the 9am breakfast.

Don’t worry, for meat eaters, Mary Be does serve protein (they source their chicken, beef, and bacon from Beretta Farms). It just so happens they offer a lot of vegetarian options as well. These recipes were developed by owner Sarah Huggins, a long-time food blogger, who’s made her healthy recipes into a restaurant. Talk about living the dream. Maybe that’s why Mary Be Kitchen’s dining area is so white and heavenly.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 21B St. Clair Avenue West

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - 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!

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