What is a uniquely North American dining experience?
This was the quandary I was facing when a friend, who had been living in Toronto for a year, said she was heading home to Japan. She wanted to savour her last weekend in the city and was hoping for a new experience.
After a little prodding, I discovered that not only are veg restaurants a rare commodity in Japan, but the way we brunch in Toronto is definitely a cultural phenomenon. She couldn’t believe that people would line up for hours on a Sunday morning to partake in pancakes and waffles.
With these important variables to discover I was primed to introduce her to my favourite vegan brunch spot in the city. However, when I arrived there was a sign on the door saying it would not be opening that day. Luckily, our lovely city has quite a selection of options that all provide delicious vegan delights to languish over on a lazy Sunday morning. One of which was just around the corner from my usual. So, Sadie’s to the rescue!
Sadie’s is a little diner-style restaurant. It has a fantastic retro-atmosphere, complete with Pez dispenser collection on display. The walls are lined with dioramas. And the mismatched vinyl-covered chairs transport me right back to my childhood kitchen. The staff are always extremely friendly and don’t have the edge some might presume given the number of tattoos on display. Instead, it is probably one of the most welcoming restaurants you’ll ever experience.
My friend was determined to try a traditional North American breakfast-vegan style. She ordered the vegan french toast, homefries and the vegan bacon strips. The bacon is made by a local company (it is basically tofu sheets with a good dose of liquid smoke). She is not a vegetarian and has not tried faux-meats in the past (tofu does not count). Her description, upon biting into a forkful of tofu-bacon, “it tastes just like bacon”. She loved the french toast and the potatoes. To my surprise she quickly devoured the entire plate.
To compliment all of the beige on her breakfast plate, my brunch companion also ordered a side salad. At Sadie’s it was served up with some mandarin orange sections and crunchy walnut bits.
Sadie’s brunch offerings cover the gamut of what you would expect. There are breakfast burritos, tofu scrambles, waffles, pancakes and much much more. After scouring the menu I decided on some decidedly pedestrian choices. I know its boring but it was what I wanted!