Since we’re still technically lounging around in summer vacation mode with one week left to go, I am hoping readers might forgive me for offering a lunch pick that is not technically lunch — but brunch… ok, it’s actually breakfast. But to be fair, I was eating it at 1:30 p.m. so for me it was lunch.
This is relevant because if you wander into Baker Street Café during the week, you will receive a lunch menu, but you can also order off the breakfast menu which is available all day every day. Lunch consists of a couple of big salads, homemade chicken fingers, a burger, baby back ribs, smoked meat on rye, house battered fish & chips, super-loaded poutine, and a “Build Your Own Panini” option.
The breakfast menu, however, is a whole different beast. The sheer number of choices shouldn’t be too surprising — after all, dealing in large quantities seems to be bit of a theme here. The display of in-house baked goods that greets customers at the door gives the first clue: enormous and outrageously decorated cupcakes next to a dozen cinnamon buns, each one the size of your head!
And so it goes. There are eggs: we’re talking three kinds of eggs Benedict, various omelettes, steak and eggs, campfire eggs (fried eggs on top of sautéed tomatoes, onions, and peppers), homemade tourtière with scrambled eggs and, of course, a half rack of ribs with scrambled eggs. Oh yeah, there’s also homemade sausage with sautéed mushrooms and eggs. And we haven’t even begun to discuss the pancakes… or the French Toast… or the Monte Cristo Club, which the menu describes as “Bone in ham, cheddar cheese, roasted chicken breast and a four-cheese blend stacked and packed between three slices of French Toast.” Huh?
Is it just me or is this starting to sound more like an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives than anything you’d expect to find in yoga-mat-toting, skinny latte-loving Westboro? Between the vintage rock posters and the classic rock on the stereo, I half expected Guy Fieri to step out of the back donning oven mitts and a burning hot baking sheet filled with those enormous squishy-soft lightly glazed cinnamon buns.
When it came time to place my order, the gruff server seemed unsympathetic to my befuddlement about what to choose. I took one last glance at the menu and noticed, under the heading “On the Lighter Side” a toasted cinnamon bun with scrambled eggs and fresh fruit. While admittedly rather un-ambitious, it turned out to be a good test of the kitchen. The sweet bun was delightful confection, the scrambled eggs were fine. But it was the fruit — of all things — that impressed me most: a rainbow-coloured array of just-sliced fresh melon, pineapple, berries and banana. Every single morsel was unblemished; clearly this fruit salad was assembled to order. Oh, how a careless cup of hours-old mushy fruit can ruin a good breakfast…er, lunch.
Baker Street Café, 385 Richmond Road, 613-761-7171.
Hours: Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (breakfast and lunch served); weekends 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. (breakfast only)