Toronto Top 3 Guide - January 2011 - Brunch
The portmanteau word for breakfast and lunch known as brunch, has been enjoyed by a growing population for decades now. If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then why the need for brunch? Some claim that brunch originated because the church stated that there be a period of fasting before receiving Communion, so breakfast was skipped and no one ate until after mass. This may be why brunch is so decadent and varied with breakfast and lunch items.
Where ever it first originated, brunch is hugely popular with Toronto diners and there are many options to choose from. Here are my Toronto Top 3 as of January 2011.
Toronto Top 3 Brunch - January 2011
Starving Artist - Toronto West
This west-end hot spot specializes in waffles and takes them to places where dreams come true. The Hitchhiker? Cheddar scrambled eggs, caramelized bacon and mini waffles or waffled bacon! A Western Waffle sandwich is exactly how it sounds, delicious. Waffle Benny? Why not? They also offer vegan and gluten-free waffles. For those yearning for their childhood favorites try some Froot Loops, Cap n Crunch or Lucky Charms cereal with cow's or soy milk.
Dessert waffles can be created in any way that tickles your fancy with a D.I.Y. section on the menu. Fresh fruit and berries, caramel, butterscotch and chocolate toppings with nuts, M&Ms, Nutella and coconut to name a few, not to mention a selection of ice cream. Oh and whipped cream is free! Brunch items - $5 - $10.
Starving Artist is located in Toronto's west-end, at 584 Lansdowne Avenue, north of Bloor at Paton St. As well as serving Brunch, Starving Artist is fully licensed and also operates as a bar. Promotions include, Nacho Nights - after 5pm, nachos/Jug of beer - $25, jazz on Wednesday nights and Dj's on the weekend.
Starving Artist, 584 Lansdowne Ave. - 647-342-5058 - Tues-Thurs - 10am-12am, Fri&Sat - 10am-2am, Sun-10am-6pm - starvingartistbar.com
Wish Restaurant - Toronto Central
Many wishes were granted when this South Beach inspired bistro reopened last year. Owner Renda Abdo (7 West) closed the doors on the previous Black Skirt restaurant and reopened Wish. An all season patio filled with comfy cream sofas, retro wood benches, oversized pillows and ivory faux fur throws lends a laid back, celebrity chic to the overall ambience.
Chef Peter McKnight's fresh ingredients and clean flavours accent the white washed elegance of the decor flawlessly. Perfectly poached eggs drizzled with parmesan and leek fondue is a delicious twist on an old classic, and smoked salmon or wilted spinach is an ideal and willing partner. If Challah French Toast with blueberries and caramelized bananas doesn't satisfy your sweet tooth, the grilled Nutella sandwich with raspberry compote definitely will.
Wish was always popular with the cocktail crowd and if you're one of those wanting one at brunch, you will be more likely to go for 2 or 3 when Mimosas are only $5 and Bloody Caesars, $6. Brunch items - $5 - $14.
Wish Restaurant - 3 Charles St. East, at Yonge St. 416-935-0240 - wishintoronto.com
Brunch - Sat & Sun- 10am-4pm - Dinner 6-11pm - Tues-Fri - Lunch/Dinner - 11am-11pm
Hot House Cafe - Toronto East
Some will argue that this famous brunch spot's location should be considered central. Technically it is on the east side of Yonge St. and therefore can be listed here. Besides, I couldn't leave out Toronto's most popular buffet brunch restaurant. Hot House is located at 35 Church St. at Front St., across the road from the must-see St. Lawrence market.
Spend the day strolling the city's Old Town and market to work up an appetite, then indulge in a smorgasbord of culinary delights at Hot House Cafe. Omelettes, Lasagne, Stuffed Tortellini, Bourban Baked Chicken, Steamed Mussels, are just a few of the buffet items available, not to mention the usual fare of eggs, bacon, potatoes and sausage. If you can possibly manage it, Hot Apple Crumble, Caramelized Pecan and Pear French Toast and a selection of cakes and pastries can be had for dessert.
Hot House is great for group reservations although it is advised to book early. Live Jazz on Sundays. $18.95 per person - Buffet Brunch - Sunday - 9:30 - 3pm .
Hot House Cafe - 35 Church St. - 416-366-7800 - email@example.com