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Cafe Belong

Posted by Rebecca Fleming / Reviewed on September 18, 2011 / review policy

Cafe Belong TorontoCafe Belong is the latest venture of Chef Brad Long, co-owner of Veritas and star of the Food Network's Restaurant Makeover. Situated at the Evergreen Brick Works, the focus is on sustainable food that is both organic and locally sourced.

Cafe BelongThe space looks small from the outside, but once inside, it opens up dramatically. Beams mingle with exposed ducts high above the heads of diners, with the focal point being a twisting, turning light fixture that runs the length of the restaurant.The open kitchen is separated by brickwork and wooden shelves lined with brightly coloured Le Creuset crockery.

The servers — casually dressed in jeans and black t-shirts — are knowledgeable without being pretentious. On my visit, I received a very thorough run-down of the menu on offer that day, right down to what the cows are fed (grass, by the way).

Cafe BelongCafe Belong has an extensive wine list, and a good selection of domestic and local beer, as well as a short but fun specialty cocktail menu. I ordered the Fish House Punch from the latter ($10.75). Despite its relatively unappetizing name, I was intrigued by the addition of green tea to the rest of the potent potables listed (Appleton's, Cognac, and peach brandy). Don't ask me why I was surprised by the drink's potency, but it probably wasn't the best choice for brunch. Next time I might break my boozy brunch rule and opt for one of their freshly squeezed juices, or colourful house-made syrup drinks.

20110911-CafeBelong-Frittata1.JPGMy companion ordered the Frittata ($13) from which I stole multiple forkfuls. Served at room temperature with shiitake mushrooms, zucchini, squash, tomatoes and pecorino cheese, it was the ideal of brunch: light but filling, and chock full of local ingredients.

Cafe BelongI went with the Vegan Moroccan Chickpea Stew ($15). It was brought to the table in the aforementioned Le Creuset crockery and ladled into a dish by our attentive server. Strikingly red in colour on account of the beets, it also smelled fantastic. The chickpeas were quite firm, but this only attests to the fact that they didn't come from a can. The dish was hearty and filling, but I was a bit disappointed that the taste was milder than the aroma seemed to promise.

Cafe BelongWe also ordered the bread basket ($2) to accompany our meals. I normally wouldn't make a huge deal about a bread basket (despite my love for the stuff), but it was served with a lemon-infused butter that made each bite taste like dessert.

Prices are a little steep, but they do reflect the quality of the food, and how it was come by. Those short on cash or time can pop next door and grab a coffee or a tasty treat at the take-away counter. As far as getting to the restaurant goes, for eco-friendly folk such as myself (i.e. car-less) there's a shuttle that runs out of Broadview Station.

Cafe BelongCafe Belong



Jen / September 18, 2011 at 01:37 pm
What a great restaurant for a good cause... love the photos.
TJ / September 18, 2011 at 01:52 pm
Great food, but way too expensive for what you get. Paying for bread? Come on...
b-long / September 18, 2011 at 03:06 pm
oh i get it. brad long. b-long. belong
ha. like by-mark. bymark.
Sean / September 19, 2011 at 10:34 pm
Too bad their web page don't show us their menu. I'll make a reservation to go as long as I can see the menu before going.
drypedanille / December 22, 2011 at 04:04 am
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Pat / December 28, 2011 at 04:46 pm
Brand Long, the chef of Belong Cafe has a fairly good reputation in Toronto, so i gave Belong cafe a shot, here is how it went:

Went for lunch, the prices were ridiculously high for a cafe specially for lunch, no variety no panini no sandwiches... nothing... all very expensive dishes that are just really big plates and just little tiny bit of food! ($30 for half a chicken...or $28 for a tiny slice of fish with 3 pieces of gnocchi and I'm not kidding). The service was okay everyone seemed a bit confused and sketchy to be perfectly honest.

After tasting two different dishes and $85 later, i concluded never to go back ever again!

On the way back to the office I actually had to stop at Mcweans super market to grab a sandwich to go because i did not eat at Cafe Belong only cause the food was so disappointing, forget the price!

Sorry to say will never go back and will never try anything that has Brand Long's name attached to it.

I want my money back!!
Assubkerstin / December 31, 2011 at 02:41 am
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Al / April 26, 2012 at 12:14 am
Went there with my friends last year during Redbull Minidrome. Extremely unfriendly and rude servers and restaurant manager. Will never go there again.
d christie / September 29, 2012 at 10:43 am
The worst Latte I have ever had!
sant ritz / June 5, 2013 at 11:33 pm
Sant Ritz comes fitted with full condo facilities that are carefully
designed for everybody. Sant Ritz a city fringe living within Core Central Region.
Brandon / February 6, 2014 at 02:08 pm
Been there twice - amazing food. Fresh, delicious, and seasonal (so their menu is always changing). And quite possibly the best fries in Toronto!
Dimitry F. / October 30, 2014 at 11:34 am
We went there last night with my wife, it was absolutely amazing. The most tender bison I have ever eaten, and I don't know what they do to their chicken to make it so... perfect! You can tell the mastery of the chef by the way the flavours work together and none of the sauces or accompaniments compete with primary flavour of the dish. Not overdone, simple yet gourmet. The portions were very generous (we didn't have any appetizers or sides and shared one dessert) and we left very satisfied. Great to see a restaurant focusing on local, sustainable farming and cruelty-free meat. Obviously when you combine organic with gourmet it will not be cheap, but definitely worth it for a special night out! We were so impressed that we booked our office holiday party of 21 people with them and will be back again in the future.
courts / June 1, 2015 at 08:32 am
My fav in the city. I like knowing where my food comes from. I think it is a responsibility of all torontonians to become more aware of what they eat and how it got there. Cb has just recently started an afternoon snack menu with big portions and very low prices. Perfect for those on a budget

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