Showing posts with label frittata. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frittata. Show all posts

Café Belong (Toronto)

Nestled within the Evergreen Brickworks, Café Belong benefits from its proximity to the year round farmer’s market. Perhaps perusing the fresh food stalls beforehand influenced my meal choice, but their vegetarian dishes sounded fantastic and I didn’t miss an ounce of meat!

Replacing ham, the sautéed kale and mushrooms eggs benedict ($23) incorporated plump mushrooms that provided a meaty bite. As the poached egg oozed over everything, the molten yolk was captured into the not overly done kale’s crevices, making for a cleaner dish.  A layer of sweet caramelized onions sat on top of the doughy soft buttermilk biscuit; it was a bit sugary for my taste, but thankfully the buttery hollandaise helped to add back a savoury element.

Although the frittata ($19) is listed under the “cold kitchen” section of the menu, it still arrives warm. The cubes of roasted butternut squash at the bottom makes the egg dish heartier and I rather enjoyed the grilled red onion and wilted spinach that adds a bite and colourful contrast to the frittata. Just make sure to smear on some of the creamy goat cheese (?) purée from the plate, the tangy saltiness makes for a great addition.

A perfect “dessert” for sharing is their fluffy pancakes ($20 for three). It starts with the requisite eggy and buttery batter and is topped with ricotta, granola and stewed apples. Personally, I found the crunchy granola clusters detracted from the pillowy soft pancakes, but it did pair nicely with the large soft cinnamon apple chunks. The toppings aren’t overly sweet, so you’ll want to pay the extra $4 for warmed maple syrup – pancakes  aren’t the same without this wonderful nectar.

If you’re like me and tend to opt for meaty options during brunch, I encourage you to head to Café Belong and give our plant-based friends a try. After all, maybe Meatless Mondays could easily become Botanical Brunch Saturdays?

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 550 Bayview Avenue (at the Evergreen Brickworks)

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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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Cafe Belong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fabbrica (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 49 Karl Fraser Road
Type of Meal: Brunch

For Mother's Day my husband and I wanted to treat our mothers to lunch (without the work) and after the McEwan All Access event, Fabbrica seemed like a perfect choice. Located at the outdoor mall, the Shops on Don Mills, the area was bustling on the sunny day with people sitting on patios and mingling around on the square of AstroTurf in the centre of the mall.

Inside Fabbrica the sunlight shrunk away and you’re transported into a rustic homey environment. We were seated in a small room off of the dining room, beside the meat curing room and complete with a humongous mirror. We enjoyed the cozy and comfortable atmosphere and was glad that Fabbrica doesn’t cram in tables; we received a large one for our group and had more than enough space separating us and the nearest table.

Sticking with my normal frittata ($17), Fabbrica’s was piping hot and contains large pieces of artichoke and roasted tomatoes. The menu noted it also contained fontina cheese but I couldn’t taste it and actually found it seemed to be lacking something – maybe a stronger goat cheese would stand out better. However, there was plenty of shaved parmesan which melted onto the top of the fluffy frittata. Served with a side of lightly dressed arugula salad, a fair portion of hash browns and wonderfully toasted, chewy and oiled ciabatta bread this was a substantial meal.

My husband’s short rib hash ($16) had succulent pieces of tender short ribs along with two beautifully poached eggs that simply oozed onto everything combining with the meat gravy. This dish had some nice flavors and the sauce was perfect for dipping pieces of bread into – my husband’s dish was pretty much spotless by the end of the meal. If only the potatoes were cooked longer or better yet substituted with toasted hash browns the dish would be even better. The potatoes were just done but lacked the fluffiness you’d want with hash. The fried hash browns, that accompanied most other meals, would have held up nicely with the short rib liquid yet be softer on the inside.

Having managed to sneak a piece of the flank steak from the steak and eggs ($18), it was surprisingly tender and the salsa verde topping it adding some freshness. With a fairly substantial portion of meat, two eggs, potatoes and the customary toasted ciabatta this is another dish for the hungry.

Although I didn’t get a chance to try the fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes ($14) with blueberries & whipped mascarpone and the Fabbrica benny made of poached eggs placed on cheese crumpets with prosciutto in place of ham, they certainly looked delicious. Our parents who ordered it certainly seemed to enjoy it as their plates were also cleaned.

Some lighter fruit desserts were offered during brunch. Although I’m not a fan of rice pudding, I tried a spoon of the strawberry rhubarb rice pudding ($11). Made with Arborio rice, mixed with a refreshing strawberry rhubarb syrup and topped with aged balsamic vinegar it was a nice combination of flavours and textures. For me, I found the grains of rice too pronounced but understand many individuals enjoy it when the creamy rice layer isn’t too mushy.

The lemon trifle ($11) packed a powerful punch. On the bottom a piece of sponge cake soaked everything up. Layered on top were a substantial amount of sweet lemon curd, tons of stewed blueberries and crunchy olive oil streusel bits (similar to what tops fruit crumble). I was disappointed, I generally love trifle, but found the lemon curd overpowering and extremely sweet for a dish that’s normally fresh and light. Moreover the layers were too thick so it was very hard to get a spoon of everything at once. In the end, if there were more layers, less lemon curd and more cake & whipped cream the dessert may be more balanced. 

All in all, it was a successful Mother's Day brunch and we agreed it was a wonderful experience. While visiting the restroom, we couldn’t help but walk past the wood-burning oven and found the smell of cooking pizzas intoxicating.  A return visit may be in order to try out their pizza and Nona's ravioli, both which sounded very tempting but just a tad heavy for the first meal of the day.

Overall mark - 7 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!

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