Mildred's Temple Kitchen, Liberty Village's ever-hyped brunch spot, makes exceptions for "B'Lunches" on weekdays and weekdays only. One would think that weekdays are generally lax to begin with, and that specifications could easily be attended to, however this is oddly never the case in Toronto.
I secured the reservation, then routed the itinerary; it was supposed to be a sunny day filled with sunshine and iced beverages. Alas, overriding the originally tropical temperatures was a heavy downpour that caused the skies to sadden to a dreary blue-grey. The fact that my train had been delayed clearly was not sufficient in distributing misery to a damp, early morning, for my entire trek towards the restaurant consisted primarily of muggy cigarette fumes and closely avoiding contact with a vehicle whose driver had complete disregard for stop signs. (Do the people behind you a favour - don't smoke in the rain please. Though some may enjoy saturating their respiratory organs with ashes, I'd like to refrain from inhaling nasty, second-hand air particles of condensed grit. Thanks a bunch.)
Our server was a jolly man with a thick European accent that I couldn't quite distinguish. He was the only one of hundreds that suggested I ease myself into dining mode before returning with an introduction of the menu. The entire floor consisted of at least four other members of waitstaff, but many expressed reluctance to even debut a shy smile.
The washrooms were of great interest to me, seeing that adjacent sections had been executed quite nicely. Four individual stalls and one handicap stall could found inside a short hallway. Each was spacious, equipped with the necessary toiletries, and illuminated by a soft glow situated behind a dark panel.
My one quibble was that airplane notifications were played overhead as opposed to mellow tunes. On one hand, it allowed patrons to conjure up the image of travelling to a new destination with each visit. For constant boarders of domestic aircrafts such as myself, I writhed in discomfort at the opening notes of Air Canada's flight safety demonstration. The entire sequence was headache-inducing for me, since there is nothing more loathesome than Air Canada and their wretched, lowlife crew.
Food and drink selections were categorized with clarity on the two-sided menu. Encased in hard plastic, the sheet exhibited edge cracks that had propagated over time, eventually becoming a hazard to young children.
Less hungry was I, thus opting for Wally's Cheesy Flakey Tart. Sharing a single serving of Mrs. Biederhof's Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes was our mutual decision.
Appearance-wise, I was rather fond of it. The simplicity of the drink was appealing to me. Two sips in though, it was an entirely different story.
Perchance, my tolerance is too weak, for the strength of the mixture instantly offered an intense blast of bitter mouthwash and an excruciating headache. I was only able to consume one third of the glass' contents before surrendering the remainder of my$9.95. As opposed to being enjoyable, the drink was downright vicious and uncomplimentary of our materials of sustenance.
My only resort to nausea relief was the wedge of lime attached as a garnish. This later amounted to rather painful pH imbalance.
Instead of the numerous air bubbles and spongy texture experienced with School's Black n Blue Flapjacks, Mildred's was true to their name of serving "the fluffiest pancakes in all the land". Within each bite was vanilla-scented airiness and a sweet, chewy bounce lightened with tart blueberries. The addition of buttermilk provided stable texture to the otherwise delicate composition.
The brunch spot's pancakes were every bit true to the reviews, and priced reasonably based on individual sale. A towering stack of three pieces, as well as its sixteen-dollar price tag, would be excessive as a single person's portion. Fortunately, clients can still obtain a taste of the item without compromising the slew of alternative plates.
Though I was unable to find him, another waiter entered my peripheral without prompt. He gladly provided an unseasoned plate of greens, setting a shallow dish of dressing beside it should I wish to adjust the portion to my liking. I definitely appreciated the gesture, however it would have been more fitting to use a larger plate to prevent the greens from spilling onto the table with every jab and poke.
The tart itself bore great resemblance to a quartered quiche. Its edges were flakey and buttery, just as advertised, and its surface bore a golden, crisp sheen. Ingrained within its inner compartment was a warm and wonderfully silky egg mixture where the sweetness of caramelized onions flourished. Vibrant bits of baby spinach and skillfully incorporated goat cheese also made prominent appearances.
At $12.95, the tart should have been considered a luxury appetizer in itself. Whilst Brioche Doree's smoked salmon counterpart doesn't rank nearly as high in price, Wally's was an indulgent item that I truly enjoyed. Due to its richness and my overall meek appetite, I eventually took the leftover fragments home. Even after several hours of touring Queen West though, its flavours hadn't wavered from its initial warm state.
I made it a mission to snap as many images as possible, for it is impossible to tell whether I'll willingly undergo the pains of waiting, ever so inefficiently, for a table in the future. My first visit comprised of excellent service and satisfying subsistence, yet also included a cramped dining environment, uneven distribution of natural light, and heavy noise pollution. Tables are situated quite close together, which means that coversation of the adjacent table will be overheard regardless.
Wait time and convenience assume the most significant factors in the decision process - for now, they hover on the borderline of precondition fulfillment.
To cope with her newly-sustained sugar rush, orangecane picked iced coffee as her beverage of choice. This was mildly amusing, for she tends to stray from espresso-based drinks and fixate all ardor onto teas, especially Earl Grey/London Fog. I, on the other hand, enjoy starting my mid-mornings with a brisk glass of cold brew (or lightly sweetened latte for breakfast-less days).
We switched roles for the day, for I feel head over heels for Sloane's Heavenly Cream at first sniff. Creamier and a tad more floral than most black teas, its subtly sweet and fragrant properties ensured it an ideal fit for straight iced tea. The exception exclusive only set me back $2.25.
An ambrosial aura was shared amongst both picks, as with an insanely crisp exterior. The pastry itself was firmer and less buttery than imagined - this very characteristic allowed for texture diversity when compared with the sweet, bold filling, and prevented the shell from stealing the spotlight.