The Vegan Chili Series – Gluten-Free Bread, Sandwiches, Desserts, and Tomato Vegan Chili at Organic Oven

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It feels SO good to scrapbook again.  After being scrapbook layout-less on the blog for a month (god, it makes me cringe), I finally got a batch of photos developed yesterday and I got right down to business cranking out a new bright and fun foodie layout for today!  I’ve been meaning to blog about Organic Oven for a long time now but the perfectionist in me didn’t like the photos I initially took back in March (yes, in MARCH!) and to make matters worse, I took said photos and tried to create a decent scrapbook layout out of them which I also did not like.  That scrapbook layout sat in my “these pages are not good enough” pile for months and recreating a new one sat on the backburner for awhile.  Enter the Vegan Chili series I started back at the end of September.  I knew Organic Oven had a vegan chili on their menu and it was perfect opportunity to go back and try some more yummy eats and to give myself the creative kick in the butt I needed!  So here we are with the 2nd instalment of the Vegan Chili series, my blog post on Organic Oven, and a brand spankin’ new scrapbook layout! 

Organic Oven, located on Yonge Street just north of Lawrence Ave., is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to the food that they serve.  First off, they’re not just a bakery with desserts.  They’re a lunch cafe, a coffee spot, and a retail shop with grocery items, all in one.  They sell a number of sweets that can either be purchased as single desserts, prepackaged take-away packs, or custom designed and ordered.  They’re sweets menu includes brownies, biscotti, muffins, cookies, cupcakes, cakes, and pies.  For lunch, you can sit down to a hot bowl of soup or chili, a freshly made sandwich or bagel, salads, quiches, and a host off coffee drinks, smoothies, juices, and milks, and while you’re there, you can pick up a few gluten-free grocery items to add to your bread basket.

Furthermore – and this is the kicker – you could literally have a group of people comprised of a vegetarian, a vegan, a meat-eater, and a gluten-intolerant come here to eat, and all four people would be satisfied with the food because their menu caters to all four diets!  For the vegetarian: goat cheese quiche, pizza bagels, egg salad, grilled cheese, and veggie sandwiches.  For the vegan (and vegetarian): multigrain, cinnamon, raisin, and poppy seeds bagels with vegan butter, vegan chili and soups, veggie sandwiches, and vegan brownies and cupcakes.  For the meat-lover: chicken and turkey sandwiches with veggies and cheese, as well as tuna salad.  Finally, for the gluten-intolerant: everything! 

Their focus is on serving healthier alternatives with dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free options.  They’re best known for their gluten-free breads, bagels, and pizza crusts and all three items can be purchased from their grocery shelves.  Their gluten-free breads are crunchy rice buns that are dairy-free, egg-free, and certified organic and they use these same buns for all of the sandwiches on their menu.  The rice buns are made from certfiied organic flax meal and quinoa flakes and they come in packs of six.  Pop them in the toaster and you have yourself a healthy breakfast and lunch!  In addition to their rice buns, they also carry gluten-free cheese, cinnamon raisin, multigrain, and poppyseed bagels which come in packs of five, as well as gluten-free pizza crusts.  Aside from the breads, their grocery shelves also carry cereals, ice cones, rice snacks, milks (a variety of soy, almond, and rice), and other goodies.

Now, onto the vegan chili!  Their vegan chili is served either on its own with a side of rice bread ($5.70) or in a combo alongside a salad, quiche, bagel, or sandwich.  Prices vary depending on which combo you choose, but generally speaking lunch at Organic Oven will come out to around $5-$10, with most items averaging $6-$7.  Their vegan chili isn’t super spicy so for those who shy away from chili because of the level of heat, have no fear because the vegan chili here isn’t an alarm setter.  I’d say that the vegan chili here is a good cross between a thick soup and a chili in texture, consistency, and flavour. 

It’s a tomato based vegan chili made with crushed tomatoes, green bell pepper, sweet onions, red and white kidney beans, and chunks of sweet potato.  It’s such a hearty, warm, comforting dish.  It’s exactly the type of meal you’d want to eat on a chilly day, with a cheese sandwich (I know that would defeat the purpose of a entirely vegan meal if that wasn’t vegan cheese, but I’m not vegan so work with me here!), relaxing with the paper or a book.  It’s that type of meal.  The robust tomato flavour was savoury and the whole bowl was overflowing with veggies.  Oh!  And I added a side of avocado to my chili.  I love avocado like nobody’s business and since there was an option to add avocado for $0.50, I took it, which is why you see slices of creamy avocado on my chili.

And the bread!  It wasn’t my first time having Organic Oven’s rice bread, but for whatever reason, it tasted extra delicious this time!  Wedges of toasted rice bread were included on the side and I had the choice of having the bread spread or brushed with vegan butter or olive oil and I chose olive oil this time around.  I could not get over how amazing the bread with olive oil tasted!  Even though it was toasted, it was so incredibly soft on the inside with crispiness on the outside.  The olive oil soaked into the bread really nicely so the bread ended up having these yummy herb flavour to it.  I could have eaten an entire loaf because it was so yummy and scrumptious and all sorts of heaven in my mouth.  I am definitely planning on picking up a pack of rice buns to take home sometime.  Between myself, my brother, and my mum (my dad isn’t really into bread), I envision the pack being devoured in two days.  Or maybe even in one.

Organic Oven is a great lunch spot because the menu caters to so many different diets and the food is wholesome, healthy, and delicious.  You can bet I’ll be back for their cupcakes (I know, shocking how I didn’t blog about them already!  I’ll get to them, I promise) and I’ll profile their sandwiches next time around too.  For the time being, bookmark this post and Organic Oven as your uptown vegan chili station.

       

*****

Organic Oven is located at 3189 Yonge Street, just north of Lawrence Ave. on the east side of Yonge Street just steps away from Lawrence subway station.  They have several other locations around the city, which I will update once I get the addresses.

Scrapbooking materials used: to be added!

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Bagels, Baked Goods, Pastries, and Russian Matryoshka Dolls! Seventh Sister Bakery on Roncesvalles

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Welcome to Seventh Sister and Roncesvalles!  It took me awhile to get here, I know.  I’ve wanted to explore Roncesvalles and the surrounding neighbourhood for so long and last month I finally did!  Whenever I would go downtown, I would see the King streetcar and see the name “Roncesvalles” at the top and it drove me crazy knowing I had never been in the area.  These past few years have been amazing in terms of city exploration.  Anyone who thinks TO is boring is out of their mind; with all the running around I’ve done, I still haven’t seen all of the city and I know I won’t for quite some time.  Anyway, I made it a mission to visit Roncesvalles and since I had a Teambuy voucher for Cardinal Rule (blog post forthcoming), it was the perfect fit.  Luck was not on my side that day though as Cardinal Rule was closed just for that day because of city sidewalk and curb construction right outside their diner. 

Believe me, I was not thrilled.  I stuffed the voucher in my bag, pouted, and mumbled and grumbled about how much I had looked forward to eating veggie diner food.  I sighed, looked at my boyfriend, and decided that we would walk up and down Roncesvalles to find ourselves some yummy food.  I promise to dedicate an entire Foodie District post (or two) to all the amazing food on and around Roncesvalles, but for now, I’m just going to say that there is no way anyone could ever starve while being here.  Oh my goodness.  You know how we have Chinatown, Little India, and Little Italy?  Roncesvalles is Little Poland.  We’re talking Polish bookstores, Polish cheese and deli shops, Polish bakeries, and Polish and Hungarian restaurants among coffee shops, diners, and other amazing eateries.

As we walked north on Roncesvalles, I saw Seventh Sister and fell in love with it from the get go.  There are SO many things I love about Seventh Sister Bakery.  I’m not going to lie though, I wish Seventh Sister was 100 times bigger.  The bakery is TINY.  There are two tables that seat 4 people each inside and a small 2-seater outside the bakery and that’s it.  I know, the teenyness makes me cringe a bit too.  My boyfriend, Richard, and I had to come back 3 times to nab ourselves a table inside (yes, I refused to give up because I’m just that damn stubborn) and while many people were coming and going and grabbing bags of bagels, bread, and pastries, you know how I feel about having a place to sit to eat my yummies. 

But I’m telling you, the bakery has so much character and so many wonderful sweet treats, the tight corners make it all worth it.  I adore Seventh Sister.  First, who wouldn’t fall in love with the storefront?  Russian matryoshka dolls!!  I adore these dolls.  This scrapbook layout was so much fun to make and I’ve been waiting to make it for over a month now.  The handmade paper doll was inspired by my matryoshka tote bag, makeup bag, and matching compact mirror 😀  If you’re wondering, yes, every single piece of cardstock and part of the doll was drawn and cut out by me!  I also love the bakery’s yellow and orange and chocolate brown storefront with the stripey awning!  And the walls and shop are adorned with adorable toys and matryoshka doll accessories like drinking glasses and ornaments.

I love that I can come here and have a simple but delicious lunch or afternoon snack.  If you enjoy bagels, sandwiches, baked goods, pastries, and cute decor, this is your kind of bakery.  The set up of the bakery is kind of like this: when you enter the shop, the two tables are in the center.  To your right is a shelf where you’d get your coffee creamer, milk, sugar, honey, and cups.  In front of you past the tables and closer to the back is the cash, the menu board up on the wall, and the sweet lady owners who make your food.  Last, to your left are the shelves with all the delicious baked goods and pastries!  Snatch up a paper bag and go to town!  There are huuuge baskets of freshly baked sesame, poppy seed, and plain bagels for you to grab from, bread and buns, and dishes and cake stands of sweet treats and savoury snacks.

The sweet treats and baked goods alone would compel me to go all the way to Roncesvalles, and not just to Seventh Sister!  The bakery had a fabulous assortment of goodies with prices around $0.50-$3.  There were fruit danishes and pinwheels with sweet icing, chocolate chip shortbread cookies, oat cake squares with cinnamon, chocolate croissants dusted with powdered sugar, dried fruit squares with oats, coconut, almonds, and nuts, lemon poppy seed muffins, soft pretzels, triple chocolate pecan brownies, and – get this – savoury bacon and gruyère muffins!!

That day for lunch, I got myself a bacon and gruyère muffin ($2.75), and a sesame seed bagel from the big basket on the shelf, which I gave it to the nice ladies to toast for me for my veggie and cheese sandwich.  Their menu is full of deli meat and veggie sandwich options that you can have on bread or bagels and prices range from $2-$6.  Oh, and they have Nutella and fluffernutter sandwiches on the menu too!  My veggie sandwich on a bagel was stuffed silly with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, alfalfa sprouts, green olives, guacamole, swiss cheese, mayo, and dijon mustard.  I loooved my veggie and swiss cheese bagel (yes, even with the olives!) and even though it sounds simple, sometimes that’s the best.  Simple food done well that tastes delicious that isn’t expensive.

And the bacon and gruyère cheese muffin?  Talk about deliciously delicious!  This muffin is amazing and I could eat these day in and day out.  They’re the perfect brunch or afternoon tea muffin and they are so incredibly moist, soft, and flavourful.  There are strips of chopped bacon in the muffin with ooey gooey melted cheese inside and my muffin was still super warm when I got it.  Forget bacon and eggs, this is where it’s at.  If I didn’t care so much about sharing the wealth of goodness with others, I would have taken the entire plate.  

And speaking of plates, Seventh Sister is even more awesome in my book because of the mismatched china they use for their food.  The plates are beautiful and so full of history and artistry.  There are china plates with gold filigree, plates with painted scenes of American states and Canadian provinces (possibly from the 70s or 80s), and plates with pretty, colourful, and dainty floral prints.  The kitchen decor lover in me was in conniptions and the next time I plan on coming here, I’m coming prepared.  I’m bringing tupperware.

*****

Seventh Sister Bakery is located at 53 Roncesvalles Ave., north of Queen St. on the east side of Roncesvalles.  The bakery is sandwiched between Marion St. to the north and Harvard Ave. to the south.  If you are curious about the name, the name is true to life – the owner is in fact the 7th sister in her large family!

Scrapbooking materials used: grape purple, bubblegum pink, grass green, mint green, powder blue, red, and black cardstock (Recollections); bakery dessert stickers (Sticko); gold foiled flower and forest stickers (atd by momenta); adhesive foam squares; paper corner rounder (ek success), black fine point Sharpie.

For the Sweet Princess in All of Us – Fudgy, Chocolate Frosted “Fairy Flower” Cupcakes from All The Best

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This post is for all of us girls who used to put on glittery fairy wings and dreamed we could fly.  For all of us who love sparkly things.  For all of us who know how to enjoy the sweet things in life.  For those of us who used to skip along, picking flowers up along the way.  For those of us who are sugar and spice and all things nice, but who can still kick major ass when the situations calls for it.  This post is for every cupcake lover out there who loves all things pretty and all things chocolatey, fudgy, and deliciously frosty.  I present to you, chocolate fudge frosted cupcakes from gourmet market All the Best!

Like many of my foodie discoveries, All the Best was unexpected and accidental.  Over a year ago, I had never explored the Summerhill and Rosedale area (so basically the stretch of Yonge St. north of Bloor but south of St. Clair) so one day I thought, “I wonder what’s there, let’s give it a whirl” and did that day ever turn out to be a fun one!  Even though it wasn’t a part of town I initially thought of as foodie, I was excited to see what was around and there were some real nice finds, things like tea shops, gourmet pastries shops, and individual stores for cheeses, meat, and fish. 

All the Best, located on Yonge St. just steps away from Summerhill subway station, is a catering and gourmet food business and a meca of foodie goodness.  Like Daniel & Daniel in Cabbagetown, it’s a great place to pick up salads and food for picnics and lunches to go.  Up in the front, there are loaves of fresh bread and baguettes, and shelves upon shelves of jams, jellies, preserves, honey, tomato sauce, pesto, spreads, coffee beans, candies, chocolates, and packages of sugar cookies and sweets.  Further in the back, you’ll find the gourmet cheeses, and deli sandwiches and salads.  They also offer a selection of seasonal kitchenwares and accessories, as well as cookbooks.  Right behind the deli sits the bakery full of tarts, meringue shells, cakes, and rows and rows of sugar cookies.  Oh, and cupcakes of course 😉 

On any given day, All the Best offers four flavours of cupcakes for $2.75 a pop: red velvet, carrot cake, vanilla, and chocolate.  Think fun cupcakes with lots of coloured sprinkles, sprinkled sugar, and thick frosting.  I’ll definitely report back when I see other flavours, but for the time being, All the Best focuses on several simple flavours of cake and frosting with dainty, pretty toppers and decorations.

I call these my “fairy flower” chocolate cupcakes!  So pretty and so cute, they make me want to prance around sprinkling fairy dust on everything.  These are chocolate cake cupcakes with rich, thick chocolate frosting and adorable edible, sugary candy flowers dotted with a tiny edible pearl.  While the cake is good, it’s the frosting that wins me over.  It’s SO DAMN GOOD.  It’s sweet without being cavity-inducing sweet and the thickness of the frosting is perfect.  It’s not a thin buttercream, yet it’s not a super thick frosting that will stick to the roof of your mouth.  It’s the kind of chocolatey, rich frosting that you imagine yourself secretly dipping your finger into on a cake.  And the pretty edible flower was melt-in-your-mouth sweet.  It was such a nice touch. 

On this particular morning they had so many pretty colours of candy fairy flowers on their chocolate cupcakes: red, blue, green, yellow, orange, and purple.  How does an indecisive girl like me choose which cupcake she wants?  Take a wild stab and guess how I chose the colour I wanted.  Answer: I chose the pretty lilac purple one because it matched my outfit 😀  In a world where cupcake flavours know no boundaries, sometimes it’s really nice to have a good old fashioned fudgy chocolate cupcake with amazing frosting that makes you want to eat it by the spoonful.

*****

All the Best Fine Foods is locted at 1101 Yonge St. just south of Summerhill subway station on the east side of Yonge St.  It is next to Harvest Wagon and across the street from The Rosedale Diner.  For more info, check out their website here.

Food Discoveries on Harbord Street: Sweets at The Harbord Bakery!

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Living in the suburbs doesn’t exactly allow me to be spontaneous with my plans and my timing.  I’m constantly checking bus schedules, train schedules, connecting transit routes to maximize the value of my bus tokens and tickets, and mentally making “Plan Bs” in case things don’t go my way on any given day.  In many ways then, my life is very structured in this sense.  The one way I inject spontaneity into my every day (or weekly) adventures around the city is to go places I’ve never been.  I let my mind and feet (and sometimes my tummy) lead the way and there are times when I will arbitrarily choose a neighbourhood in Toronto to explore and there are other times when I’ll choose a street I’ve never walked along and plan a morning, afternoon, or entire day around this one exploration point.  Sometimes it’s me just thinking, “hmm, I’ve never been down this road, I wonder what’s around here?” and other times my plans are dictated by things I’ve read in magazines, newspapers, and other blogs online.

I read great things about the food scene on Harbord Street (in the Annex neighbourhood, south of Bloor St. West) from Where Toronto magazine and decided that a foodie like myself definitely needed a look-see.  And to my jubilance, I was rewarded with some new food discoveries during my trek along Harbord between Spadina and Ossington Ave. including upscale haunts Loire and Splendido, Dessert Trends Bistro-Patisserie, Harbord Fish & Chips, Peruvian and Latin eats at The Boulevard Cafe, and gourmet cheese shop Chabichoi. 

My favourite find of the afternoon?  Harbord Bakery!  Another bakery for me to get yummy baked goods and sweet treats from!  Even though I didn’t give my tummy a feast (I know, shocking!), my eyes were certainly feasting on all the baked goods and sweets: chocolate cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles, ginormous chocolate cakes frosted with ganache, baskets of crunchy, airy white and pastel coloured meringues (seriously, BASKETS of them!), loaves of bread, cookies, and biscotti among many other yummies.  There’s also an adorable gift shop subsection off to the side of  closer to the entrace that has children’s books and toys along with cute things like napkins and cupcake accessories and toppers.  As well, they have a selection of gourmet foods to take home and a glass case of take away salads and lunch/dinner foods priced by weight.  I’m so looking forward to going back and trying out a few things (like those chocolate cupcakes and biscotti cookies!), but for the time being, enjoy the photos and check out the bakery if you haven’t already!

*****

Harbord Bakery is located at 115 Harbord St., west of Spadina Ave. just before Major St.  For more info on the bakery, check out this article on The Jewels of Food.  According to their article, Harbord Bakery is one of the oldest Jewish bakeries in the city and the biscotti-like cookies pictured up top are actually mandelbrot, Jewish biscotti! 

Desserts & Sweet Treats – The Brazil Bakery & Pastry Ltd. Discovery on My Dundas West Trek

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It’s for this reason that I have my camera with me every day 😀  I never know what I’m going to come across on when I explore neighbourhoods I’ve never been to, so having my camera on me allows me to capture photos of delicious treats and to remind myself of places I absolutely have to revisit.  Three weeks ago I told you all about my insanely long Dundas West trek and this was just one of my foodie discoveries along the way: Brazil Bakery & Pastry Ltd. located at 1566 Dundas Street West at Sheridan Ave., just east of Dufferin St.  Considering that it boasts many European-style desserts, the name of the bakery and deli is a bit of a misnomer but still a delight and feast for the eyes and tummy!  I’m looking forward to going back sometime (and bringing my mum and brother with me, they’ll go nuts over the bread and pastries!) and when I do I’ll be sure to share more photos.  I have lots to do for the blog over the weekend including some new scrapbook pages as well as a new “Calendar of Events” feature that I’ll be introducing soon, so I hope you’ll enjoy these dessert photos in the meantime!

*****

Brazil Bakery & Pastry Ltd. is located at 1566 Dundas Street West, east of Dufferin St. on the south side of Dundas.  The bakery makes wedding cakes, desserts, pastries, and bread, and also boasts a café and deli.

The Love, Excitement, and Energy at My Market Bakery in Kensinton Market

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There are so many reasons why I love writing this blog.  Not only do I feel giddy anticipation when I try out a new place, explore a new neighbourhood, or create a story through a scrapbook layout, but I also love feeling the energy of everyone around me when I’m at a great foodie place.  I feed off of it (no pun intended!) and I immerse myself in the hustle and bustle.  Every great foodie place has a story, a history, a personality, and a life.  And I love watching everything that goes on around me. 

Some people might say that I miss out on actually experiencing experiences when I’m so busy capturing the flurry of activity around me, that I can’t enjoy the moment because I’m too busy trying to capture it.  I don’t disagree entirely because it can be easy to lose those special moments when you concentrate too hard on trying to get that perfect shot or when you start overthinking things.  But for me, I don’t ever feel like I’m missing out.  I feel richer, more alive, and even more inspired after these experiences.  As an old elementary school friend once said to me years ago, “see, Debra, you remember things because you observe everything around you.  You’re a human archive”.  I thought that was so cute.

This bakery in Kensington Market makes me feel all sorts of happy.  I cannot get enough of it.  A million thoughts run through my mind even before I reach for that door handle to the bakery: ‘what treats will they have today?’; ‘ Will they have those cute meringue tarts I saw the last time?’;  ‘What kinds of sprinkled shortbread cookies are out?’; ‘ Can I just have one of everything??’  The prices are so good – my family and I walk out of here with mounds of cookies and pastries and a few loaves of bread for barely $10.  My mom and brother love picking out fresh loaves of different breads (they are both what I call “bread heads”), and I love ogling the adorable, colourful, and super delicious displays of cookies just bursting with sprinkles and frostings and jams.  I love the baby lemon shortbread cookies, anything with sprinkles, their apricot almond squares, and the mocha frosted tea cookies (shown below on the far left) are to DIE FOR.  I could eat a whole box of them oh my god. 

I know some people may not enjoy being around crowds, but I absolutely love it when it’s piping busy here.  As my mom and brother are choosing their bread of choice (sweet potato and rosemary sourdough?  Light rye?  Garlic and onion buns?  Olive bread?  Raisin bread?), I back away and for a minute time stands still as I feed off the energy around me.  Arms are flying and reaching out from behind us, grabbing loaf after loaf of fresh bread.  Little ones have their little hands and noses pressed up against the glass displays trying to decide which cookies they want.  And plenty of young-uns my age breeze in and out with their backpacks bursting with vegetables from the markets down the street, hopping on and off their bikes with their purchases slung over their shoulder.  For a minute, everyone’s enjoying life and basking in the simple pleasures.  And then there’s me, quietly taking it all in and thinking about how delicious my desserts are going to taste 😀  All from an amazing bakery very near and dear to my heart.

*****

My Market Bakery is located at 184 Baldwin St. in Kensington Market.  The bakery is located west of Spadina Ave. and south of Nassau St.     

I See Delicious Breakfast in Your Future! All-Day Breakfast and Good Eats at Futures Bakery & Cafe

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I’m so super excited to finally do a blog post featuring Futures Bakery.  It’s one of my favourite places to eat in the city and it’s situated within a very well-known and well-loved neighbourhood in Toronto, The Annex.  Sandwiched between Spadina Ave. and Bathurst St. on Bloor St. West, it’s surrounded by sushi bars, coffee shops, pubs, Thai and Indian restaurants, bookstores, and independent retailers with quirky, offbeat fashions, candy, stationery, and other trinkets.  In other words, it occupies a fabulous location with a heck of a lot of foot traffic during the day!  There’s plenty to explore and I’ve walked up and down this neighbourhood so many times for the past 3 years I’ve lost count.  I’ve been here for breakfast, for lunch, with friends for brainstorming sessions for school, with my boyfriend for a midday meal, and most recently, with my mum and my brother for breakfast, and each time has been fun and has provided me with such a sense of comfort.

Futures Bakery, to me, is a jack of all trades.  The cake selection in the bakery would make anybody’s jaw hit the floor (and then, you know, drool out puddles) with their offerings of key lime cheesecake, Oreo cheesecake, tiramisu cake, black forest cheesecake, and carrot cake cheesecake just to name a bunch.  And their all-day breakfast and lunch/dinner menu offers plenty of delicious eats!  Their breakfast menu includes both sweet and savoury meals such as strawberry, blueberry, and maple crepes, French toast, omelettes, pancakes, eggs benedict, eggs florentine, grilled cheese, and others, served with sides such as toast, fruit salad, and potato wedge home fries. 

Their lunch and dinner entrees are just amazing.  Not only do they offer all-you-cat-eat pierogies night every Wednesday from 5-9pm (the pierogi lover in me squeals like teenybopper at this) but they also have a menu dedicated to ridiculously large sandwiches and comfort food such as cabbage rolls, lasagna, chicken and pork schnitzel, chili, and a selection of soup and salads.  Entrees come with either a choice of 2 salads, or a choice of salad and mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy.

I’ve eaten here a handful of times, but I’m going to start by showcasing their breakfast for this blog post first.  I brought my mum and brother to Futures Bakery for breakfast last week for the first time and they both LOVED it and that made me so happy.  And not just because everything tasted delicious, but for other reasons which I’ll get to a bit later in the post.  I adore breakfast food.  I am totally amoured by my vision of the perfect meal: great food, great company, and beautiful sunshine and a light breeze streaming through the windows.  Basically, a meal of relaxation, peacefulness, and absolute bliss.  I ordered the spinach and feta cheese omelette and I was so happy with my food.  A large omelette (I’m positive they must have used 3 eggs for this) chock full of fresh spinach leaves and savoury feta, served with a helping of potato wedge home fries and ketchup, and whole wheat toast with jam and butter.

I loved my omelette and home fries for so many reasons.  My omelette let the feta do the talking.  In other words, it wasn’t salty or oily or overcooked.  The feta was allowed to shine with its creamy saltiness without being overwhelmed by the eggs or the spinach and I was able to appreciate all three without having the flavour muddied up together.  And the awesome thing about the spinach was that there were fresh leaves of it in my omelette.  It didn’t taste like it had been sitting in a packet in the freezer the whole time and really, you can tell.  Frozen spinach does not come in leaves!  The potato wedge home fries definitely deserve lots of “yays!” because they’re soft, not too starchy (I hate the potato wedges that come out so starchy they make your mouth feel parched and then make you want to gag), and I LOVE how they’re seasoned!  They taste like all dressed Ruffles chips!

And here’s why I love Futures Bakery so much.  Of course I love it here because I have enjoyed everything I’ve eaten, but it’s more than that.  Their prices are SO freakin’ awesome (breakfast and entrees for under $10) and their portions of food say this: we want you to eat.  That’s not to say they give you a buffet on a plate and want to give you a heart attack (read: super size syndrome), but you can tell from the food on your plate that they take the care, the time, and the love to give you good food.  They give you bang for your buck and they want you to leave feeling full and satisfied.  

People can say that their biggest turn-off with a place is the atmosphere, the service, the menu choices, etc.  My biggest turn-off is when I can SEE, from my plate, that the establishment is nickeling and dime-ing me.  There is no bigger turn-off.  I can’t tell you how much it warms my heart whenever I get a plate of food from here because it embodies the comfort and love of food, and the people who work here have been so nice and welcoming each time.  And it’s because of all these things that I will continue to come back, time and time again.

*****

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.