Showing posts with label Breakfast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Breakfast. Show all posts

Hazel’s Diner Mount Pleasant (Toronto)


As a society, we seem to be a nostalgic bunch. Possibly a by product of living through the pandemic, or just because we crave the “good old days” when things were just simpler. We’re listening to more oldies than current top hits, television reboots are sprouting up, and the excitement around Top Gun Maverick is palpable. Does this bleed into the way we eat as well?

Unfortunately, rising rents and COVID has also claimed several iconic diners across Toronto. For Midtown residents, we’re lucky that Hazel’s Diner is still around. Having been to their Yonge location on numerous occasions, I was invited to visit the newer Mount Pleasant outpost, which serves the same menu.   

While the Yonge location’s dark wooden interior provides a homey rustic feeling, Mount Pleasant’s dining room is full of bright colours and light, a nod to the retro diners of the 50s. I almost expected to find Archie and Jughead lounging around the restaurant, tucking into large frothy milkshakes.

The Mount Pleasant location also has an outdoor patio, hidden by beautiful foliage and a wide sidewalk so that there's more privacy. 

You can certainly find the staple breakfast fare of bacon and eggs at Hazel’s, although I think their signature creations are so much better and love that their menu offers so many meat-free options.

Bonnie’s hash ($17), named after the owner’s wife who is a vegetarian, is a hearty combination of well toasted potatoes mixed with corn, onion, pepper, spinach, garlic, and jalapeno, topped with two eggs done to your liking (my over medium was done perfectly). It’s a satisfying breakfast that’s also refreshing and delicious.

I only wish the rye bread was less crispy – it’s more akin to melba toast – and is great for dipping into eggs but not solo with jam. Sourced from a local bakery, the owner explains the lack of preservatives does mean it can crisp up quickly, so perhaps order it untoasted if you like your bread soft.

The TPA benny ($17) is a healthy choice as the poached eggs are accompanied by a mound of arugula salad, tomato slices, and asparagus. Of course, they are also slathered in a rich buttery hollandaise and sit on a large crispy rosti, but what’s a breakfast without potatoes?

Picture and experience of TPA Benny from Yonge location

Hazel’s rosti is crunchier than the traditional Swiss version; it’s more like deep fried shredded potatoes than a pan-toasted potato pancake. Yet, it starts to soften as the egg yolk and tomato juices begin to meld into the rosti. Everything was so fresh thanks to the owner’s dedication to buying most of the ingredients himself… he’s a touch and see the ingredients kind of person. Oh, and if you’re wondering what TPA stands for, it’s tomato potato arugula.

On the other hand, if you’re craving decadence, the eggs Natasha ($19) places poached eggs on smoked salmon and pancakes topped with hollandaise, sour cream, and black caviar. It’s a savoury, sweet, and smoky concoction, certainly a dish to wake up the taste buds and makes me wonder if it’s too early to have a shot of vodka.

For those who like it sweet, the French toast is made from challah so that it’s extra custardy tasting with a faint cinnamon finish. I particularly love that Hazel’s uses maple syrup instead of the overly thick and plasticky tasting table syrup. When you’re creating such wonderful dishes, go maple!    

After such a filling brunch, I didn’t think we could get through the loaded waffle ($16), but as I took a bite of the fluffy creation with a sweet berry, I wanted another bite and another… needless to say, it did not go to waste. And despite what looks like an insane amount of whipped cream, it was as light as air and seemed to vanish on the tongue.

One thing is for sure, you’ll leave Hazel’s feeling satisfied (if not stuffed) as that’s how diners are supposed to be. I picture a stout smiling women with a slight Southern twang urging me to eat another bite and ending sentences with “sugar”. Imagine my surprise when I find out Hazel is the name of the owner’s car … so, not a person. I guess that’s one thing about nostalgia, we look back with rosier glasses, and in my mind, there will always be a Grandma Hazel.  


Overall mark - 8 out of 10
Disclaimer: The above meal was complimentary. Rest assured, as noted in the mission statement, I will always provide my honest opinion. 


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 523 Mt Pleasant Road


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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!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Frankie’s Modern Diner (Victoria)

Before a day of sightseeing, we like to properly prepare ourselves with a hearty meal and Frankie’s Modern Diner seemed like the ideal spot to tuck into a traditional no-fuss breakfast. The large wooden booths provide the mood of a diner, but I can see why they describe it as being modernized with the well-spaced fixtures, whimsical touches, and the French windows that open to create a lovely airy environment.

Normally, I like to keep it simple and order off the menu, but with all the ingredient choices, I opted to create my own omelette ($10) so that I could get pico de gallo paired with spinach (additional $3). The egg was beautifully prepared to a lovely uniform thinness and was filled to the brim with the vegetable toppings.

Unsure about the asiago cream sauce & parmesan cheese the menu describes as covering the home fries, I requested it on the side and found it was more shaved cheese than cream sauce – great for tucking into the omelette for some extra decadence. And you certainly won’t leave hungry with the amount of home fries that comes with the meal, all well-toasted but also overly salted.

Yet, what cinched the meal for me was the ability to choose a pancake or toast as a side… who would pick toast when pancake is an option?! And it was a good pancake to boot – fluffy and soft (but not sticky) with a lovely crust that acted as a barrier against the pancake becoming a syrup sponge as well as creating a pleasant chewy texture. The meal was the perfect combination of an egg-based main with bressert (breakfast dessert) that I love.

Frankie’s had us thinking about lunch not long after finishing our meal as we made our way back to the entrance where their enormous cakes and pies were in full display. If only we were in Victoria for longer, I’d certainly give Frankie’s another visit. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Victoria, Canada
 Address: 910 Government Street


Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
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!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Evviva (Toronto)


If seasons could be paired with mealtimes and types, Spring just reminds me of traditional English brunch. Even more so when experienced in the pastel hued Evviva that has made its way into North York.

Their menu is extensive with loads of choices including a great assortment of vegan options for those who want to skip the eggs, bacon, sausage, and ham. The classic vegan Reuben sandwich ($16.99) just beckoned me to try it and arrived looking like a glorious pastrami sandwich. One bite into the faux meat and I was reminded this is indeed vegan – the seitan was too soft and mushy, tasting more like beef tartare than smoked meat. Instead of creating such a thick stack, I would rather Evviva uses less seitan and took the time to really grill each slice, so it develops a crust to provide the bite and chewiness of meat.

Nevertheless, the marble rye was toasted to greasy perfection and the Russian dressing combined with sauerkraut and melted cheddar made for such flavourful bites. I ended up removing the middle portion of seitan and substituted it with pickles to create a delicious sandwich, the acidity of pickle was perfect to counteract the otherwise heavy sandwich.

The fries could have been double fried to give if more crunch but were at least hot and fresh. In retrospect, I would order the home fries instead as they are amazing: the uber crispy exterior and perfect sized cubes just begged to be devoured. I would have gladly traded in the handful of leafy salad the came with the Florentine egg’s benedict ($16.99) for more of the tasty spuds.

In my haste to order I forgot to ask for the poached eggs to be done medium, so I did find the yolk to be a tad runnier than I’d like. As luck would have it, the Hollandaise sauce and the home fries were piping hot and the perfect vessel for mixing and dipping into the eggs to stiffen the yolk. The sauce’s seasoning was also bang on with enough saltiness to flavour the eggs without overtaking the dish. I can see why the egg’s benedict is such a popular choice.

Each egg was also adorned with pretty edible florals, which is likely why the dish instantly put me into a spring-time mood. If April showers bring May flowers, I wonder what indulging in brunch will present?

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 5221 Yonge Street
 Website: https://evviva.ca/


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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!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Louix Louis (Toronto)


In the aftermath of the Trump presidency, Toronto’s tower lost the blue and red stripes and rebranded to become the St. Regis Hotel. The flagship restaurant located on the 31st floor also morphed from America to something much more colonial - Louix Louis.

In line with their name, the menu is a mix of English and French offerings. On the French end, the croque Madame ($18) arrives as a thick piece of toast topped with ham, poached egg, and gruyere smothered in a cream sauce that looks more decadent than it tastes. The bread could be thinner and could use a few extra minutes in the pan. As it stands, it covers all the elements and the cheese inside isn’t even melted.


The English version of the main, the eggs benedict ($24), was executed better despite not being on the ‘Signatures’ section of the menu. Diners are given a choice of smoked salmon, pea meal bacon, or creamy spinach to include in the traditional recipe of English muffin, poached egg and hollandaise. With the thicker slab of pea meal, the main is tastier but really no different from most benny offerings.


With nary a potato accompanying anything, there was room for bressert (breakfast dessert… get it)? Personally I found the brioche French toast ($18) a bit dry, but I’ve been spoilt by really good French toast that gets soaked in the egg bath so the bread tastes like a thick custard. Louix Louis does include a variety of condiments - whipped mascarpone, blueberries and toasted almond – to make sure it’s at least flavourful.


The buttermilk pancakes ($18) were fluffier and served thinly so that a toasted flavour permeates the pancake. Topped with bourbon and caramelized apple chutney, the condiments were a nice touch and went nicely smothered with maple syrup.


For the most part, the restaurant feels the same with the impressive finishes and soaring ceiling in the dining room. But, like the old vs. new world differences there are signs of wear. Their bathrooms are no longer gleaming and opulent feeling; the walls in the stalls are marked with holes and a sad handwritten ‘out of order’ sign is placed on one of the toilets. Even the service is slow and tiresome – it takes a reminder and over 15 minutes before tea arrives (for something that’s boiling water and a tea bag). If you’re thirsty you better ask for the water upfront as it’ll never arrive otherwise.


So while the classic breakfast options at Louix Louis are good, the whole experience lacks the luxurious poise you’d expect from a luxury hotel. Trump has left the building, but St. Regis needs to step up their game.

Overall mark - 6 out of 10



How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 325 Bay Street (in the St. Regis Hotel)

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
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!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:

Louix Louis Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The Patrician Grill (Toronto)


When you’re hung over and hungry, a big platter of food from a diner is oh so satisfying. The Patrician Grill has been satiating appetites since the 1960s; their retro sign and dining room surely makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Maybe it’s me, but the fact that there’s no lines and they serve big portions for low prices – sometimes it’s great to be old fashioned.

The dining area isn’t fancy but comfortable, the well-padded vinyl banquettes overlooks the kitchen and if you really want to be where the action is, there’s a row of stools for couples and single diners.


What makes the kitchen’s proximity great is everything arrives fresh and hot. The fluffy vegetarian omelette ($11.75) was packed with diced tomatoes, onion, green pepper and enough cheese to give it that signature gooey pull. With a choice of home fries, French fries, or mashed potatoes (yes, it can be a hearty breakfast), we’re advised the home fries are cut in house and then the diced pieces are slowly cooked over the flat top developing a golden crust without feeling greasy. I ate every single piece.


Interestingly, breakfasts also come arrive with a small cup of coleslaw, the vinaigrette based greens adding a nice refreshing crunch and splash of acid against the heavier breakfast.

As a table, we decided to forgo the toast that comes with breakfast and shared an ordered of cinnamon French toast ($10.50) for dessert. It was an amazing idea as a slice of the custardy hot toast was an ideal sweet ending. They’re also thin enough that it wasn’t too filling. If only it was served with maple syrup, instead of the thick artificial corn syrup variety, it would be even better.



Toronto has a great variety of brunch spots: from fancy affairs with bottomless bubbles to simple eggs and bacon. I’m glad we stumbled upon The Patrician Grill when another spot down King Street had a queue. In less time than we would have had to wait, we were warm and deliciously fed.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 219 King Street East

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
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!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Café Landmark 香港開飯喇 (Hong Kong)


Rarely can one dine amongst names like Balenciaga, Dior, and Jimmy Cho in view. Pristine storefronts displaying items of opulence.  If that’s a dream, Café Landmark is suspended in the middle of the Landmark’s atrium; looking upon floors of luxury stores, an ideal spot for shopaholics.

If you’re about to blow thousands on a pair of stilettos, than one of Café Landmark’s breakfast sets will help pinch pennies and provide enough sustenance for the day. They’re a great deal with two “courses” as well as a choice of bread (one being a croissant), coffee or tea, and juice. I like that they even heat up the milk for your tea.

The Classic Hong Kong Set ($125) starts with scrambled eggs and ham. Perhaps it’s common in HK, but the eggs were extremely underdone, a creamy watery bite that’s off-putting for me. Shaking off the uncooked egg and sandwiching it in the hot croissant with ham made it bearable, even delicious. Most people go for the croissant. Yes, it’s a little dark looking, but hot from a warmer, it makes for a fragrant and flakey accompaniment.  


Soon after, the second course arrives – a generous portion of macaroni and BBQ pork in broth. While this may seem heavy for breakfast, a pasta with protein is a popular option in the city. Diners can choose from spaghetti or macaroni, paired with ham, beef, BBQ pork, or chicken. 


For me, the pork soup was a bit plain, as I looked longingly at the bowls filled with tomato and beef broth that regulars seemed to ask for instead. Nonetheless, it was hot, the BBQ pork plentiful (I had already gone through two slices before remembering to take a picture) and, most importantly, tasty once everything came together.

If you’re not afraid of sweating, their seafood congee ($90) arrives PIPING hot containing large pieces of shrimp, scallop, fish and shredded crab meat. It takes a while to get through as the bowl is also heated, causing it to retain its temperature throughout our 30 minute breakfast. The fried dough pieces were a tad greasy, but after being dunked into the congee for a while, it all melts away.


For both meals, I wanted to “eat local” with their Asian breakfasts. Café Landmark also offers a variety of Western-style options … the menu can take some time to get through. An omelet ($125) was also runny and forgettable, but their blueberry pancakes ($105) were decent. Although the batter could use more egg, the pancakes were very fluffy and the sauce an interesting combination of syrup and melted butter in one.

I swear it wasn’t the glittery stores that made me want to dine at Café Landmark two days in a row. Rather their Central location to transportation and comfortable surroundings at reasonable prices had us returning. I’m a girl that likes to eat: give me a croissant to a clutch, any day.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Central, Hong Kong
 Address: 15 Queen's Road (inside Landmark building)

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
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!

Kost (Toronto)


Even on a chilly Spring day, the atmosphere in Kost is warm and sunny – the bright palm tree dining room a taste of Miami when you can’t hop on a plane. The restaurant is inspired by the Baja Peninsula, the land that brought the city amazing fish and shrimp tacos. Kost’s menu has a similar vibe; the dishes filled with vegetables, bright colours, and vibrant flavours.


Leaning more towards lunch than breakfast at brunch, the Ahi tuna steak sandwich ($21) was calling me. The sandwich was fantastic: the fresh soft brioche bun studded with sesame seeds; the Ahi tuna incorporating a lovely seasoned seared ring; and there was plenty of crunch and flavours from the pickled red onion, a Baja slaw, creamy avocado, and lemon mayonnaise. Each bite was an explosion of tastes. The dish would have been perfect if they didn’t run out of fries by noon. The substituted home fries were fine but denser and heavier; not nearly as good as thin fries.


In terms of breakfast, the Kost breakfast ($16) is a hearty choice. It arrives with the customary two eggs, bacon, and potatoes. The Baja influence comes through with the green chorizo, toasted tortilla, and pico de gallo.


Given the mains aren’t overly large, you’ll have room for dessert. Our table thoroughly enjoyed the pineapple upside down cake ($10), the cake nice and moist. On the side, the rum anglaise and sour cream ice cream adding an extra creamy sweetness to the dessert.


Surprisingly, the tres leche cake ($10) was fairly dry and bland for something that’s supposed to be soaked in three different types of milk. Nonetheless, it’s good if you think of it as a caramel sponge cake and with the toasted almond ice cream it gets better.  


I was so comfortable in Kost that I didn’t want to leave. If only our table could transform into a large hammock, I could lie there all day and down more Prosecco. Alas, we stared at Lake Ontario one more time being leaving… if I squinted to blur the view of the naked tree branches, I could have sworn we were somewhere tropical.


Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 80 Blue Jays Way, 44th floor

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
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!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



Kost Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Hazel's Diner (Toronto)


After seeing the queue forming outside Hazel’s Diner, I’ve been intrigued by the all-day breakfast establishment… what flap jacks are they serving that makes people line up from 9am to noon (sometimes even during weekdays)? Having finally made it through the door, my conclusion is Hazel’s is so popular due to its location (being part of a busy neighbourhood where there’s no other diner) and their reasonable prices.

Their all-day breakfast includes the staple two eggs, bacon, toast, and home fries. While it’s normally $9.95, on Monday and Friday before 11am the price decreases to $6.99. Everything is done solidly: the scrambled eggs fluffy and actually tastes like eggs, the bacon crispy, and the home fries incorporate well caramelized onions giving it interest.  


In retrospect, had I known how large their pancakes were, we wouldn’t have added on a half stack ($8) to share. Each pancake is about the size of a plate and even the half stack is more than enough to satisfy a person. I could only muster through a small half of one pancake given it was so doughy and dense; they are also rather tasteless so relies heavily on maple syrup for flavour.


Their freshly squeezed orange juice is a great alternative to caffeine and available in small ($3) and large ($5) sizes, a rather reasonable price for a freshly squeezed variety.


Would I ever wait in line to return to Hazel’s? Likely not. But, their food is respectable and well-priced, so if there’s ever not a wait again, I’ll return for another savoury breakfast fix.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3401 Yonge Street


Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
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!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:

 Hazel's Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


CLOSED: The Borough (Toronto)


For being a British colony, Toronto, surprisingly, has a lack of good English restaurants. We’re graced with more than our fair share of pub chains, but the menus are cookie cutter and none are exciting. While searching for a quick brunch place in East York, I was happy to stumble upon The Borough - the bright white and red restaurant isn’t your typical dark dank pub, but the food would even impress Mr. Bean.

Their Borough benedict ($15) is what lured me into the restaurant… the promise of my favourite breakfast main on top of Yorkshire pudding was irresistible. After experiencing the dish, I wouldn’t want it any other way. The cheddar cheese Yorkshire pudding was airy and fresh, its crevices perfect for cupping the medium runny egg yolk and hollandaise sauce. Unlike English muffin, which can be difficult to cut through, or biscuits that are way too dense, the pudding was doughy enough to hold up against everything else but not taste heavy. The old cheddar notes also made the benedict more flavourful than the typical buttery hollandaise.


The home fries smell and taste like chips I’ve had in the UK. There’s something about them – despite being cut larger and made of solid pieces of potatoes there’s a fluffiness to the filling. With a hefty helping of sticky warm molasses baked beans, you’ll leave stuffed.

If that weren’t indulgent enough, that day they had a special eggs benedict topped with pork belly ($18). I didn’t try it, but my friend loved the crispy crackling crust over each thick piece of meat. They also do a proper full English breakfast, which seemed popular with other tables.


Should I ever have to venture to the neighbourhood again, I’d return to the Borough for their evening meals. At last, there’s a decent English restaurant in the fray and they’ve combined Yorkshire pudding with eggs benedict – genius.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1352 Danforth Avenue


Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
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!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:




Patisserie Sebastien (Toronto)


From the outside, Patisserie Sebastien, a neighbourhood French bakery, doesn’t seem too Parisian. However, once you open the oversized door (perfect for strollers and assisted walkers), the smell of tantalizing buttery pastries and comforting espresso mixed with milk instantly greets you.

Sebaastien’s is busy but not in an overwhelming manner: there’s always someone occupying the handful of tables situated around the windows but I’ve never had to wait. If you’re there for just a sweet and drink, a row of stools by the coffee bar entices you to stay and enjoy the concoctions in their full glory. In fact, I highly recommend you stop and eat the pastry there as certain ones are not nearly as magnificent once suffocated in a paper bag and left sitting around at home.

At the restaurant, the canale ($2.95) has a wonderfully caramelized crust and airy sweet cakey custard centre… the ideal two bites of sweetness with a hot frothy cappuccino. Once they’re brought home and especially if they’re left overnight, they’re still good but becomes chewy.


Go early on Saturday for your best chance at getting one of their French doughnuts ($2.95). Even then, sometimes they can quickly run out when families run in to grab a dozen for the cottage and there won’t be another batch on Sunday. Sebastien’s take on a cronut, these doughnuts are sinfully delicious with layers of flaky buttery pastry with a crispy sugary crust. By far my favourite doughnuts in the city.


Their butter croissant ($2.25) incorporates the same airy dough but really needs some condiments as it’s not really flavourful. For those who like croissant sandwiches, this is ideal for stuffing with cheese, vegetables, and meat. Similarly, the chocolate croissant ($2.50) is not nearly decadent enough. With only two slivers of chocolate along the middle of the pastry, you don’t always get some with each bite – if there was a bit drizzled on top the pastry would be better.


I prefer the apple Danish ($3.10), topped with numerous thin apple slices and a sweet earthy almond paste underneath. This is a pastry you generally can’t find everywhere else.


For a light lunch, Sebastien also offers sandwiches, soups, and quiches. The baguette used as the sandwich’s base is delicious – soft, chewy, and has a lovely bread aroma; it’s a crusty bread that’s not hard so you won’t have the jagged shards that can cut your mouth.

Meanwhile, the sandwiches’ fillings can be improved. The Parisian ($9.50; half order pictured below as they thoughtfully split it for us) uses French style ham, gruyere and mustard. Nothing is strong enough so the flavours sort of just meld together: the ham isn’t smoked and the gruyere also fairly mild. The only saving grace is the lovely mustardy creamy vinaigrette on the salad … if devil's egg can be made into a dressing.

The legume sandwich ($9.50) could be good if the eggplant was hot. Maybe it’s me, but biting into a bun and being greeted by an ice-cold vegetable is a letdown, no matter how creamy the goat cheese.


Sebastien’s French onion soup ($8.95) has all the elements to satisfy without the guilt factor. In lieu of the cap of cheese and bread, a few slices of gruyere is laid on top so it slowly melts without leaving a pool of oil. Baguette croutons are served on the side so you can add them gradually to the soup to help retain some crispiness. Given the accompaniments are lighter, the broth gets a chance to stand out - it’s not overly salty so you can enjoy the sweet onions.


Of all the brunch dishes, my favourite is their individual quiches – combining a bite of flaky crust and savoury egg with each bite. Their quiche Lorraine ($9.50) incorporates plenty of ham and cheese so is flavourful and creates nice gooey bites with caramelized onion for sweetness. The quiche’s crust is flakey but still light enough to not feel heavy, especially when balanced with the same mustardy aioli vinaigrette salad that’s served with sandwiches.


What I like most about Patisserie Sebastien is that there really is a Sebastien. When it’s busy, he’s generally in the kitchen, preparing the baked goods, sandwich, quiche, and soup orders. Once in a while, he’ll make his appearance in the dining room, bringing over the food in a quiet non-opposing manner. It’s impressive the number of confections one person can create for a bakery. Splitting a soup and French doughnut with my own quiche, that’s my go-to weekend lunch treat. 



Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3306 Yonge Street


Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
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!


Is That It? I Want More!

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