Saturday, April 14, 2012

Brunch with Dear Friends

Never a bad way to start a weekend. Sarah and I met with my long-time friend Louise and her partner (I was going to say "boyfriend" but Weezie hates that word and I'm kind of afraid of her, a bit...) Michael downtown today for some conversation and nosh before Michael had to hop a flight back to the old sod. It's always terrific to see him, which we don't get to do often enough. To be fair, though, it's exactly the same with Weezie and she lives nearly 6,000 km closer. Life's like that, isn't it?

Weezie and Michael at my 50th birthday party last spring

We went to the Pickle Barrel in the Atrium at Yonge and Dundas and had a really wonderful booth in a very quiet part of the restaurant. Sarah and I were pleased to see that they now offer an "All-Day Breakfast" there but it made less of a difference to our dining partners as they were still recovering from - as Weezie put it - "three hours of perpetual gustatory orgasm" the night before (they did a food-tasting and pairing in the evening), as well as the hotel breakfast that was "foisted" on them this morning. Troopers that they are, they didn't make us eat alone. Bless 'em for that!

Have to say, though, I wasn't all that impressed with the actual food. I've always enjoyed eating at the Pickle Barrel (although I've been most often to the original location in North York) but the breakfast I had (scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, chala, latkes and fruit) was, at best, pedestrian. At least it was hot, the service was great and the company was really the only reason we were there in any event. But I think, given my "druthers", I'll not likely be back soon for brunch there. Just a few small blocks away there is a Sunset Grill (Richmond and Yonge) which is so much better for breakfast - but that's all they do, so it makes sense.

We had forgotten that the Parkway is closed for the weekend until it was almost time to leave home. I was quite concerned that this would triple or quadruple our drive time (we can be at Dundas & Yonge in under 15 minutes on a "normal" day) but thankfully we know enough of the "back roads" that we were able to wind our way down there in around a half an hour. I was actually quite surprised to see how little traffic there was on the alternate routes - and the parking garage in the Atrium was practically empty at noon. That can't possibly be a good economical sign. We got home really quickly, too. A bit spooky, actually!

All in all, a terrific way to start a weekend. Hopefully we'll catch up with them again when Michael is back on this side of the pond in a few weeks. (21 days, but who's counting? Well, he is, for sure.)

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