Big Crow’s peanut butter and jam pork chop may not sound like a brunch dish, but who cares?
Here it is, just past 11 this positively balmy Saturday morning and the faithful are already lined up outside the upper Annex's Rose and Sons.
We've never understood the attraction, finding the room claustrophobic, the service rushed and the mid-morning menu by former Drake executive chef Anthony Rose predictable. But next door at his terrific Big Crow (176 Dupont, at St. George, 647-748-3287, roseandsonsbigcrow.com, @roseandsons, rating: NNNNN), his latest brunch is much easier to stomach.
For starters, the heated and awning-covered backyard patio is virtually empty. And the lack of a crowd makes the kitchen quick. Within moments of arriving, we're laying waste to a honkin' grilled slice of Thuet Bakery sourdough dressed with banana, Nutella and dulce de leche ($5) and mugs of instant Maxwell House coffee ($2). Instant?!
"It reminds me of sitting around a campfire," laughs Rose.
His bacon and eggs also recall the great outdoors, now translated as ridiculously thick rashers of smoky, sweet Perth County pork belly, a pair of over-easys and a side of garlicky grilled broccoli ($14). Pepperoni-like sausage 'n' beans get paired with more eggs, Memphis-style cornbread rife with duck fat and a shower of crunchy raw scallion ($13).
But it's his peanut-butter-and-jam pork chop ($16) that steals the show, a great slab of smoke-scented pig finished with salted Norfolk County peanuts and house-made sour-cherry jam. Side it with a bowl of chef's outrageously cheesy "soft and sexy" grits ($4) and go home one very happy camper.