Sunday, February 24, 2008
Sunday Brunch: Bloor Street Diner
The great thing about going for an early brunch on Sunday is that there is plenty of time to blog afterwards. This morning, I went to Bloor Street Diner at the crack of 11AM for dear Darryl's all-you-can-eat birthday brunch.
Great for Groups
This is a great place to go with a large group because not only is there something for everyone, but there is no waiting for hours to be served while the kitchen tries to get 20 entrees ready at the same time. On the web site, it says that they open at 11:30AM, but our reservation was for 11 and the buffet was set up just moments before. The price tag is a mere $20/head, which I think is a great deal considering all that is on offer.
Apple or Orange? Apple.
Upon sitting down, the very attentive waitress asked us if we wanted orange or apple juice and filled our wine glasses accordingly. Throughout the meal, she frequently came back and topped us up, so I think I had at least $20 in juice. If you go, get the apple. It's that lovely, fresh, cloudy kind; not the clear, juice box type.
The buffet included an omelette station with two cooks waiting to do your bidding, a carving station with roast beef and smoked ham, a huge salad bar with about 15 different salads, baskets of croissants and pastries, rows of cakes and squares, pancakes, French toast, bacon, sausages, roast chicken and potatoes, Eggs Benedict, mac and cheese, fresh fruit, and yes, a chocolate fountain.
My Plate #1
On my first trip up to the buffet, I had the Eggs Benedict (of course), roast potatoes, Greek Salad, mac and cheese, corn salad, carrot and raisin salad, and Asian noodle salad. The Eggs Benedict was delicious despite being pre-made and held in a warming tray. The egg was nice and runny and was topped with just the right amount of hollandaise. My favourite. The mac and cheese was on the mild side, but I can never pass it up. The carrot salad was too sweet for my taste, but the Greek salad was great with generous chunks of feta. The corn and Asian noodle salad were good as well.
My Plate #2
After a brief pause, I went back up and got the pesto pasta salad, couscous, green bean and broccoli salad, Thai noodle salad, artichoke salad, chickpea salad, poached salmon, smoked salmon, and a sausage. All of the salads were good and I especially I loved the pesto pasta salad made with bowties. You could make your $20 back very easily by loading up on the smoked and poached salmon which were both delicious.
I didn't make the best choices for dessert. Both the tiny lemon cake and the orange/chocolate sponge cake were dry and unexciting. The chocolate fountain is a fun feature, but as you would expect the chocolate isn't the best quality. I did have a bite of Diane's tiramisu-like cake though, which was excellent. Next time.
There are pricier all-you-can-eat options in Toronto (EPIC restaurant at the Royal York Hotel for $50/head) where the selection includes lobster, crab, and other expensive seafood, but if you don't want to break the bank and still have a gluttonous good time, the Bloor Street Diner is the perfect place.
Bloor Street Diner
55 Bloor Street West
Web Site: http://www.eatertainment.com/restaurants/bloorstreetdiner/