Brunch in Toronto can be a gruesome undertaking. Most restaurants do not: open until late morning, clinic take reservations or offer other options until mid-afternoon. The last point really irks me because if I go out for food after 1 o’clock, seek I want lunch not breakfast.
That being said, pharmacy despite the above and my less than enthusiastic feelings towards breakfast, we have officially become people who brunch. We are trying to cut back on going out for food (which greatly pains me) and in tandem with that, we are trying new places. As most of our free time together is weekend mornings and afternoons, we are people who brunch.
A few weeks ago we had brunch on the patio at El Catrin.
El Catrin has an amazing patio. It is unfortunate that we are slowly edging out of patio weather and many of you may have missed this patio because it is worth a visit. But put it on your list for next spring! I love the combination of bench, chair and stool seating, the large fire pit in the center of the space and the mixture of textiles, materials and colours that give this patio a very bohemian, Mexican/Spanish vibe.
We started with a round of margaritas because all brunches should include booze of some sort.
I think my affair with tequila may be over. The past few times I have had tequila shots, margaritas, or other cocktails with tequila, my stomach cannot deal. I think it is the amount of citrus that throws me off and leaves me feeling incredibly nauseous. Regardless of my dainty stomach, these margaritas are delicious: salty, tangy and with the perfect woody kick of tequila.
We then had guacamole and chips.
I found their guac a little more about the theatrics rather than actual taste and quality. They bring over the fresh ingredients in a mortar and pestle and mix the guac tableside. This is a fun, interactive component of the meal but do you really need to prove to me that you are using authentic, good-quality ingredients? Shouldn’t your food speak for itself? Because of its presentation, I had higher expectations for this guac and it feel slightly short. I did like that the guac wasn’t perfectly smooth, I like a little chunk and texture to my guac.
GC ordered the Omelet Machado Con Pollo.
Chipotle braised chicken, green onion, tomato, green bell pepper, and salsa verde.
This was an insane amount of food. I understand that brunch is supposed to set you up for the rest of the day and ensure you aren’t hungry until dinner but omigosh did this omelet do that and more. The chicken could have been a bit spicier and better shredded but the vegetables and salsa were the perfect bit of freshness to pull the omelet together.
I order the Huevos Rancheros.
Three fried eggs over a corn tortilla with salsa roja, garnished with black bean puree, guacamole.
I love, love, love this dish. The tortillas were warm, salty and slightly crunchy, being substantial enough to hold up to all the mounds of Mexican goodness on top, but soft enough to be cut into perfect bites. The eggs were fried nice and crispy but ensured that the yolks ran beautifully and golden all over the plate. The black beans were slightly sweet and nutty and had a nice gritty texture to them. They were pureed but not pulverized, and served warm. I could have eaten just these beans. The salsa had a nice bit of spice to it which kicked up this dish and made it taste truly Mexican.
Overall, this is good Mexican food with great cocktails and ambiance. A little bit on the pricey side but, given that you are in the Distillery District, you can’t be surprised. I am waiting for the opportunity to arise when I can go back for dinner and enjoy the interior of the restaurant.