Last weekend, when Conor from Hold the Beef was in town (all the way from Perth, Australia in the midst of a whirlwind around the world tour apparently to do with her grad school work though looks like she might be doing some kind of degree in food and drink..), I felt the pressure to find a great brunch place to take her. She often reviews restaurants on her blog and it seems brunch comes under the most scrutiny. I knew, though that I could entice her to anywhere if I promised that we would visit a cheese store afterwards so I confidently proposed that we visit The School Bakery and Café, right around the corner from a new cheese store we had been wanting to visit, The Village Cheesemonger. We also met Krys from Rosewood Estates Winery there (a brunch and cheese lover too!).
It’s a wonderful old redbrick building with lots and lots of funky “school” references including these cool school clocks!
Being the World Cup and all, there was the ubiquitous big screen TV showing the game but we were fortunate enough to score a table on the patio where it was threatening to rain but held off for us!
The menu choices were aplenty and it was hard to choose – everything looked amazing, especially to Conor who had spend the better part of a day travelling the day before from Albuquerque to Toronto and who had not eaten a decent meal for days!
Neil and Krys choose the “Super Cheesy” French toast with smoked bacon and greens:
Both Neil and Krys LOVED this dish. The right amount of sweet and salty with some greens to boot. I chose the “overstuffed” popover with Gruyère, smoked bacon and greens:
Let’s just check out HOW overstuffed it is:
Awesomeness!Loved the slight sweetness of the popover itself, the creaminess of the scrambled eggs and the salty bacon. A perfect brunch meal for me!
Conor, in her fuzzy-brained state of fatigue was oscillating between the egg-white frittata with shrimp, oven roasted tomatoes and greens and the eggs Benny… Neil scorned her for even thinking about an egg dish that did not contain egg yolks. Nonplussed by his suggestions (I actually think he just wanted the eggs Benny as well!), she chose the frittata:
It was very beautiful, as you can see and it came with great home-fries, including some sweet potatoes but I have a feeling our Conor was secretly kicking herself for not listening to Mr Neil. I think it was pronounced “good, but not amazing”. I really think Miss Conor just needed something more substantial in her little belly. You know, like the missing yolks! So not a bad dish, but not a smart choice for those particular circumstances…
I was excited to discover this place which is in a part of Toronto that is what we like to call “up and coming” (very fast, actually!). It’s also within walking distance of our house (yay – if we walked there and back we could indulge in some of their baked goods too!) so I foresee some trips there in my future. A lovely space both in and outside with simple food done well and they also do lunch and dinner. Even though both my grad school and my job school are out for the summer, I wouldn’t mind a little summer school here 😉
The School Bakery and Café
70 Fraser Avenue
Toronto, ON M6K 3E1
Also as promised, I am announcing the next hostess of the Hay Hay it’s Donna Day event and that lucky lady is Giulia of Juls’ Kitchen! She received the most votes in last month’s roundup but really, you were all winners in my eyes. That is truly one of my favourite posts ever!!! Giulia will be posting the next Donna Hay recipe very soon so head on over to check out her blog!