The Farmhouse Tavern makes it easy to forget you're in the middle of the city. The Farmhouse brings the quiet pace of the countryside to the Junction Triangle, an area otherwise marked by large warehouses, rail lines, and old inner-city industrial relics. Since their opening a little over six months ago, the Farmhouse has created quite a reputation for itself, and this quaint and rustic tavern has become a neighborhood staple.
With a clear attention to detail, the interior is decked out in a farmstead theme. Cow skulls, vintage news clippings, rusted-out license plates, and mismatched tableware tastefully decorate the tavern room. Arriving just after noon we're shown to a table for six, making it in before their usual Saturday brunch rush.
A quick look at the ever-changing chalkboard menu revealed some interesting options, all a few steps up from your traditional 'bacon and eggs' brunch. The lone waiter patiently walked us through their elaborate dishes, all of which focus on seasonal Ontario ingredients, many of which are prepared in-house.
Doubling as the bartender, our waiter was quick to serve us a couple Pints of Baus Kolkot Lager ($7), cups of coffee, and their signature Farmhouse Smoked Caesar. While on the pricey side for a Caesar ($10), the decadence of the smoked oyster and caperberry indicated this was not going to be an average brunch.
First out came the bennys - one 'standard' with homemade smoked bacon, and the other with Gravlax ($13). Both were served on a homemade cheese biscuit which elevated these dishes past many of their benny counterparts. Served with a light pickled radish and fresh green salad, the dish was thoroughly enjoyed, but left some us feeling a bit peckish, so side fries were ordered ($8).
The Farmhouse Brunch burger ($18) has received a great deal of praise, and after hearing the description this was a 'must order.' One bite into the freshly ground chuck burger, and it was clear that the positive reviews were well-deserved. The burger was topped with homemade bacon, goat cheese, a fried duck egg, lettuce and a signature 'special sauce.' The side of fresh cut fries were great at mopping up the mess left by the sauce and runny duck yolk.
The Paul Simon fans at the table were eager to try the Mother and Child Reunion ($14). Served on a butcher board, the dish consisted of two deep fried duck eggs, and a dozen thinly sliced slices of duck prosciutto. The mild and crispy batter on the eggs was matched well by the sweet smokey flavor of the prosciutto and richness of the duck yolk.
For the vegetarian in the crowd, the simply prepared, yet quite satisfying Mushroom Frittata ($12) was a great choice. The dish saw radish salad and sautéed mushrooms atop a buttery and fluffy egg.
While certainly on the pricey side for a weekend brunch, The Farmhouse Tavern's attention to detail, and overall quality of the food made up for the smaller portion sizes. Staying true to its rural roots, no shortcuts were taken at the Farmhouse, and next time the stresses of city-living catch up with me, a return to the Farmhouse will be in order.
Brunch is served on weekends from 11am - 3pm, and the Tavern is open for dinner Thursday - Sunday, 6pm - 10pm.
Photos by Marni Wolf