The Bickford Flexitarian
The Bickford Flexitarian has recently opened in the space once filled by linuxcaffe. In just over a year (377 days to be exact) the space has been completely transformed and now offers a full lunch and breakfast to go along with a full selection of grab-and-go coffee and teas.
The bright restaurant is very tastefully decorated with a rustic decor and great collection of some very cool century-old photos. All sourced from the Toronto Archives, their selections showcase the history of the neighborhood and their corner - just steps from the old Garrison Creek, the remnants of the Harbord Bridge and kitty-corner from Bickford Park.
So what the heck is a flexitarian? you ask (as did I). Typically this refers to a person who tends towards vegetarianism, but occasionally opts for high quality often locally sourced meat.
This menu is designed for all types of diets with options for those who like vegetarian, gluten free, raw, or high quality meat options. At the Bickford, there's something for everyone. They've built a brand new induction kitchen that is well equipped to pump out orders from their modest menu to their 25-seat cafe.
First out was the blackened chicken, spinach and goat cheese omelet ($8.25). This two-egg omelet was very tasty with some great flavour combinations. The chicken had a little spice, not an overwhelming blackened Cajun taste, with a good portion of spinach and mild goat cheese. This was ordered with a raw apple slaw ($3.75), a sweet side with some mild vinegar and citrus finish.
The 5 spiced pate panini ($6.75) is a vegan option with pickled cucumbers, shredded carrots, kimchi, red onions and a vegan aioli. The spices from the pate were an interesting contrast to the bolder pickled ingredients and kimchi. This is a very light and tasty sandwich, but if you're coming with a big appetite this may not be enough.
For your classic breakfast needs The Bickford Flexitarian offers a trusty fried egg sandwich ($6.75). This comes as two eggs served with a heirloom tomato, pickled onions, mixed greens, cheddar and an aioli dressing. The eggs are free-run and sourced from nearby Gasparro's. This sandwich is a solid option for those looking for a classic and fresh take on an old faithful.
We also ordered the heirloom tomato, fresh dill and aged cheddar omelet ($7.50). While served a little on the salty side, the omelet's subtle dill flavours meshed well with the cheddar.
At The Bickford Flexitarian, the dishes we ordered all felt a little dainty in portion size and plating, but are made with high quality ingredients and priced quite appropriately. These dishes are not your greasy hang-over curing eggs and bacon, but rather feel like an energizing and fresh start to a productive day. The Bickford also offers a full selection of smoothies, juices, and delicious pastries and desserts, available for many different dietary needs.
Regulars of the old linuxcaffe will be put at ease with some familiar faces as owner Kyle Debouvrie and partners took over the space where they once worked. Already open a few weeks, the restaurant is still testing out their menu, new kitchen and service. They plan to have a grand opening event shortly and are looking to add a front patio, liquor license and full dinner to their corner.
Photos by Marni Wolf