Come Friday and Saturday night, there's no question that the Saint (227 Ossington, at Dundas West, 647-350 2100, thesainttavern.com, Rating: NN) is one of the busiest watering holes on the west side, but their weekend brunch leaves a lot to be desired.
It starts off promisingly enough. A half-dozen devilled eggs come topped with bacon ($6), golf-ball-sized doughnuts get dusted with cinnamon ($5) and remarkably flaky scones ($4) benefit from clotted cream and house-made strawberry jam. From there, it's downhill.
The sensible Brunch Salad - mesclun layered with poached eggs and brittle, soon-cold matchstick potatoes ($10) - sports croutons so hard, they fly off my plate every time I try to spear one with a fork. Pigeons wouldn't touch 'em.
The ordinary cheeseburger with fries seems expensive for $16, its price on the menu, and even more so for the $17 we're charged. French toast stuffed with cream cheese ($13) looks more like a grilled cheese sandwich, its advertised Rice Krispie crust missing in action.
The kitchen makes a complete hash of corned beef hash ($15), an indifferent assembly of cubed meat, diced spuds and poached eggs dressed in a lukewarm Béarnaise, all served in a cold cast-iron skillet straight from nobody's oven.
"It's the most popular dish on our dinner menu," says our relentlessly up-selling server. "Would you like to add lobster for an additional seven dollars?"
We think not.