Soul Brunch

Harlem french toast

A few of my friends are big fans of the Harlem set of restaurants here in Toronto, so I decided to take my hungry self to Harlem Underground to try their brunch offerings.

I started with the necessary cup of coffee, which, unfortunately, was pretty weak. However, my server was very friendly, attentive and quick. For eats, I went with the Harlem Toast, described as

Thick slices of egg bread filled with whipped-rum soaked raisin cream cheese dipped in a cinnamon scented egg batter

It never seems like breakfast to me without bacon, so I got a side order of that as well.

Let's start with the french toast. Now, this is a personal preference, but I like my french toast to be very moist. That wasn't the case here. When they say "dipped" in the egg batter, they mean it. The toast was too dry/crunchy for my taste, especially around the edges. The batter really didn't even have the opportunity to soak into the interior of the bread.

It was accompanied with the standard maple syrup, as well as a blueberry sauce. The sauce itself was really lovely. However, once added to the toast, it's flavour really got lost, I think, due to the dryness of the toast. I'd say the same about the filling, which is too bad. I was really excited by the description, but the promised flavours never really get a chance to stand out. The cream cheese was more like a thick, plain yoghurt in both taste and consistency, so there wasn't that sweetness I would have expected.

On the up side, I did enjoy the bacon. It wasn't overly salty, and was cooked just this side of crispy.

I think the next time, I'll give the sweet potato waffles a try. And there will be a next time. I've just heard too many good things about this place to write it off after one dish. And I know there are a lot of people who like a drier french toast. (They must, as I find a lot of restaurants don't soak the bread for long enough.) It's just not the one for me.

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