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