You know what we’ve never discussed here on Ate by Ate? Food snatching. Do I have a story behind this discussion point? Oh you bet your sweet ass I do. So let’s talk. You know the kind. Folks who sneakily spear something off your plate when you’re not paying attention or those who snatch the obligatory fry from your basket or those who just plain eye your leftovers. For those of you who know F.R.I.E.N.D.S inside and out, we can laugh over Joey’s ridiculousness over not sharing his food with his date at the restaurant and even sweet little baby Emma (“JOEY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD!!!”). Truth be told, I’ve never really had to deal with that in all my years of living. I mean, sure, there was the one time my brother and I mixed up our school lunches and I ended up with his and he ended up with mine which left me in conniptions because I totally felt like he’d stolen my entire container of beloved grapes, but aside from that I’ve always been surrounded by pretty respectful people who don’t overstep their bounds when it comes to my food and in that sense, I’ve been very lucky. Either that or my boyfriend, friends and family are simply scared of my wrath. Hmmm. Point is, life has been pretty much sticky-snatchy-finger free.
Until one fateful morning at weekend brunch.
It was a beautiful, warm, sunny Sunday morning at Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill at Yonge & Front St. I was beside myself with excitement. I was out on their patio, I was covered by enough shade to take decent photos, I was finally going to try their weekend brunch menu which I had been wanting to do for months, and I was spending the day with my boyfriend. It was picture perfect and my appetite was raring to go. I hungrily scanned their brunch menu, hemming and hawwing over sweet versus savoury dishes like I always do until I finally settled on the eggs benedict; but more about the luscious food in a second. I desperately felt like some simple but delicious comfort food and the warm, rich, creamy eggs benedict bathed in hollandaise was exactly what I was craving. My dish came and I sighed in happiness. My beautiful eggs benny in all its glory. Gosh did this dish ever make me smile. My boyfriend and I then proceeded to dig into our respective brunch dishes and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Until halfway through the meal when chaos ensued:
“Ahhhh!!!” *napkin swat* “Go away go away go away go away!!!” *napkin swat* “Nonononono….damn it, NOOOOOO!!!”
Take a wild stab at what happened.
Answer: a freakin’ BEE flew into my hollandaise and STOLE MY FOOD. A BEE! Into MY hollandaise! In MY brunch! Like I wasn’t already a nervous wreck seeing the damn thing flying near the bushes by our table, oh no, it had to circle my plate several times like a vulture eyeing its prey and then freakin’ LAND on my food like a helicopter landing pad! Like, seriously, of all the ways to ruin my food! I could have dropped it. I could have been too sick to eat it. But a bee setting up shop on it?! ARE YOU FREAKIN’ KIDDING ME?! I never in a million years thought the first time I would have my food stolen would be by an insect of all things. Now, you must be wondering how this meal was salvaged. Because you know I wouldn’t be writing about this if there wasn’t something positive to it. All I can say is, god bless our server. He noticed the commotion at our table, rushed over with a linen napkin, smothered the darn thief with it and quickly took the dish away to discard. Then he said 5 magic words:
“I’ll bring you another one.”
Not only did we receive exceptional service from the second we were seated, but our server really went above and beyond to mend my broken heart (and, quite frankly, my heebie jeebies). I was halfway through my meal when the chaos happened and after the dish was taken away, one of the other servers promptly brought me a hot and fresh dish that made up for the half that was ruined. Ahhh. Happiness restored, crisis averted.
Well, now that I’ve recounted my absurd food snatching story, it’s time to get down to business and talk REAL food. I adore O&B’s weekend brunch menu. Available on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 10am, their weekend brunch menu reads like a book of classics with the most fantastical of twists. You have French toast but in PB & J style (pain au lait, peanut butter, housemade strawberry jam and candied peanuts). You have breakfast classics on a pizza (roasted maple ham, caramelized onions and a fried egg!). And the hash? Beef short ribs with poached eggs and chipotle tomato jam. Those are just 3 of the 11 brunch dishes that they offer on their menu. In addition, they make their lunch menu available as well which is great because you can mix and match your food to your heart’s content! I took advantage of this by ordering a side salad of fresh kale and greens ($5) which was a beautiful, light and fresh mix of dinosaur kale, radishes, swiss chard, baby greens, matchstick beets, and wheatberries.
The main attraction: O&B’s eggs benedict is by far one of the most delicious I’ve ever had. I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT! Their eggs benny ($14) incorporates potato home fries, 2 large poached eggs covered in rich, creamy hollandaise sprinkled with chopped green onions and pepper flakes on top of 2 slices of make-me-warm-and-fuzzy honey ham and 2 amazing fluffy, airy, melt-in-your-mouth BUTTERMILK CHEDDAR SCONES! SCONES PEOPLE! OH.MY.GOD! I wasn’t lying when I said they took the classics and twisted them in fantastical ways!
We’re so used to seeing and having eggs benedict on English muffin halves and while I love my toasted English muffins, it was SO delicious having my poached eggs on buttery scones that were honestly like a cross between tea scones and buttery, cheesy biscuits. Are you guys familiar with the infamous Red Lobster biscuits? Imagine those in all their soft, buttery glory but in cheesy buttermilk scone form. It was the perfect accompaniment to the hollandaise because the scones soaked up the sauce so well and everything held it’s flavour, texture and shape throughout the meal without getting soggy which was terrific.
Despite the food snatching, food ruining kerfluffle, it was truly one of the most enjoyable, scrumptious weekend brunches and I adored my food to pieces and would eat through the weekend brunch menu in a heartbeat. Sans the uninvited vistor.
Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill is located at 33 Yonge Street at the corner of Yonge Street & Front Street E.