What? School for lunch
Where? 70 Fraser ave (504 streetcar west from King)
The skinny: Casual. Fresh. Chef Brad Moore presents, School Bakery & Café (opened in 2009), a now “it” place for brunch any day of the week. In Liberty Village, it can be out of the way but your trip should be worth it. The food isn’t revolutionary but you can’t go wrong with classic comfort food cooked by a great chef. :D
Right now, we’re smack in the middle of finals/exam season. But I figured I’d take a little break to write up a post. :) What better breather than to talk about food?!
A couple of weeks ago, two of my closest friends came back to Toronto for the weekend. Not going to name any names (ahem Jon!) but due to some delays, we ended up having a late lunch rather than a brunch. At least we all finally got to ride on the new subway cars! :D Which by the way are so similar to the mtr in Hong Kong (which by the way, were in place over a decade ago).
|The new TTC rocket subway cars.|
Still, it’s nice to see that the TTC is finally moving in the right direction! :D
|Uncharacteristically empty Hong Kong mtr (yes, your cellphone still gets perfect reception down here!!)|
At School finally! There is parking right outside (a legit lot). It’s free during on weekends and weekdays after 5; bonus for those who prefer to drive downtown (power to all of you because you must have Herculean patience).
Inside, you’re first bombarded by very alluring smells from the kitchen. And then of course the baked goods displayed for your enjoyment! I don’t know how I got past these cookies and muffins without emptying my wallet right then and there (I was absolutely famished by this point).
The dining room is so smartly decorated. Everything relates back to the theme of “school”. From the pieces of paper hanging as light fixtures (restaurants have the most awesome light fixtures!! You should check them out next time you’re out ;D) to the clocks on the wall which are all set to 3:30pm (school’s out! If only that were true right now, ugh. haha).
Then there’s the chalkboards. The red apples. And the cute clipboards with the menus! We’re all loving the feel of this place so far.
This get together was purely to catch up after no seeing each other for so long. And then Vickie and Jon pulled out amazing presents. Damn they’re good! haha Jon made a perfect giant birthday card, complete with pop-up sickers of CUPCAKES! And Vickie made a kickass scrapbook that chronicles our friendship. Beginning from gr.8 Thank god you can’t actually see the photos because I was an AWKWARD little kiddie back then…. ;)
Little shout-out. Thank you so so so much Vickie & Jon for your perfect handmade gifts!! And not to mention the h&m gift card! You two know me too well. Thank you!!
Okay, sorry about all the stalling. Time for some food. Well, drinks first. Gotta grab some coffee / cappuccino first!
|Caffeine on an empty stomach. I was thinking less that, than coffee + pancakes = happy carmen.|
Although the menu is pretty vast, with sandwiches, sweet breakfast items and more substantial dishes, I had my eyes set on pancakes. I was craving some fluffy, maple syrup drenched goodness.
Super Cheesy French Toast ($12)
(“with smoked bacon, Quebec maple syrup & greens”). Vickie ordered this because of two words: “super”, “cheesy”. She loves her cheese! I didn’t manage to get a good photo of it. Bacon was great (as it always is). She liked that it also provided a contrast in terms of its crunchiness. She liked the French toast but would’ve preferred MORE cheese.
Chorizo Potato Omelet ($14)
(“with corn tortillas, guacamole, pico de gallo salsa, sour cream & greens”). Jon wanted an omelet and the fact that guacamole is involved made this is an clearer choice for him. The balance between savoury, sweet, salty, and bright flavours were great.
The guacamole had the perfect consistency; creamy but not entirely mushy. Chorizo?! YES.
Black & Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes ($12)
(“stacked high with whipped cream & maple syrup”). Let’s just say I was more than excited when this came. It looks so appetizing!! And then I spilt the syrup… :( Yep. Horrible accident. Luckily, I was able to salvage about half of it. Oh yeah, I was embarrassed. Turns out the pancakes were sweet enough on their own that I didn't really need much maple syrup!
Back to pancakes! They were exactly what I wanted. Sweet, fluffy and so homey! And with the whipped cream & berries?! They were really good. he only thing I would’ve preferred would be more pancakes. My childhood included (sometimes) pancake Sundays (which I always looked forward to like Christmas morning) so these did so much more than just satisfy my cravings. :D
Chili Pepper Fries ($6)
(“with fresh grated manchego cheese & chilli mayo”). Last but not least, we all ordered these fries to share. I kind of hoped that the manchego cheese would be on top of the fries but that wasn’t the case. :( I guess it was only in the mayo?
Besides that, these fries were really good! I mean nothing overly special but I love my thin limp fries (don’t worry, there were both crunchy and limp ones!). There weren’t too greasy and the chilli mayo was perfect. It’s really thick and chunky so manoeuvring a rather limp fry in there is somewhat impossible but still, the work pays off the end! :D
After enjoying our lunch at School, we headed off to Eaton Centre for some window-shopping which was super crowded. Oh well. It never matters where you are when you’re in the company of great friends.
Verdict? I’m definitely coming back for their other breakfast items (French toast beware I am coming for you!!) and baked goods. I love brunch and this place not only serves good food, but has a great atmosphere too. Plus, I want to try their churros!! By the way, their website is so much fun to browse!
Check ‘em out! http://www.schooltoronto.com/home.php
4.5 out of 5 NOMs