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Bread and Butter

Posted by Devon Scoble / Reviewed on February 9, 2009 / review policy

bread and butter torontoBread 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.

bread & butter restaurantI 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 butter toronto restaurantBread 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.....20090209-breadbutter-tables.jpg



Brad / February 9, 2009 at 01:35 pm
You need more food pics
A|Layton / February 9, 2009 at 02:19 pm
love this place...awesome EVERYTHING!!!
Elle Driver / February 9, 2009 at 02:21 pm
I'm a big sucker for good mashed taters. Will definitely check this place out!
Mike / February 9, 2009 at 05:03 pm
Ooooh around the corner from my new work place. Thanks for the review, I'll give it a try. :)
MLE / February 9, 2009 at 06:08 pm
the schnitzel sandwiches are soooo good!
Cynthia / February 10, 2009 at 09:53 am
Definitely want to try this place!

BTW, if Ingalls is to Wilder, then Shirley shouldn't be to Cuthbert. It should be to Blythe! :)
Elaine / March 7, 2009 at 10:27 pm
I tried this place on March 6 after reading all the positive reports. I was very disappointed.

I was there around 3 or 4 pm, with 4 other customers present. The young woman server on duty was bored, shuffled around and provided mediocre service. The schnitzel would rank as barely average: it is made who knows how long in advance and is nuked when you order it. Ditto with the mashed potatoes, that day mixed with ground carrots. The server could not even manage to get the food hot enough using the microwave. I had to take my goulash soup back, and ask her to nuke it for another 60 seconds. I've had far better goulash soup at Country Style on Bloor West. The mashed potatoes were lukewarm for both myself and another customer. But I ate them anyway because I feared longer in the microwave would make the schnitzel tough and inedible.

I tried the apple strudel for dessert when I checked that it was house-made, and because commentators said their sweets were great. It was horrible because the cook couldn't be bothered to peel the apples and must have chopped them skin and all in the food processor. The filling was filled with nasty tough small pieces of skin.

I doubt very much I will go back, neither the food nor the service was good, and I was very puzzled by the fact this place is supposed to be a neighbourhood icon.
Darren / July 9, 2009 at 11:14 pm
Great spot for breakfast after a jog in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetary
Raquel / October 13, 2009 at 09:59 pm
love this place. i literally go there everyday for lunch with my friends. our school is right near it. :) love the potatoes.
X employee / June 20, 2010 at 08:19 am
Used to work there long time ago. Spend your money somewhere else with integrity. They lie about everything being homemade/fresh. Everything is frozen/carried over/bought/made weeks in advance.
Anica / November 30, 2011 at 08:16 pm
Best homemade food ever GREAT prices! Everyone should try!
Doug / December 6, 2011 at 02:30 pm
Note that Bread and Butter is NOT a "Leaside Eatery" as stated on the preceding summary page. It's in Davisville/Mt. Pleasant Village, Leaside starts further east at Bayview.
John / November 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm
I'm on this blog because it is supposed to be about the best schnitzel and it seems you aren't even tasting it so how can I take this as a recommendation for schnitzel? FYI readers...Bread & Butter is a nice spot but the schnitzel is NOT the best in Toronto as the sign says.
Fly / August 8, 2013 at 08:53 pm
I went there today and ordered the Schnitzel with salad 10$.
When i sat down I noticed the lady behind the counter putting two Schnitzels in the microwave to heat it up.Cardinal sin!Microwave Schnitzel.WhenIreceived it ,it was lukewarm otherwise it would have made great Schnitzel.Will not return and warn fellow Schnitzel lovers about it.
Dave / October 28, 2014 at 10:26 pm
As a long term customer of this restaurant I can assure you it is a phenomenal spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Most of the staff are family members and know how to properly prepare their great food from scratch and how it should be served. Those saying otherwise probably had a one-off bad experience. This restaurant is LEGENDARY in this community for a reason. I ate there on average 5 times per week for two years and could never complain. Honestly go get a goulash soup and ask for some of their fresh bread and homemade butter on the side they will give it for free. My dad used to go to this restaurant 25 years ago and he still enjoys going with me now and then.

geoff / February 6, 2015 at 02:46 pm
You must of had a bad experience there elaine. Sounds like the far and few. You must have had a lackluster employee that doesnt work there anymore. They really take pride in the food because I know the family personally . They make everything themselves in the kitchen fresh and there is a reason why they get great reviews and have the best schnitzel in town. Its food for the soul my friends. Enjoy

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