Sunday, November 28, 2010

Brunch @ Union

You gotta love when a plate of perfect, fluffy pancakes come to your table, even before you've ordered. Now most of us head into Saturday or Sunday brunch hungry/hung over, so, thank you Union.

Found on the Ossington strip between Queen and Dundas, walking into the restaurant and being greeted by the smiling head chef himself, Teo Paul, is a nice, warm feeling. Then come the pancakes, and then the rest of the food. The menu, and its dishes, are all made up locally produced food, something Union prides itself on - even the tab for the website reads 'Union 72 - EAT LOCAL.' And in the spirit of eating local, 4 dishes were ordered including - eggs with haddock on top of a shrimp pancake, pork and eggs, beef hash and eggs, and challah french toast with cheese and a fruit compote. The french toast was my favourite, crispy on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside, best combo. All three egg dishes were good too, enjoyed the pulled pork one best. We asked for at least one of them to be poached and all three came like that, which didn't bother me. I believe the eggs usually come fried or sunny side up.

On a side note - the service is wonderful, AND was disappointed my favourite firecracker waitress Marissa wasn't around. Hopefully next time!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Burger's Priest

Finally made it to the raved about Burger's Priest on Queen Street East. One of the newest contenders in Toronto's bustling burger scene, it's well worth the trip to the east side. The space is tiny with only a few seats. Because of that, winter time could be tough for them, but with such delicious burgers, the cold won't stop people from making it out. Their speciality is 'the priest' - a deep fried mushroom stuffed with cheese on top of a cheeseburger patty. I stuck with the regular cheeseburger, but would recommend getting a double. As soon as I finished the single, I wanted another. Cash only.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Table 17

Cozy and cute, Table 17 on Queen Street East is already a Leslieville staple. I had heard mixed reviews from friends about the british themed restaurant (well brunch was british themed at least with a scotch egg and bangers on the menu), but our food was great. Also, we didn't have to wait in line and the service was very friendly. We tried the extremely photogenic quiche, the pain dore - french toast made with brioche, cinnamon, creme anglaise and fresh berries, and the neapolitan eggs - poached in lightly stewed tomatoes and basil and served on country toast. We got a side of bangers (sausage) and the potato rosti.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Is the Baked Potato the new burger?

Finally a little action in the deserted Queen Street West food court, located directly across the street from MuchMusic. The action, comes in the form of a baked potato. The pop up stand, one of two new fast food eateries in the still very deserted feeling space, is called 'Mr. Spud' (a hamburger stand is also opening soon). You get a potato, choose your toppings and that's it. I found the toppings to be fairly uninspiring, I couldn't even figure out what half of them were. My advice to the owner would be up the ante, make it more 'gourmet' and then you can charge a little more.

For my potato I choose butter and cheese, which are mixed in, and then sprinkled on top - corn, kidney beans and a tomato sausage sauce, with a little mayo. It sounds gross but it was actually quite tasty and filling. Could this be the next big food craze? Maybe, but in the meantime, what do you want on your baked potato?

Photos taken with an Iphone.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Harbord Room Revisited

The burger at The Harbord Room really is, hands down, one of the best in Toronto. It's hard to even describe the taste, it just melts in your mouth. So if you go, it's a must order, even if you split it with the table. But you'll probably want your own. Below is a run down of the photos. All the dishes were delicious. The Cod Croquettes are a bit salty. We also ordered the black cod special.

Duck Confit & Turnip Perogies with House Bacon & Mustard Creme Fraich.
Cod Croquettes with Chopped Egg Vinaigrette & Celery Root & Apple Remoulade.
Side of Roasted Beets & Brussels Sprouts with Lemon, Hazelnuts & Prosciutto.
Side of Steamed Spinach with Drizzled with Roasted Garlic Olive Oil, Sea Salt & Lemon.
Naturally Raised Beef Burger with Sharp Cheddar, Caramelized Onions on Fred's Egg Bun with Fries & a Little Salad.

Photos taken with a Canon D30

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Goed Eten

After seeing this photo in Toronto Life, Goed Eten went to the top of my list. I can't say that the very casual Ossington & Dundas sandwich/waffle shop disappointed, because everything tasted great, but, I didn't get served a waffle that looked like the one in the magazine. I do also understand food styling, so let's move on.

We tried out Eten's waffle pressed cheese sandwiches, each $5 - peameal bacon and egg and the roasted pepper olive and tomato. Then it was onto one of their Brussels' style waffles with chocolate ice cream and banana. We inhaled it. The menu is sprinkled with other random things (guinness beef stew poutine, cheese croquettes, meatballs, burgers) that sound interesting and worth another trip back. Will keep you posted. Cash only.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Drake BBQ

What once was the summer's Drake ice cream parlour is now the fall's Drake BBQ. Of course Drake Hotel master chef Anthony Rose is behind the switch up, and of course he delivers. It's a simple menu, but the three options (pulled pork sandwich, chopped beef brisket, and 60/60 - half pork/half brisket) sound so good, it's hard to choose. For me, the most logical was the 60/60, (the helpful dude at the cash explained you get 120% meat) best of both worlds. The sandwiches come topped with coleslaw, but it's worth ordering a side or getting a combo with more because it's so so good. The meat itself is perfect, tender and extremely flavourful. I was also tempted to get a second, but sigh, I ran out of cash (it's cash only). A few other things - seating is minimal, the decor screams the Drake (a good thing), and it's open late (also good). And if you're craving something sweet after your sandwich, or sandwiches, don't miss out on the whoopie pies! Who doesn't love a good whoopie pie? Am I right!?