Breakfast is primordial for everyone I know who equates French
toast or croissants with Mom and unconditional love. That's why
I think the new Eat Café, with its almost-all-day breakfast,
is worthy of some kind of local prize. Stuck way to far west on
Dundas near Ciccone Simone’s showroom, Eat is sort of a “Clafouti”
for the Dundas West crowd.
A deuce of poached eggs atop croissants or a breakfast special
-- two eggs, bacon or Italian sausage & challah toast just might
be worth the drive. And the best part - staff listens to you; you
want your eggs done some obscure way? Done. And my quest for the
oatmeal with honey & fresh fruit of my midwestern childhood
is finally - well, almost - satisfied. It is awfully close to lunch,
and Eat’s plump exuberant beauty, a now-and-then special or
baked custom order, is only a tad too sweet.
The café welcomes diners with contoured chairs, dark wood
wainscoting, a three-stool counter a small street patio, and a small
retail section for signature products. But even more welcoming is
the warm greeting from a youthful floor staff.
First on the agenda: Peruse the blackboard that lists daily specials.
They usually include one crepe dish and a daily pasta. Then turn
to the menu, where crepes, breakfast options and a list of baked
goods reside. These a la carte items are served at both breakfast
Back on the a la carte side, there is no better way to start a
meal at Eat than with a pear & goat cheese salad and walnut
vinaigrette ($6.00) that packs a kick from roasted garlic. An order
of cassava (or potato) frites $3.50 for a rich start. Frites are
served with red pepper aloli. Daily soups might include a butternut
Salmon Provencal ($9) wraps a thin, grilled salmon fillet served
with French beans topped with cherry tomato & herb compote.
Savory crepes ($9) wraps a thin layer of mozzarella & tomatoes
served mixed greens ($9). And pollo il diavolo is a hit: Tender
pieces of chicken are pan seared with spices, served with French
beans, new potatoes and pearl onions.
A ratatouille ($6) makes a fine example of the French way of doing
this staple lunch dish. It's eggplant. zucchini, peppers, tomatoes
& garlic with melted Swiss cheese served with a side of mixed
Other options include the pedestrian-sounding but flavour-packed
paninis, simple desserts - including a free-form bakeless cheesecake
(torta di formaggio) cracker crust topped with fresh berries &
mint. A crème de pain de chocolat is brioche chocolate bread,
surrounded by crème anglaise. And a chocolate brownie topped
with French vanilla ice-cream.
Down-home desserts by caterers/owner Anila Dhanji warrants a separate
visit -- and you will be back. Shockingly large portions and alarmingly
cheap prices leave no mystery as to how the seven-table spot won
regulars so quickly. - Aaron Jacobs, martiniboys.com