I enjoy exploring Toronto’s hot spots for breakfast and brunch with my best friends, specially R. R is my partner in crime who like me, is on the hunt for the perfect “breakfast/brunch” restaurant. However, every time I need a moment to process a stressful week, or when we have a lot to discuss that may not be particularly positive in nature, the choice of location is always a no-brainer. We go to Maggie’s on Charles and Yonge in Toronto. Maggie’s is a small restaurant located on Charles street, and it is only open for breakfast and lunch, Monday to Sunday. Although they offer all day breakfast, you would not have the opportunity to satisfy your late night breakfast cravings here since they close at 2pm every day.
On Friday morning I needed a pick-me up so R offered to meet me at Maggie’s for brunch. When I walked in I was greeted as I always am, with a big warm smile. Generally I usually only visit Maggie’s on the weekends and there is always a line on the weekends, but this will change once they get their patio up and running now that the weather is getting nicer. But today was a Friday morning so there was more flexibility in sitting options. “How are you doing?” they asked as soon as I walked through the door. “Do you want a coffee? Is this table okay or would you prefer to sit in the back?” Yes, it felt good to be “home.”
As I waited for R to show up, I scanned through the menu telling myself that today I would order something different. I have a favorite dish that I always like to get when I am at Maggie’s and it is called “The Boss.” The Boss is the perfect combination of savory and sweet. It is actually quite difficult to find establishments that have menu options that come with both savory and sweet options. But today I wanted to be adventurous and I was craving smoked salmon, so I studied the two menu options that offered smoked salmon. One option in particular sounded really interesting since rather than using bread as a base for the Eggs Benedict, it came on a cheese frittata. I asked our waitress what ingredients went into this frittata since I feared it would have onions in it, but she described it as a potato fritter with cheddar cheese. No onions! Sold!
R arrived shortly after I did and ordered coffee as well and she also decided to be adventurous. Normally R would be the one to gravitate towards the Eggs Benedict, while I tend to gravitate towards standard breakfasts that consist of eggs, bacon/sausage/ham with hash browns and toast (with a side of pancakes or french toast). After scanning the menu and asking a waiter some questions, R decided to try the Crepe Suzette stuffed with softened cream cheese and strawberry jam, while I ordered the Eggs Benedict Oceanic which consisted of smoked salmon on a cheddar cheese frittata, hollandaise or gypsy sauce, served with garlic fries and fresh fruits. As usual, I wanted to order a sweet side dish, and Maggie’s is one of the few places that offer you several side options, including french toast or pancakes. So I ordered a side of french toast on challah bread. A big plus since I love challah bread.
It took only about 10 minutes for our food to arrive, and wow, the portions were huge!
So, clearly there was a lot of food! I always do this. Someone once said to me that I had big eyes and a small stomach because I would always order a lot of food, and then be too full to finish it. But I knew that at Maggie’s, whatever I could not finish I could always take it to go. Though thus far I have always managed to finish everything I order at Maggie’s, I just don’t eat anything else for the rest of the day.
Now, what did we think of the food? We thought it was excellent. But being food obsessed, we had to nitpick. In terms of my dish, I am not a big fan of garlic on my fries, but I did find that the garlic was contained on a couple of fries, so I removed these fries from my plate. The cheddar frittata could have been a bit smaller and flatter, since the center tasted a little bland. But it was nothing that could not be fixed with a little salt, and I did have all the other components on the dish to balance out the flavors. For the hollandaise sauce, I am usually a fan of hollandaise sauces that are on the lighter side with a fresh herb added to it such as dill. But these are minor adjustments that would have made a great dish spectacular. The french toast was a good portion and still moist even after having it sit there for over 20 minutes while I finished my main dish. I thought the french toast was delicious, but maybe best eaten alone and not as a side. R‘s crepe was light and thin. There seemed to be too much jam, but we both agreed that it is always better to have more than not enough stuffing.
Overall, we were very happy with our meal and service. Our coffee cups were always being refilled and were given water upon our request. The waitress checked in on us just enough, and we felt well taken care of. This experience has reinforced why it is that I return to Maggie’s every time I need to be comforted and I am craving a great breakfast. I may be in the minority here since the online reviews for Maggie’s are not great, but if this place is so terrible, then why is it always full? Even at 10 am in the morning on a Friday (not a holiday), there were only a couple of seats available.
I visited Maggie’s during the week for lunch and I did find the quality of the service to be average. I will continue to visit Maggie’s for brunch on the weekends only.