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Restaurants

Maggie's Can Stuff My Toast Any Day

Posted by Tanja / Listed on September 12, 2007 / review policy

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Somewhere in between closing time at rowdy Sneaky Dee's and the midday bustle of Kensington Market, Maggie's opens up for brunch on College Street.

Serving up a variety of delicious breakfast favourites has made this little café a wildly popular spot in the area. So popular, in fact, that my friends and I arrive at 2pm for an extra-late brunch, just hoping to avoid the crowds and waiting.

Our plan works out well as there are only a few people left at Maggie's, though remnants of the past hours are visible as the place looks a little like a hurricane has blown through.

The staff are quick to clear off a table and pick up some newspapers as we take a seat. Soon after we're looking over the menu and ordering up a long-awaited brunch.

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Maggie's is probably best known for Garlic Fries and their Stuffed French Toast. The French Toast (pictured at the top) completely lived up to its reputation. Of the various stuffing options, we went for simplicity and chose Apple & Cinnamon. It arrived piping hot, stacked high and delicious. The balance between egg and toast is perfect and not too heavy.

The Garlic Fries, on the other hand, are good fries but surprisingly lack garlic entirely. Perhaps they ran out after the morning rush?

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The Big Breakfast was true to its title, featuring three eggs, 'garlic' fries, bacon, fruit and toast piled on top. It was near perfect aside from the over-easy eggs being done sunny-side up (there's a difference!). The rest is scrumptious enough that we let it slide.

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Finally, a pick from the lunch menu: the Mixed Veggie sandwich. The dish arrives with 2 full sandwiches, making it great for sharing. It starts off well but soon the veggies (in tomato sauce) start soaking the toast, creating a soggy mess. Now, it was a tasty soggy mess, but never-the-less, a few pieces of lettuce between toast and veggies would have helped keep this toast toasty.

All-in-all, despite some small complaints, the food was fresh and made with quality ingredients. Did I mention the French Toast? Maggie's will definitely see a return visit.

Discussion

19 Comments

Steven / September 12, 2007 at 01:03 pm
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You always pick the worst restaurants to review.

Because a breakfast spot can actually manage to flip an egg, put toast in a toaster, add garlic to the fries and charge 9 dollars a dish, it needs a review?

While I am beginning to find Aunties and Uncles a bit heavy now a-days, it is infinitely more interesting, and better still <i>right around the corner</i>.
Chuck / September 12, 2007 at 01:40 pm
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I don't get it: the garlic fries weren't garlic fries; the sandwich was a soggy mess before it was done but still this place warrants a return visit?

I gave it a return visit and on the second trip I had the same experience as the first: the wait staff is somewhat unclean and completely indifferent, the pancakes are heavy and bland, the garlic fries are neither garlicky nor particularly well fried (nearly indistinguishable from Burger King's fries in fact), and the toast is about as good as most of the fruit is brown.
Tanja / September 12, 2007 at 05:26 pm
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Steven - Where I decide to eat is where I decide to eat. There are lot of places in this town to cover... and if my opinion is that I'd visit again, then obviously I found the food to be high quality enough for a second go. As for Auntie's and Uncles. While they're food is good, I agree, I've never wanted to write a full review because the number of FLIES in the cafe is completely ridiculous. The last time, I ended up so annoyed by the end of my meal that any write up would have been a complete reflection of that pissyness.

Chuck - The fries weren't garlicy, yes, but they were still really good regular fries as I'm sure comes across even in the image.
Steven / September 12, 2007 at 05:53 pm
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<i>Where I decide to eat is where I decide to eat.</i>

Except that being a food reviewer implies that you have a bit of food knowledge, a fine palate, and a willingness to go where your reader's mouths haven't been, traits I haven't really seen.

You ate at some middle of the road breakfast joint, just one step beyond Mom's fry pan, complete with the requisite for Toronto chunks of melon on the side, with fries making it brunch instead of breakfast.

Sliced whole wheat Wonder Bread toast--how original. They stuffed apples inside the french toast (made with the aforementioned Wonder Bread)--call the Iron Chef, I think he is out of a job.

Sure, an acceptable spot to crawl over to when hung-over, but part of completing a successful review is starting with a good or highly anticipated restaurant in the first place.
Tanja / September 12, 2007 at 07:24 pm
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Steven, I'd encourage you to read Toronto Life where your elitest attitude is relevant.

It may surprise you that plenty of readers have never been to this place, might have considered it, and are interested to see/hear what the food is like. I can't know where our readers have or haven't been and isn't the point. Here at blogTO we like to cover all kinds of Toronto independent eateries, both obscure and well known, not just the new 'it' thing.

I blog about what I eat... it's what a blogger does. If you are going to pay for my dinners and label me a pro critic, then perhaps I'll consider being more "selective" about what I dare present to our readers (or have for dinner).
zach / September 12, 2007 at 09:37 pm
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Hey Tanja, I think this Maggie's might have changed their name. Something happened with the franchising and I believe it's now called Maggi's, without the e.

I could be wrong, but I'll take a look tomorrow morning on my way to work (at Aunties). I would be interested in comparing it to the other Maggie's spots (or former Maggie's spots).

I also heard that they have a good dish called eggs oceana or something like that, a salmon kind of Benedict.

My roomies love it there.

(I know, the flies are a bit much at Aunties during the summer, and right now, bees too. )
Tanja / September 12, 2007 at 10:35 pm
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Zach - I'm so glad you mentioned that. I thought their new signs (8.5x11" sheets) said "Maggi's", but when I looked up the place later, every indication was that the full name was Maggie's... so i rolled with it. Confirm when you pass by tomorrow and I'll update the name of the post!
avi / September 13, 2007 at 01:06 pm
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Maggies is the best breakfast restaurant i have ever been to. They food is very filling end plentiful and even the fruit that they serve you is big and lush. Most places i find cut corners by serving mediocre food products, but maggies seems to actually care about their quality of food, and presentation.
x_the_x / September 13, 2007 at 09:38 pm
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The statment: "A food reviewer should have taste buds" is elitist? Isn't the whole point of a review to distinguish excellence from mediocrity, i.e., to promote excellence, which would seem pretty incompatible with an anti-elitist attitude (at least how you describe it)? You can't review something without judging it, and the minute you make a judgment you are measuring it against your values/preferences, i.e, being a total elitist. Embrace it.

Even if you are eating exclusively at shitholes, if your objective is to tell your readers whether it is worth your 8 bucks (because readers are "interested to see/hear what the food is like"), don't you have an obligation to call crap what it is when you see it? And tell them not to waste their time/money on a place that can't produce eggs to order?

I recall some of this blog's reviews of some more upscale places in some fancy hollywood publication during last year's TIFF where it was clear that the reviewer actually hadn't eaten at the restaurant, so I suppose this is better, but just.

(For the record, I like Maggie's, though you have to be pretty particular about what you order (try the sausage).)
Tanja / September 13, 2007 at 10:47 pm
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Obviously not, xthex. The statement, "part of completing a successful review is starting with a good or highly anticipated restaurant in the first place" is elitist.

Are you actually trying to accuse me of not eating at places while photos of the food run alongside? I suppose I just go in and snap pictures at people's tables. Yup. That's must be it.
x_the_x / September 14, 2007 at 02:58 am
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I recall a review of Susur that recounted items on the menu without describing how the food, you know, tastes, and little regard to ambiance or service or any of the other things you experience when actually eating at a restaurant. This was in the whatever TIFF publication. I'll take your word for it if you say I am making a false accusation and retract it in good faith.

I do not for a second suggest that you fake eat in order to generate reviews of shitholes. There is demonstrable evidence of your enjoyment of shitholes.


David / September 14, 2007 at 09:45 pm
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Who said that a "highly anticipated" restaurant has to be elitist or expensive? Just new....
Tanja / September 15, 2007 at 01:08 am
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X- If you must be so nosey, that TIFF piece, in all its brevity, was still 300 words over their total limit I was given. Descriptions were out of the question across the board. I don't recall describing very much about anything, let alone the nuances of the Lee (not Susur) menu.
Chuck / September 16, 2007 at 10:25 am
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I just wanted to say, by the way: beautiful photographs.
Michelle / December 15, 2007 at 08:59 pm
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We're big brunchers, we go at least once every weekend and we like to try different places. We've gone here two Saturdays in a row and we've loved it. It's not much to look at it, service might be a little slow, but if you're looking for a big, fantastic breakfast, and perhaps something a bit creative, this is the spot. The first time I had their Eggs Benedict and was pleasantly surprised to find that their hollandaise sauce was what I consider to be perfect: smooth and velvety with a hint of lemon. This week I tried the Eggs Oceanic that someone mentioned earlier and again: loved it. It's a creative interpretation of Eggs Benedict featuring smoked salmon, perfectly timed soft-boiled eggs, the aforementioned hollandaise, placed on a couple of tasty latke-like pancakes with grated cheddar. I love that their plates include pickles and a nice assortment of fresh fruit. Last week my fiance had their big breakfast which includes a few strips of bacon, sliced Italian sausage, a slice of ham, two eggs, toast, fruit and 2 pancakes. He enjoyed it all and was stuffed. Today he went for the lunch menu and tried their tuna melt which arrived on a fresh, large bagel and the tuna had a nice twist as it was mixed with tomato sauce which had a bit of a kick. And I LIKE the garlic fries, the garlic is definitely subtle but it's there, and even without, they are great fries. Prices are excellent in my opinion because you won't food of this quality with portions of this size any cheaper, anywhere else I've been.
lolita / February 3, 2009 at 05:39 am
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Hey u guys! It seems u all enjoy brunch on the weekends and who cares if a name of a location is Maggie's or Maggi's as long as is pleasing to your taste and satisfying enough to go there repeatedly.
But truly u stirred my curiosity and here's some news for u!
This Maggi's location on college Street is not part of the Real Maggie's anymore.
They continue using the same menu because for over the years it has been one of the most successful and delicious one.
I heard from our office sources that the REAL MAGGIE, basically the creator of Maggie's goodness is back in town from London Ontario and has launched her new location called Karine's by Maggie's in the Village by the Grange McCaul/Dundas, serving Vegan, Vegetarian and All Day Breakfast.
Their portions, their prices and the newest items on their menu are out of this world. I will be visiting Toronto again in this coming week and guess what? First stop at Karine's by Maggie's.
Zareh Panossian replying to a comment from zach / February 3, 2009 at 07:27 am
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This maggie's was the original maggie's that started the breakfast concept with fruits and created all the menu items. The actual owner signed as franchisee but when the time came for him to pay his dues he changed the name into maggi's thinking that by deleting an e from the name he will succeed. He is fake i urge you not to support this restaurant. he is nothing but a cheater and stealing other people's ideas.
Now the original Maggie's is called Karine's and serves the best vegan and breakfast items in Toronto, go and visit there it is at Grange McCall street near AGO.

Zareh
Susan / February 7, 2009 at 08:29 am
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I went to the original maggie's aka karine's and it was better then i remembered. The food is still as amazing as always, the prices are slashed down in half, and the staff working their were amazing, it was truly an experience to remember. I will for sure go back, very soon. I strongly suggest if you havent already go visit Karines in the Village by the grange.

Susan.
Ashley / March 6, 2009 at 01:37 pm
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Apparently u guys karine's by maggie's website is on. I would preferred it it was completed.
Anyway I urge all of u to check karines.ca and be amazed by their amazing portions and prices.
bon appetit!

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