Crepelicious! Juicy Strawberries and Golden Yellow Crepes at Futures Bakery

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In honour of the ridiculously early morning outing I had yesterday, here’s some breakfast for anyone and everyone who needs a delicious energy boost!  Yesterday morning reminded me just how much I adore breakfast and breakfast foods (especially in a state of ravenous hunger), and also how much I’ve missed being in the water.  I used to be a hardcore swimmer when I was little, taking my fins all the way to Whalers life-saving class (Level 8 in my swim program and the first of three life-saving levels) when I was 11 years old.  I stopped swimming on a regular basis shortly after and only took it up again, briefly, when I started high school.  It’s been nearly 10 years since I last went swimming and I went to the pool with my dad yesterday morning at the crack of dawn for the first time since I was 15.  Needless to say, I had one hell of a workout!  It’s going to take some time for me to get my groove back (most of the time I was just flutter kicking, doggy paddling, and treading water), but it felt so good to swim again and I’m really glad I stuck it out and ran out of the house in a sleepy stumble at 6:15am! 😀

That morning swim worked up quite the appetite, so to celebrate all yummy breakfast things, I have fresh and fruity strawberry crepes from Futures Bakery for you!  Futures Bakery has a mouth-watering breakfast menu (along with a hunger-inducing lunch and dinner menu), that boasts thick slabs of French toast and several different kinds of eggs benedict, omelettes, breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, and of course, crepes!  Their spinach and feta omelette was the first breakfast dish I blogged about and I absolutely raved about their portions, their home fries, and everything in between.  I made a solemn foodie promise to myself that I would eat my way through their menu, so this is my second breakfast post with much more to come in the future (no pun intended).

Futures serves 3 different kinds of crepes on their all-day breakfast menu ($6.95): strawberry, blueberry, and maple.  And if you can believe, between myself, my mum, and my brother, we’ve eaten through all 3 kinds!  And we love all of them.  I love crepes, but I’m always a little wary about them.  And what I mean by that is their potential to fill you and satisfy you as a full-fledged meal, without falling into the dessert category.  I’ve had non-dessert crepes that tasted good, but that have sadly left me hungry and a little empty in the end.  Off the top of my head, I know Demetres has GIANT dessert crepes (which prompted an old friend of mine to look at our non-crepe dessert plates and say, “why does mine look the most gluttonous?!”), and there are plenty of other places in the city I would love to go to that specialize in crepes, both savoury and sweet.  I am to say though that Futures breakfast crepes are AH-MAZING.

It was the combination of crepe and filling that makes the dish so good to eat.  One doesn’t trump the other because both are equally as delicious and of stellar quality.  The filling is so fruity and sweet and fresh.  You are not eating some lame filling that resembles jam out of a jar.  You’re literally cutting into a thick, yummy crepe and watching the juicy strawberry puree ooze out and let me tell you, there’s a lot of it. 

As well, they’re not the paper thin kind that we’re accustomed to seeing.  They’re thicker, like a pancake, but chewy instead of cakey.  If I could make an accurate comparison of their appearance and texture to any other kind of food, I would say that they resemble blintzes.  I say this time and time again, but Futures does not skimp and it’s great quality food at bang-for-your-buck prices and portions.  The crepes are plump, wonderfully crispy on the edges, golden in colour, and folded into cute little “envelopes” of strawberry fruit filling.   This meal reminds me so much of summer mornings with baskets of fresh fruit, and why breakfast is so much fun to eat.

*****

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.

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The Vegetarian Sandwich Series – First Up: Futures Bakery and the Monsterous Grilled Vegetable Sandwich!

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I’m so excited to finally unveil this new series I’ve been working on – the vegetarian sandwich series!  Entirely inspired by my friend Wini who is my vegetarian foodie partner in crime, I wanted to showcase some of the fantastic veggie eats around the city and places that are vegetarian, vegan, or just plain veggie-friendly with lots of healthy and delicious options.  My vegetarian and vegan friends inspire me both in and outside the home kitchen.  Between comfort food at home and eating out at fine dining establishments, diners, mom-and-pop shops, and greasy spoons, there’s a kind of reciprocity that occurs.  The cooking and eating you do at home affects the choices you make when you’re out and about and conversely, what you eat when you’re out inspires you to take something away for future use at home. 

I find this to be especially true for me when it comes to vegetarian eating.  I’m inspired by combinations, colours, and flavours both in and out of my home and I’m always eager to discuss new recipes I’ve tried out as well as excitedly bringing back home stories of tasty dishes.  There have been times where I’ll see something on a menu and think, “huh, I didn’t think to put x, y, and z together in sandwich!” and I’ll end up being pleasantly surprised.  It’s all about learning and experimenting and expanding our foodie horizons.

So, first up for this vegetarian sandwich series is the amazing grilled vegetable sandwich at Future’s Bakery!  Not only does Future’s Bakery serve out-of-this-world all-day breakfasts, they also serve fantastic mountain-high sandwiches worthy enough to fill you (and stuff you silly) for dinner!  Futures seriously blows me away with their generous portions and wholesome delicious food. 

Their sandwiches are served on thick wedges of sundried tomato foccacia bread and are served with your choice of either two kinds of salad, or your choice of salad with a huge mound of yummy mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy.  They normally have around five different kinds of salad to choose from including spring mix greens, potato salad, beets, mixed vegetables, and fruit salad.  All their sandwich mains are priced between $6.49-$10.95 and yes, that’s including the salads and/or mashed potatoes!  Lunch at Futures starts at 11am and all mains are available to order until closing. 

Their grilled vegetable sandwich is piled high with leafy lettuce, tomato, cucumber, roasted red peppers, grilled zucchini, and grilled bell peppers.  This sandwich seriously lasted me through two meals and I really enjoyed it.  The vegetables were juicy (and by that I just mean juicy in flavour, not juicy as in leaky!) and the bread was soft, flavourful, and so full of herbs.  I’m a huuuge fan of places that utilize different types of bread outside the plain loaf of boring sliced white bread, so I definitely made a mental sticky note of their sundried tomato foccacia!  Oh, and the mashed potatoes and gravy!  Oh how I love how smart Futures is when it comes to their mashed potatoes.  They make a well in the mashed potatoes on your plate for the mushroom gravy to sit in so the gravy doesn’t get all over your sandwich and messy.  Genius!

Now, don’t get the wrong idea and think that this grilled vegetable sandwich is just lip service on their menu for vegetarians; they have a number of vegetarian sandwiches on their menu which makes for plenty of options!  They have eggplant sandwiches (breaded eggplant and eggplant parmesan), a simple cheese and veggie, and -get this- a PESTO, mozza, tomato sandwich! 😀  We all know how amazing pesto is.  Sigh.  I hope you guys have enjoyed this first installment of the veggie sandwich series, there’s plenty more where this came from and if any of you have suggestions, requests, or just discussion points pertaining to this, feel free to comment!  This is going to be a really fun series to write about.

*****

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.