Bonjour Brioche, always a good bet
Being a foodie, it took me a full 15 minutes to figure out where to go for brunch today. A Toronto institution, how restaurants do brunch has determined their longevity. Finally, after weighing in key considerations like food quality, variety and cost, MOTL and I decided to venture to Lady Marmalade. Alas, when we got there, there was a ridiculous queue.
Thankfully, Bonjour Brioche was close by. There weren’t people waiting when we arrived, so we got seated instantaneously. (Almost as soon as we got there, though, people from who knows where showed up; there was a mild altercation over a table this annoying couple wearing matching blue wanted to steal from a pair of pregnant ladies with two children. I think the couple wanted to sit in the spot closer to the street so they could people watch but the server very reasonably asked that they relinquish their table so the women can sit with their children.)
The food we got was delectable. We each started with flakey pan au chocolat, which had a satisfyingly sweet (but not too sweet!) chocolatey core reminiscent of the ones I ate in Geneva way back in the day. What I would suggest, though, is that they perhaps watch the pan au chocolat more closely because mine tasted ever-so-slightly burnt.
The highlight, though, was the eggs benny. MOTL got the eggs benny with peameal bacon while I got the one with smoked salmon.
Both were great. That the chef decided to forego the traditional English muffin in favour of a croissant was a brilliant move for this ensured that there was a flakey, buttery, slightly sweet bottom that countered the salty richness of the hollondaise sauce. The eggs were not really poached; they were more soft-boiled, which was again a good move. This ensured that the egg didn’t burst to make the croissant soggy. There were abundant portions of the salmon and the peameal bacon was so sizeable that it felt more like a pork cutlet. This was a welcome surprise because other brunch places serve peameal bacon so thin that you can barely see it.
My only minor quibble was the salad, which could have used more texture through the addition of, say, carrots. I also found the dressing a bit bland. That said, it was the perfect meal to start the day. Sometimes, it is better to go to places that are consistently solid. Who wants to wait for an hour to get seated when you have other things to do during the day (namely, my slides for my next lecture…I never got around to it but that’s a different story, sigh).