May 13th 2019 - Cafe Boulud, Toronto Canada
My mom is awesome and saying that she is a huge part of me being the man I am today is the understatement of the year lol. So, Mother’s day is one of my favourite days because I get to celebrate one of my best friends and show her how much I love her. It also means brunch!
This year, the family banded together and decided to take Mom to Café Boulud for Mother’s Day. Now, I’ve been to Boulud for dinner and to the DBar downstairs for drinks…but I had no idea they do Mother’s Day Brunch.
I started with the Avocado Toast topped with a poached egg, pickled shallots, and cherry tomatoes piled high on a piece of perfectly toasted sourdough bread (crunchy crust with a soft fluffy inside). The flavors blended together beautifully, like a slightly more vinegary guacamole. I would have liked the inside of the poached egg to be more runny so that the richness of the yolk could act more like a sauce. However, over all it was an amazing way to start the meal.
My brother Matthew, who is an amazing chef in his own right, ordered the Duck and Waffles for his main course (their take on chicken and waffles), and was nice enough to give me a taste. Winner winner forget about the chicken dinner, this thing is off the charts! The waffles are sweet and moist with a nice crunch on the outside which balances perfectly with the salty and juicy duck confit. What puts this dish over the top is the sauce. The dijon mustard maple sauce is all the right kinds of sweet heat you could ever want. Mix that with the richness of the over-easy fried egg that tops the dish and you’ve got something magical Definite 10/10 for this one!
I ordered another home run on the menu, “The Frenchie Burger.” If you’re like me and love savory breakfast sandwiches, this is a must try! They take a beef burger patty cooked to your specifications and top that with raclette cheese, fresh cherry tomatoes, thick cut side bacon, garlic aioli, and sandwich all of that between two pieces of pepper brioche bun. When I bit into it, I tasted the richness of the cheese, the heat of the pepper bun, the slight sweetness of the cherry tomatoes and the salty deliciousness of the bacon. Then, I looked at the burger patty. I ordered medium which typically means you’ll get medium well. Not here! I asked for medium and that’s what they gave me, a patty slightly redish pink in the middle and perfectly seasoned. The burger also comes with a side of fries which is awesome because…French fries for breakfast!!
Now some of you might be thinking, this is great Josh but what do they have for families with little kids? Well, they have a full kids menu including items like buttermilk pancakes, they can make scrambled eggs, plain bacon without any garnish, aaaaaand chicken fingers! They’re delicious by the way lol.
The great part about all of this is that you don’t have to wait an entire year to try this place. They have Sunday brunch available every weekend. I highly recommend you take advantage and try it for yourself.
May 6th 2019 - The Stockyards, Toronto Canada
So, I’m back in Toronto, fresh off of touring and I text my buddy Josh to see if we can catch up. No, I’m not referring to myself in the third person, I actually have a friend named Josh lol. We decide to go for breakfast Saturday morning and land on this place called The Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder. 13/10 would recommend anytime you are in Toronto
First of all, I’m a sucker for that laid-back dinner vibe and this place is all about that. From the outside the only way you know that you’re heading into the right place is a small, beat up and rusty sign hanging over the door.
You walk in and the place is 80% display case and flattop grill with deep-fryers in the back (this is important for later). The rest of the restaurant is filled with shelf like community tables and stools. I’m already sold on this place before the lady behind the counter says we can sit anywhere, and I see the huge container of fresh baked biscuits sitting on the counter. #winning!
Josh and I sit down closer to the back of the restaurant and before we even get started on the menu that same lady walks over and offers us some of the freshest fresh-squeezed orange juice I’ve ever had. Great way to start the meal.
Finally, we look at the menu. This place is checking all of the delicious boxes with a selection of greasy spoon favorites taken to the next level including a breakfast sandwich with fried green tomatoes and house smoked bacon, their take on eggs beny they call The Stockyard, and one of those homemade biscuits smothered in sausage gravy and served with scrambled eggs. Josh orders the Biscuits with Sausage Gravy and we soon find out that their flavors are as big as their portions, I mean look at the size of that plate! According to my buddy, the Gravy was just the right amount of creamy, was not spicy and balanced out the richness of the eggs really well.
I ordered the Fried Chicken & Waffles, (told you the fryer detail was important) and it is legendary. First off, the chicken was so moist and juicy on the inside which was surprising because the batter on the outside was firm, not greasy, and seasoned really well without it being too much. They put two or four pieces of fried on top of a homemade waffle and pour what they call the honey/chili citrus glaze over it all. The glaze is more of a syrup, but no matter what you call it it’s a homerun! It’s sweet, sour, packs a pretty decent punch of heat, and really sets it apart from other friend chicken and waffle dishes I’ve had, and there have been many.
Here’s the crazy part, this wasn’t even their brunch menu. Their Sunday brunch menu has a lot more going on. I was also told that everyday from lunch on they serve, some of the best BBQ in the city. To say I’ll be coming back soon is an understatement. If you like good food, good vibes and good times, this is a must try!