Review: Brad’s Eatery
April 5, 2010
Address: 325 Roncesvalles Ave
Rich ordered: Eggs benedict with smoked salmon, on a potato rosti, with a side salad.
Alana ordered: Croissant breakfast sandwich with homefries.
Plus: Amazing homefries. Large portions. Friendly atmosphere. Solid brunch.
Minus: Mediocre coffee. Oily salad.
Rating: 8 annoying grunts out of 10
Rich sez: After a fun night of twelve-dollar 40s and sweet mash-ups with DJ Lockdown at my second-favorite bar in Toronto, Margret, a Good Friday morning brunch was needed. Alana and I had recently heard from a friend of ours that Brad’s on Roncesvalles was the place to go. When I think of the name Brad, I associate it with the eldest son from Home Improvement. As such, my expectations for this place were very low. I asked Alana on the drive to Brad’s, “How long do you think it will take Brad to come talk to us about his girl troubles with Ashley?” Alana: “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Alana was a JTT fan, I guess.
As we walked towards the entrance, they were just opening up the front windows so we could sit and enjoy the new warm weather — lucky us. Alana ordered a Coke Diete and I had a the coffee. As we sat and sipped our drinks, I was not terribly impressed with my coffee’s flavour (or lack thereof) — maybe I was too distracted by the half dozen crazies walking by. I orded the eggs benny with smoked salmon on a potato rosti, and a side of garden salad.
Before our food got to us and 2.5 cups of coffee in, a family of 7 came skipping into the restaurant. The family’s youngest boy was riding a bike with new trainies on it — his dad called out , “Mark come on, lets go!”, but he would not set foot in the door, and who can blame him? Noogies and adoption jokes from Brad awaited him inside, and who knows where Randy was hiding, waiting for the perfect time to tie him to a tree, or steal all the attention away with a cancer scar … uh, sorry — back to reality. The poor l’il guy was actually hesitating because he didn’t want to leave his bike outside with the Roncy riff-raff. Alana and I assigned ourselves as his bike security team, since we had the window seat. With a gracious thanks and tip of the hat from dad, off went future Goth Mark in to the restaurant.
Our food arrived, and as soon as our plates were placed on the table I immediately regretted not ordering the homefries. Alana’s plate was stacked with the toasty, spicy squares from heaven. My garden salad was alright — it was a little to oily for my liking, but I enjoyed that the dressing was freshly-made, rather than store-bought garbage. This was my first time having eggs benny with potato rosti underneath and, let me tell you, it will be very hard to go back to english muffins (not that hard, actually — I had them again today at Milestones. Yes Milestones has a brunch menu. Weird right?). The eggs were cooked perfectly — piercing the yolk caused a rich, creamy yellow river to pour out and mingle with the hollandaise. I wished I had eaten my brunch more slowly, so as to better enjoy its well-balanced flavours, but I tried to whiz through it so I could steal more of Alana’s homefries. Over all, I think Brad’s is right up there with some of the great spots in Toronto to get a good brunch and a nice walk in a cool neighborhood. One thing not to expect is Brad himself to come over and entertain you with his soccer skills while you eat.
Alana sez: While Rich was busy peeping on Jill with Wilson in one of his (not infrequent) Home Improvement hallucinations, I was having a very enjoyable brunch to kick off the Easter long weekend. The vegetarian options on Brad’s menu are quite limited, so I ordered the croissant breakfast sandwich with oven-roasted tomatoes in place of the usual peameal bacon — the kitchen was happy to oblige. I think people who order salad at brunch are crazy (see: Rich and his Tim Allen obsession), so I went with homefries on the side.
Before long, I was digging into one of the best breakfast sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. The croissant was lightly toasted, and piled high with scrambled eggs, aged white cheddar, and exceptionally flavourful roasted tomatoes. Each bite was better than the last, and I was a little sad when I finished it. But only for a second — I had a mountain of homefries waiting for me that weren’t going to eat themselves. I was as impressed with my side as I was with my sandwich. The homefries were spiced generously with smoked paprika, and perfectly crispy-on-the-outside-and-fluffy-on-the-inside (or COTOAFOTI to homefry connoisseurs such as myself). I finished my meal at Brad’s completely sated, and hangover cured. I think Rich enjoyed his brunch, too — he kept mumbling about JTT’s dreamy eyes as we paid the bill.