breakfast

The Dish

Restaurants

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Breakfast Sandwich Smackdown: Our Search for the City’s Best Brunch on a Bun

Breakfast Sandwich Smackdown: Our Search for the City’s Best Brunch on a Bun

From left: Dundas Park Kitchen (Image: Megan Leahy); The Stockyards and The Gabardine (Images: Chantal Braganza)

1. THE WINNER

Dundas Park Kitchen’s updated sausage McMuffin is meaty, cheesy and sloppy enough to conquer the bleariest of morning fogs. The real secret, though, is the trio of sauces: spicy Kozlik’s mustard, garlicky chimichurri and a chunky relish made with sweet sautéed onions and whole kernels of corn. Piled high on an English muffin, the sandwich walks a fine line between breakfast and burger—which is part of the appeal. $7.50. 2066 Dundas St. W., 647-351-4793

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Best of the City 2013: Middle Eastern breakfast spreads that top your typical brunch

Takht-e Tavoos

(Image: Gizelle Lau)

The Persian spreads at this sunny new brunch spot are lovingly made with splashes of olive oil, sprinkles of pomegranate seeds and punches of garlic—a welcome change from the bloated breakfast burgers all over town. The Guisavah brings two runny sunny-side-up eggs dotted with sautéed dates and walnuts, and sided by a creamy feta cube and a forest of fresh basil. It’s best enjoyed with warm flatbread and orange blossom jam. $9.

Takht-e Tavoos, 1120 College St. W., 647-352-7322

The Dish

Coffee and Tea

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Tim Hortons is making a new blend of coffee for the first-time ever

Tim Hortons is making a new blend of coffee for the first-time everFor the first time in the coffee-and-doughnut giant’s near 50-year history, Tim Hortons is creating a new roast. In a half-century of existence, the iconic Canadian company has added doughnut holes (Timbits!), muffins, croissants, tea, biscuits, cookies, rolls, Danishes, bagels, espresso drinks, chili, breakfast sandwiches, Cold Stone Creamery ice cream and most recently frozen lemonade—but its coffee has never been augmented or altered (which is as impressive as it is dull). The new brew is a bolder, darker version of Timmies’ standard blend made from South American beans rather than their standard Arabica beans. Although the coffee, which is called the Tim Hortons Partnership Blend (it was developed with a German nonprofit organization that supports fair-trade coffee farming), won’t be sold fresh at the franchise’s locations just yet, grounds are available in a 343-gram bag for $7.69.

The Dish

Recipes

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Recipe: Huevos migas from Lady Marmalade, a refined kitchen sink breakfast

Recipe: Heuvos Migas
Toronto Life Recipes | Brunch
HUEVOS MIGAS
By David Cherry and Natalia Simachkevitch
Lady Marmalade

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The Dish

Coffee and Tea

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Tim Hortons prices go up—but coffee is spared

The usual breakfast and lunch fare at Timmies will now set customers back an extra five to 20 cents to account for increased operating costs (mercifully, it’s suspected that coffee products haven’t been affected). Things have been shaky for the Canadian favourite as of late, with declines in store traffic, an ongoing search for a new CEO and that pesky drought poised to drive up food prices across the industry. We imagine its executives are stress-eating Timbits by the dozen right now. [Toronto Star]

The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Easy Restaurant, the College Street outpost of the classic Parkdale breakfast joint

(Image: Susan Keefe)

With the advent of brinner and the dizzying popularity of all things bacon, it’s not surprising that all-day breakfast joints like the Parkdale institution Easy Restaurant are doing well. The ultra-laid-back California-inspired spot cut its teeth at the foot of Roncesvalles Village, and last month it set its sights on Little Italy, opening a sister location on College. We dropped by to check it out.

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The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: The Bristol Yard, a bit of Britain down by Christie Pits

The walls are covered with photos of various British celebrities (Image: Gizelle Lau)

The Bristol Yard is a new British-style cafe (that’s pronounced “caf,” not “café”) which opened a couple of weeks ago halfway between Christie Pits and Fiesta Farms. The restaurant has taken over the long-dilapidated corner space at Christie and Pendrith Streets (you can still see it on Google street view), and aims to serve “working-class food for working-class people,” which means fish and chips and many varieties of meat pies.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Weekly Lunch Pick: the signature sandwich at Dundas West’s Porchetta & Co.

A porchetta sandwich with rapini, truffle sauce, Parmesan, hot sauce and mustard (Image: Andrew Brudz)

Since it opened on Dundas West in December 2010, Porchetta & Co.’s iconic pig logo has been a beacon to meat lovers looking for a quick fix. Each day, a steady stream of customers lines up (sometimes out the door of the tiny sandwich shop) for Nick auf der Mauer’s do-one-thing-right menu focused around his pork triple threat: marinated pork shoulder that’s wrapped in prosciutto then wrapped in cured pork belly, all of which is slow-roasted until the whole thing is melting (see the informative infographic on their website). The house specialty porchetta sandwich ($6.45, plus extras) piles a four-ounce dose of the stuff on a sourdough roll, right before your eyes. We add sharp Kozlik’s mustard, hot sauce, freshly grated Parmesan (95¢), creamy and smoky truffle sauce (75¢) and, to alleviate the meat-guilt, some rapini (75¢), before parking it on one of five vintage stools and savouring each rich, spicy and crackly bite. If you’re passing by from 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. on a Saturday, don’t miss the breakfast variation with a fried egg.

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for March 12 to 18

Martin Picard will be cooking a five-course tasting menu at Canoe on Sunday to promote his new cookbook, Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack (Image: Marie-Claude St-Pierre)

Monday, March 12

  • Society for American Wines: Cabernet blends formal tasting. University of Toronto Faculty Club, 41 Willcocks St., 416-978-6325. Find out more »
  • 86’D: Join Ivy Knight for the premiere of Top Chef Canada 2012. With special guest chef Todd Perrin from season one. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • March Break: Kids Cooking Camp: A week of globally inspired cooking classes for little foodies. St. Lawrence Market, 92 Front St. E., 416-392-7120. Find out more »
  • Sorauren Farmers’ Market: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the field house at Sorauren Park. 50 Wabash Ave. Find out more »

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Flavour of the Month: eight sublimely sloppy breakfast sandwiches

Toronto chefs are reimagining the McMuffin with house-made breads and luxurious ­ingredients

Flavour of the Month: Morning Glory

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The Dish

Food TV

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Recipe to Riches Reviewed: Episode 5, The Smart Cookie

RECIPE TO RICHES Season 1 | Episode 5

Last things first: at the end of this week’s episode (the sweet and savoury snacks challenge), the producers flashed a disclaimer explaining that “due to unforeseen circumstances,” the winning contestant would “not be competing for the grand prize in the final episode.” Our minds rife with conspiracy theories neither sweet nor savoury, we dashed off a note to the show’s publicist, who reassured us there was nothing untoward going on. Apparently, after the show was taped, the producers found out that the winner had a family member who worked at a company connected to the show, making her technically ineligible. But since that family member wasn’t in a position to have any influence on the show, they decided to let her keep her $25,000 in winnings while barring her from the grand prize. Given how badly she wanted to win (see below), we have to admit we feel a little bad. After the jump, our weekly recap and tasting panel.

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The Informer

Features

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Jan Wong: how the rise of horticultural training at Toronto schools is bad for students

While we’re busy teaching our kids to tend school gardens, they’re failing provincial tests in reading, writing and math. The folly of the new enviro-propaganda

The Horticultural Revolution

(Illustration: Tavis Coburn)

This fall, hundreds of Toronto students are harvesting beets and zucchini from their school gardens. I say: nice photo op, bad idea. The argument for school gardens assumes that by grubbing in the dirt, kids will learn to love eating vegetables. They won’t think chickens hatch into this world as deep-fried nuggets. And they’ll develop a respect for nature.

Here’s the counter-argument: our students shouldn’t be out scrabbling in the hot sun when one in five can’t pass the Grade 10 literacy test administered by the provincially funded Education Quality and Accountability Office. And while Canadian students score high internationally in reading, mathematics and the sciences, Statistics Canada says our relative ranking is declining due to improved performance by other countries. In this era of global competition, we can’t afford to let other nations nip at our heels.

Half of Toronto’s population was born outside Canada, and it’s a safe bet many of them came here for a better life, including a good education for their offspring. A lot of immigrants originate from agrarian regions of countries such as India, Pakistan, China and the Philippines. The last thing these newcomers need is a morality crusade about carrots. Yet more than 200 of Toronto’s nearly 600 public schools now have gardens, and an army of well-meaning parents, volunteers, activists and advocacy organizations with a social agenda is successfully lobbying for more.

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The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Locomotive, a new café and sandwich shop in the Junction

Owners Vito Carnovale and Paul Araujo outside their new Junction café (Image: Caroline Aksich)

Childhood friends Vito Carnovale and Paul Araujo have been conspiring to open their take on the perfect café for the past decade. Carnovale had opened four cafés before, all named Sello, but the two wanted to embark on a project together. After years of property hunting, they finally found the perfect venue inside an 1879 Junction red-brick. To pay tribute to the neighbourhood’s train-rich history, the pair decided to name their new venture Locomotive.

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The Informer

Random Stuff

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The hilarious hijinks of the hash brown hoax hack

Canadians can rest easy this morning knowing that the political party currently governing their country has the same awesome level of security as, say, a tech giant like Sony. Early this morning, the Conservative Party of Canada’s official website (not, we should add, a Government of Canada site) was hacked, and a fake press release was posted to the front page. The headline blared, “Prime Minister Rushed to Hospital After Breakfast Incident,” above a press release stating that Stephen Harper was brought to Toronto General Hospital after he choked on a hash brown.

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The Dish

Food Events

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Ever wonder what it looks like when a lavish breakfast is thrown in the air in slow motion?

OK, we didn’t either, but that’s no reason not to watch this strangely lovely video, shot at 1,000 frames per second by St. Louis advertising creative shop Bruton Stroube Studios.

Breakfast Interrupted [Bruton Stroube]

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