Yasi's Place is a colourful independent cafe/diner just off the beaten path on Wallace Ave, west of Lansdowne. It's the kind of place I can't help but love -- close enough to the railroad tracks that it lacks tourist appeal while also close enough to my home that I can walk there in a few minutes. Self-centered perfection.
Seriously though, despite having lived blocks away for ages, I didn't wander into Yasi's for brunch til just this year. Walking in with friends, I run into a few familiar faces, grab a retro-tastic vinyl seat by the window and am quickly served piping hot I Deal coffee in an adorable "World's Best Grandpa" mug. I feel like a regular already.
After spending far too much time debating the menu and daily specials, we eagerly put in our order.
First up are a couple picks from the daily specials. Pictured at the top, we've got the scramble. Portobello mushrooms, spinach & caramelized onions served alongside potatoes, salad and toast for $8.99. The mushroom/spinach/onion mixes amazingly well with Yasi's signature potatoes. These practically steal the show on every dish. No greasy fries or freezer hash browns to be had.
French toast stuffed with apples and goat cheese ($7.99) is sweet, savoury, and just as good as it looks. The eggy toast is so airy, it's like the apples are floating there. If you catch this in the specials, don't miss it.
From the regular daily menu we try out the Clubsky with a side soup ($8.99). Pretty much a BLT in a wrap, this one brings together grilled free-run chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato & roasted garlic mayo. The warm wrap really hits the spot with tender chicken and just enough of the garlic mayo to be tasty without turning the eating process into a mess.
The soup of the day was a really thick and hearty parsnip offering which I didn't try 'cause of allergies but am told that while it was pretty good, it was just a little too heavy a side in this pairing. With a slice of toast, it'd hold up as a meal of it's own.
Lastly, my pick was the Florentinish ($8.99). A Yasi's specialty, you get two poached free-range eggs on a bed of beautiful baby spinach and grilled polenta, all topped with homemade hollandaise. Loved nearly everything about this dish. The hollandaise was dreamy and dilly, the polenta a nice change from the usual English muffins, and, of course, there were those amazing potatoes again... but there was one problem: Poached eggs cooked all the way through.
The sauce made it enjoyable all the same, but the disappointment of cutting into a poached egg and realizing it's boiled through, makes this a bittersweet pick. I'm not one to send meals back (no need to waste good food over something so small), so I enjoyed them as they were and vowed to give the Florentinish one more try some other day.
Yasi's regular, brunch and kids menus are available on the Yasi's Place website. Brunch is served all day Saturday, Sunday and Monday.