When I was growing up, I was fascinated with all the different ways eggs could be cooked and served. This might sound all sorts of nutty, but when I used to accompany my mum to the supermarket when I was little I would grab all the little egg recipe books (you know, the ones by Get Crackin’) and all the coupons around the store not for their discounts, but for the recipes on the back and for the pretty pictures of egg sandwiches, omelettes, and frittatas on the front. And till this day, those tiny recipe flipbooks are sitting comfortably in a file folder reminding me of the days when I dreamed of cooking great meals all on my own.
As weird as it sounds, eggs play a role in a lot of my foodie memories, both sentimental and otherwise. My grandmother made – and still makes – the best Chinese style preserved egg, something I really enjoy eating but also something I eat as sparingly as possible because of its salt content. My little brother and I would test our “cooking” skills on Mother’s Day when we would “surprise” our mum with scrambled eggs a la breakfast in bed. And the runny style eggs used in dishes like Chinese shrimp and egg rice remain my favourite along with the classic overeasy.
One thing that always left me stymied growing up though was figuring out what a poached egg was, and how to make one! Up until I started university, I had no idea what a poached egg was and I had no idea that it was the center of attention when it came to the ever popular brunch dish, eggs benedict. All of that changed though when I ate my first eggs benny a number of years ago and found out how to cook a poached egg. I thought to myself, “I get to create a whirlpool of hot water in a pot to cook an egg?! How funky!” And so began my journey into the world of hollandaise sauce, eggs benny, and all its different variations: smoked salmon, peameal, ham, spinach, you name it.
Futures Bakery offers 3 different kinds of eggs benedict including eggs benny with grilled ham ($6.95), eggs florentine with fresh spinach ($6.95), and eggs blackstone with smoked salmon ($7.95). I’ve tried both the eggs blackstone and eggs florentine and eating these two amazing breakfast dishes makes me realize what was wrong with past eggs benedict dishes that missed the mark. For one thing, the English muffin is soft and moist. I’ve had eggs benny on English muffins that were dry and let me tell you, it’s not fun. It is also not a walk in the park when you need to saw through an English muffin that crunches like broken glass. With eggs benedict, the English muffin is supposed to mesh with the poached egg and whatever it’s being served with so that you can cut into it with one swift motion. It’s meant to be creamy and pillow soft, not starchy or anything that would remotely leave you feeling parched.
Futures does SUCH a bang on job with both of these. The eggs are poached to perfection. None of the yolk threatens to spill out before you even take a poke at it, and the hollandaise sauce is delicious. It has the perfect consistency (not so thick it goops up but not thin and runny either) and they’re sprinkled with the yummy all-dressed chip-like spice mix which is also what coats their scrumptious potato home fries on the side. The spinach leaves are HUGE on the eggs florentine and the smoked salmon has that wonderful slightly salty flavour to it that makes the whole dish explode with savouriness when you combine it with hollandaise and home fries. Two eggs benny dishes for brunch, poached to perfection.
Futures Bakery and Cafe is located at 483 Bloor St. West, in between the main intersections and subway stations of Spadina Ave. and Bathurst St. It sits right at the corner of Bloor St. and Brunswick Ave. on the south side of Bloor. They are open from 7:30am to 2am 7 days a week.