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Ontario (inc. Toronto) Breakfast

an unfortunate experience at smalltalk, and a good one at breakfast grill (long)

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an unfortunate experience at smalltalk, and a good one at breakfast grill (long)

wickalicious | Jan 23, 2006 04:58 PM

saturday morning, the significant other and i decided to head to bayview village for brunch. we chose smalltalk, having heard good things about the food.

the s.o. ordered the scrambled eggs w/ kalamata and asiago (i think) cheese, sided with a green salad. they came perfectly cooked, still moist with large, firm curds. the salad was also a winner, with a light and not-too-vinegary dressing. we also ordered a side of the chicken and apple sausages (tasty, but greasy) and the herb roasted potatoes (cut into unevenly shaped wedges, so a few of the larger ones were undercooked).

the issue came with my meal. i ordered the eggs florentine, and when ordering i asked the server if the kitchen would poach the eggs hard on request (i've been to a few places that aren't willing to do this during a busy brunch service, so i always make a point of asking). she assured me that they would. when my meal arrived, there was smoked salmon strewn over the spinach (identified as a substitution on the menu for an additional charge), rather than sauteed ham. i like most fish, but loathe salmon, so i asked the server to get it corrected. she arrived back a few minutes later with ham, as requested - but when i cut into the eggs, they were so runny that the yolks immediately spilled out onto the plate. i called the server over again, and she apologized (apparently she'd neglected to tell the kitchen to poach the eggs hard) and took the plate back once more. when it arrived the third time, alas, the eggs were exactly the same. at that point, i gave up, as my partner had finished his breakfast and i was ravenous, so i pushed the eggs to the side and at the rest, which was quite pleasant - sort of like a baby spinach salad with hollandaise dressing. to her credit, the server did return and ask how i was faring, and looked horrified when i told her what had happened. mercifully, they didn't charge us for the florentine, but it was a really unpleasant and irritating way to start the morning, at a place for which i had high expectations. no plans to return soon...although they did recognize their error, so i may not write them off permanently.

in contrast, we had an early meal this morning at the breakfast grill, a small greasy-spoon style place that opened on parliament just north of queen in july. this is plain, straightforward food, nothing trendy or in any way pretentious about it, but it's cooked quite well. my eggs were nicely scrambled (well...maybe a bit on the dry side, but as you may have guessed from the saga above, this is not a problem for me), the bacon was wonderfully crispy, and the sliced fried potatoes an appropriate combination of slightly mushy spuds and crunchy golden-fried bits. with a side of toast and a complimentary cup of coffee (which i don't drink, so the waitress insisted on giving me a bottle of fruit juice, gratis), it came to the princely sum of $5.95.
my s.o. had the pancake special (same as mine, but with 2 pancakes and 2 breakfast sausages) for $2.50 more. the sausages were your standard breakfast links, with a hint of maple, and the pancakes were served with a little dusting of icing sugar, which i thought was a nice touch. the thing that was really amazing was the lack of grease in all of this - no unsightly brownish puddles left on the plates! i wouldn't say that this place is worth going out of the way for, but if you're in the neighbourhood i'd highly recommend it.

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