The Good Fork
The Good Fork doesn't mind if you use other utensils. It just asks that you let it satisfy your hunger with comfort food. Open for seven weeks now, The Good Fork replaced the (very) short-lived Felicious in Bloor West Village and aims to be the new local spot for good eats.
In a gutsy move, the Yalcin brothers (Ali and Tolga) have set up shop right next door to the neighbourhood institution of the Bloor Jane Restaurant which also bases its menu on good ol' fashioned comfort food just like Ma used to make, and its been making for almost four decades. That's some steep competition if you ask me.
The interior of the Good Fork remains very similar to Felicious (clean, open concept with Ikea style furnishings) but thankfully there is a lot less orange. Seating is generous as it occupies two floors and the advent of the next patio season will bring with it an outdoor option as well. If you and your party of ten find yourselves in Bloor West with a hankerin' for brunch, then this is the place to go.
It was quiet when we got there, but to be fair it was a Monday morning and who has time for Monday brunch except un(der)employed writers such as myself? We were greeted warmly by Vanessa, the friendly sole server and grabbed a booth downstairs. Ali himself had chosen to eat breakfast there (a good sign) but excused himself to come say hi.
One thing The Good Fork has on the Bloor Jane is that they are licensed. I like my mid-morning meal to be accompanied by an alcoholic beverage of some sort, in this case a bacon infused vodka Caesar ($6.75). Bacon love seems to be a love that just won't quit, so I felt as if I was doing a public service in choosing this particular Caesar to give the people what they want, while at the same time getting a full serving of veggies before 11am. Drink - justified.
My friend who had scheduled a post-brunch hot yoga class opted out of the alcohol and went with water which was probably in her best interest...and the interest of her fellow hot yogis who may not appreciate their downward dog with a side of bacon.
The drink came to the table in a mason jar loaded with garnishes, of course one of which was a strip of perfectly done bacon. Maybe I shouldn't have eaten the bacon first because I was left wanting for more such flavour from the drink itself. It didn't pack the pork punch that I expected, but it was tasty nonetheless. (A heads up for heat seekers - ask for it extra spicy if you want to feel any burn).
I let my friend choose her meal first as I always do, so I can then choose something different. Meghan of course went with my first choice (she has good taste) which was the Sunday Morning Saviour omelette (normally $9.75, but the special on Monday saw all omelettes at $8). It came loaded with roasted red peppers, spinach and just enough goat cheese to complement the dish without overpowering it.
The home fries on the side were of the tiny McCain style cubes. Meghan was a fan of them as she likes her home fries on the small side, whereas I prefer the grown-up version. A case of po-tay-to, po-tah-to, at its most literal.
To offset her savoury dish, I went with their Ain't She Sweet ($8.75) pumpkin spiced waffles. Served with berry compote, maple syrup and a dusting of icing sugar they were definitely sweet. The berries were delicious, but we would have liked it better if the promised pumpkin spice was amped up just a bit.
Service was relatively fast and very friendly. Ali checked in with us a couple of times and Vanessa even brought us over a sample of their East Meets West smoothie to chase our meals down with.
The Good Fork falls somewhere between their cheaper greasy spoon neighbour and the more expensive Dr. Generosity down the street. However brunch at the Fork isn't limited to weekends as it is at most restaurants, and with a large menu, they have something for everyone, including the kiddies. I'm sure those with a loyalty to the Bloor Jane breakfast won't make the switch, but Ali and Tolga seem to be generating their own share of customers, so I don't think they give a fork.