Bread and Butter
Bread and Butter serves honest-to-goodness home-style eats in a neighbourhood better known for tasteful (read: expensive) indulgence than value. Walking Mt. Pleasant to get there, I passed a goldsmith's shop, a variety of antique stores, several tony eateries, a gourmet cupcake shop, a Mediterranean deli, a dollhouse supplies store, and a designer maternity boutique, all offering pleasant and expensive distractions, none suggesting that minutes away I would find myself in a charmingly retro and delightfully inexpensive cafe.
Stamped tin ceilings, embroidery-print wallpaper, rustic wood tables, chalk board menu, and antiques galore: for a gal who spent her childhood fantasizing she was a member of the Ingalls-Wilder and Shirley-Cuthbert families, this place is a wholesome wet dream come true. Did I mention the lace curtains? That's right. Bread and Butter has lace curtains.
I came here on a friend's recommendation. Having spent his formative years in the Mt. Pleasant area, this friend swears his adolescent pudge was directly related to a predilection for Bread and Butter's schnitzels. Ignoring his suggestion, and a sign reading, "People say it's the best schnitzel," I was lured by the daily special instead: parmesan chicken and a choice of starch for $7.49.
Providing full-plate coverage, my humongous serving of parmesan chicken and mashed potatoes was better suited to a Pa Ingalls-style labourer than an Anne Shirley-ish writer, but that didn't stop me from eating the entire thing. If I had any less respect for Marilla Cuthbert's etiquette lessons (and if there hadn't been someone sitting behind me), I would've licked the plate, too. Tender breaded chicken in a hearty tomato sauce, zingy with parmesan and oozing savoury flavour: all this would've more than justified the $7.49. Lucky for me, there was more!
Bread and Butter really lives up to its moniker with its succulent, buttery mashed potatoes. Scooped into balls and baked in a casserole dish, these super-smooth gems are topped with delicate brown skins, providing perfect contrast to the creamy goodness below. If Ma Ingalls didn't hate swearing so much, I would swear that these starchy balls do for potatoes what Lindt balls do for chocolate: one melting spoonful and the term "liquid potato" will seem heavenly.
I have no doubt that Bread and Butter will continue to inspire both my old-fashioned fantasies and my growing cholesterol intake. With a menu ranging from breakfasts (all under $6) to deli plates ($7-$8), and all sorts of soups, salads, cookies and cakes between, Little House and Green Gables are not the only old favourites I'll be likely to invoke. I think next time I will take my friend's advice and get my Maria Von Trapp on with another of my favourite things: schnitzel with noodle.
Bread and Butter serves rich, sinful treats, but at such reasonable prices and amid such wholesome decor, that it's impossible to feel bad eating them. Anne Shirley said it best: "It's so easy to be wicked without even knowing it". Ummmmm.....