Lola's Commissary opened up earlier this year in an old Victorian on Church St. just south of Bloor. Wanting to check it out for a while, we finally stopped in for an early afternoon brunch (available on the weekends 10-4pm) last Saturday afternoon.
Not your usual eggs and bacon place, Lola's offers a menu that changes with the season and includes some creative combinations. There are lunchy/dinner choices like mussels and steak, as well as more huevos inspired fare like scrambled tofu and egg white frittatas. Like many Church St. brunch destinations, there's also a number of variations on eggs benedict as well as the vegan friendly VLAT - vegan bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato.
Most of the dishes are served with sexy sweet potatoes, fries or a simple salad. What are sexy sweet potatoes? They're regular and sweet potatoes made with paprika sauce, smoked salt and herbs. Crispy and spicy on the outside, but still nice and creamy on the inside, they're a nice change of pace from the usual home fries.
Despite all the choices confronting us we all ordered eggs. The Eggs Lola ($12) arrived with poached eggs, ancho (a mild chilli pepper) chicken, corn tortillas, avocado and creme fraiche. But I think the kitchen got a little too zesty with the lime as that's the flavour that stuck out most. Surprisingly absent was any sort of kick or spice, likely on account that the ancho was so mild.
The Eggs Pepita ($14) - pictured at top - was a patchwork of poached eggs, chipotle shrimp, maple bacon and paprika Hollandaise on a toasted English muffin. The chipotle shrimp tasted not unlike buffalo-wings and were a bit dry and on the small side. But the dish redeemed itself with perfectly cooked eggs and the tasty addition of the maple bacon.
Eggs Florentina ($11) was a combination of caramelized onions, spinach, and standard Hollandaise sauce. The verdict around the table was that the caramelized onions were too bitter. Our decision to relegate them to the side of the dish was a strategy of addition by subtraction.
The Kitchen Sink ($9) came described as "lots of lovely bits," scrambled eggs and gooey cheese. The dish is obviously not literally the remnants of the kitchen sink and it showed. There was lots of good flavour here - bacon, mushrooms, onions and spinach. The mixture was scrambled perfectly, soft and fluffy.
Lastly, we diverged from the egg focused ordering and split the Cheesecake French Toast ($12). This was the highlight of the brunch and Lola's isn't afraid to hide it. Our friendly server told us she gets genuinely excited whenever someone orders it. The dish had us salivating as soon as it was set on the table. Challah dipped in egg, sandwiched with half-melted gooey cheesecake inside. Yum.
We all washed everything down with a glass of fresh grapefruit juice ($4). A bit pricey for the size (about 6 oz), but refreshing and sweet.
Photos by Michelle See.
Note: the name of the restaurant was updated to Lola's Kitchen to reflect the name change as of November 2011.