KOS Restaurant (Kensington)
KOS restaurant has two locations in Toronto, one of which is at the corner of Bellevue and Nassau St. in Kensington Market. Here, it's tucked away from the hustle-bustle and provides a more generic counter-point to the more innovative offerings at The Bellevue across the street.
I'd argue KOS' prize feature is a toss-up between the large patio and the All-Day Breakfast menu available Mon-Sun starting at 9am.
On this particular Wednesday afternoon, I arrive ahead of my friends and am pleasantly greeted by a server who promptly brings me a coffee ($1.75), water and menus to peruse as I await my company. The coffee is a bit weaker than I'd like and certainly doesn't match the strength I pine for on this particularly drowsy day.
As my friends arrive we search the large menu that boasts well-varied lunch items such as the Chicken Quesadilla ($9.95), Banquet Burger ($8.95) and three forms of Club Sandwiches ($9.95). However, we came for brunch, and make our selections from the All-Day Breakfast portion of the menu.
After a short wait, first up is the Mushroom and Cheese Omelet ($7.95). With our choice of feta, goat, mozzarella or cheddar, we opt for goat cheese and are pleasantly surprised with the generous helping of cheese that's found in the centre of the omelet. This may be this meal's saving grace - despite its crisp cheesiness, we find this dish otherwise un-spectacular.
Second to the table was one of KOS' Mexican-inspired dishes - Ranch Eggs ($8.95). Requested without meat, this dish is tasty enough, and features a crunchy flour tortilla with a flavourful sautéed salsa, topped with three fried eggs. Its salad accompaniment is generous, crisp and entertained with a garlicky homemade Italian dressing.
Next is my own order of Eggs Florentine ($8.95). Differing from a more traditional Florentine, KOS' version comes with a grilled tomato that unfortunately destroys any hope this dish has to begin with. The mealy tomato and sautéed spinach renders the English muffins soggy and nearly inedible. The hollandaise is thin, and its bright almost neon colour is off-putting. A potato-lover, I am somewhat satisfied with the predictable-yet-good home fries that accompany this dish.
The final order is the Veggie Eggspress ($7.95) which may best embody what a joint like KOS is best at doing - a simple, greasy breakfast. Unfortunately, the toast is "buttered" with margarine, which I suspect may have been the culprit for the disappointing hollandaise on the Eggs Florentine.
KOS isn't exactly an aesthetic charmer. A simply decorated European sports bar, it has maintained its cred based on its location within the Market and its frequently available tables during weekend brunch rush. The friendly staff and comfortable patio make it a place to eat, rather than be impressed by gourmet ambiance.
KOS has a fully-licensed bar and is open for All-Day Brunch, Lunch and Dinner. Menu items quoted here increase by $1 during weekend hours.