Brunch at Saving Grace feels like visiting a friend who has a better apartment than you, but isn't smug about it. The small, high-ceilinged room seats twenty people (many, but not all, of the hipster variety) at bright plywood tables, and a few more can oversee the room from a raised bar at mezzanine level. Most Sundays, the place is packed- but it's only a 15-minute wait, and the servers are always smiling. In the bright, airy little space, the atmosphere is pleasant and relaxed.
Corncakes with Apricot Chutney ($7.75) are tasty and filling; three dense cornmeal pancakes, bursting with whole corn kernels and green onions. Their slight saltiness makes an excellent counterpoint to the sweet tang of the spiced chutney. On the side is a salad that overwhelms my delicate snowflake of a palate- mature romaine leaves streaked with a harsh, tart house dressing. It's the Tommy Lee Jones of salad- leathery, acerbic, and too intense for brunch.
French Toast with Caramelized Bananas ($7.75) is a winner- three slices of crusty sourdough, lightly eggwashed and topped with lots of maple syrup and soft, sweet banana chunks. The bread is Frenchy but not at all spongy; it still has lots of toast texture, and deserves a big thumbs-up on that. A side order of Chipotle Sausage ($2.50) is nicely cooked, crispy outside and juicy inside, although the chipotle flavour is vague at best (this sausage, in other words, didn't make it into the chipotley crue).
Count on a chill, friendly vibe and a tasty meal; Saving Grace is definitely a solid Toronto brunch spot. The restaurant is unobtrusive from the street, so if you're the one giving directions, be specific- otherwise, your friends will pad up and down Dundas like lost kittens 'til you play cellular telephone triangulation and rescue them.