Aunties and Uncles
Aunties and Uncles is now in its 14th year of operation and has earned itself quite the reputation. Located near College and Bathurst on Lippincott Street, this restaurant competes with other proximate brunch options like Maggie's and Sneaky Dee's, while remaining a popular favourite. Unfortunately, with the restaurant's reputation as Toronto's best brunch spot comes the near-guarantee of weekend wait time.
Greeted and politely seated after a 40 minute wait, we were promptly brought drip coffee ($2), a latte ($3) and fresh grapefruit juice ($3). The coffee packed the perfect punch after the wait, and the latte was flavourful and robust. The freshly squeezed juice was a heavenly antidote for what appeared to be the first arrival of the autumn sniffles.
The brunch card offers standard favourites such as eggs, waffles and French toast, as well as salads and sandwiches. My friend opted for a healthy option of granola ($7.25) accompanied by yogurt, fruit and maple syrup. The apples came with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and paired well with the sweet watermelon and syrup.
Next up was a mouth-watering serving of Cinnamon French toast ($7.50) made with challah. Perfectly cooked, the outside was crisp while remaining exquisitely light on the inside. A big hit with the group, it got the high praise of "the best French toast I've ever had." The largest dish of the day was the popular Breakfast Pocket ($8.75), big enough to feed two moderately hungry patrons. A mix of all things breakfast, this sandwich was served on a hearty onion focaccia, with eggs, peameal bacon, cheese and caramelized onions.
The play of the hearty filling against the subtle tartness of the Dijon aioli created a sandwich strong in both size and flavour. For the side, we opted for the house potato salad--paired with a creamy dill sauce, it did not disappoint. Last to the table was the Croque Monsieur ($8.25) served with a side of greens. A generous portion of Swiss cheese and thinly-sliced black forest ham paired nicely with a perfect sampling of Dijon, and sandwiched between the same perfectly cooked challah as the French toast. This meal was good to the last bite, and the greens were fresh, and served with a simple but satisfying vinaigrette.
Aunties and Uncles is a pleasant eating environment, and the décor offers an inviting composite of country diner meets antique market. The patio out front is a decent size and makes for a coveted dining spot during the summer months.
Despite the restaurant's consistently full tables, the service here was fairly attentive and our coffees stayed warm (for the most part). All in all, I was more than impressed with the food, menu and value of this brunch favourite and understood quickly just why the patrons are willing to wait.
Aunties and Uncles is open 7 days a week, 9am-3pm, and no alcohol is served.
Writing and photos by Trish Starling