The best of the Benedicts: 2006

OK, this will probably be the last "best of the year" list you'll read for 2006, so thank your lucky stars I'm a procrastinator. Over on my own blog, I run a non-regular feature called the Benedict Chronicles, largely because a few years ago I began ordering eggs benedict at every restaurant I visited that offered it. Now, since it's a new year - and it's the weekend - and because I've amassed such a wealth of knowledge on the subject - I'm going to tell you where to get the best bennies in the city.

Health warning: the components of a typical eggs benedict will contain no less than 4 eggs and about half a stick of butter. That's why they taste so good. It ain't rocket science.

The best eggs benedict I had in 2006 was:

Meggie's - 174 Eglinton Ave. W.

This gets a bit incestuous because I only went to Meggie's in the first place because I woke up on one of my rare days off, wanted an eggs benedict for breakfast, and Googled "Toronto eggs benedict" and came up with this post by blogTO's own Michelle. No need to tread over old ground, then, but Michelle was right: this is a freaking spectacular eggs benedict. One look at the gravy boat full of hollandaise sauce and I was hooked. I'm a do-it-yourselfer at heart and the ability to add the finishing touches to my own benedict by way of dribbling golden hollandaise all over the perfectly-poached eggs was an exercise in heavenly excess.

Meggie's puts a lot of store in their garlic fries, and these, too, did not disappoint. An outstanding complement to an outstanding meal all around, at $10.25 the Meggie's eggs benedict is worth every last penny.

Runners up include:

The Homeway - 955 Mt. Pleasant Rd.

This tiny little place at Mt. Pleasant and Erskine just got a Restaurant Makeover and it's pretty spectacular inside. Better yet, the food is really solid; my only complaint was that the portions are a bit small. But maybe that's a good thing in these fat-increasing days.

Eggs benedict at the Homeway is in fact called "Sinful Eggs Benedict," runs eleven bucks, and comes with spectacular home fries. The Homeway also serves Mennonite ham, whose difference from normal ham could not be explained clearly enough for me to understand it, but was nevertheless very tasty.

The Tulip - 1610 Queen St. E.

Like everything at the Tulip, the eggs benedict is greasy as hell. Sometimes, though, that's exactly what you want, particularly on a hangover morning: something so saturated with grease that it doesn't even take much effort to cut or chew. Such it is with the Tulip's benny.

Benedict at the Tulip comes ladled with a generous portion of hollandaise, which is fine by me but may not be for everybody. The home fries are rough-and-tumble chunks of fried potato with no artifice or presentation whatsoever, which - again - goes with the milieu.

Served up quick (if you can get a waiter's attention after waiting fifteen minutes just to get through the door on a busy Saturday morning), the Tulip's benedict is nasty fun.

It's a strange thing, pursuing these lakes of hollandaise, egg, and peameal bacon all over the city and the world - and it causes my mother to go into paroxysms of grief - but as long as there are still eggs benedict out there untried, the adventure continues.

The Benedict Chronicles unfolds non-regularly over on my blog, each and every time I scarf down a benedict anywhere in the world.

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