Whenever my mom comes to town we usually end up at Harbord House. The food is great, the price is right, and they have the best sticky toffee pudding in Toronto.
A casual restaurant in a converted Annex house means plenty of cozy corners, and the cutest tiny patios on the converted balconies.
The gastropub menu is simple, featuring homestyle favourites like burgers, mac and cheese, big salads, meatloaf etc. The food sounds straightforward, but it's all made with such care and good quality ingredients that it goes far beyond your average pub fare. The menu is the same at lunch and dinner, but they always have a couple daily specials, and they bring out the brunch menu on weekends and holidays.
I usually go straight for the steak salad ($16). Flatiron steak cooked to your taste on top a bed of organic greens, tomatoes, blue cheese, red onion, peppers, and portobello mushrooms with a maple balsamic dressing. I've never regretted this choice, but since I ordered it twice in a row (and my mom had already ordered it) I decided to go for something different...
Eggs Benedict with a side salad, but wait-- are those crab cakes instead of english muffins? You bet! The Crab Benedict ($13) is a delicious combination of crispy, flaky crab cakes, soft poached eggs, and tarragon hollandaise. Harbord House doesn't cut any corners with their side salads either. Where a lot of places might simply throw some spring mix on a plate, Harbord House mixes organic greens with tomatoes, peppers, and onions so you're getting a real salad with all sorts of flavours. Be careful, because the Eggs Benny is only available on the brunch menu (Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays from 11am-4pm).
My little brother, who has a weakness for smoked salmon, order the Jail Island Smoked Salmon Salad with lemon dill aioli, potato pancakes and those trademark organic greens ($16). I've never tried this one myself, but the reviews were stellar all around.
This is where I begin fail miserably as a food blogger. We ordered their legendary Sticky Toffee Pudding ($7) for desert and got so excited to dig in that I forgot to take pictures! It's the most perfect combination of soft pudding with warm caramel sauce and fresh whipped cream. You'll just have to take my word for it and go try it yourself! Or maybe I can use the blog as an excuse to go back for seconds in the near future...
Do you have a favourite go-to restaurant for certain occasions? Let me know in the comments, I'm always looking for new culinary adventures!