Everybody wants to have a neighborhood joint where they know your name. Someplace with a great atmosphere, superb staff that become like family, and of course, great food. My friends Zuzu and G have such a place in The Cadillac Lounge (affectionately known as The Caddy). It’s where they go to chill out with some drinks after work, people watch over the course of a lazy Sunday, listen to some great live music – hell, it’s the place they got hitched at! I’d love to have a place like this in my neighborhood. It was a pretty unanimous decision that this is where I’d be dining out my first night in Toronto.
A new chef was in charge and the menu had been revamped from simple diner food to gourmet diner food. Don’t mess with classics is what I say, but I still had to give it a go. I best be happy with what I get, though as rumor had it that the new chef is a bit on the didactic side and would not permit any substitutions with his food.
Zuzu: Vegetarian Burger. Vegetable patty, grilled vegetables, tomato, red onion, artisan bread. Side salad.
Mister G: Three Cheese Grill with Fries. Swiss, smoked cheddar, provolone, tomatoes (he got it without tomatoes), onion, bacon, artisan bread.
Myself: Baked Crabby Mac n’ Cheese. Crab, roasted grape tomato, broccoli, and macaroni in a rich creamy cheese sauce.
Verdict: I would have swapped tomatoes/broccoli for mushrooms/peas or mushrooms/asparagus. The tomatoes are too close to the texture of macaroni and cheese to be complimentary. Otherwise, I loved it.
Spice was there with us and ordered a veggie wrap. They gave her poutine, which went against her no-land-meat & Kosher diet, so it had to be returned. Our server was not the best of listeners and was painfully slow. As neither Zuzu nor G recognized her, we assumed she was new and in training.
The following Sunday, G and I returned to the Caddy for the famous Sunday brunch. The Cadillac Lounge patio is something to marvel at. It’s a split-level deck nearly as large as my apartment. Unfortunately I was unable to obtain really good shots of it, but this is the ideal space for people watching on a lazy weekend day.
G went with The Standard – which I don’t know if it’s called this all over North America or strictly Canada but it’s your basic two eggs, toast, bacon and potatoes kind of breakfast.
For myself, I had a tough time deciding (as I usually do when it comes to breakfast food) but finally settled on the Eggs Benny Hill: Two poached eggs with grilled back bacon on an English muffin, drizzled with Hollandaise, served with home fries and fruit. It was the “back bacon” that reeled me in; though I don’t consider myself a bacon connoisseur, I do love to try the various cuts of meat different countries have. Plus, the whole “what the hell really is Canadian bacon?” Well, it’s this hunk of meat:
Just look at those slabs! They’re thick and meaty, almost like a pork chop and definitely not at all what we refer to as bacon (streaky bacon) here in the USA. Crazy bad for you and even crazier delicious. The home fries were yummy as well.
Would I return to the Cadillac Lounge? Yes! There just wasn’t enough time to enjoy the other menu items that caught my eye (Andre the Giant French Toast, Fat Elvis’ Favourite, chicken wings)
Would I recommend the Cadillac Lounge? Absolutely. It’s a great place to have a cold drink, an above average meal and either hang out and relax or enjoy one of the many live entertainment options they have on any given night. The serve may be a little slow going at times, but it’s all definitely worth the wait.
The Cadillac Lounge
1296 Queens Street West
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