You’re strolling down the street feeling the light morning breeze through your hair and the warm sun gently beaming down on you. It’s peaceful, it’s relaxing, and you look forward to what the day will bring as you pass by sweet bakeries, cafes, and gift shops. And then you reach your dining destination. You’re here, you’re hungry, and you’re ready to sit back and enjoy a delicious meal. Ah, there’s nothing like a lazy Sunday summer morning brunch on Mount Pleasant Rd.
Sunday brunch (or weekend brunch in general for that matter) is, in my opinion, one of life’s most luxurious treats and one of my favourite things in life to enjoy in the company of friends, my sweetheart, and nice people. Aside from afternoon tea, it’s my favourite type of meal and food occasion. There’s a certain air of tranquility and freshness about weekend brunch that makes it so special. Different menus, different atmosphere – it’s all in the little things. It’s a time to slow things down, to savour all the sights, tastes, and aromas, and to soak in every precious moment. Our lives are so full of hustle and bustle every day what with work, school, home, family, friends, children; weekend brunch affords us that little nugget of time to do something fun and out of the ordinary and everyday. And Simple Bistro on Mount Pleasant Rd. is one of the many weekend brunch spots in the city that make the weekends feel extra special.
Simple Bistro is the quinessential sweet and simple French cafe. It’s small, quaint, and intimate, with sweet vases of flowers on every table and a hefty wine list to boot. In addition to weekend brunch, they serve lunch from Wednesday to Friday from 11:30am-2:30pm, and dinner daily from 5:30pm-10pm. Brunch is the highlight for me though. Because of the bistro’s fold out ceiling to floor front windows, weekend brunch is made all the more fabulous with fresh air, gentle breezes, and soft sunlight filtering in. Simple Bistro and summer work beautifully together and I took it upon myself to experience this lovely treat on a gorgeous Sunday morning.
Known for its fresh and simple French cuisine, Simple Bistro offers a weekend brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays, serving a mix of both French classics and brunch staples with the majority of main dishes priced from $11-$16. Here you’ll find the popular Croque Monsieur grilled sandwich served with bechamel on the side, the classic Vichyssoise creamy soup of leek and potato, heirloom tomato salad, duck confit hash, French toast with blueberry compote, and my pick for the morning, Crêpe aux Champignons!
Simple’s mushroom “crepe of champions” (I know it doesn’t actually mean champions, but it looks like it and it might as well be because it’s so yummy) ($14) incorporates soft scrambled eggs, spinach, leek, sauteed mushrooms, and goat cheese, all encased in big egg sheet crepe folded over top. A number of brunch items include frites on the side, but I lucked out and had spring mix green salad tossed with a light vinaigrette as a side to my mouthwatering vegetarian crepe.
Their Crêpe aux Champignons brunch dish is wonderful in so many ways. Let it be known that this crepe was chosen waaaay advance of this first visit. Being the excited day planner, meal planner, and foodie that I am, I had previously looked Simple Bistro up online and perused through their weekend brunch menu first. Because their menu is sweet and simple (one page!), it was so much less difficult for me to narrow down my choices. It was between the French toast with blueberry compote, the heirloom tomato salad, and the Crêpe aux Champignons and the crepe dish held on to win this round because my weakness for spinach, goat cheese, and mushrooms got the best of me.
First off, the crepe is huuuge. Folded over, it covers half an entire large dinner plate. Second, it is stuffed. The crepe was so fat and plump the warm spinach, melted goat cheese, leeks, soft, slightly runny scrambled eggs with herbs, and shittake mushrooms were brimming out of it when I cut the crepe open and lifted up part of the top half to snap a few photos. This was no flimsy, flat crepe. Now I know we’d all expect the best from a French bistro type of establishment but if something is poorly made or executed, it is what it is.
And finally, the yumminess. Oh my lordy. I think I murmured, “this is so good!” about 10 times throughout the entire meal. The spinach was perfectly cooked (not overdone and mushy), the scrambled eggs were done just the way I loved them (silky and slightly runny), and the mushrooms were divine. They were so flavourful, juicy, and plump and the entire crepe just screamed with creaminess, savouriness, and warmth. It was such a happy, spring-like meal. The crepe itself was beautiful; a sunny yellow egg sheet that wasn’t the least bit dry and it reminded me of Japanese tamago a little bit, only obviously much thinner. I loved it not only because it was scrumptious but also because it was easy on the palate and on the stomach. You’d think a crepe of this size would leave me keeled over in a food coma but it was surprisingly airy and light and it left me feeling so good and satisfied afterward.
No meal for me is quite complete without a little something sweet though, so the story isn’t over just yet! Tomorrow I’ll be featuring a special summer dessert from Simple Bistro – in a jar! My first brunch here was wonderful and judging by the people who also came by for some brunch love right when they opened their doors/windows at 11am, it’s a well-loved neighbourhood spot that is truly a gem in the Mount Pleasant area.
Simple Bistro is located at 618 Mount Pleasant Rd between Eglinton Ave. East and Davisville Ave. in Mount Pleasant Village. They serve lunch from Wednesday-Friday from 11:30am-2:30pm, dinner daily from 5:30pm-10pm, and weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-2:30pm. Click HERE for more info and to view their menus.