Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Drake Hotel

Hot Stuff
At long last! Drawn and Devoured returns with another weeks worth of delicious restaurant review. This week brought a most delightful brunch from Toronto's famous hotel/restaurant/club/you name it, The Drake. I've been a fan for a while, but it was really fun to go with some people who had never been, to hear what they thought of the food and to try something new myself.
One thing I will always love about The Drake but haven't drawn here is the Caesar. There's more horseradish in that thing than you can shake a fist at. I recommend you make a little detour over to BlogTO for some pictures and an extra-fantastic review of the drink here.

Two of my party of five opted for the manliest thing on the menu. First they mused over the smaller, more typical breakfast plate, but it was the lure of pancakes WITH all that bacon, egg and hash brown that drew them in. By the end I think the Lumberjack had felled them and both plates were whisked away half-done. From my samples and the feedback the ladies were more than happy to provide (I love vocal company!), there are some points of improvement on this platter. First and foremost, that splurge on the pancakes? A bit of a waste. On one plate they were overdone and rubbery. While the other plate had pancakes which were a more ideal golden-brown, they were still flat and bland. Drake needs to learn how to make a fluffier stack! Points go to the big bad plaid for it's crispy, greasy good potatoes, which were hot and fluffy on the inside, and to the mound of bacon heaped on the side. Not shy with the meat! Who's surprised, Drake also runs a barbecue.

I think it's generally pretty hard to mess up a burrito. When you mix all that good stuff together -eggs, potato, cheddar and sour cream in this case- wrap it in soft tortilla and grill until the essence of each ingredient melds together, well, it makes magic. In the Drake's case, they make it stand out by putting fries right in! Or did those potatoes just taste exactly like fries? This baby was on the large side, so bring your appetite if you plan to order it. It also comes with avocado (guacamole, actually) and salsa on the side so you can add them per bite as you work your way through. Oniony, the guac has good taste. Unfortunately the salsa was not as flavourful, lacking any bold choices and tasting like a plain pico- that's just diced tomatoes and onion, for those not in the know.

I present...quiche! Oh, they tried to fool us with clever naming, but when you're baking egg into a pie crust, it's a quiche. I did really enjoy this- the pastry was buttery and flaky, the egg was rich and creamy, full of mushrooms and greens. Ricotta was used in with the egg to give it that lovely extra body and delicious taste. I don't think I really tasted any custard, which is a bit of a shame since it would have added that extra level of interest to what was a perfectly created breakfast. I'm glad the humongous wedge of egg came with a salad sized to match. It worked to clean my palate in between forkfuls, and was also full of yummy red cabbage.

Daniel, Adelle (you should be familiar with her by now!), Lisa, Jane and I are all into coffee in a big way. I think it comes back to Australia- Jane and Lisa are from the java obsessed country, I've lived there, and Adelle has family there (Daniel doesn't have the Aussie connection, but he is awesome anyhow). They know good coffee! Toronto's coffee scene is only just emerging and unfortunately there's little consistency between what passes for a latte or cappuccino here. Order the same thing at different places, and you'll just get a completely different drink. The Drake makes their espresso beverages too watery, and bitter. I know it's not their specialty- but I demand perfection! If you go there, stick to the drip. It's passable.
The Drake Hotel on Urbanspoon

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