Sarah and I made a sort of unnofficial agreement — well, no, really I made a proposal and she agreed — that we would try to try out a new breakfast joint every Saturday morning, time and money willing. I use the word “morning” lightly because Saturday and that word are not usually best of buddies; I’m sure you know what I mean. But this being Toronto, there are plenty of places around willing to serve breakfast at all manner of un-Godly hours, so that shouldn’t cause us any problems.
Yesterday, for our inaugural journey, Sarah found a place called Bar Wellington for us to try out. It’s a red brick job sitting on the corner of Wellington and Portland Streets, a trendy area with lots of trendy people wearing trendy clothes, walking trendy dogs, riding trendy Vespas, and just generally being trendy.
Trendiness, per se, doesn’t really agree with me — I tend to gravitate more towards the unwashed vagrant look. Plus, the intersection reminds me of the varied and harried times slinging code for evil advertising agencies I’d spent within literally a stone’s throw of there, not all of them bad, but always commensurate with the amount of overall trendiness exhibited by whatever employer I was under the yoke of at the time. In other words, I tend to whinge uncontrollably whenever I’m in the presence of threadbare shirts, fashionably unshorn faces, trendily asymmetric quaffs, and thonged-feet (this ain’t the beach, buddy!)
I was, however, able to put my judgement aside long enough to dig into a plate of sunny-sided eggs, brown toast, and a delightful, albeit misnomered, rendition of hash-brown potatoes consisting of cubed potatoes and lightly herbed cherry tomatoes, and washing it all down with fresh OJ and a glass of oddly vegetable-flavoured water. Sarah couldn’t verify this last part for me because she was busy slamming down a much more vegetable-laden Caesar and ripping into a plate of “Not So Classic” eggs Benedict in which the Canadian bacon is replaced with prosciutto. An extra side of hollandaise went mostly to waste as there was enough of the home made concoction to aptly smother everything on her plate.
Aside from what I thought was somewhat bland hollandaise (I like more zing in my butter/yolk artery-hardener), the $25-ish price tag seemed quite reasonable for a tasty (even the vegetable water wasn’t off-putting), fresh meal, that was big enough to be left partially unfinished. The outdoor patio was breezy, which was just as well since we would never have been able to get Sarah’s wheelchair into the inaccessible building otherwise. It could have been quieter, but then again this is just off of King West on a Saturday; expectations must be tempered.
Overall, I’d give the place a double-thumbs up. I know Sarah thoroughly enjoyed her meal, and I was pretty satisfied too. It was certainly a step-up from the traditional greasy spoon where the hollandaise comes out of a packet and and the hash-browns are swimming in month-old grease. As I said, the hollandaise could’ve used more acid, but Sarah seemed satisfied with it so I guess that’s a matter of personal preference. Next time I might try the “Wellington Medallions”, their fru-fru, Grand-Marnier-infused take on pancakes, but the breakfast was good enough that there’s nothing to make me think twice about returning to an area immersed in nightmarish memories of insane advertising agencies sporting trendy assholes riding trendy Vespas with trendy girlfriends holding trendy dogs…