The 411 On a recent trip to Toronto, Sunday morning came around and after a fun night before where everyone had their share of drinks, the troops were rallied and we headed out to brunch. Isn’t that what brunch is for? To give you enough time to sleep in a little bit while not blowing your entire day and getting some tasty food in your stomach- as well as piecing together the night before.
The 411 Ham, as a single word can evoke so much passion among food lovers. Growing up I fell in love with prosciutto – its complex flavour, salty nature and ecstasy-invoking abilities. Nothing made me happier than being somewhere where I can indulge and go hog wild on it. Over the years, my preferences have changed, evolved even, but deep down inside I still yearn for taking a perfectly sliced piece and wrapping it around my finger and popping it in my mouth. When I passed by Hambar and saw cured meat hanging in the entrance, I felt like I was in heaven. Then when I found out they offered brunch, curiosity and excitement inspired me to see what was going on.
Lemeac – Refinement and Style all in one
Up on Laurier, Lemeac is a place that has had some solid chatter among foodies for some time. It’s a French bistro on a part of Montreal that I am in love with; the street and restaurants have an air of refinement and reputation for good food. I have seen Lemeac’s reputation for brunch on various foodie sites and have always been curious about it. How would it be, is it all hype, what will the prices be, will it be worth it? All these questions have been swimming in my head for over a year and this time I decided to take the plunge and explore it. Lemeac had something in store for me.
2009 A year in Brunch
Well, Ladies and Gents, it has been a busy and tasty year with many new places that have been reviewed. In fact, we almost did 50 reviews: some were great and some were awful (which I consider those to be my public service announcements/paying for transgressions in a past life). So, in keeping with last years “Best Of 2008” posting, I feel it is fair to see what 2009 brought us. I kept most of the same categories from last year but felt that adding some new ones would be interesting. As always, if you feel that I have missed a place that you really like feel free to contact me by clicking on the contact tab up top.
Cafe Maurizio – West Island delight
The West Island. What can I say other than it’s far? It’s where my Saturday yoga class takes place and I have friends who live there. Living in the east end, I always like to complain about the West Island. I find it fun to bug West Islanders about how far they live, but I after all the jokes are said I do recognize that there are some good spots to eat there and I do try to check out a couple breakfast places whenever I’m on the west side. On this week I went to get together with my friend and she was in charge of suggesting a place in the west island I had not been to. Her choice was a place that I had never even heard of called Maurizio Café.
Le Cagibi – A Vegan adventure
One of the greatest challenges I come across while reviewing places is offering reviews on the vegetarian options, and in particular, the vegan options. Although personally I’m neither a vegetarian or vegan, I can see how difficult it can be to go out and find someplace to eat that offers something vegetarian/vegan on the menu. Things have come a long way in the last 30 plus years when you would have a hard time finding a menu item without meat in it. Many of the places I’ve gone too have some vegetarian menu items and they taste amazing. This is an easy thing to do when you deal with eggs, waffles, pancakes. Now vegan is another issue; it’s hard to find vegan items on a menu and often an item will be almost vegan if it was not for one small thing in it. I usually end up looking for fruit cups on the menu, which although are great and tasty, they aren’t really impressive. So all this to say, when we decided to go to Cagibi I was excited to find and review another place with not only vegetarian options but with vegan options as well (other than a fruit cup). So now that the stage is set lets take a closer look and see what we have on our plate.
Want some beer with those eggs?
Always known as a popular place for late night drinks, Reservoir recently began to add food options and a brunch menu on weekends. You can still order beer with breakfast, something I’ve always wanted to do, but all drinking jokes aside Reservoir serves up some very original plates and is a place you should check out.
At 1st glance
Reservoir has always been a hit for a good pint and a good time, and now that it offers brunch it takes its somewhat laid back feel and applies it to a nice weekend morning. To begin with it is wheelchair accessible with a ramp to get in, and although the slope is steep and the washrooms are not wheelchair accessible, they get points for at least trying which is more than other places do. The decor is nice, not too fancy, but comfortable with classic wood chairs, tables and a big bar with a micro brew behind glass. There are big windows that in the summer open up and let you see and hear what’s happening on Duluth. There is a 2nd floor with an open air terrace, although it was closed when we went. We got there at 11:00 and found a nice spot by the widow, although not even 30 minutes later an increasingly long line started to form, so make sure you don’t show up too late or you are likely to wait.