Showing posts with label scone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scone. Show all posts

Drake Devonshire for brunch (Prince Edward County)


Brunching in the County. The phrase brings to mind a carefree meal … one filled with nature, tranquillity, and of course, wine. It’s an unhurried affair, a meal shared amongst friends. In fact, to date, every trip to Prince Edward County has been with friends.


To prep ourselves for a day of drinking, our first stop was for sustenance at Drake Devonshire. Their menu contains many breakfast favourites – eggs, bacon, and benny. But, it was the semi-lunch options that called out to us. From the chicken and waffles ($21) that swap out the syrup for peaches and cream to the popular Drake burger ($23), which is transformed for breakfast by adding a fried egg with hollandaise and exchanging fries for hash.


Being a huge fan of Mexican breakfasts - I love the combination of hearty & fresh elements without the meat - I opted for the enfrijolada ($17). My first time having the dish, it reminds me of a breakfast quesadilla; the rice, avocado, queso fresco, and vegetables are tucked into a toasted tortilla. Over top was a sunny fried egg, contrasting against black re-fried beans on the bottom. While the dish hit the spot, it needed more seasoning and herbs. Since the table was salt less, I relied on vinegary hot sauce to help add flavour.


For “dessert”, one of their blueberry scones ($11) is a great idea. Not overly large, the warm four-bite pastry with crème fraiche and blueberry jam may give you that sweet ending you need.


Having visited the restaurant previously for dinner and leaving disappointed, it still seemed like an ideal place for a group of six, especially one with dietary restrictions. To our surprise, despite being a sizeable restaurant with Toronto outposts, they were unable to cater to a celiac diner. To make matters worse, Drake wouldn’t allow her to bring in a meal so she could dine with us, citing it would start a precedent. A precedent for what exactly… to be accommodating? Alas, still no warm County charm.

Overall mark - 6.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Wellington, Canada
 Address: 24 Wharf Street

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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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Kitten and the Bear (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 1574 Queen Street West
Website: http://kittenandthebear.com/
Type of Meal: Brunch




When you hear “Kitten and the Bear”, you wouldn’t think of an artisanal preserves shop that serves great scones. However, that’s what you’ll find. Situated in Parkdale is a quaint shop and café in one. Their sitting area is small – there are two tables (one for two and the other for three) – but eating there is such a treat. Aside from the cute teapots and cups, the smell of baking scones is intoxicating, making me salivate as soon as I walked in.

My friend and I settled over the tea for two ($28). Firstly, a pot of loose leaf tea courtesy of Sloane Fine Tea Merchants. There was a large selection and we opted for the “Heavenly Cream”. I suggest skipping the sugar and milk as there’s a beautiful fragrance to the tea that ends up getting drowned out. Plus, the tea contains a vanilla and honey property to it that already makes it feel sweet.


If you and your companion can’t settle on the same choice, you can also each get something different – it’ll just be served in single cups rather than an entire pot.

At Kitten and the Bear there’s only one type of scone – buttery plain scones. There’s not a single current, shred of cheese or zest of lemon added to them. Trust me, you’re not missing anything as they are great the way they are. A slightly crunchy crust that encapsulates a dense but fluffy centre.


The preserves is of course what the shop highlights. We’re able to choose three from the four available that day:
  • Black Plum and Sloane’s Earl Grey Tea: delicious, juicy and sweet. I really couldn’t get the essence from the Earl Grey but the plums were great. I ended up picking up a jar to take home.
  • Spiced Fuyu persimmon: it was described as similar to pumpkin pie. Indeed, the cinnamon and nutmeg spices were evident but the persimmon very subtle.
  • Blackberry and balsamic: we didn’t choose this as were told it is generally paired better with savoury elements (such as roasted pork) or with a cheese board.
  • Winter spiced banana: the fruit was very evident but a tad sweet for me.

The co-owner, Sophie, threw in a fourth one for good measure – pear with mulled wine. I’m certainly glad she did as it ended up being my favourite of the selection. There was a similarity to the black plum, but less sweet and the addition of mulled wine such a wonderful combination. I couldn’t help but also purchase a jar of this as well.


That’s the beauty of the tea tasting. You’re able to try out the preserves in their full glory before purchasing. We sampled each one, mixed them into the thick clotted cream and combined to our hearts content. After deciding on our favourites, we could purchase a jar to take home for $10.


Not included in the tasting, but offered for sale, were premium preserves ($14) made from unique ingredients such as red currant with fresh elderflower and mango nectarine with Linden honey.


As we didn’t want to waste any of the jams, we ended up getting another scone to share ($3). If you want to skip the tea, you can also purchase the scones to go ($4 and includes one jam. Additional jams or clotted cream for $1). But, trust me, try to get a table. That heavenly smell of baking scones and simmering preserves is part of the experience. If you get a chance, check out Kitten and the Bear – a great place for brunch. 

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The Harbour Cafe at Venachar Lochside (Callander)

Location: Callander, Scotland
Address: Trossachs Leisure Ltd (FK17 8HP)
Website: http://www.venachar-lochside.com/
Type of Meal: Lunch


While travelling with Discreet Scotland, our guide stopped by The Harbour Café located in a secluded area overlooking Loch Venachar.  Whether you sit inside in the dining room or on the patio, you get to take in the spectacular view, as shown from the picture below.





The Harbour Cafe provided me with the opportunity to try another Scottish delicacy the cullen skink (£5.50). The best part is the fish broth base bringing such a rich seafood flavour to the soup.  With the addition of smoked haddock, potatoes, leeks a dash of white wine and cream, there’s also a smoky and hearty feel to the cullen skink. Although it looks like chowder, the consistency is thinner and more like broth; so, it’s not too heavy. Some may find it a tad salty, but it was perfect for dipping the hunk of fresh Scottish bread into. The Harbour Cafe gives a pretty substantial portion so that the cullen skink is a meal in itself.

Their cheeseburger (£9.45) was also delicious and the first I've had in Scotland which was flame broiled – something about that charred smoky taste is what makes the burger.  Sitting on a soft toasted bun, there is a layer of tomato and onion relish which mellows everything out and adds a hint of sweetness. Accompanying the burger were some of the most amazing chips (fries) - crispy, fluffy and just the perfect amount of salt all fried up to a beautiful golden colour. 



As you walk in, you're tempted by freshly made bakery items on display. One guest got a scone and noted it was one of the best he's ever eaten.  For dessert, I had a bite of the lemon and ginger cake (£2.95) which was very moist but the frosting a bit sweet for my taste.


Venachar Lochside was a great place - beautiful views, laid back service and delectable food at a reasonable price.  Special thanks to Matthew at Discreet Scotland Tours for introducing me to this wonderful place. 


Overall mark - 9 out of 10


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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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