Appearances can be deceiving. There are some places that are decked out to the nines, but their food? Nothing particularly special. And then there are the diamonds in the rough. The no frills, rough around the edges type of establishment with hidden gems and amazing food just waiting to be discovered. The spots that completely take you by surprise in the best way possible because you’d never think, just by looking at them, that they would dish out such magnificent culinary brilliance. And I have my dear friend, Wini, to thank for this latest scumptious epiphany! With all the recent talk of the Vegetarian Food Festival going on at Harbourfront (this weekend y’all!) and the return of Veggielicious, it’s incredibly timely that I would make this post on vegan breakfast and weekend brunch today! Yes, vegan brunch! With veggie brekkie posts on Fresh, Table 17, Lady Marmalade, and Sadie’s Diner, it was due time to add another one to the mix. And is this ever a fabulous one! Make way for vegetarian and vegan brunch comfort food at Disgraceland in Bloorcourt Village!
Disgraceland is what I would describe as a dive bar. If you didn’t see the booths from across the street, you would totally mistake the space for a motorcycle related shop. I sure did. And that’s if you see it at all. It’s easy to miss because you just can’t tell from its exterior that’s a place to gorge on food! And when you come up closer, all you really see is darkness. Until it lights up at night according to Wini. In short, Disgraceland would fit perfectly into Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives in the dive category because they have the look (jukebox, games, bar, booze, booths, diner fare and comfort food!) and they have the food to prove it! My friend Wini told me about Disgraceland after a great dinner out and I quickly looked them up and was delighted to find that they had the full monty of menus on their site. Perfect! I can daydream about what I want to eat when I eventually go! And there was certainly plenty of options to consider including meat, vegetarian, and vegan dishes. A triple threat of a weekend brunch and dinner spot!
Disgraceland’s weekend brunch serves up 11 different dishes with a copious amount of brunch sides to choose from! Prices for mains range from $8-$11 (most coming in at $11), additional sides from $2-$4, and the tax already included in all the prices. They also only accept cash, so keep that in mind if you plan on coming! Disgraceland is SO PERFECT for groups of friends and family with different tastes, preferences, and diets. Not only can you customize your meals with different proteins, you can substitute a number of the items for meat or meatless equivalents. Win-win for everyone! Meat lovers, vegetarians, and vegans can all dine here without feeling like they’re being left out, without feeling like they need to sacrifice, and without feeling like they need to order something they’re really not into just for the sake of having something meaty or meatless.
Not only does their menu cater to different diets, it also caters to different sweet and savoury brunch cravings. We have the savoury English breakfast ($11) with eggs, pork or vegan sausage, baked beans, fried tomato, sauteed mushrooms, potatoes, and toast; brekkie burrito ($11) with vegan and non-vegan cheese, proteins, beans, and veggies; eggs benny with strip or vegan bacon and hollandaise over poutine ($11); cinnamon French toas ($8); and a BLT bagel with sides ($9) in both meat and vegan forms!
Because I’m totally smitten with tofu scramble, I pounced on their tofu scramble dish ($9) complete with a scramble of tofu with peppers, onions, spices, black beans, and jalapenos served with crunchy corn chips, fruit, and a choice of breakfast potatoes or greens. Ever since that fateful first tofu scramble at Sadie’s Diner last year, I’ve been completely devoted to scoping out every single last tofu brunch item in the city and I think I’ve done a pretty good job so far! I’m itching to do a tofu brunch post for the Flavour Favourites series, but I’m going to hold off on doing one right now just because I really want to get in a few more dishes before I do a big comprehensive post for it.
I love tofu and I always have, even as a kid. Granted, the way I ate it as a child is vastly different from the way I eat it now. Growing up, my mum would put tofu in our Chinese soup and she would cook it up soft with meat and vegetables. Now I have tofu “deli” slices that I can slap on the grill, egg tofu that you slice in coins, grilled tofu wedges, tofu scramble, you name it. I feel so super fortunate that my soy allergy only extends to milk; I’d be so sad if I couldn’t eat tofu anymore!
There was so much to love about the brunch here and about this dish. You get your money’s worth on fantastic portions, there are so many ways to customize it just the way you like, and the food is just darn good. I loved my tofu scramble because of it how different (and of course, delicious!) it was from other tofu scrambles. Disgraceland’s was almost like a tofu stir-fry scramble with their tofu chunky and cubed with their sauteed vegetables chopped and diced and woven in throughout the entire dish. The flavours were amazing. Because of the cumin and spices, I felt like I was eating something straight out of a Moroccan place, it was so delicious. It was unlike anything I had ever had before and it completely epitomized warmth and comfort. This is definitely a yummy fall and winter type of dish, and combined with the scrumptious corn chips and chunk, starchy, foodgasmic breakfast potatoes, it’s a hearty meal that surprisingly doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re in food coma afterward!
I’m so happy there’s another fantastic vegetarian and vegan brunch eatery in the city for me (and many others!) to go to and the great food here just proves that you don’t have look red-carpet ready to give a star performance.
Disgraceland is located at 965 Bloor Street West in Bloorcourt Village, between Ossington Ave. and Dufferin St. just west of Delaware Ave. They are open only for dinner and weekend brunch from Monday-Friday, 4pm-2am and Saturday-Sunday, 11am-2am. CASH ONLY. You can view their site HERE.