Showing posts with label eggs benedict. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eggs benedict. 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!


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Babel (Toronto) for brunch

 


Cutting into the fish cake benny ($19) a sigh of relief is emitted when there wasn’t a gush of yolk spilling onto the plate. Undercooked eggs is something I detest, it’s as if the egg just barfed all over the plate. Luckily, Babel’s poached eggs were perfect where the yolk slowly pours out and is thick enough to spread like soft butter.


 


The fact that the beautifully cooked egg is on top of a fish cake makes the dish even more coveted. Akin to a crab cake, the decadent bottom pulls apart easily and is seasoned perfectly with a touch of tartare sauce that gives it a briny bite and blends nicely with the hollandaise. If the fish cakes were cooked a touch longer to allow a crust to form, that bit of crunch against the other soft and silky ingredients would make the dish complete. It’s a main that works well for sharing as the combination is rather rich, so they smartly pair the bennys with a simple green salad.


Normally, I wouldn’t think to have a chicken shawarma wrap ($19) for brunch, but when you’re at Mediterranean restaurant it doesn’t seem so strange. Babel’s laffa wrap is uber thin and well toasted so that there are crispy air pockets. Stuffed with slivers of tender chicken, curried chickpeas, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and tahini sauce, the ingredients meld together nicely to create a tasty bite.


 


Hot and crispy shoestring fries finish off the plate and are the perfect vessels for dipping into the creamy garlicky toum. We should have chicken shawarma at brunch all the time.


 


Oddly, their brunch menu only lists a handful of cocktails as beverages, devoid of the traditional caffeine and juice options. Luckily, we pulled up all the drink options from their website so that I could enjoy a fragrant cup of Sloane tea latte ($5.50), given not everyone wants a stiff drink at 11 in the morning.


 


I am just happy we discovered a great brunch spot that is close to home, takes reservations, and has a lovely varied menu. Babka French toast and vegetarian shakshuka, we shall become better acquainted in the future.



Overall mark - 8.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 305 York Mills 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!


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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!


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Bistro Mirepoix (St. Catherines)

How sweet it is to be able to dine at a restaurant again – not takeout or delivery, but really sit there and enjoy the whole experience of being at somewhere else. My last experience was back in the fall of 2020, bundled up outside desperately getting in a last meal before the winter began. So, I was practically like a giddy child as I settled into a sectioned off table at Bistro Mirepoix. OMG is that a menu? I get to have a conversation over coffee before the meal arrives. Is this real?!

Go big or go home with this first taste of freedom. The pork belly and brie eggs benedict ($20) beckoned, not merely because of the decadence of the dish, but it being something so intricate that I’d never make myself. Despite all this quarantine cooking, I’m not about to start smoking pork belly, whipping up hollandaise sauce, or even attempt to poach eggs. All this I’ll leave to the professionals.

That first bite was just heavenly. The thick slab of pork belly nicely rendered that I could even overlook it was a bit too sweet for my taste. Despite having a golden caramelized crust, it was surprisingly soft and melded into molten egg yolks so nicely. With all the creamy elements, if that slice of sourdough bread lining the plate was toasted more to add a crunchy complement, the dish would be perfect.

I dove into the plate with gusto, dipping the hot roasted fingerling potatoes into egg yolk. How can I make this hour sitting limit last? Try as I might, I couldn’t finish all the starches. This benny is a hearty dish that leaves you full all day.

Thankfully, I had the sense to get a side of greens ($5), the balsamic tossed spring mix really helps cut the fattiness of the pork belly. Without it, the decadence may be overwhelming.

Just one dish will provide enough sustenance for the day, which is perfect for a day out in wine country. Take the classic breakfast ($22) – there’s a big hunk of pork belly, a sizeable sausage patty and baked beans as well. A big breakfast to soak up all the tipples of a wine-fueled day. The restaurant’s proximity to Jordan station and Niagara-on-the-Lake certainly makes it an easy stopping point.

This one meal at Bristro Miropoix felt like a spring awakening – there is a bright future to more dine-in experiences to come. Let the beautiful brunch blooms begin!

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: St. Catherines, Canada
 Address: 64 Court 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!


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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


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!

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Gusto 101 (Toronto)


It’s a shame I haven’t visited Gusto 101 until now. It’s a turn off when a restaurant doesn’t take reservations and you’re greeted with a long line at the door. Friends who visited complained about slow snobby service and so I never went. Then all the sudden, I dined there twice in the same month – for brunch and dinner. We were able to secure a reservation for brunch, there wasn’t a long wait for dinner, and in both instances service was friendly and efficient. A good start already.  

Although a little difficult to cut without scissors, their spinaci pizza ($17.99), nonetheless, incorporated a wonderfully thin crispy crust. There was certainly plenty of cheese, ricotta and buffalo mozzarella, so there’s a creaminess to the pie. Meanwhile, the toasted spinach reminded me of kale chips and there’s just enough garlic for taste.


Without a doubt their mafalde ai funghi ($18.50) is a top-seller. As each one was whisked by, the frilly plate of pasta peaked my interest and instantly pizza felt like a poor choice. Luckily, my friend magically ordered the star dish and what a heavenly smell it admitted with the truffle cream sauce. Small pieces of portobello, porcini, and oyster mushrooms are studded throughout, but the al dante drenched creamy pasta is certainly the highlight.


Both of the above dinner dishes are also available during brunch. However, there’s an extra page of delightful eats making the weekend lunch hour the best time for a visit. If you’re seated on their sky light second floor and the weather’s nice, don’t be surprised when the roof slowly retracts and soon you’re eating on a patio (although the open air, food, and fauna walls sure does attract wasps).


The uova in camicia ($12.50) is a lovely breakfast that hits the spot without being overly heavy. Gusto’s take on eggs benedict, there’s the customary poached eggs – the twist is they sit atop a buttery toasted brioche stick. With spinach, crispy prosciutto, and sliced fontina cheese the dish could be overly rich, but the restaurant balances it out with plain roasted baby potatoes and salad.


Trust me, you’ll want to split an order of the avocado toast ($8.99) as a starter. Of course, it’s something to tide you over until the main arrives, but the lemony guacamole topped with radish and pea shoots is also insanely delicious. Such a simple but tasty dish with a zip of spiciness.


Gusto 101 is a nice reminder that sometimes you can’t trust the opinion of others – I should have tried it earlier! Nicely prepared staple dishes with fresh ingredients … like the restaurant’s name spells out, that’s just Taste 101.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 101 Portland 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:


Gusto 101 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Le Cartet (Montreal)



Don’t be surprised to see people waiting outside Le Cartet before the restaurant’s even opened. During the warmer months there’s several tables outside, so having a pre-brunch drink (sourced elsewhere, of course) can easily be accommodated before the doors finally unlock at 9:00 am. Available during weekends until 3:30pm, the restaurant’s a popular place for brunch – locals and tourists alike.

Accompanying their brunch mains is a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice and an amuse-bouche: a lovely creamy bread pudding square that’ll convert those who normally complain the dessert’s too mushy. Instead, it’s a soft cakey delight, a wonderful way to tide over anyone who’s hungry, but if you can resist scarfing it down right away, a lovely sweet ending.

Le Cartet’s take on eggs benedict is the brunch toscan ($19). The poached eggs, spinach and English muffins are topped with Mornay sauce (a cheesy béchamel) instead of customary hollandaise. Yet, it’s the ham that’s the highlight – no sad deli meat slices here; instead, you’ll discover thick hunks of flavourful smoked pork that meaty and delicious. The duck fat roasted potatoes aren’t overly heavy, having been lightened with a spritz of lemon, and finished off with a hefty side salad the dish makes for a well-rounded meal.


For carnivores, the scrambled eggs in the brunch des cantons ($19) is accompanied by an even bigger hunk of the aforementioned ham, sausage and bacon! A sprinkling of baked beans and more duck fat roasted potatoes promises you’ll be well fed for a day of sightseeing.


With a no reservation policy, arrive before 10:00am to get a table – Le Cartet’s dining room is fairly spacious with a number of long communal tables that can accommodate groups of varying sizes.


If you do have to wait, take time to wander around their market area that’s stocked with so many artisanal delights. With a variety of chocolates, confections, baked goods, and sauces it’ll definitely keep you entertained – although some hungry impulse purchases may result.


Otherwise, Le Cartet also has a fair selection of grab-and-go salads and sandwiches available for those who just cannot wait any more.



But, maybe just hang in a little longer … that bread pudding and ham would just be a shame to miss.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Montreal, Canada
 Address: 106 Rue McGill

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:



Le Cartet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Smash Kitchen for Brunch (Markham)



When I don’t feel like trekking downtown for brunch, Smash Kitchen is a great alternative – they accept reservations and have all the typical favourites (egg dishes, chicken & waffles, burgers, etc.). If you’re feeling particularly hungry, their $20 prix fixe is a steal including any main (except the chicken & waffles), dessert, and coffee or tea.

I first discovered crab cake eggs benedict in San Francisco and since craved the decadent dish again. So, when it was on Smash Kitchen’s menu ($15 a la carte), deciding what to eat was a breeze. The thick runny egg yolk pairs nicely with the crispy coating on the cake and its seafood juices. Being denser patties, filled with crab and maybe even shrimp (?), the crab cakes held up against the eggs and hollandaise.


Pico de gallo was scattered over the benedict helping to cut through the richness. If only the seasoned home fries were hotter (albeit were crispy and cooked through), this would have been a perfect dish.

For dessert there’s a selection of chocolate mousse, cheese cake or berries; but, I wanted the vanilla butter waffle. Thankfully, they allowed this substitute and an entire golden Belgium waffle followed (in my defense, I did share it with a friend).


If you enjoy crispy waffles you’ll love them at Smash Kitchen. I found the waffle dry, which may be a result of it being served lukewarm and the butter on top not melting and soaking into the dessert. Nonetheless, with enough maple syrup, it was salvageable and still decent.

Sweet crispy crab cakes smothered in hot yolk, so glad they’re found in Markham. Plus, this time I didn’t even need to trudge up a huge hill to get them.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Markham, Canada
 Address: 4261 Highway 7 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!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Smash Kitchen & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

CLOSED: Harvest Kitchen (Toronto)



I like restaurants that support local farmers, make the majority of their ingredients in-house, and attempts to serve things fresh, so it’s a shame that our brunch at Harvest Kitchen went poorly. It started while getting a table – there’s no reservations and don’t even think about being seated before the entire group arrives. Luckily, even with the two limitations, we snagged a table for six on their pretty rooftop patio by arriving shortly after 11am.

Harvest Kitchen isn’t the only restaurant to introduce strict seating policies during brunch, so the above could be easily overlooked, if our meal was just served together. It’s understandable that there will always be a delay in getting food when you have a larger group; servers need time to go back to the kitchen and pick up further plates. But, to have half the table get their food and the remaining parties not arriving until HALF AN HOUR later, that’s ridiculous. It’s even worse when the neighbouring table, arriving and ordering well after us, get their food before the last of our dishes arrive.

Honestly, I’m not sure the food was worth the wait. Sure, the Pingue’s peameal bacon eggs benedict ($14.95) looked good and the poached eggs were cooked well so the golden yolk remained runny, but the vinegar from the cooking liquid was so pronounced that it ruined the hollandaise sauce. Moreover, the peameal bacon and home fries were lukewarm, it seemed like the dish sat around despite being rushed from the kitchen at their peak like the waiter described.


The best part of the meal was the Florida Sunrise ($8.95), a refreshing cocktail combining Prosecco, Stiegl Radler and Campari. The grapefruit beer was cooling and extra bubbly from the Prosecco, a lovely drink for an otherwise disappointing meal.


Perhaps if our waiter offered an explanation, instead of assuring the three of us to eat first as the other dishes would be arriving in five minutes (lying to customers is never a good thing), the long wait wouldn’t have stung as much. Alas, there was no excuse, no offer to comp the other three meals, not even so much as an apology. For a town that’s filled with eggs benedicts, I’ll happily have mine elsewhere.  

Overall mark - 5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 124 Harbord 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: