Jack and Lil's Commissary
Jack and Lil's is a South-African-inspired catering company known for once doing brunches on Dundas West.
There's no indoor space to speak of at this laneway commissary project, but you can still get lots of the Jack and Lil's cafe fare you know and love to-go.
The operation runs Gold-Standard-style, coffee and snacks obtained from a small window. The only seating is a small outdoor bench.
Egg bites are $3.25 or two for $6, kind of like the sous vide egg bites at Starbucks but better.
They're taller and fluffier, and come in a house tomato chutney and parm variety, or a bacon and fried onion kind brushed with schug, a fiery Israeli hot sauce made with mustards, herbs and lime.
Seed bread toast ($4.50) made from scratch and filled with lots of tiny crunchy seeds is topped with obligatory avocado or ricotta and chives.
For the avocado, the creamy fruit is smashed and accompanied by bright, fragrant coriander seedlings as well as a little more of the spicy schug.
Biltong is sliced fresh for $8.50 per 100 grams, a type of South African beef jerky obtained from a local family-run South African butcher that's very chewy, fatty and oily, yet oddly addictive.
For lunch there are two bowls ($13.50), one a crunchy noodle bowl with slaw, herbs, vermicelli and peanut sauce.
A Buddha bowl has ancient grains, roasted kale, a seed mix, currants and tahini. Both come topped with your choice of either chicken or tofu.
A banana tahini muffin ($4) is topped with a heavy coating of sesame seeds that helps bring out a little more of the subtle nutty flavour of the tahini.
A zucchini loaf ($3.75) crumbles to pieces a bit in my hands, but is quite nourishing, flecked with tatters of zucchini.
A "Morning Crunchie" ($3.50) is basically a very dry, hard granola bar made with rolled oats: I'd probably stick with the muffin out of the three, but all would make easy quick breakfasts.
Drip coffee starts at $2.50 and can be served in a reusable mug handmade by a South African artist, beans obtained from local roaster de Mello Palheta. Alternative milks are available.
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Jack and Lil's Commissary should be open year round despite its outdoorsy location.