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Home of the Brave

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Profiled on August 26, 2013 / review policy

Home of the Brave TorontoHome of the Brave is now open on King West, heralding the sophomore effort from Andrew Richmond, the street food hustler come art dealer, TUM alum, and owner of College Street taqueria La Carnita.

The spot is perched over Lou Dawg's and across from newly opened Valdez. While King West's restaurant row is a tourist trap, there's exciting stuff happening just a little west of the Lightbox.

Home of the BraveInside, an ultra-urban vibe is achieved via steel clad walls, subway tiles and industrial finishes paired effortlessly with retro '50s diner-styled vinyl booths and custom neon graphics from John Contino. A chef's table peeks into the kitchen at the back, and there's seats at the windows upfront for people watching on King West.

The menu triumphs American comfort foods that celebrate low-brow, working class roots. Unlike La Carnita, which is focused on a niche cusine, this restaurant takes a broader approach offering original takes on regional specialties and homestyle classics.

Home of the BraveFor me, dishes like the Fried Bologna Sandwich ($9) evoke memories of grade school lunches, though in the case of this specific cold cut, they're not exactly happy ones. I recall the luncheon meat as thick sliced rounds, laid unappetizingly flat over Dempster's whole wheat bread with squirts of yellow mustard. The version here from Executive Chef Johnathan Hamilton is in another league. The over-stuffed sandwich gets an A+ for redeeming the deli meat with thin shavings piled into a tower with alternating layers of housemade American cheese, a sprinkle of toasted pistachios and spicy sour cream dressing.

Home of the BraveThe Waldorf Salad ($10) is a take on the all-American 19th century classic, first presented by New York's Waldorf Astoria. The requisite celery is shaved slaw-like and tossed with mache greens and apples in cider vinegar along with an entourage of toasted walnuts, roasted grapes, yogurt and a spice dusting. I love this salad! I had worried this place would major only in greasy, guilty pleasures, but I'm happy to find lighter, fresh (and vegetarian) options like this. I'll be back to try the Wedge ($11) as well.

Home of the BraveThe Johnny Cake ($14), a Rhode Island staple, is new to me. The cornmeal griddle cake is drenched in maple syrup and topped with smoked trout and a dollop of whipped chive-studded cream. It's sweet and savoury and awesomely flavourful.

Home of the BraveThe cocktail list is divided into three categories; original house blends, vintage American standards, and the "guest book," which will spotlight a rotating selection of recipes supplied by celebrated mixologists from across the U.S. I try the Summer in Sakon ($12), made with chili and spice-infused vodka, blended with pineapple juice, ginger beer and lime. Slushies and beer in tall cans are available too.

The Home of the Brave is open Monday through Wednesday from 5pm until 11pm, and until 2am from Thursday to Saturday. Lunch and take-away are coming soon. Reservations are accepted for parties of 10 or more.

Home of the BravePhotos by Jesse Milns



Matt / August 26, 2013 at 01:08 pm
That fried bologna sandwich is fantastic, they have Hennepin on tap, and the menu prices are extremely reasonable for King W. Will definitely be back soon!
lin ye / August 26, 2013 at 01:16 pm
Looks pretty good
Penny Farthing / August 26, 2013 at 01:18 pm
Try the moustache's delish.
Juice Bar Experience / August 26, 2013 at 01:55 pm
I love you Johhny Cakes!
ASDF / August 26, 2013 at 02:10 pm
Gay for Yours Truly / August 26, 2013 at 02:23 pm
Who's that sexy bar tender......
Tyler Galpin / August 26, 2013 at 06:51 pm
Ya spelled "Jon" wrong guys.
Jack McKee / August 26, 2013 at 07:06 pm
hipster-meter registers a 11 out of 10 on this. Stay away if you have any common sense!
lol replying to a comment from Jack McKee / August 26, 2013 at 08:14 pm
as if real hipsters would step foot on king street...
SamX1 / August 26, 2013 at 09:40 pm
This business is about the taste and cost of the food. AND How it adds to the neighbourhood. Not how you interpret the photos posted on here...
SamX1 / August 26, 2013 at 09:41 pm
This business is about the taste and cost of the food. AND How it adds to the neighbourhood. Not how you interpret the photos posted on here...
LuLu replying to a comment from SamX1 / August 27, 2013 at 12:03 am
user-pic nice you have to say it twice
Jer / August 27, 2013 at 10:40 am
I stopped by last week for the fried chicken sandwich. It was really good. I will definitely be back to try some of their other items. I kind of hope that Lou Dawg's goes out of business so they can take over their space or that they at least pick up their game and start putting out decent food.

They are currently only open in the evening but sounds like they may expand to lunch service at some point. They are closed on Sundays.
Frank Corrigan / August 27, 2013 at 07:20 pm
Can't wait to taste test this place, luv the concept.
Ztugats replying to a comment from Jack McKee / August 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm
@Jack McKee - This place is about as "Hipster" as you are "Gino". I would hope that a sense of aesthetic style and taste in great food and drinks is more common than not in this city. There is 0/10 on the pretension meter at this place. I'd encourage everyone to head over, grab a spiked slushie and bologna sammy and make some friends with good peoples. I think the Home of the Brave is pretty awesome.
Kido loves bologna / September 1, 2013 at 11:36 am
Super rad! I haven't been able to find a fried Bologna sandwhich since Au Cheval in Chicago. The staff is super friendly and the drinks are creative. Definitely check it out if you can brave king street at night.
Daryl replying to a comment from Jer / September 20, 2013 at 04:55 pm
Dear Jer,

My name is Daryl and I'm the founder/owner of Lou Dawgs. Glad to hear you like HOTB - The owner (Amin) is a good friend & business partner of mine.
Anyways, your comment caught my attention. I'd like to meet with you at some point when you're free... I'll buy you a beer - Im just curious to understand your point of view.
Feel free to email me or tweet me @loudawgs
Jug City / November 4, 2013 at 09:45 pm
I had heard nothing but good things about this place but was quite unimpressed. even moreso after being sick for the next 24 hours.

the $12 bourbon and beer cocktail had more ice in it than anything else. it was alright, but given i like bourbon i wouldnt have minded tasting a little bit of it.

buffalo cauliflower was excellent for $8. ribwich was pretty underwhelming. at $12 just for a sandwich, it should come with significantly more meat than than the thin layer that it did. tater tots were interesting, but despite being fluffy inside, were quite heavy.

overall i would say the atmosphere was pleasant, but there is no value for your money here. too many $$$ spent without feeling like i got anything back.
North Country Boy replying to a comment from Ztugats / December 10, 2013 at 07:34 pm
Bologna 'sammy'...? Using the word 'sammy' just proves you are a hipster dinkous and probably the owner or staff member. Unless of course you are five years old... in which case I do apologise, kid. Carry on.
Ztugats / December 11, 2013 at 12:03 am
@North Country Boy - huh? I'll step to you on any single corner in this city and prove to you a five year old kid could kick the shit out if you for being so stupid.
Latina / December 11, 2013 at 12:33 pm
"street food hustler cum**** art dealer"
North Country Boy replying to a comment from Ztugats / December 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm
Dear, Ztugats. 'Step to me'...? huh? Sorry, I don't square dance. You've done a good job in proving you are indeed a 5 year old child with your threats of violence though. Thanks.
john / March 31, 2014 at 09:20 pm
Beware! forced gratuity of.. get this... 20%!! Their price list menu is therefore a lie.
I only tip for good service not automatically and not 20%
NEVER going back to these scammers
Leighton replying to a comment from john / April 22, 2014 at 01:26 pm
What do you mean forced gratuity? Do you mean the default tip setting on the credit card machine? Or gratuity is added to the bill? In either case, I hate restaurants that do that.
E / May 2, 2014 at 05:59 pm
Food was amazing! It's hard to get seats since it's first come first serve. No reso, but the food is worth the wait.

Funny story. I accidentally pushed no tip on the credit card machine when I meant to tip 30%, the poor waiter turn beet red before I realized the mistake I had made. I added my tip back on but he was not very pleasant in the process. It was an honest mistake! But it makes me nervous to go back!
jeff replying to a comment from Jack McKee / June 16, 2014 at 01:46 pm
agreed. awful food too. i just had a salty mess there. gross. / September 15, 2014 at 12:58 pm
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Sylvia / September 23, 2014 at 01:11 pm
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James / October 1, 2014 at 12:13 am
I am simply avoiding this diner because they have forced gratuity..tipping is a real plague
Al / December 5, 2014 at 09:57 am
Why is everything fusion or "inspired"?
Is there one, yes ONE, restaurant in town that serves the real thing? No? because no one in these fast food joints knows actually how to cook a real thing because they are all fakes and posers???

This dump is also "inspired" just like Luckee is inspired by Chinese food (by its Korean chef), Momofuku is inspired by Vietnamese (via its Chinese chef) and Fryhaus is German-Canadian (whatever that is ) by its non-German owner
Em / January 26, 2015 at 12:10 am
This place is bullshit.

I made a reservation for my Fiance's surprise 30th birthday on Saturday. While I was getting ready for dinner, I received a message from my friends that the restaurant couldn't find my reservation. I made the reservation 2 weeks ago and confirmed just a few days before. There were about 15 people arriving for dinner and had nowhere to go. To make matters worse, the hostess apparently didn't even bother to help my friends or even apologize. She was rude and didn't even bother look at my friend when she tried to talk to her. Apparently my reservation didn't exist because the day I confirmed my reservation is the day that the manager is off, so there's no way he/she could've approve this request (how the F am I supposed to know that?!). The lady I spoke to mentioned nothing about this, and confirmed that everything was good to go on Saturday.

After scrambling to find another place, I received a voicemail message from HOTB that they can squeeze in my party at a later time. If they didn't have my reservation, how the hell would they have my phone number? There was no way I would give this restaurant any of my money, because they obviously don't give a shit for their customers. Luckily, we managed to get a table at Valdez and the manager was kind enough to squeeze us in.

This restaurant would've definitely ruined my Fiance's birthday if it wasn't for Valdez. My friends and I would never go back here, the service was unbelievable.
Jamre / June 17, 2015 at 12:19 am
Worst place in the City

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