Over the past three years, I have developed a keen sense of what I call my “food instinct”, the little radar and gut feeling that has allowed me to zero in on places that give me good vibes and good eats. Not necessarily the best and most amazing spots everyone would love (because we all have different preferences and tastes), but the best places for me. I instinctively know whether or not I’ll enjoy a spot and one of the ways I can tell is by looking at their breakfast and brunch menu, if the place has one. That, for me, is a tell-tale sign. If the breakfast menu doesn’t light a fire in me, it’s a no-go. If it makes me do a happy dance or if it makes me squeal, “oh my goodness, I want this, this, and this!” over and over, it’s a winner.
And that is certainly how I felt after perusing Mecurio’s breakfast and brunch menu over a month ago! Not only do they serve weekend brunch, but their every day breakfast menu contains a whole slew of adorable Italian tramezzini sandwiches and a very delicious sounding French toast among other items! Add to that an extensive and impressive list of loose leaf tea and you have yourself a menu with endless delicious possibilities. Tramezzini sandwiches are a cross between tea sandwiches and the traditional club sandwich. If you frequent Hong Kong style diners especially, you’ll know exactly the type of club sandwich I’m referring to. Think of the adorable white bread sandwiches that are cut into triangles with their crusts cut off, but in brunch fashion. I was in conniptions. Even though I was going gaga over the menu of Italian breakfast sandwiches, I went for something else during this first time breakfast adventure at Mercurio’s.
I promised you all a breakfast post from L’Espresso Bar Mercurio when I wrote about their hot chocolate and chocolate ganache kisses last month, so here it is in all its poached egg and smoked salmon glory! I have come to the conclusion that I love poached eggs just as much as overeasy ones. I get so excited when I see poached eggs on a menu. I don’t know which aspect I love more: the delicate dome shape or the runniness of the eggs after you poke them. Poached eggs and smoked salmon are two of my favourite things and I will take them in every shape and form (remember the delicious smoked salmon eggs benny from Futures Bakery?) because every place has their own unique interpretation and style of presentation.
Mercurio’s is in the form of a bruschetta, just not in the traditional sense. Most of the time, we think of diced tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and onions when we think of bruschetta, but in this case, it’s a cured meat and cheese type of bruschetta on toasts. Their salmon bruschetta breakfast ($7.95) comes with two servings of multigrain toast smothered in creamy mascarpone cheese, slices of cured smoked salmon, and two giant poached eggs, with a healthy sprinkling of freshly cracked black pepper for me!
These eggs were perfectly and beautifully poached with runny yolks (runny yolks are a must! I’ve read stories of people having poached eggs that weren’t really poached because they were literally hard-boiled!) and the smoked salmon was sliced in that perfect, “I’m thick enough to give you that great meaty scrumptiousness but also not so thick I look like sashimi” style. These were some of the best poached eggs I’ve ever had and I think it was the combination of thick, runny yolks and that perfect, bubbly egg white exterior that’s thick around the bottoms and edges but paper thin around the dome that really made them great.
After having yet another delicious poached egg (and smoked salmon) breakfast tucked under my hat, I am beyond excited to eventually try their French toast and their tramezzini sandwiches! My stomach is already grumbling at the thought of breakfast sandwiches with scrambled eggs, bocconcini cheese, brie cheese, roasted peppers, turkey, spinach, and more. And best of all? Mercurio’s offers a 20% discount on all food items with student ID. Delicious food and a discount; it doesn’t get any better than that.
L’Espresso Bar Mercurio is located at 321 Bloor Street West at the corner of St. George Street right across from St. George subway station. It is sandwiched between the ROM and the Bata Shoe Museum (the shoe museum is literally just steps away) and it is an espresso bar, dessert cafe, and brunch and lunch spot all in one. They are open 7 days a week from 7am-11pm from Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. They also offer weekend brunch.