Delux

 92 Ossington Ave.
416-537-0134.

Aaron, Brandon,  and I went to Delux for Brunch sometime ago after one of our runs. Delux is a French-Cuban restaurent and replaced The Sparrow. Inside, it’s funky like a loft-style condo, with high ceilings, ultra modern with exposed brick,funky art (think Andy Warhol).

Marble tables with dark wood surround the place. Located in funky hipster Ossington and Queen area, very up and coming neighbourhood for foodies and art farts and hipsters. The only problem was that it lacked signage and the restaurant has that “we’ve just opened” feel to it. The plus-side is the food came promptly so we didn’t have to have to whip out our laptops and play party poker to kill time or even start nibbling.

The brunch and dinner menu but a bit pricey. For my brunch i had the buttermilk French toast (without the challah-scandal) and the apple compote mixture was small (I would have liked more of the apple portion). It was accompanied with maple syrup. I was disappointed that they did not serve lattes, just the old original espresso drinks.
 Aaron and Brandon started with the breakfast doughnuts (fresh and homemade, dusted with cinnamon sugar. The menu claimed the doughnuts were filled with cocoa cream but it was actually on the side as a dipping sauce.
They both opted for the cidar-brined pork and potato and caramelized onion frittata with smoked bacon and green salad 2 eggs “en cocotte” with fine herbs and buttered breadcrumbs and grilled toast.

Other items at Delux include granola and yogourt with fresh seasonal fruit, typical and expected at every brunch establishment.  They also served caramelized banann and nutella crepes with maple syrup and chantilly cream (yummy but too rich for me).  Other offerings include soft boiled eggs with grilled bread and smoked bacon.

I ordered the buttermilk French toast with apple compote (too little, not enough for me) with maple brown butter (not really butter), a really thick maple syrup. Other items for those not into eggs was the croque monsieur with grilled ham, gruyere cheese with potatoes and greens (perfect for Wendy as she does not eat eggs).

Lastly, the Cubano sandwich, a slow roasted pork with gruyere cheese, pickles, red onion, grainy mustard, and chipotle mayonnaise and a side of greens.

Delux serves a variety of beverages, including mimosa, organic fair trade coffee, espresso drinks (unfortunately no flavoured lattes), organic tea, and fresh juices)
Service was friendly but kind of slow.  They took a long time to bring us the menu when we requested a dinner menu. However, they were friendly, pleasant and the ambiance was worth a second visit for sure.

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Get Real !

135 Ossington, at Argyle
416-532-4564

 

One Sunday afternoon after my crazy 32 km run, i met up with Aaron for brunch. We met up at LIVE, a recently upgraded “4 seater cafe to 30 seat restaurant” but found out that it was closed for brunch during the month of August. SHITE. We met up at Dupont and Spadina and we were hungry. Luckily, Aaron had his car so we drove down Ossington since Aaron knew that there would be great brunch opportunities along that street.

He suggested Sweaty Betty’s, a cool sounding name for a brunch place, but we could not find it. We actually stumbled upon “Get Real!”- a cool, hip, and small cafe tucked away in the Dundas and Ossington neighbourhood. Upon walking inside, we found out that it was in fact a vegetarian cafe that served brunch. PERFECT.

Get Real! just opened last January 2005 and it is still in the “baby stages” of development. The fact that it was 2pm made us one of the only patrons in this cafe so we had top choice of seats in the small and quiet back terrace. Get Real! is a calm and peaceful cafe with a simple one-page summer brunch menu and I suspect they also serve a simple dinner and lunch as well. I guess the paper menu allows them to experiment with food and change items often, not being held down to commit to the same food every week.

We started with a coffee for Aaron ($1.50) and a latte for me, double shot of Espresso, extra hot, and soy milk ($3.00). Get Real!’s actual cafe is pretty small, with about 3 tables at front, 2 tables in the middle area, and about 6-8 tables in the back terrace/patio area. The decor is very simple and earthy, in a light green motif that resembles the colour scheme of garden plants. Very bright, cheerful, and airy. Staff are very pleasant, friendly, accomodating, and helpful. No pretentiousness here. They serve their water with a slice of cucumber, maybe a little eccentric but not pretentious.

For our meals, I ordered the Spanish tofu scramble- crushed tofu with tumeric with red pepper, chives, and spices with multi-grain toast, roasted bombay potatoes, and a side salad. I replaced the potatoes and multi-grain toast with more salad ($8.50). Aaron ordered the Mayan omelete ($10) – with eggs, a side salad of organic greens, bombay potatoes. His omelete came with Mayan chipotle salsa with pine nuts and peptitas, avocado and cheddar with scallions and fresh cilantro. He really enjoyed his meal and he said he could really taste the fresh herbs. We both agreed that our meals were light and refreshing and very fresh. My scramble in particular had quite the zesty flavour. For a side Aaron ordered multi-grain toast with fresh basil and diced tomato cheddar melt with a balsamic drizzle ($4.00).

Other toast combinations include a choice of multi-grain toast or bagel with organic peanut butter ($1.50), Molly B’ organic jam ($1.50), Mendel’s cream cheese with fresh dill, cranberry, and cucumber ($4.00), and apricot and mango salsa with melted brie and fresh mint with vanilla extract ($4.50).

Some summer brunch dishes include: Vegan Organic granola with wild blueberries, milk/soy milk, or yogourt ($5.00), Jamaican Fruit Salad ($6.00) with fresh pineapple, mango, kiwi, and jicama, in an avocado, lime, cilanto, and mint and cumin dressing, the English breakfast (baked beans in an herbed tomato sauce on multi-grain toast, with roasted bombay potatoes, worchestershire marinated in tofu strips and a side of organic greens), an omelete with Asian sesame, baby bok choy, and mixed mushrooms with sliced ginger, marinated daikon radish, and black sesame seeds and lime ($10.00) . Savoury crepes include a Mediterranean crepe with spinach and feta with roasted red peppers and nutmeg ($9.00) and a Provincial crepe with asparagus, and lemon tarragon tofu with pea seedlings in a black pepper and soy drizzle ($9.00). For the sweet tooth, try the fruity explosion of spelt flour Belgian waffles ($7.00)- blueberry and cinnamon waffles with maple glazed plaintain compote, fresh blackberries, strawberries, peaches, and shaved chocolate.

Open Monday to Friday 10 am to 7 pm. Brunch Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 4 pm. Serves fair-trade coffee. Beautiful back terrace. Quiet, calm, and serene ambiance. No political, pretentious bullshit like “we’re a vegetarian restaurant so we’re better than anything else”. Not overpriced like typical Toronto brunch places. Wait staff are humble and nice. Many ingrediants on the menu are organic. Average mains are $7-$10. In addition to brunch, they also sell healthy, vegetarian “grocery-type” products, beverages, prepared meals, and snack-type items. Accepts all cards.