GRAPEFRUIT MOON (968 Bathurst, at Follis, 416-534-9056) Complete brunches for $15 per person, including all taxes, tip and a freshly squeezed juice. Average main $9. Open daily 8 am to midnight, brunch Saturday and Sunday 8 am to 4 pm. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNN
A side of social activism comes with the tempeh and eggs at this funky little neighbourhood diner. Not only does it try to use locally produced ingredients, but the walls are devoted to supporting the GlobalAware Independent Media Campaign countering "weapons of mass distraction." Postcards displayed for sale call for civil disobedience and resistance to exploitation.
In a neighbourhood like the Annex, with its strong leftist roots, it's surprising there aren't more places like this. Judging by the consistent crowds, Grapefruit Moon has found its niche. Neighbours meet and discuss books over coffee, six high school girls gather for a breakfast of yogurt and granola, and a lone woman sits contently with a copy of Harper's for company.
The menu has a Mexican element and lots of vegetarian choices. If the prices are a bit high, it's the cost of fair and local trade. The Breakfast Quesadillas ($10), for example. The flour tortillas come with a thin egg pancake, home fries, salsa, a slice of pink grapefruit and a choice of three fillings. I opt for chèvre instead of Brie, mozzarella, cheddar or feta, with roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes, and they lay on the goat cheese amply. Too bad they do the same thing with the tomato paste, which overwhelms the rest. A better combination might be apple and avocado with Brie.
The Brie Omelette ($8) with roasted red peppers is slightly overcooked and the cheese is too runny, but it's generous and flavourful, also served with home fries and a choice of rye, wheat or whole meal toast. Sunny's Grilled Cheese ($9) with avocado, tomato and onion is a better choice, or free-range eggs with home fries and toast ($5.50) with bacon, tempeh or vegetarian ham for an additional $2.
Rounding it all off with a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice ($3), we leave satisfied by the food and with the sense of well-being that comes from spending time in an environment that promotes change.