As previously predicted, this year will be the year of the brunch and to fully embrace the trend I have added the word brunching to my vocabulary and am now embarking on a year’s worth of brunches. Affectionately titled ‘The Brunchcapades’, myself and a rotating roster of brunch companions will set out once a month to check out one of Toronto’s many brunch spots. So please join me in this adventure as I get ready to rise and dine.
Date: Saturday February 13, 2010
Time: 11:45 am
Location: Easy Restaurant, 1645 Queen Street West at Roncesvalles
Companion: Annette, teacher, friend of 11 years, likes her eggs ‘sunny side up’
Topic of conversation: bridesmaid dresses (we are both M.O.H’s this year), how we are going to spend our Saturday night, my new BlackBerry and general gossip about our mutual friends
I’m a brunch virgin. Other than a few buffets and a delicious visit to the old Mildred Pierce, I have never really been a bruncher. Truth be told, it’s because I generally have never risen let alone gotten dressed and been out the door before noon on the weekends. A bar virgin, I am not.
So I entered Easy Restaurant kind of bright eyed and bushy tailed. A little wet behind the ears with an excitement in my belly. I also had high hopes that my first brunch would be a hit. No one wants to start off on the wrong foot.
Well a hit it was.
Easy’s decor has an ‘easy rider’ biker/vintage car theme. The tables are distressed and the papers are free. A chalkboard menu proudly lists their smoothies and coffees (they serve illy coffee – need I say more?) The waitresses are all young and cute and nice, really nice. The place is jumping and it woke me up.
The menu is big and with so many good sounding items I go for the eggs benedict ($10.95) almost by default. I know I sound like a dud for ordering the ``benny`` when I could have had toast soldiers or a breakfast burrito but I think as simple as it is it`s a dish that can really speak to a kitchen`s capabilities. Hey if you can`t poach a proper egg...
I cautiously approached the dish not knowing where to begin or when to break the yolk. Like a little kid that shrieks as they squish a bug under their foot, I think it`s the fun part of eating an egg.
PS. I also don`t mind killing bugs.
The eggs were perfectly poached; light and fluffy with sunny centers. The muffins were rightly toasted. The use of grilled peameal over ham added a rustic classiness to the dish and the fact that their hollandaise tasted of buttery popcorn added an element of surprise. The hash browns took a back seat as they were crispy but not so flavourful. Nothing some salt and ketchup couldn't remedy.
Easy’s house specialty is heuvos divorciados ($12.50): two sunny side up eggs (of course Annette ordered this) sit on a flat corn tortilla and then get smothered with spicy green and tangy red salsas. Black beans are sprinkled about while guacamole and ancho chili jam hang out on the side. I was jealous of this one. It was so colourful. The flavours popped in your mouth and ancho chili kicks raspberry’s ass in the jam department. Thick pieces of buttery toast make the perfect dipping agent. She ordered the salad because I had the potatoes but it didn’t take long for her to start devouring it. According to her she needed, “...to get this salad out of here so I can concentrate on all of this other goodness”.
We finished our illy’s and set out for some antiquing because we’ve heard that that’s what people do after they have brunch.
A vintage 80’s clutch and a faux gold necklace later, our adventure was complete.
Now Annette just has to save up for that chandelier.