The Bristol Yard
The Bristol Yard is a quaint British cafe that's located on Christie just North of Bloor. Davy Love--of BlowUp DJing fame--has faded out from the club scene and into the kitchen as owner and chef, and The Bristol Yard allows him to showcase heritage British cuisine from bangers and rashers to pies and crumpets. Unpretentious and warm, don't expect elevated fare, but rather a working class meal that offers the full monty.
Perhaps the recent Olympics 'opening ceremonies caused a hankering for a solid British breakfast (either that, or the bender the night before), but we find ourselves at The Bristol Yard bright and early on Sunday morning in hopes of beating the brunch madness.
The interior marries warm wood with monochromatic seating--black tables and white benches--for an effect that's half old-fashioned diner, and half rustic reclamation. It's a nice change of pace from typical pub decor. Portraits of famous Brits hang on an accent wall, and there's only seating for about twenty, so arrive early to snag a booth as a queue began to form by the time we finished.
The breakfast pie ($12) starts off as a hard boiled egg wrapped in sausage, which is then covered in a cornish pasty. Any pie is only as good as its crust--dense yet flaky, this one was stellar, and rendered its contents a mere afterthought, although it's worth noting the savory sausage within.
Their Bristolian version of eggs benny, Egg St. George ($12), sees two poached eggs atop a slice of back bacon, laid over house-made crumpets. The entire dish is then doused in their own 'Bristol Sauce,' which is similar to a mornay. Albeit just a garnish, the fiery red hot sauce brought together the entire dish.
For good measure, we decided to split the beans on toast ($7) with our choice of either aged cheddar or a blue veined stiltion. The housemade beans are braised to a perfection that clings to the thick slabs of white toast. Definitely not from a can, the beans are a meal unto themselves, and were complemented nicely by the richness of the stilton. Word to the wise: don't skimp on the stilton.
Apparently, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs because we can't resist a Tikka Masal Pie ($5) for the road--these savoury pies are available for take-out as an addendum to your meal.
The Bristol Yard is a stand-out option amidst the city's ample options for British fare, with a jovial atmosphere that's perfectly matched to their comfort food. We're already planning to return for dinner.
Photos by Peter Henderson