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Introducing: Brockton General, Dundas West’s new snack bar

The day's menu is written by the chef before service (Image: Karon Liu)

Adding to the influx of small, simple restaurants in the city is Dundas West’s week-old, low-key snack bar Brockton General (staff: three, dishwashers: zero). As the chef, Guy Rawlings, explains, opening a room that seats 30 means less bureaucratic finagling. Look at Nathan Isberg’s similar setup a few blocks down at The Atlantic.

Friends and first-time restaurateurs Pam Thomson and Brie Read found the space on Craigslist in June (it was previously a Portuguese sports bar) and hired Rawlings (Cowbell, Célestin) to man the small kitchen. Each night, Rawlings writes the menu, starring produce found at Downsview Park’s urban farm, on a roll of chart paper hung on a blank wall. On one visit, it included two appetizers and three mains—all under $20—in the nose-to-tail Cowbell tradition. Tagliatelle with wild boar’s head, anyone?

Dinner is served on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but drinks and the bar menu are available nightly, when the old sport bar’s rowdy regulars mix with Ossington Avenue runoff. Nibbling plates include olives, pickled vegetables and almonds ($3), as well as duck liver mousse ($7) and cheeses like Bénédictin Blue ($7.75) and Grey Owl ($7). Bourbonade—fresh-squeezed lemonade with bourbon and soda—makes a nice summer sipper ($8).

Brockton General, 1321 Dundas St. W., 647-342-6104. Closed Tuesday.

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  • Katy

    Found this place accidentally on the weekend and absolutely loved it!! Brie and Pam were charming and friendly, not the usual holier-than-thou Ossington(ish) fare. As an added bonus, the drinks were affordable and the atmosphere inviting.

    Will definitely be back!

  • Alex

    If you have a chance to try the Duck while it is still on the menu, do it! It was the best i’ve had. I hope the Bourbonade stays on past the summer.

  • Taylor

    Food is incredddible at this place. My girlfriend and I were strolling by one breezy afternoon and came across this new little gem. It also helps that both of the owners happen to be pretty easy on the eyes….!

  • Nasdon

    That bourbon lemonade is so good it’s dangerous. Our food was great. The place really has a great vibe through and through. So glad it’s popped up in a neighbourhood that desperately needs new options.

  • Julie

    wow! i was so impressed by this new little gem! i agree with the above statement about how sweet and unpretentious the owners are. the white bean mash was amazing…and chef guy’s pasta is unbelievable. bourbonade!!!! my new fave cocktail.

  • Jessica

    It’s really refreshing to look at a menu that’s obviously been mindfully orchestrated. The meals and snacks are interesting, for once — you feel like you’re really in the hands of an actual chef instead of thinking you could have made it yourself! It didn’t say “organic”, or “free-range” anywhere on the menu, but when I asked about the meat I was really impressed by the sourcing of all of it. I guess those things are just a given to a real chef. On top of all that, the women who served me struck a warm balance between polite and casual. All in all, this seems to be a place that cares about what they serve you and and how they serve it to you. Plus it’s a really good-looking space.

  • samantha

    Any place that has Guy as the chef is going to be amazing!! cannot wait to check it out!

  • Fernando

    More on “Downsview Park’s urban farm” here

  • kat

    The place has a fantastic neighbourly wibe and slowed down feel – really really good stuff. Toronto needs more places like it. Now a warning – it is NOT a vegetarian friendly place! If you are a veggie, there are no entrees for you (and what the chef will do to accommodate you is to remove the ‘offending’ ingredients – this makes the dishes tasteless and not worth the money and the hype), and only one or two appetizers and a salad. If you are a vegan, you can only have olives. So vegetarians and vegans – eat somewhere else, until the place takes us seriously.

  • Jack

    Tried this place over the holidays, I wanted to like it but my obligation to the porcelain god at 2:00 am made me think otherwise. The culprit was the raw duck egg yolk on my pasta….BAD IDEA!
    I started with the soup and the potted animal, which was good and the white bean spread was delicious.
    The menu changes daily and only had one option for a main that night, too bad it ended up poisoning me.

    Don’t think I’ll be going back any time soon……

  • Lindsay

    I ate here with my family a few weeks ago and it was the best meal I’ve had in a long time. The pasta with the raw duck egg was PHENOMENAL. I couldn’t even tell you what else was in the dish, it was just one of the most amazing things I’ve had in a long time.

    The cheese plate was so good, we ordered another. I suggest ordering a few dishes and sharing them. The owners are super friendly.

    Highly recommended!

  • J REID

    I was there for dinner this past Saturday with some friends. BG provides excellent value for money spent: the food, wine, and service are decent (but not great), but the prices are relatively low and the place has a great atmosphere so it all works out. What will stop me going back a second time, though, is that the server who briefly covered for our (otherwise decent) server was shockingly rude to us at the end of our meal. Our table’s collective jaw hit the floor. It turned an otherwise fun night into something extremely awkward and uncomfortable. Reading the TL review above, I assume she was one of the owners, which is too bad. There are so many other options on in that neighbourhood. Why pay somebody to be rude to me?

  • Stop_The_Bitching_Patrol

    “our server was shockingly rude to us at the end of our meal. Our table’s collective jaw hit the floor. It turned an otherwise fun night into something extremely awkward and uncomfortable… I assume she was one of the owners, which is too bad… There are so many other options on in that neighbourhood. Why pay somebody to be rude to me?”

    It was probably something pretentious you said, Crybaby