Thursday, 29 January 2015

1951 West Kitchen and Bar

Toast Man was allocated the task of choosing a restaurant this week to try out. He had visited 1951 for another meal, and after hearing that they serve breakfast, he was eager to try it out.

We pulled up nice and early, and were greeted by a lovely woman with a nice smile. She sat us in a booth and brought the menus and drinks. The place was re-decorated to a much classier atmosphere, but still tough enough to withstand family visits. The restaurant is big and laid out enough that toddlers will not be disturbing to others, but nice enough to feel like you're treating yourself to a classy breakfast.

The breakfast menu was on the small side, but compiled of plates created with purpose. There was something delicious to please every palate, and we were eager to dig in.

The food came in about 10-15 minutes, about average timing. The kids' food came first- A nice fluffy Belgian waffle topped with whipped cream and berries. We weren't able to snap a picture before they dug into it, but here is a slightly mangled view of the food while we hold them back for 2 unbearable seconds.

I ordered the 1951 Benedict. An adapted benny, served over french bread and topped with Swiss cheese, roasted peppers, spinach and a poached egg. It was delicious! 

Toast Man ordered the original Benedict. He was thrilled with it as well!

After the meal, the waitress brought over a nice plate of fruit for the kids to munch on while we finished our coffee. 

The staff was great, the food was fantastic, and the decor was classy. The bill was on the higher side, but its a great place to go for a nice family breakfast. I highly recommend it. 

1951 West Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

Breakfast- For better or for worse

As I wrote on the very first blog entry, Toast Man and I decided to begin our breakfast excursions as a consistent tradition. A time to stop and be together as a family, no matter what happens.

Each week we vowed to put down our cell phones and just talk, play, and eat. Each week we were excited about our Saturday morning tradition.

But one week things changed. Our relationship came to an end, due to personal reasons. And we took several weeks away from the table.

But, eventually the dust settled, we resumed once more. Things aren't perfect. We still bicker, and the feelings are often tense, but once more we are pulling it together for that one day a week where our family is reunited, to talk, to laugh, and be together...over toast.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Toast Bags for Sale!

When people hear about this blog, many of them ask how we manage to bring our kids (2 and 3 year olds) to restaurants every week, and actually enjoy ourselves. The answer is: preparation! We usually bring little busy bags with us that are made up of open-ended activities. These games can be played with individually or together, and we use them to spend quality time with our kids, but also to distract them while we have a conversation. Now you can too!

We'll be selling these busy bags soon in person or etsy for $5 (plus shipping if applicable) and they will include 3 activities to keep your littles happy and busy. If you would like to be part of our test group, leave us a comment with your email, and we will be in touch soon!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Heart and Crown (Preston Street)

This morning we chose to eat in Little Italy before visiting the Tulip festival. We found paring near Heart and Soul, which happened to have lots of patio seating available, so the decision was easy!

We were seated at the back of the patio is a nice sunny spot shielded from the wind. What a gorgeous day for a patio breakfast! I asked the hostess for a high chair and she ran to get one, but was sadly never seen again. So our little Toast boy sat in a regular chair. It didn't take long for him to climb down to explore, and as he did, I noticed that there was broken glass everywhere on the ground! We had to make sure to hold him so that he wouldn't climb down again and get cut.

Service was friendly but slow. I was mother's day, though, so it was expected. They did bring out Toast Boy's food first, so we could tell they were trying to accommodate our hungry critters. We ordered the Irish breakfast, Toast Man had the benedict, Toast Girl had Chocolate Chip Pancakes, and Toast Boy had the Irish Muffin. The kids coloured the kids menus while we waited.

Toast Man enjoyed the benedict, and we both liked the marble toast option. The homefries weren't great, the the sauteed onion and mushrooms that were included in the Irish breakfast helped to flavour them when I mixed them in. The kids breakfast came with Tater tots, which were not a hit. The kids ate all of my eggs, and I couldn't help compare the taste of the sausages to bologna. Toast Girl's chocolate chip pancakes didn't have chocolate chips in them, but were, instead covered in a ton of icing sugar. Im not sure if there was a blizzard in the kitchen, or if they were trying to hide the lack of chocolate chips, but as a parent, I was less than impressed. The orange juice was seriously watered down. I think a glass of water with a slice of orange, would give the same taste.

Overall, I was less than impressed. They didn't seem prepared for the occasion, and I would chose many other restaurants over this one, in the future.

Family Friendliness 
Speed of Service 
Food Quality/Taste 

  Heart & Crown on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Grazie (Bell's Corners)

Every now and then we come by a new place that I get super excited to share with everyone. Im very excited about this one. For the past few weeks we have been exploring the breakfast options in Bell's Corners, and noticing how many new signs advertised weekend brunch. One of these places was Grazie, which set up a billboard advertising it by the street. It went in the same strip mall that the Kid Kaf was, but on the other end. When we walked it, it was much more casual of an atmosphere than we expected. Italian names seem to evoke images of fancy table cloths and bring back images of our tots running around while the patrons eyed us uneasily.. Not here. It's casual, friendly, and welcoming. Perfect for families, friends, or anyone who just want to go out for a great breakfast. The restaurant has 3 high chairs and 3 booster seats, but the booths are the perfect hight that the kids didn't need either. They had a tv showing the news, and one other couple who was out for breakfast. I noted right away that the tables could be repositioned to accommodate any size of group, and I will certainly be picking it for breakfast meet-ups for the future. The staff was incredibly friendly and welcoming.

We were even more impressed by the menu. They accommodate everyone, it seems! They had many gluten-free options: pancakes, toasts, cereals, pizza, and entire meals! They offered custom smoothies, and milk options like almond, soy, etc. and they had heart-friendly options including a meal called "The Heart Institute" that consisted of egg whites, fruit, pumpernickel bread, and I believe turkey. They had all of our favourites as well: benedicts, 2 egg breakfasts, pancakes, omelettes, waffles, the works. Not only this, but the prices were incredibly affordable; starting at $4.50 for a complete breakfast WITH coffee.

Toast Man decided on a 2 egg breakfast, I had a benedict, and the kids split the chocolate chip banana pancakes. The food was ready impressively quickly in less than 10 minutes. The first bites were enough to get us hooked. The home-fries were wonderfully seasoned, the fruit was fresh, and the hollandaise sauce was delicious and the pancakes were some of the best we've tried.

We all polished off our generously portioned meals, and my mouth is still watering a few hours later as I write this. I think we have a new favourite and I can't wait to go back.

I love the atmosphere here: bright, open, and welcoming

Eggs Benedict

Pancakes with bananas and chocolate chips

Classic Plus. All this for $5.75 WITH coffee!

Family Friendliness 
Speed/Quality of Service 

Food Quality/Taste 


Grazie on Urbanspoon

Friday, 9 May 2014

Our Top Picks For Mother's Day Brunch

Mothers day brunch has been a long running tradition in our family. As far back as I can remember, these precious Sundays have been spent on a patio in the Byward market. There so many great places in Ottawa to share a meal and a laugh with the most important women in your life. Here are some of our favourites:

Stella Osteria

We spent one mothers day walking around down-town trying to find a restaurant that would take walk-ins, had high-chairs, and a patio, and we stumbled upon this gem. They have a gorgeous rooftop patio/lounge and the food was awesome! We ended up returning the next year again, and it was every bit as awesome.
This year they are serving Mother's Day Brunch from 9am-4pm. Visit their website here and see their menu.

Heart and Soul(Dunrobin)

Nothing says mother's day like eating heart shaped pancakes in an old farmhouse in the woods. This little place is going to be packed, so call right now if you are hoping to get in. The food is excellent, the atmosphere is perfect, and they know a thing or two about catering to kids. Your mom will be very impressed with this choice! Check out our review for more info

Next (Stittsville)

Im hoping that the service here has improved since our review on it last year, because this would make a wonderful spot for brunch. The food is incredible and you get your own personal buffet brought to your table on a big board. The novelty of this unique way of serving and the delicious assortment of items, makes this one of our picks. Check out our review here.


Classy, delicious, and surprisingly kid friendly! They're brunch is delicious, and the place is quiet enough to catch up with your loved ones.  Check out our review here

Baker Street Cafe

If you aren't afraid to wait in line for a while, this place is worth a little wait. We haven't been since before Toast Under The Table was created, so no review yet, but I wont forget the portobello mushroom benedict that I tasted there a few years back. You may want to bring a booster seat with you, since they will definitely be in high demand on Sunday, but they are quite child friendly, once you get seated. Check out their Urbanspoon page for more info.

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful moms out there!