Could there be better news than owner Jen Agg’s tweet about the return of Hoof Café?! Since it re-opened in January, it is now a permanent pop-up at Raw Bar. For four days a week, you can get your fill of Hoof Café brunch to fuel you through the rest of your day!
Palmerston / Dundas West
926 Dundas Ave West
Reservations: NO reservations
Transit: 505 Dundas streetcar west from Dundas station or St. Patrick station OR 511 Bathurst streetcar south then 505 Dundas streetcar west
Hours: Thurs - Sat 10am-3pm, Sun 10am-4pm
I haven’t been to Raw Bar yet so this space was new to me. As soon as I stepped in, I felt comfortable. You find the same basic wooden tables here as next door at The Black Hoof.
The whole restaurant is quite small and the lighter colour scheme works. When I arrived, there was plenty of space so I chose to sit at the bar. The countertop was this white quartz that’s identical to the one we put in our old kitchen a few years ago! Nostalgia. I remember weekends going to so many different stores to find the PERFECT white quartz countertop. My dad would applaud Jen Agg before even trying her food.
Seeing as Raw Bar’s focus is seafood, I wasn’t too surprised by the small kitchen. Regardless, the mere size of it—barely fitting the chef and a cook—along with the minimal kitchen equipment is quite admirable. The bar is probably three times the size of the kitchen! Okay okay, I’ll stop now.
Almost every item on the board draws you in and at a glance, ordering the entire menu to share seems like a great idea. My friend and I came very close. Was I ever grateful I wasn’t wearing super skinny jeans! I felt so bad about the smudged “C”! I wanted to climb up there and fix it myself. :(
Fun amuse! Smoked whitefish with radish and mustard seeds on a crispy nori puff.
Blood Sausage McMuffin (6)
Does this need an explanation?! I’d hope that the photo says it all. If the eggs were a little more under then this breakfast sandwich would be flawless.
Tongue Benny (14)
If you this was placed in front of you, what would be your first thoughts? I’m not sure about you or my friend’s but mine were, “Aww yeah, come to mama!” This is definitely not a quiet dish. The flavours were loud but the runny yolk was enough to balance it all out. The light arugula and pine nut salad also went well to calm the richness of the sauce.
Heart N’ Eggs (12)
The chimichurri that topped the heart was the perfect complement. The soft scramble with the bone marrow was such a standout! This dish is quite reminiscent of the Black Hoof staple dish, Bone Marrow that comes with toast, chimichurri and maldon salt. If only the bone wasn’t so cleaned up but rather freshly roasted from the oven.
Side - Hash Browns (4)
The grease is negligible compared to how crispy and crunchy these hash browns were!! Not one mushy part.
Fruit N’ Nut Challah Toast (10) – Add Foie (+15)
After a short break, we had “dessert”. This is the one item on the menu that’s remotely dessert-like. The caramelization on top of the toast formed this sweet, crunchy crust—it was like crack and I just want more. The foie here is nicely seared but not necessary if you ask me.
Verdict: To me it’s a no-brainer that I’m coming back. The hash browns are enough to merit a return visit not to mention the Tongue Benny and the Blood Sausage McMuffin. Brunch in Toronto just got more interesting.
Check ‘em out! http://hoofcafe.com/
5 out of 5 NOMs