02 December, 2011

Breakfast for lunch; an encounter with Lady Marmalade

lady marmalade florentine bennie 10.50   
“blasted” wild pacific salmon sandwich served on “st. john’s” organic white
sourdough w/ avocado, mango salsa, chipotle mayo, scallions & cilantro. 11.95 

Welcome to my first post for the food find Sweet Julienne.  As I sit here writing from my (oh it's so small) Toronto apartment I am nervous to launch this new project because (I suspect) like any chef I want things to be exactly as I imagine (that is, perfect).  And as a writer who usually keeps her writing (mostly) to herself, I am aware that posting here means I am serving up my ideas about food to strangers who may or may not like what I have to say.  However I feel like being especially brave so I'm going to do it anyway...

the food find Sweet Julienne is about discovery and passion. Every meal I eat is an opportunity to be not only nourished but immensely satisfied.  Often it's my own cooking, or co-cooking with good friends or family, but I also really enjoy dining out.  The whole restaurant experience is about a good food experience.  I value the passion infused into the service, what the food looks like on the plate, how it got there, how much I am charged for said food, and of course how it tastes! But the room's ambience or the experience of walking from your table to the restroom matters too.  Simply put, I love to be surprised.

You, the reader/cook/diner, are invited to join me as I explore Toronto (and farther afield) in search of some outstanding food finds.  I hope to inspire you with my discoveries and with my passion for food.

I passed by Lady Marmalade several times on the streetcar, usually careening my neck to take note if there was a lineup (there usually is), having a few seconds to decide if I should get off here and eat or come back later (and eat).  My husband Nick approves of my passion for food and he lets my palate lead us here and there.  So on a day when I was feeling down he only had to text two words to instantly cheer me up:  Lady Marmalade? And so it was on a Thursday in late November we went to have breakfast for lunch.  

The Order:
Me: Spinach Eggs Benny with salad (sauce on the side).  Just water.
He: Salmon mango salad with daily soup.  Canada Dry.

The Wait:
15 minutes

The Food:
Bright, clean, perfectly seasoned.  A few surprises:  the salad dressing was a Thai-influenced tangy type which I happen to love.  Plus there were morsels of red cabbage, which I also love.  The sauce was ordered on the side for no better reason than I like to pour it over the eggs myself.  It's kind of like I'm in the kitchen...?  I can't explain it.  It's definitely not a 'watch your weight' thing.  (I watch it on other occasions.)  The soup was interesting - curry flavours with some tofu.  Everything ordered at neighbouring tables looked equally delicious.

The Ambience:
Boho-chic.  Retro furniture (clean and untorn) with smatterings of funk and contemporary photography (nothing too boundary pushing) on the walls.  The biggest surprise for me was the downstairs hallway and the 'waiting room' set up outside the restrooms.  The guy was fixing something in the ladies so I used the mens.  Often this can be a problem but I was pleasantly surprised to find more funky decor and a very clean room.
(Men's) room decor at Lady Marmalade

Egg searching:
~ 'See, that's not so hard', Deb Perelman
~ 'I must teach you something', Charles Ranhofer (1936-1899)
'An omelette is nothing to make a fuss about', Elizabeth David (1913-1992)