Friday, March 20, 2015

Le Petit Déjeuner: Belgian-Style Brunch

There’s no mistaking the location of this little cafe on a quiet Sunday. The crowds stretch outside the door, eagerly awaiting for booths to open up as satisfied customers leave with contented smiles and full tummies. Le Petit Déjeuner is definitely the place to be on King East for brunch, and countless others know it, so be prepared. Once inside, the place charms, with high ceilings, exposed brick and walls painted in a kaleidoscope of crayola colours. The seating is comfy with bright green booths and wooden tables crowned by funky red and yellow light fixtures. The staff are warm and welcoming and the menu offers an extensive selection of brunch and breakfast favourites, including six kinds of light and crispy Brussels-style waffles, five types of 'Eggs Benny and Friends', an assortment of crêpes and omelettes, as well as fluffy and delicious eggy fried bread — aka french toast — organic berry granola and plenty of delicious side dishes such as potato rösti, peameal bacon, homemade sausage terrine, fish cakes and bagels with cream cheese. A hidden gem in the St Lawrence Market neighbourhood, Le Petit Déjeuner is also open for lunch during weekdays with family-style roast dinner every Sunday night.

The quaint colourful and comfortably casual interior of Le Petit Déjeuner

Quirky 1950's-style lighting and assortment of flea market finds add a whimsical ambiance 

 An extensive list of coffees, loose leaf teas, hot chocolate, chai and apple cider make a heartwarming start to breakfast or brunch

Three Cheese Omelette with swiss, goat’s and cheddar cheese mixed with fine herbs and served with toast and apple coleslaw

Eggs Benny with pea meal bacon, potato rösti and apple coleslaw

Mixed Fruit Salad

Eggy Fried Bread with caramelized french toast with fresh fruit, maple syrup and chantilly cream

Eggs Benjamin 'Florentine' with house-smoked salmon, spinach, potato rösti and apple coleslaw

Buttermilk Apple Pancakes
Serves 4
Recipe courtesy chef Johan Maes

1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 Golden Delicious apple, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 tsp unsalted butter
4 tsp icing sugar
Maple syrup and butter for serving

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk, then add to the flour mixture along with the apples. Quickly stir to form lumpy batter, being careful not to over mix.

Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat until hot. Swirl in 1 teaspoon of butter into the pan. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to baking sheet and  keep warm in preheated 275°F oven. Repeat until all the batter is used up, and serve sprinkled with icing sugar and little pots of butter and maple syrup.