EMMA'S COUNTRY KITCHEN on St. Clair West and the White Brick Kitchen (641 Bloor West, at Euclid, 647-347-9188, thewhitebrickkitchen.com, NNNN) in Koreatown have more than a word starting with "K" in common. Rating: NNNN
Both ECK's Rachel Pellett and WBK's Stephen Howell have done time behind the counter at Tom Davis's feted Stockyards barbecue, Pellett in charge of the line and Howell as butcher and second-in-command to the pit boss. The evidence is all over the plates.
See it the best Southern-fried chicken this side of the Davenport escarpment, crisply battered and coupled at brunch with a brilliantly pickled jalapeño dipping sauce, local greens in a lemony vinaigrette and a fried egg ($17). Deep-fried "Scotch-ish" eggs in a brown-butter hollandaise ($9 with salad and home -fries) arrive without their traditional sausage wrapper, replaced here by a panko crumb crust, their runny yolks weeping into slices of toasted baguette. Don't forget a side of chef's beefy house-cured hickory bacon ($4). Unless you're a vegetarian, of course.
Our French toast authority assures us pastry chef Haley Franklin's terrific banana bread rendition stuffed with melted chocolate chips and finished with caramelized banana and salted caramel ($11) is easily one of the best in town, while her near-perfect blueberry scones ($4) cry out for a dollop of clotted cream. Wash them down with a $4 mimosa made with 2 ounces of primo Spumante Bambino and start the day right for under 20 bucks.