The Bloordale Pantry
1285 Bloor Street West
brunch for 2 with all taxes, tip and coffee: $40
A lifetime ago, I lived at Bloor and Lansdowne in an old warehouse space (which is what we called old warehouses before developers renovated them and put in marble counter tops and stainless steel appliances and called them “lofts”). It was a rough neighbourhood, and one of the roughest parts of it was the greasy spoon on the corner where locals bought $2 beer and did their drug deals.
Twenty years later, the corner of Bloor and Lansdowne, while still gritty, is the latest area to see improvements to businesses and services. There’s now a handful of decent restaurants and cool shops, co-existing peacefully with Indian sweet shops and African spice stores.
And that scary diner on the corner that I was never brave enough to set foot in is now a bright, cheery, hip little space with new (retro-looking) decor and a really decent brunch menu.