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Restaurants

Camp Restaurant

Posted by Rebecca Fleming / Reviewed on March 25, 2012 / review policy

Camp RestaurantCamp Restaurant isn't promising any bonfires, sing-a-longs or food on sticks, but you will find some mean breakfast and brunch items served with a side of hospitality (and fewer mosquitos). Located at Jane just south of Annette and open since the middle of February, I paid them a visit on the most auspicious of days, otherwise known as the day they received their liquor license. Although this meant I wouldn't be chasing down my mid-morning repast with a mimosa or Caesar, I was very happy for owner Megan Whiten nonetheless, as she and her sidekick were noticeably excited to make that shopping trip.

Camp RestaurantWe were lured into Camp not-so-early one morning by the Muskoka chairs outside. What is it about Muskoka chairs? Nothing made solely out of wood should be so comfortable, and yet the draw is still there. I think it's strictly psychological, as I for one have only positive associations with cottage furniture. Walking through the door we received a friendly greeting from Raven, the sole server as of then, and the aforementioned sidekick. The vintage table in front of the bay window was occupied so we perched ourselves at the bar counter and scoped out the menu along with our surroundings.

Camp RestaurantThe space used to be Whiten's kitchen and living room before she convinced her family to move north (see: upstairs) so she could bring Camp to life, and it definitely does have a homey feel to it. The added touches include some pieces of beaver themed art adorning the walls (an homage to the Beaver Café, which was started up by Whiten herself), and a very patriotic installment by Clint Griffin on the back wall.

Camp RestaurantBack to the menu, my girlfriend ordered the Breakfast Burrito ($8) while I went with the quiche of the day ($7.50), which happened to be zucchini and chevre. Although there was nothing wrong with my dish whatsoever, the burrito stuffed with vegetarian chili, scrambled eggs and avocado, served with sour cream and amazing chutney on the side, was the winner, hands down. The chili had a nice kick to it that was balanced out by the sour cream and the sweetness of the chutney (Whitens grandfather's recipe). The generous portion was perfect for sharing, which was excellent, because I wanted half.

Camp RestaurantThe quiche came in tartlet form with a (bigger than) side salad. With the chevre in the forefront and flaky pastry, the quiche was very tasty, but I may have enjoyed the salad even more. I'm not normally a fan of fruit in my salad, but this one might make me change my ways. Mixed greens, topped with berries, capers and olives were drizzled with a grainy mustard dressing that was whipped up by Raven on a whim.

In fact the majority of everything at CAMP is made in-house with the exception of their chocolate chip cookies (courtesy of de Floured) and their croissants from Patachou. An interesting note about the croissants however is that the ones that aren't sold, are torn up and put back together in the form French toast on the weekends.

Camp RestaurantAs of right now they aren't open for dinner service, but they hope to soon be serving up oysters and a tapas style menu on Friday and Saturday nights. Now it's only my opinion (and I'm sure I'll be called out on it) but regardless, even though there are other places to grab brunch and a drink in Bloor West Village, there are few if any that offer the charm and warmth that CAMP does. I know I'll be going back for (s')more of it.

Camp RestaurantCamp Restaurant

Discussion

10 Comments

Dov Eles / March 25, 2012 at 09:11 am
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This stretch of Jane has been a enigma to me my whole life. The surrounding neighborhoods have more then enough money to support good/unique/interesting restaurants and stores, but if they do open, it is not long before most close. Maybe it is the stigma and association of the name "Jane Street" or perhaps a reflection of the near-by strength of the Bloor West Village (not that there is an over-abundance of good resto's in BWV). I wish Camp all the luck and I hope they can buck this trend and bring some good food and vitality to Jane and Annette
danielle replying to a comment from Dov Eles / March 26, 2012 at 10:03 am
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There are a few Toronto neighbourhoods with that problem. One glaring example is Cabbagetown. Considering the wealth and sense of community in that 'hood, I've always been perplexed by the lack of support for small businesses on Parliament. Hopefully the regeneration of Regent Park will turn things around. Also wishing the best for Camp. That whole stretch of Annette (and the intersecting streets) is a largely untapped gem of a strip. People really need to get out of their cars and support local businesses!
Frank / March 27, 2012 at 12:35 am
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People have got so fat.. they may no longer be able to leave their cars!
Darryl Kaplan / March 27, 2012 at 11:47 am
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The Baby Point Gates Business Improvement Area congratulates Megan Whiten on the opening of Camp - a tremendous addition to the area!

This is yet another example of the wonderful new businesses and restaurants opening along our stretch of Jane and Annette. While our BIA has been in operation for just over a year, we are working very hard on helping the area reach its full and limitless potential. We are open to ideas and volunteers to serve on our committees.

Please contact us at babypointgates.ca or visit us on Twitter or Facebook to get involved.

Darryl Kaplan
Chair
Baby Point Gates BIA
J..P. & Jen / April 1, 2012 at 10:37 am
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We just returned from Camp and we couldn't agree more with Rebecca's review. The breakfast burrito was amazing as was their sausage special, a REAL sweet Italian sausage served with fluffy scrambled eggs and scalloped potatoes. Delicious! It's only fitting that it used to be Megan's living Room as she makes you feel like you've been invited into her home. We live 3 blocks away and I have a feeling this will be our regular Sunday morning haunt.
Craig / April 2, 2012 at 08:59 am
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Every morning for the past few weeks I've commuted by Camp wondering what kind of reastaurnat it was. Sunday my wife and I stopped in for brunch and all I can say is that the food is amazing. I has the croissant french toast with real(!) maple syrup. My comment at the time was "This is f-ing awesome", My wife has the italian sausage special, she said it was great. We plan on making a return visit, soon.

Don't let the Jane Street address fool you, this place is worth checking out.
Paul / April 3, 2012 at 04:42 am
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The neighbourhood is a gem. It always has been really. There are very few places in TO where you know your neighbours, I mean really know them. I grew up here. Moved away only to come back later in my life. To see something like this blossom here is wonderful. To know that Megan is a part of it is even more special. You speak of other neighbourhoods and their restaurants that have flourished. Go into some of the good ones. The ones with good service which have good food and where the customer is not only treated well, but feels welcomed. Now, ask the owners if they know Megan. In fact ask the customers. She has worked hard for years and always with a smile that lights up your heart. She knows her stuff and can deliver the goods. I live out of country now but when I’m back in TO its nice to know that my old neighbourhood has that extra something special. I’ll have a breakfast burrito, coffee and one of those smiles on the side please.
Jacqueline / July 5, 2012 at 05:53 pm
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I've been curious about this spot. I must go soon.

BTW it's not just the Baby Points area, really. It's us over on the Junction side. I'm right on the border and the difference between west of Jane and east of Jane is quite funny.
Christina / August 14, 2012 at 01:27 pm
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I love Camp. It is child friendly and has a relaxed vibe. I ordered the sandwich of the day which was a lemon tarragon chicken salad sandwich with a side salad. The sandwich was excellent. My son always gets the kids breakfast. This place is worth checking out.
Shari / April 27, 2014 at 10:41 am
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Camp recently closed and underwent a major facelift. They haven't re-opened for brunch yet, but it is like a different restaurant. Their menu is mostly seafood, and they have very few vegetarian or vegan options. There are no more "comfort food" options, and the place, now with mostly bar seating and only four tables, has lost its relaxed vibe. The prices are also much higher.

Camp doesn't cater to my crowd anymore, and not only can we simply not afford to eat there, but as a vegetarian, I have few reasons to go. I hope they find success with old and new cliental alike.

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