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Despite having borrowed its name from 40s novel/movie Mildred Pierce, this Liberty Village kitchen takes its modern design cues from the surrounding neighbourhood. On the plate, however, it’s all about comfort food done right, like thick, triple-stacked blueberry buttermilk pancakes ($16) that mercifully stop shy of cloying sweetness. Even the quesadilla-like Huevos Monty ($14.95), which would elsewhere be a dense, cheesy hangover absorber, is handled with a light, satisfying touch.
Open for b’lunch Monday to Friday 11 am to 3 pm, brunch Saturday and -Sunday 9 am to 3 pm, bar Monday to Friday 3 to 10 pm, dinner Monday to -Saturday 5:30 to 10 pm. @mildredstemple.
This Junction Triangle eatery’s name is reflected in everything from the serving plates (wooden slabs) to the ingredients (locally sourced) and lumberjack-worthy portions. Menu staples include the cheekily named Mother And Child Reunion ($16) – panko-crusted duck eggs with prosciutto-cured bird – and a burger ($19) oozing goat cheese, Russian dressing and a duck egg. The must-try here is the Caesar ($10), which gets topped with a skewered smoked oyster.
Open for dinner Thursday to Sunday from 6 pm, brunch Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 3 pm. @FARMHOUSEtavern.
This St. Clair West eatery does look like a small-town diner – no chrome or Naugahyde, just a rose-and-brown colour scheme and delectable baked goods on a gingham-lined counter. The weekend is when the real magic happens. (Think gingerbread pancakes and sweet-and-salty donuts.) But weekday offerings are made with love, too, like the mega-filling breakfast sandwich built on a house-baked buttermilk biscuit for a respectable $5. (Add $1.50 for crumbly sage sausage or slab-cut house-cured bacon.)
Open Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 3 pm. @emmascountrykitc.
There’s stiff competition for your brunch dollar in Leslieville, but this green-walled room has its own laid-back, crunchy charm. The 45-minute weekend lineups are due in large part to the legendary Benedicts jazzed up with Brie, Mexican-style pulled pork or mango salsa. But I’m rarely able to resist the siren call of savoury spinach-cheddar waffles smothered in tangy tomato crema ($12.25).
Open Monday to Friday 8 am to 4 pm, Saturday and -Sunday 8 am to 3 pm. @ladymrestaurant.
Some things never change. Just around the corner from Bathurst and College, this tiny, two-floor brunch spot is still coated in weathered, peeling schoolhouse ephemera, still packed every weekend and still slinging deadly breakfast burgers, ground sausage and scrambled egg tacos, and focaccia stuffed with peameal, caramelized onions and Dijon (all $9.25). Add house ketchup and a side of butter-drenched challah.
No reservations. Cash only. Open daily 9 am to 3 pm. @AuntiesUnclesTO.
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