I want to have more money so I can purchase the stuffed Portobello mushroom from Patachou. It looks so delicious, so overflowing. At eight bucks, it's not an impossible dream, but it is not going to fill me up. Alyssa and I came up to the St. Clair Patachou (there's another one on Yonge St. I hear) for breakfast. But it's 11am already and I'm starving. The stuffed Portobello is big for a mushroom but small for breakfast. I can't even split it with Alyssa as a breakfast add-on because there's eggplant in there and she's allergic, unfortunately.
Fortunately, there are lots of other delicious looking things to choose from at Patachou (has been depuis 1978 according to the door and windows). And most of them are not eight bucks. Everything looks so good that Alyssa and I take too long to choose, in my opinion. Though the girl serving us doesn't seem to feel that way. She doesn't seem to mind at all, and while I worry our indecision is getting annoying, she maintains a good attitude, even offering us extra info (the cheese croissant is good warmed up, the bostock is the best, etc.). We eventually decide on a cheese croissant and bostock.
We also split a piece of their vegetarian pizza and each have a coffee. A buck fifty gets you a bottomless cup! Personally, I consider free refills on coffee to be a basic civility, but in this town it's almost a novelty and I'm really excited.
I've had so many croissants from Patachou over the years that they've become comforting to me - especially the cheese croissant ($2.35). Alyssa and I split one down the middle and I regret how fast my half is eaten. I covet Alyssa's! But I have one half of a piece of pizza ($7.50 served w/ salad) to distract me.
The crust is thin, dense and doughy. Crispy edges curl up around cheese, black olives and mild home made sauce with slices of tomato, basil and clusters of Parmesan. It's
delicious, light for pizza but really tasty. I eat my half as quickly as I ate the croissant
(well, proportionate to size). Alyssa has barely started her half. She's busy talking, and I
try to concentrate on what she's saying, but the pizza in her hand is distracting. I drink
my bottomless cup until it's time to split the dessert.
It's nice inside Patachou - small, clean and French. A couple of regular customers quietly take a meal beside us while Radio Canada plays in the background. Aside from top-notch croissants and French desserts and pastries, Patachou offers lots of lunch items, take-away frozen entrees, homemade jars of jam and ACE bakery baguettes. The quiet atmosphere and coffee refills make Patachou ideal to hang around in. Alyssa also thinks it's nice to hang around in, evidently. She's really taking her time with that pizza.
Finally we get to the bostock ($2.65). I've never had this before. It's brioche dipped in orange blossom syrup and topped with ground almonds - a subtle and bready dessert. It's airy with tiny, sugar-glazed pockets and completely fills us up. Everything we've had for breakfast was bread-based, and most of what we've had involved cheese... excellent, we've had a great breakfast. But surely it would have benefited from the addition of some Portobello.
Photos by Alyssa Bistonath