1645 Queen Street West
brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee: $42 (cash and debit only)
I was a big fan of Easy for the first few years after they opened back in 2000 or so. It was a favourite brunch spot for me until an unfortunate incident when a really stupid and obnoxious customer chose to change a baby’s shitty diaper on their table while people around them looked on in horror. Despite the fact that the food was always great, and the service was always friendly, the stupid obnoxious customer really ruined Easy for me, and on weekend visits after that, the restaurant always seemed to be full of kids, which really turned me off.
A recent visit reminded me that the food and service is still top-notch, but the stroller brigade continues to maintain a presence, although patrons with kids don’t seem to let their progeny run around like it’s a daycare centre, as is the case with other brunch places in the ‘hood. The childfree should be forewarned of screeching, but there is a considerably lower risk of coming in contact with jammy little hands. And a change table in the loo has hopefully thwarted any potential for a reenactment of “that fateful day”.
Easy does breakfast, all day, every day, and they do it well. The menu is loaded with classics from various versions of eggs benedict including the sophisticated west coast toast ($12.95) topped with smoked salmon and black caviar, to childhood favourites like toast soldiers ($7.95) or Belgian waffles loaded with fruit ($10.25).
The eggs divorciados ($12.50) is a house specialty and a long-time favourite. Refried black beans and red and green salsa sit atop two sunnyside up eggs, which in turns sits atop a corn tortilla. Garlicky guac, ancho jam and a toasted baguette come along for the ride. The hungry husband orders a side of spicy chorizo sausage ($3.50) and finds it to be too much to eat.
I opt for the steak and eggs ($13.95), something I don’t normally order, but if a restaurant can manage to keep that thin little breakfast sirloin to my specified rare, it’s reasonable to assume that they can rock all manner of other breakfast delights. And I’m not disappointed. This looks like more that the listed 6oz steak, and despite it being thin, it’s juicy and pink inside.
Easy also does rockin’ smoothies ($4.50 – $4.95) and the peanut power smoothie with peanut butter, dutch cocoa, bananas and soy milk is a big old “good morning to ya” in a glass. That is – yum.
There’s lots of great sides as well, from the aforementioned chorizo to toast, jam, fries, salad; everything from extra hollandaise to an “on the side” grilled steak, so while they’ve got a fairly strict “no substitutions” policy, the add-ons make most stuff customizable to fulfil a hearty appetite.
For those that wander in closer to lunch, there’s a handful of sandwiches, with salad or fries, ranging in price from $8.95 to $11.50.
So here’s the real scoop – Easy does breakfast every day from 9am to 5pm, so while this column is called Sunday Brunch – we encourage readers to go check out their tasty offerings on a weekday when it’s quiet and peaceful and the kitchen is less busy. Otherwise be warned that the stroller brigade shows up around 11am, and they’ll give you dirty looks if you take up the big round window table and block the kinderwaggon parking area.