Tag Archives: french toast


Because we are leaving on vacation, we crammed two fooding expeditions into one week. We were headed towards Etobicoke to catch a ride with a friend of ours to another friend’s wedding. It only made sense to walk partway, stop for breakfast and then transit the rest of the way. Starving Artist had opened another location since Brent had made his fooding map (yes, he made an actual map), conveniently at Ossington and College. I was very excited about our breakfast of the best waffles. I loved waffles before, but since we went to Belgium I fell even more in love with them (yes, it is possible).

The night before we looked up the menu and there were so many good options. I kept changing my mind, which led to far too many “waffling” jokes. I was torn between getting the grilled cheese (how intriguing!) and the french toast (a waffle with the goodness of french toast! win win!). I found a compromise: the croque monsieur waffle was two french toasted waffles sandwiching ham and cheese! While it seemed like a great idea on paper.. in reality it was too much. The sweetness of the powedered sugar on the waffles did not go so well with the cheese. There was far too much ham in the sandwich. The french toast part barely came through, I had been expecting an eggy, greasy sopping waffle, not one that needed dipping in maple syrup. I ended up deconstructing the waffle-wich and eating it in parts which was fine for the most part. Except after a while I got sick of the ham. Deli meat warmed up is not always so great. We ordered waffle bacon on the side as well. This was the clear winner. Simple yet elegant, brilliant really: strips of bacon baked into waffle batter.

Unfortunately I was too full for a dessert waffle. I thought the sandwich would be much smaller. I had been anticipating ordering a mini dessert waffle to finish off the breakfast. Needless to say I was too full, even though the caramel pecan sounded so temptingly delicious. I have only confirmed my suspicions from last summer: waffles are best served sweet, no more mucking about. Having not tried the sweet versions of their waffles, it is a tough call to say whether or not these really are the bset waffles in the city. Smith had good waffles, as did Auntie’s and Uncle’s. Starving Artist has the novelty aspect though.


Tags: , ,

Worth the Walk


For a school assignment I had to head out to Queen West to a gallery. What better excuse did we need to make the hour and a half long trek than the gallery happened to be close to The Beaver, voted best gay bar in the city? They serve breakfast cocktails, therefore going there for brunch counts as going to a bar. As for what makes a gay bar good, I really had no idea. What won my vote was that they serve cocktails with brunch. We were a bit worried heading there as we were arriving there right around noon, on a Saturday, for brunch. In the past this had spelled trouble. This was doubley-so now because this was quite the trek and to get there and find out the place was full… we did not want to think about it.


Thankfully we lucked out and the place was not busy at all, though it got busier after that. We got there after noon, so it was OK to drink, so the excuse went. I was intrigued by one brunch dish that had tortilla chips, chicken and chorizo. In the end I went with my usual go-to brunch food: french toast, can rarely go wrong with that. And oh my god did I make the right choice. The french toast was fancy with walnuts and chocolate chips on top. The bread itself was soft and fluffy with what I can only guess cinnamon veins throughout, really it was like a cross between bread and coffee crumble cake. Brent had ordered the breakfast burrito, which on paper sounded kind of blah to me. However one bite and we had to swap halfway through. No way was I going to miss out on that. It was a different way of eating chili, with a scrambled egg all wrapped up nice and toasty in a tortilla. My only complaint, and this goes for all burritos so far, is that the ingredients were not well mixed. Some bites I got just egg, others just chili.


The breakfast cocktail offerings were a bit limited (unless you count a sidecar as a breakfast cocktail, which I do not). There were two mimosa options: with cider or with prosecco. Brent had ordered the prosecco mimosa. I was tempted to order the cider mimosa after my lemonade and cider cocktail but I thought it was best not to. We still had a long walk home ahead of us.


After a brief (really, five minutes at the most) stop at the gallery we headed back eastwards towards home. This was not the end of our fooding adventure however. We stopped off at R Squared Cafe, voted best cafe for free wi-fi. Based on the number of people in there, all with open laptops, I would say yes, this is indeed a good spot for free wi-fi. Alas, with nowhere to sit, we could only enjoy the free wi-fi for a few minutes while we waited for my coffee. The Spanish latte was amazing, made with condensed milk and cayenne pepper. It was an odd but satisfying drink. The cayenne pepper only started to burn a while after the sip. You cannot go to a cafe and not order baked goods, it is simply not done. We had ordered an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie and a double chocolate chip cookie. The oatmeal one was by far the winner. The double chocolate chip cookie, while it had a nice sprinkling of cinnamon on top, simply had too much (I know!) chocolate in it.

My legs are now dead dead dead.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 8, 2015 in Fooding


Tags: , ,

Double Breakfast

I was dreading the day when we would be heading out to Lady Marmalade in the Beaches for best eggs Benedict. For one thing I hate eggs benedict. Add on to that the fact that we were planning on waking up at 7:30am to get there at open- I was not a happy camper. I love french toast, but not that much. We lucked out this week, Brent’s boss was gone so he could come in late. Given that we were going on a Tuesday morning there was no pressure to get there right when it opened. I still had to wake up way before my usual time at an ungodly hour of 8:30am.


Bonjour Brioche, voted best croissant (booting Clafouti, of which I have fond memories as that was our first “best of” outing) just happened to be a block away. Before brunch we stopped in for croissants and ate them on the way to Lady Marmalade. The guy had asked us if we wanted napkins. As soon as I took it out of the bag I understood why: those were so damn greasy croissants! Yet so light and fluffy! No funny aftertaste either. I may have been eating the wrong croissants before Clafouti and Bonjour Brioche. Clafouti still wins for me, they have a variety of croissants (I still need to try the chocolate one, apparently my memory is flawed and I have yet to try it).


We had been at Lady Marmalade maybe a total of 10 minutes, I had barely started to enjoy my machiato when what horror walked in: hipsters, three of them. “Which vintage table do you want to sit at?” one hipster asked the other two. I shuddered and looked at Brent in horror. I watched silently in terror as they chose, of all the tables… the one right behind Brent. Oh God, I thought, our brunch has been ruined. Then one of them did the unthinkable, most irritating thing on the planet: he started singing along with the music playing in the cafe. My only consolation was that right after I ordered the apple cinnamon french toast (there were two choices, and I hate strawberry rhubarb- I think) it was erased from the board. When one of the hipsters ordered the french toast and was told that they only had the strawberry rhubarb I silently rejoiced.


The french toast was baked in the style of bread pudding- something I did not know you could do with french toast and nor did I know how delicious it could be. The only problem was that it was giant. It was easily the equivalent of 3-4 slices of bread. The apples on top reminded me of homecooking (apple pancakes to be exact). It was almost like eating a really soft, warm piece of cake rather than french toast. Due to the bread pudding style it lacked the crunch you get at the crust.

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 8, 2014 in Adventures of Pinka!, Fooding


Tags: , ,

Splurge Brunch

We were on our way to The Patrician Grill, voted best greasy spoon. The whole way there we wondered if it would even be open- the internet was rife with rumours about it being closed all the time. As luck would (not?) have it, the place was closed for the holidays (a fair reason). Luckily we had planned ahead, Brent had mapped out a route of backups. Up next was best splurge brunch at Origin, on a Saturday morning during the holidays. It is surprising that we got a table, given that when we walked by Petit Dejeuner (formerly best eggs benedict) there was a line out the door.

I was tempted to go with my usual staple, grilled cheese (there were no waffles on the menu and Brent was getting french toast) so I thought, why not have something a little healthier: an  egg white frittata with ratatouille on top. And l also wanted to try ratatouille (yes, it was because of the movie). It turns out that when they mean splurge they mean the ingredients themselves, not just the hefty price tag. I was presented with a mammoth frittata, easily made with at least 10 egg whites, but that is an underestimate. Brent was a tad more adventurous, ordering the french toast with duck confit. The usual “trade halfway through” deal was off the table. I had one bite and could barely keep it down.


The frittata was too much, halfway through I was sick of eating it, I was not even full- I just do not like egg white enough to want to eat that much. I was expecting something the size of an english muffin, not a pancake. I have had better brunches before, even Voodoo Child where I was eating toast with fruit compote tops out above this. Brunch should be simple and not so complex.



Tags: ,

Top O’ Tha Mornin’

Now that I have my frying pan back my kitchen is that much better. Earlier in the week I had been craving an omelet- no frying pan to make it with however. Plus the omlete was second in the queue. First I still had a small bottle of Bailey’s kicking aruond, one which I had specifically purchased in order to make Bailey’s french toast, courtesy of the Portabella’s.

Project 24- Bailey's french toast (2)

It is so tempting to just let the bread soak for a few minutes and then throw it on the frying pan, rather than having it marinate overnight. I resisted temptation and hid it in the fridge. It smelled so good, I was looking forward to the next morning. I was a tad worried that the bread would just turn into a sopping gross mess but thankfully that did not happen. In the morning I found two intact pieces of bread smelling of heaven. So tempting was the smell that I ended up adding a tiny bit of Bailey’s to my morning coffee. What could be better than Bailey’s french toast AND Bailey’s coffee? The actual flavour of the Bailey’s was rather subtle, but just enough to make it a new twist on french toast.

Project 24- Bailey's french toast (3)

A delicious success.

Project 24- Bailey's french toast (4)


Tags: , , , , ,


Spring is finally here! And what better way to enjoy it than to go out for lunch on a patio. Or two. We had planned to spend Sunday packing and getting ready to move, but eventually you get hungry. Originally we were going to go to Hrvati, but they don’t open until later. And slowly we went down the list of various best patios in the city and one by one, all were closed this early in the day (it was the lunch hour). We decided on Ronnie’s, voted best place to eat take-out.

Ronnie's Local- best patio for takeout (The Grilled Cheese) (1)

On our way we passed by the Bellevue and it slowly dawned on us as we stared and got closer: it was no longer the Bellevue. We can take that one off the list. But it’s too bad, I was intrigued by the french toast croissant. There was a line-up outside of Ronnie’s, which was opening in 5 minutes. I ran across the street to check out The Grilled Cheese’s menu and then swapped places with Brent in line at Ronnie’s. Being the second group in, we got good seats on the patio. Then we alternated going inside to see the drinks. It is a tiny hole-in-a-wall of a bar, the patio is actually bigger it seems. The patio filled up really quickly. Drinks-wise there was nothing to my fancy, so I settled on orange juice with vodka. I had a sip of Brent’s beer: Delirium, partly because there logo consists of pink elephants. It was actually rather good, it would seem I am starting to appreciate beer. Sort of.

Cafe Panemar- patio

No sooner had our drinks arrived, our grilled cheese sandwiches arrived from across the street. This is ingenious really. You get to sit across the street on a patio, enjoying drinks and they bring your order to you (they give you a plastic cup to mark your table). Grilled cheese and spiked orange juice in the sweet, warm sun, it was like being in heaven. A heaven full of hipsters.

On our way back we stopped at Cafe Pamenar for their awesome back patio. Due to the patio’s sheer awesomeness, we were unable to get a seat. Thankfully the folks at the cafe had anticipated this, as the cafe also features a front patio from which you can hipster-watch while sipping delicious espresso. How do I know it is delicious (other than the fact that I ingested it)? Why because my latte required no sweetening whatsoever unlike certain other places that char their beans thus destroying them. No afternoon coffee on a patio is complete without a baked good of some sort, in this case a chocolate cream cheese cookie. At first that may sound disgusting, and it may even appear so as well (a chocolate cookie with white splotches on it, not chips). The cream cheese was subtle enough as to add just a hint of flavour without wrecking the cookie- or our afternoon.

The Big Chill

Given that we were soon moving to a new neighbourhood, I caved to temptation and we stopped at The Big Chill ice cream parlour on our way back. Plus, who doesn’t love eating ice cream on a nice warm day? And fancy ice cream at that: brownie toffee crunch in a freshly made waffle cone. That’s right, freshly made TO ORDER. It was still a tiny bit warm, but not enough to melt my ice cream (that would have been a disaster).


Tags: , , , , ,

Would You Like Some Insulin With That Lunch?

An old post from Jan. 22, 2012 that never got published:


Having had a rough couple of weeks, I insisted that this weeks fooding be comfort food as well as sweet & sugary. What a perfect solution: pancakes! Who doesn’t find comfort in a giant stack of warm fluffy pancakes (twice after morning plans did not pan out, Brent and I found ourselves in Ihop eating pancakes)? It seemed fitting to go out and eat the best pancakes in the city at Mitzi’s on College. Oatmeal pancakes at that.

First the good. It was nice to have the best of both worlds, oatmeal and a pancake! The apple mush onto was also a nice touch. It tasted pretty good, no complaints there. Except some parts did have a mildy burnt taste. And I did not care for it being soaked in syrup, I would’ve rather done that myself (with much less of it). And more apple! It was so good! Thanks to the syrup soaked nature, the pancake was rather soggy and that ruined the light & fluffiness of it. I did not care for the potatoes on the side, gross. Who wants that with their pancake? The only time those two go together is in potato pancakes.

I had a bite of Brent’s french toast as well. Not good. The egg mixture did not soak into the bread and kind of sat on top. It was almost like eating a fried egg on a piece of bread. I have had better pancakes and I have had better french toast. Or maybe it is just me? Maybe I like my pancakes simple, with just some fruit (on top of or inside, either way)?

Afterwards we headed to Bakerbots for some dessert. As if we had not had enough sugar already. The line at Bakerbots was to the door and we had to stand outside because the jerk at the end of the line would not make room for us. I was tempted to hit him with the door. Bakerbots has amazing ice cream sandwiches. You get to choose the type of cookie (I think there were about 5) and the ice cream (maybe 10 different ones?) and you can have a whole or a half. Which means you can have 4 different cookies and 2 different ice creams in total! If your pancreas can take that. As if that was not enough sugar, we also got some macarons. Sadly we could not eat them right away, being too full of ice cream sandwiches.  When I finally did eat them, meh. The macaron part was nowhere near as light as the ones I had from Nadege and there was too much cream filling, making it heavy. That does not really matter much, because those ice cream sandwiches, man alive! THEY WERE AMAZING. I had the ginger molasses cookie with sweet cream icing, it was heavenly. And the serving size? More than generous. I think the price for the ice cream is cheaper than getting a scoop at Ed’s with the same/more ice cream.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Oh Bellevue

There is nothing quite like waking up after a night of restless sleep interspersed with mild bouts of insomnia. Why the chipper mood about a Saturday morning wake-up? The promise of a french-toast croissant. From Bellevue, the best new brunch of 2010.

Given the early wake-up and lack of coffee I was a bit slow to start and we got there soon after 10am. Along the way we wondered if the place would be empty (it is less well-known) or rammed. I thought, but did not say for fear of jinxing, that it would be closed, as it was the last time we tried to go there. I should not have even thought it. We got there only to find a sign informing us that they were under renovations.


We walked up the street to Cafe Pamenar, best cafe of 2011, so I could finally get my caffeine fix. And we shared a cookie to hold us over before we got to our back-up breakfast: The Federal. Just to put it in context: it is literally around the corner from our house. We had to backtrack. The whole way there we were worried that it would be packed given it was almost 11am! The coffee from Cafe Pamenar was delicious, it did not need any sugar and was delightful. Alas, it being winter, we did not get to enjoy the nice patio.


We got there and were seated at the bar because that was the only space left. It took me no time to decide what I wanted: there were waffles on the menu. Brent had the french toast with foie gras. It was weird. The foie gras was so greasy and just melted in your mouth. The french toast was accompanied by almond butter. I still say the waffles were better. You can’t go wrong with waffles.



I also came to a realization: pancakes trump waffles. For the longest time I could not decide between the two. But now I know: pancakes. They are much more versatile with many more options available.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 5, 2013 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: