DISGRACELAND (965 Bloor West, at Dovercourt) Complete brunches for $18 per person, including all taxes, tip and a domestic beer. Average main $9. Open for brunch Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 4 pm. Bar nightly 4 pm till 2 am. Licensed. Access: barrier-free, washrooms in basement. Rating: NN
Any day now, some trend-watching wag will call the strip along Bloor between Shaw and Lansdowne the next Ossington.
Need proof? Indie coffee shops like Saving Grace spinoff Saving Gigi have already sprouted up, the Communist’s Daughter is said to be opening an outpost any day now, and esteemed downtown art gallery Mercer Union is deserting Stoberville for the nabe come September. And where artists go, hipsters follow.
As you’d expect from the recently launched Bloor West watering hole’s name, Disgraceland is a somewhat ironic nod to the king of rock ’n’ roll. Decked out with a bust of ol’ Swivel Hips himself, it’s a long narrow storefront complete with retro booths and exposed brick walls hung with posters for alterna-types like No Means No, Queens of the Stone Age and Tokyo Police Club.
The bar’s short menu includes Presley-inspired pub grub like grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches ($4.95 on white bread, with potato chips) and Beatle-mania chip butties ($3.95).
Weekend brunch sees the likes of eggs Benedict ($8.95), two overly poached eggs on a buttered English muffin layered with peameal bacon and congealed hollandaise, sided with home fries suffering from a preponderance of fresh rosemary.
Sadly, Disgraceland’s Caesar salad ($5.95) is, well, a disgrace, all knife-cut lettuce, crappy croutons, bottled dressing and powdered Parmesan. The English Breakfast ($8.95) comes closer to the mark, a pair of runny sunny-side-ups properly plated with supermarket sausage, grilled tomato, rubbery mushrooms, home fries and baked beans from a tin.
So the kitchen’s not going to win any James Beard Awards. And instead of a snoozy jazz soundtrack, shouldn’t a joint called Disgraceland be rockin’ round the clock to a non-stop mix of Elvis, Lisa Marie and Dredd Zeppelin? Some rhymin’ Simon at least!