The fellowship of the brunch continues with Bristol Yard in the Annex. AKA British comfort food and some of the best home fries around:
In a city as culturally diverse as Toronto, I’m sometimes surprised that “brunch” bears such a homogeneous image in our minds and on menus: bacon, eggs, sausage, potatoes, maybe some toast. But I get it, we owe brunch to the British (I wikipedia-ed), so it’s fitting to me that full breakfast is more or less a basis for what gets plated on the brunch table. Afterall, brunch is comfort food, best when left unadulterated – especially on weekend mornings when hazy-eyed comfort is the only order of business.
Meat and potatoes British food is the focus at Bristol Yard, there are beers on tap and roasts on Sundays, but we’re here for brunch. Our wait was moderate at about 20 minutes, considering how limited seating is and that our visit came days after they’d been voted NOW Magazine’s “Best of Toronto 2013″ brunch category. We somehow resisted the urge to order the Full Monty, their version of the aforementioned full breakfast but still managed to leave with crowded stomachs. Here’s what we ate:
- Eggs Maradona, steak and eggs topped with fresh chimichurri (not pictured)
- The Glasgow, sausage and egg breakfast sandwich smothered in hangover-grade gravy
- The Breakfast Pie, a bacon laced scotch egg in pie-crust
If my descriptions seem overly curt, I should point out that everything was outstanding. The home fries that came on the side were a crisp golden brown without a hint of greasiness to them. The Maradona being a stand-out and the breakfast pie really being an anytime food as far as I’m concerned. Bonus: all orders start with your choice of tea or coffee.
Bristol Yard is located 2 minutes north of Christie Station (just beyond the Pits). Shout out to fellow brunch clubber Angelo for the above pie photo, follow his one-man ramen crusade on instagram okay?
The Bristol Yard
146 Christie St. | Facebook, Twitter
Next Toronto Brunch Club: Aunties & Uncles
Previously: Lady Marmalade
I just got a roll of film developed at Happy Snaps, a London digital/print shop. I’m a bit disappointed by the weird dirt marks (??) on my photos, but otherwise, I like the colours, especially that pop of yellow in the first one. Definitely missing summer and Toronto right now…
Canon AE-1 | Kodak Portra 400
With Patricia in the UK for the year and me left to my own devices – none of which are food photography skills, this blog has been a bit starved (pun intended) for hometown posts lately. Thankfully, I’ve managed to maintain a regular brunch-meet with old friends. And while we’ve all questioned the reverence for brunch in this town (often at losing end of a queue), I’ve learned as a chronic breakfast skipper that it’s a meal worth preserving. Let’s see if this changes as we make our way through a few line-ups:
Brunch as a concept kinda falls off the radar outside the downtown core of Toronto, with options like Bonjour Brioche and Lady Marmalade though, the “east end” commands its share of liner-uppers on any given brunch day. Having heard nothing but great things about Lady Marmalade for years from practically everyone that lives in Leslieville, it seemed like a good place to kick off this series. Just look at those happy faces…
The wait was standard (about 30 minutes and about 5 tables deep) when we got there and totally bearable with Mercury Espresso right across the street. The service was friendly and unrushed once we were seated, with a west coast vibe that probably traces back to their original location in Victoria. The dishes lean on local/organic ingredients with Mexican twists that deliver a hearty punch; think huevos rancheros with brown rice and free-run eggs. I ended up going with the pictured Cheddar + Spinach Waffles, which came with a savoury tomato-orange cream and topped with bacon. My friends went for the Huevos Migas and the Wild Pacific Salmon Sandwich respectively. It’s nice when a brunch lives up to the hype.
Lady Marmalade is open daily for breakfast and lunch only; with certain menu items like their P.M. POUTINE available only on weekdays.
898 Queen St. E. | Website
Next Toronto Brunch Club: Bristol Yard