Otto's Bierhalle (or Bier if you look only at their sign) belongs to the same people who started Otto's Berlin Doner down in Kensington Market (and has an equally funky bathroom experience). It's a clean, plant-filled space with long tables, high stools, and big windows, better known for its extensive nighttime beer selection.
Although it was relatively empty when we arrived, it filled up quite quickly. Given the popularity of their bar (and the prime Queen West location), we wouldn't be surprised if it became one of Toronto's latest brunch hotspots. The music they were playing was also distinctly suited to a lazy (and hungover) brunch with friends - it was a smooth mix of old classics and Japanese jazz.
Although they do serve single portions, to get the full experience we decided to order one of their Feast platters and share it. They have four different ones at brunch, and we picked the vegetarian Neuvolken, which featured... well, a lot of things.
This was a lot of food, especially for just two people, which well deserved the name Feast. The menu said it was "good for up to three people", but we'd recommend sharing with three as a matter of course - for two people it was a little much (a splurge both in calories and in price, at 38$). We hadn't realized how large it would be, so Jian also ordered extra halloumi, which (although delicious, as halloumi always is) added to just how full we felt...
...But it was definitely worth it. It felt more like a journey through different menu items than a simple meal, which added to its charm. Plus, everything on the plate was absolutely delicious - and the variety of flavours made it feel as though we were constantly discovering something new.
The portobello mushrooms (one of Tatiana's favourite vegetables) were cooked to perfection, with a hint of sweetness and balsamic vinegar. Another of Tatiana's favourite vegetables, the asparagus, was also lightly grilled and had just the right amount of crunch.
The hollandaise, which adorned both the asparagus and the poached eggs, was also delicious - just the right amount of creaminess with a hint of pepper. Another vegetable of note was the avocado in the salad - too often avocado is a little overripe, but here it was perfect.
Also of note: the potatoes. The fried onions that accompanied them added a caramelized touch of sweetness, and they tasted very fresh and natural. Tatiana wasn't as big a fan of the curried beans, but Jian liked them - they added a nice note of Indian spice to an otherwise more traditional meal.
We finished by nibbling on the parfait, which, although nothing special in itself, provided a nice touch of sweetness to finish off the meal. Ultimately, although we didn't quite finish the platter (we gave up before eating the soft-boiled eggs and all of the toast), it was a valiant effort and a delicious meal.
Otto's Bierhalle brunch at a glance:
- Good for: couples or groups
- Takes reservations
- Some vegetarian options, but mostly meat-heavy
- Brunch hours:
- 11 am - 3 pm Saturday - Sunday