Swan by Rose and Sons
BRUNCH: CONTRACTION OF BREAKFAST AND LUNCH.
On the weekends, I love brunch. It’s not like I make definite plans and tell myself that YES, I’m going to brunch this weekend but usually it just happens; mostly because I love sleeping in (who doesn’t?) so therefore my first meal of the day just coincidentally falls between breakfast and lunch… Brunch. (Talk about a run-on sentence).
My appetite for a comforting, home-style brunch led me to Swan by Rose and Sons. Swan was originally an old Toronto restaurant and the owner; Anthony Rose decided to re-incarnate it into a cozy, trendy neighbourhood diner. It’s the perfect spot for Queen West attracting everyone with its retro branding that you can spot from down the street with a distinct white sign that writes “S W A N” in bright red letters.
The restaurant has a warm, inviting homey feel to it. As soon as you step through the doors, you can be guaranteed to be welcomed with a smile. It’s the same feeling you get when you perhaps walk into your family or friend’s house. I’ve been to the restaurant several times in the past but this trip was definitely one for the books. Not only did the food hit all the right spots but also the service was impeccable. Coming from a hospitality background, to me service is just as important as food. The food might taste out of the world but if the service is not up to par, it ruins the overall enjoyment of your meal. If you’re still reading, do you agree?
The brunch menu is by no means extensive which is a bonus for someone as indecisive as me. At first glance, you see your classic diner brunch options such as the “All Day Breakfast” and “French Toast” but as you keep reading further down you come across “Avocado Toast” and “Brisket and Cornbread”. My mouth watered as I kept reading further down to “Fat Pasha Hummus & Eggs”. If I had appetite and belly to order one of everything, I totally would. But there’s only so much two people can eat. I mean, if we were looking to REALLY INDULGE then that could be a possibility… just kidding.
In the end, Michael and I settled for the Fat Pasha Hummus & Eggs and the Brisket and Cornbread with of course a side of my guilty pleasure… Fries. I’m the kind of dude that will almost always order fries for the table to share. When the server asks, “would you like fries with that?” the answer should always be yes! No questions asked. The avocado toast was a strong contender but I’ve had it one too many times and wanted to step out of my comfort zone this time around. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed at all!
First up: Fat Pasha Hummus & Eggs ($14.00 + tax)
I’m a sucker for Middle Eastern food. There is something about the bold yet subtle flavour combinations that just make my belly so happy. Hence you can count on me to order the Hummus & Eggs off their menu. Speaking from experience, hummus is such a simple yet complex dip to master. You have to find the right balance of tahini (ground sesame paste) to chickpeas and just the right squeeze of fresh lemon juice to bring all the flavours together. Chef Anthony Rose and his team sure mastered this recipe! The hummus was velvety, smooth to the palette and absolutely delicious. It is topped with crispy fried brussel sprouts (if you’re reading this and thinking WTF, don’t worry I did too at first but trust me the combination works!) and roasted pine nuts. Served with fried eggs and toast, this plate hit all the right spots leaving me with nothing but the sound of “MMMM” at the end of each bite.
Next: Brisket and Cornbread ($16.00 + tax)
Cornbread is more than just bread; it’s crumbly, soft bread that resembles a savoury cake. It’s the perfect accompaniment to anything juicy such as the brisket in this case because it soaks up all the flavours like a sponge. To me, a sign of a good brisket is when it falls right off the bone and melts in your mouth and this particular one sure did! Soaked in chili pepper sauce, maple, Brie and topped with a fried egg, this plate was the perfect combination of sweet and savoury. If you have a sweet tooth but still crave something savoury, this dish is definitely for you! Michael was more than satisfied with his choice.
This needs no explanation. Just a plate of greasy, crispy fries with a side of mayo. Just the way I like it.
Overall, Swan by Rose and Sons is Queen West’s best-kept secret. You’ll just have make a trip there to experience what I experienced.
Swan by Rose and Sons is located at 892 Queen St. W. The nearest major intersection is Queen and Shaw St. They don’t take reservations for brunch like most places so I highly recommend anticipating a wait during peak-brunch hours. But not to worry, the staff is very accommodating and they will shoot you a text or call when your table is ready!