The Gladstone Hotel
The Gladstone Hotel vies with the Drake for the title of coolest hotel in town (or at least along Queen West), and at any given time it's hard to tell who's winning. Faced with the high ceilings and well-decorated atmosphere of the Gladstone's café on this sleepy Sunday, we just might have give them (and their cool lamps) our vote.
Its low-key, high-art atmosphere will appeal to anyone looking for an escape from their daily routine. It's also full of light, which makes it the perfect way to wake up gradually. The music in the background tends to be upbeat and energizing, completing the morning vibe.
(They also provide a lot of prosecco in their mimosas if you're looking for that brunch buzz--after watching the servers make them, we regretted not splurging as well!)
One big advantage (for Tatiana, anyway): most options that include bacon or another meat can be made vegetarian by including smoked tofu instead (yum!). They're currently switching up their menu to include more regional and seasonal variations, so stay tuned for more changes as they determine what vibe they're going for.
My favourite dish at the Gladstone was their amazing caramel bread pudding, and that's why I wanted to go there today. When I saw that it was no longer on the menu, I was devastated (#firstworldproblems, I know).
I got their Breakfast Sandwich instead, and it proved an acceptable substitute. The in-house cheddar biscuit that formed the base was soft and crumbly, and the smoked tofu (substituted for the usual bacon) added an unusual note. (They also gave me sriracha for my home fries--always welcome.)
However, other than that the sandwich wasn't particularly noteworthy. Given the Gladstone's artsy reputation (they were hosting a record sale as we ate! What's more artsy than that?) I was expecting something out of the ordinary, and it failed to deliver. It was good, but since the sandwich didn't have anything other than the traditional tomato + egg + lettuce combo aside from the tofu, it was a little too standard for me.
Overall: good, but nothing special
I wanted to see what the combination of the Benedict sauce and the smoked tofu was like, and was not disappointed. Joined with the spinach, they made a good combo, particularly with the addition of the flaky cheddar biscuit as well.
The inclusion of the applesauce (presumably as a dipping sauce for the home fries) was intriguing, and provided a welcome note of sweetness as a counterpoint to the salty home fries and savory Benedict sauce. However, much like Tatiana thought, it could have been improved by really making the dish more distinctive (particularly for the price).
The Gladstone Hotel brunch at a glance:
- You can find their menu here
- Good for: groups or couples
- Parking: on the street only (unless you're a guest)
- Most options can be made vegetarian or vegan-friendly
- Takes reservations
- Brunch hours:
- 8am-4pm Saturday and Sunday