The oft heard of April showers stay away when BQUAD heads out for brunch. The foursome meet up on King Street West (at Brandt) for brunch at ZOë’s Bakery Café.
Upon entering we are pleasantly surprised at the amount of space inside.
We’ve all passed ZOë’s for years and assumed that it was just a small bakery café. Well, it’s true that assuming makes an ass of you and me.
The space is large, with clean lines, a minimalist look matched with colourful photographs depicting scenes in Toronto. We note that the art is for sale and therefore may not be the same when you visit. Even when filling up with people it is a relatively quiet and peaceful environment.
At 11am there is not much of a crowd but by 12:30 the places begins to fill up rapidly. There are singles, groups and families - and no chance of crowding someone else’s space.
When the first two ‘Quad members arrive at 11:00, they are immediately greeted and seated. Water with lime came shortly after, but offers for coffee or tea was a decent wait.
Once 3 of 4 of the Brunch ‘Quad arrived, it was time to order. Brown and Black have the omelette special which was on the blackboards in plain sight. The omelette of the day contained olives, prosciutto, eggplant, roasted red peppers and Swiss cheese.
Brown and Black both agree the omelette was tasty and filling with the side salad also very nice. Brown felt the omelette was a little greasy. Black would have enjoyed the coffee more if it had been refilled at some point.
Bald has the Good Morning Quesadilla which is filled scrambled eggs, diced smoked ham, red onions, cajun spice trio peppers, melted cheddar, fresh avocado and served with salsa and sour cream. He says “it was a huge portion. It wasn’t amazing but it was good.” Bald can’t think of a clever quip that rhymes with ZOë’s (I’m sure you remember the “brilliance” of brunch blog past where it was “Say Nocho to Ocho!”)
Brit was uncharacteristically absent at this brunch, having slept in - despite it being his choice! It was a struggle ( — not really we were very hungry) to eat without him. He did arrive in time to take great photos of the place, while our food photos were left in the hands of Blackberry®.
Throughout the meal there was very little check up on how things were going, and thus coffee and water refills were only had once flagging down a staff member.
Things we liked » the hot sauce, control of how much butter goes on your toast, atmosphere, space for large groups if needed, greenery on the tables, portion sizes, local craft beers, very clean washrooms.
Things others may like » space, the bakery space for a quick coffee and yummy treat, price, choice of many coffees
Things we did not like » no water refills until requested, no coffee refills unless requested, our server went on break after our meal arrived and no one checked on her customers, no brown sugar.
Rating out of 5
Food » 3.5
Service » 2.5
Atmosphere » 4
Price » 4
Overall Summary » 3.5
Post Brunch BQUAD Drinx » A few minutes walk north to Queen and Portland is Tequila Bookworm — home to a decent list of craft beers and some delicious wi-fi (until it crapped out mid-way - boo!). Brit enjoyed a plate of “I’ve had a lot better” fries here - due to his brunch absence and, thus, case of the munchies. The now-customary round of Baileys’ shots were had, in addition to pints of beer. Afterwards, the dorkier of the group left for a game of Axis & Allies.