On Saturday we went for brunch at The Bristol Yard. The Bristol Yard is a small restaurant (it literally only seats 22 people) on Christie just north of Bloor that serves British style comfort food. I know what you are thinking – British food? But British food is comforting and not how the stereotypes portray it. Chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver have changed this stereotype on an international level and in Toronto, The Bristol Yard is doing its part too.
This is a very cozy, very British restaurant. The walls are lined with portraits of famous Brits from footballs players, to actors and of course, the obligatory royal portrait.
The next very British thing was the menu: not just the items on the menu but how the menu was written. It was so dry and hilarious, the perfect way to start your brunch experience.GC ordered The Glasgow.
Obviously, this was ridiculous. The potato scones were light and airy, they tasted slightly like a pita. The sausage was thick, beef and seasoned to perfection. The poached egg was slightly tangy with vinegar, and oozy over everything. The cheddar wasn’t overly apparent because it was overwhelmed by the rest of the flavours. The gravy was on its own level. I am not a fan of gravy but this was amazing. It was sweet, peppery and filled with chunks of sausage. I would pour it over anything.
I ordered the Full Monty.
Two poached eggs, two rashers or thick cut, rind-on smoked bacon from their secret bacon supplier, one plump house-made pork sausagee, one piece of black pudding, sautéed mushrooms, grilled tomato, baked beans, home fries and toast.
This breakfast was and is the perfect way to start a Saturday morning. It is huge and covers all the breakfast basis: fat, carbs and a bit of fruit to justify the rest. My favourite part was the sausage. It was thick, juicy and seasoned with pepper and fennel. Yums. If you are a breakfast sausage lover, you need to try these. These are easily the best sausages I have ever had.
The rashers of bacon are officially my new favourite way to enjoy bacon. My issue with bacon is it is typically fatty without flavour and needs to be super crispy to be enjoyed. These rashers tasted like slices of ham made into bacon. The fact that they come from a secret bacon supplier makes them even better.
Like GC’s poached egg, mine were perfect. Hints of vinegar, and oozy, sweet yolk made these the perfect toppers for my toast. It seems silly to say but this was the best toast I have ever had. It was toasted perfectly: crispy, buttery, with a little crumble but could hold the substantialness of this breakfast.
This breakfast also marked my first taste of blood pudding and honestly, I was underwhelmed. They serve their blood pudding well-done and to be honest, I didn’t know you could serve it any other way. It was salty and very crispy, a nice bit of crunch but not a lot of flavour.
The beans, mushrooms and tomato were all tasty and a nice way to add a bit of lightness, colour and freshness to this heavy, greasy in a good way, plate.
We loved The Bristol Yard and definitely plan to revisit this place when it reopens under it’s new name at Queen and Dovercourt. We preferred the ambiance of The Queen and Beaver but simply love, love, loved the food at The Bristol Yard. Hopefully the new location will have a more cozy, British-pub vibe to it. If you are British, have memories of Britain or can’t afford to go to Britain, The Bristol Yard should be your next brunch visit.