Jack and Lil's
Jack and Lil’s is a catering company operating out of a tiny Dundas West storefront that has expanded to begin serving brunch. They haven’t abandoned their roots, still very much offering a catering-style experience that feels more like a family potluck than an upscale brunch experience.
Dan Gütter runs the front of house operations and hospitality, and all the food is created and prepared by his mother, Lauren Gütter. The place is named for Dan’s grandparents, Jack and Lil, who are from South Africa. Decorative knick knacks previously belonged to or were made by family.
The narrow space is cluttered with them. There’s a large window at the front which opens to let the fresh air in as well as the sights and sounds of Dundas West.
Their Sunday brunch harvest table costs $3.20 for every 100g you load up on in a unique “weigh and pay” system. There are no mimosas or white tablecloths here, but crispy maple and mustard sausages will satisfy the hungover with a combo of sweet, sharp and smoky flavours.
We put together a plate with those, a little tart kale salad with creamy house caesar dressing, a slice of South African seed bread, and top it off with township eggs with a little feta crumbled on top and a hunk of crustless quiche.
The dense seed bread is baked in-house daily and is available by the loaf from the storefront.
The township eggs reminiscent of shakshuka are so named because townships are small shanty towns surrounding larger cities in South Africa. In these poorer areas, labourers used what they had to create recipes. The township eggs use chakalaka rather than stewed tomatoes as a base because of this, and perfectly cooked eggs go well with it.
The crustless quiche has a super simple ingredients list of zucchini, carrot, red onion, squash, eggs and cream. The crustless aspect is amazing, and the quiche is well spiced with nice chunks of tender, mouth-watering veggies, and the outer surface is so well caramelized that you don’t miss any sort of dough.
We also grab a fruit salad of grapes, melon, and pineapple and top with with Greek yogurt flavoured with vodka that’s been strained to thicken it, as well as Lauren’s granola, a super chunky yummy granola made using Lauren’s special recipe.
You can also pick up 175g for $5.
Coffee is provided by Offsite, who also stock Jack and Lil’s baked goods like their tahini banana loaf or carrot creak with dulce de leche cream frosting.
Simple high stools facing a basic ledge are the only real seating provided, but it’s more than enough space to rest your meal, and enhances the communal vibe.