Written by Chantaé Candize
2017 has officially rung in and wow, 6 days in and things are already so bright and promising. Before the 2016 year end, our team shared some new concepts that we are working on for the magazine and here is one of the first segments that I am immensely proud and excited to share; Studio Chantaé: Take In, Take Out.
This segment, SCTITO is all about our favourite, food. We will be doing reviews about restaurants we visit, whether we sit down and eat or get take out or even if I’m whipping up a dish at home with a tall and generous glass of Chardonnay; It’s ALL things FOOD. Hearty meals, traditional Toronto dishes, Jamaican food, desserts, snacks, vegan bites, delicacies from Hong Kong or wherever, whatever it may be, SCTITO is dedicated to anything and all things food.
Our first feature is about Americana diner inspired Toronto joint, Old School, located and Bathurst and Dundas. Located at 800 Dundas West, it’s an easy TTC ride from Bathurst Station, or on a warmer day, a easy 20 minute walk. Situated around several other eateries, Old School is a few short moments from the main intersection reserving a smaller corner.
Old School is an impeccable brunch joint that also offers some dinner options and a ready to shop store of some of their goodies.
Initial thoughts: it’s a cool joint as a black wall with architectural-like designs constructing the overall image and initial vibe of the diner. r old school diner tables with black leather are placed amongst the floor as a small and neat bar is snugged into the front of the diner.
2 steps up, we enter the main dining portion of the diner to solid 90’s Hip & Hop, R&B and soul are pumping throughout the place with this easy yet nostalgic vibes. SWV and Michael Jackson are some classic artist to name who set the tone of the diner. We got seated and everyone in the diner was devouring their meals with smiles of pure and utter content painted across their faces. Excited, I ordered what intrigued me and the most popular item I always see on Instagram.
HOGOTOWN BBQ BENNY – $16
I ordered the Hogtown BBQ Benny and oh man- it was delicious. Included in the Hogtown BBQ Benny is perfected poached eggs garnished with chives as they sit on a generous portion of toasty cheddar biscuits infused with more chives, succulent pulled pork, flavourful potato salad, a healthy portion of greens and to me, the absolute best pat of the meal as described on the Old School website as a, “…spicy hog town hollandaise…”. Spicy is the correct word to describe this rich finish. I’m usually very hesitant of restaurants when they state a meal is spicy because often I feel like the spices are lacking and don’t have that special kick-Let me tell you, Old School got that kick.
My only disappointment with this meal was that the cheddar biscuits were over baked as I wrestled back and forth with my fork and knife to cut through to the bottom of the warm biscuit making it a bit on the hard and sharp side to chew and consume. The poached egg was a bit over cooked on the inside and didn’t ooze as much of the rich golden yellow yolk.
Overall opinion on this meal: 4/5.
Blueberry Hill – $13
I’m going to sound like such a millennial for saying this, but this is the dish that had me intrigued to come and visit Old School as I would always see it all over my Instagram feed. Super warm fluffy pancakes with a generous dose of brown sugar infused, blueberry bits and sauces with healthy portion of brown sugar butter and a power garnish, I was taken away at the first and last bite. It taste exactly how it looks.
My only downfall with this dish was that it was extremely sweet with the pancakes having the brown sugar infused in them as well as being coated with brown sugar butter. I have an extreme sweet tooth but every few bites, I did have to take a break and gulp down my hot cuppa coffee to help even out the taste.
Porky Pig Waffle – $16
My friend ordered the Porky Pig Waffle and he thoroughly enjoyed his meal. Of course, I had to snag a bite out of his plate and this plate spoke to me! His dish was all served on top of a super fluffy waffle with tender pulled pork, coleslaw and beans.
He had no complaints and gave the dish a complete 5/5.
The portions of our meal was exceptional: great enough for you and a friend to consume and feel full until dinner or be like my friend and I, and get ours to go.
It’s such a beautiful, well lit with natural light, clean, yet cozy joint with my favourite genres of music playing in the back that I didn’t even realize we spent two hours there sitting down talking and enjoying each others company.
The prices of the meal were reasonable and well worth it. That’s undebatable.
The service we received that day was average; easy going waiter, patient and quick on his feet.
My overall rating of Old School is 4/5 as it was such a fun space with great food.
I would recommend this amazing joint to anyone looking for a great hearty dish.