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Cora's - worth visiting?

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mimiwhite Dec 18, 2006 08:41 PM

Cora's just opened in my neighborhood and I would like to give it a try. What's best to order?

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  1. kawarthagirl RE: mimiwhite Dec 18, 2006 08:42 PM

    Is that the breakfast place? We ate at the one in Belleville. Not bad. Not great. ...

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      paper_bag_princess RE: mimiwhite Dec 18, 2006 08:45 PM

      Cora's is ok. It's always busy and its expensive for what you get.

      But they use a lot of fresh fruit which is nice. If you want crepes, which is their specialty, there are better places.

      1. chefbec RE: mimiwhite Apr 22, 2007 06:59 PM

        I really enjoy the eggs benedict with brie and mushrooms....very yummy. If you're looking for just a bacon and egg breakfast get the Cora's Special 2-eggs, 4 slices bacon, 1 sausage, a slice of ham, homefries, 1 small crepe/pancake and toast. Very filling! The fresh fruit is usually very good too....most breakfasts come with either a fruit garnish (2-3 pieces) or a good amount of fruit.
        I also enjoy the Creton....it's a pork meat pate from quebec. I like to spread it on toast. They serve it with a side of mustard which I don't bother with.
        I'd recommend going...I've always enjoyed it. It recently came to my home town, so now I don't have to wait for my summer trips to Belleville to enjoy a good breakfast!

        1. l
          Lotus Seedling RE: mimiwhite Apr 23, 2007 06:41 PM

          Truthfully, I think it's hard to go wrong there... it's standard breakfast food. As one of the other posters said, not bad but not great. It's like a more upscale Golden Griddle. Beware the line-ups though. The one downtown always has a line up but parts of the restaurant were empty. Felt like they were trying to generate more buzz than they actually had.

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            hipfunkyfun RE: mimiwhite Apr 24, 2007 05:46 AM

            it is a typical chain restaurant. mediocore food, but lots of it. nothing special.

            1. redhead RE: mimiwhite Apr 24, 2007 07:34 AM

              Last time I went (not really by choice) I had the eggs benny with mushrooms and brie (see above comment) - pretty good - but I don't know...to me there is something dirty about the place...maybe cause it's soooo busy..not relaxing at all. I prefer my brunches to be quiet, slower paced and more "adult" This is a great choice if you have kids, but if you don't, or are not really used to being surrounded by them, it can be quite overwhelming - however - the different locations might have different atmospheres...

              1 Reply
              1. re: redhead
                Wiley RE: redhead Apr 24, 2007 06:26 PM

                I've found the service to be friendly at the Newmarket location, line-ups on wknds, and a place that serves so much fresh fruit can't be all bad...

              2. Teep RE: mimiwhite Apr 24, 2007 08:56 PM

                It's more for the fun than for the food. The menu is huge and I always find it hard to decide what to have.

                1. Das Ubergeek RE: mimiwhite Apr 24, 2007 08:58 PM

                  Moi, j'aime bien manger chez Cora. I don't know -- perhaps it's all the fruit. It's totally normal breakfast food -- nothing special -- but I always enjoy it when I'm "au Canada atlantique".

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                    chephy RE: mimiwhite Apr 27, 2007 11:08 AM

                    I went once, to their Wellington location. Nothing really great. The mound of fresh fruit WOULD have been nice, but most of it was not even ripe! I just picked out the grapes (those were sort of ok) and the (tasteless) strawberries.

                    Given the crowds, I won't be back. I don't understand why the crowds, but I'm kinda glad people go there, leaving better locations a little less busy. *wink* ;-)

                    1. icey RE: mimiwhite Apr 27, 2007 11:39 AM

                      Personally, i've had a ridiculously awful experience at the woodbridge location....dirty cups and utensils brought to the table, rude, rude service, undercooked potatoes, raw tasting pancakes....i have nothing good to say about that location. However, the one on blue jays way is not bad, (nothing to write home about though), and apparently the one at steeles and dufferin is great. But im hesitant to go back. Maybe your neighborhood one will be good.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: icey
                        red dragon RE: icey Apr 27, 2007 11:44 AM

                        Similar experience in Mississauga and at Steeles/Dufferin location. Service was not good at all, potatoes were as Icey said, undercooked and everything was just greasy. Toast is not toasted very well at all, despite asking for it to be more toasted, heavily buttered, after asking for lightly buttered. OJ is concentrated from what I saw from the jugs .... Price is expensive in my opinion and fruit was not ripe. I won't be back but hope you find better luck as well in your area.

                        1. re: red dragon
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                          foodmaven RE: red dragon May 1, 2007 06:21 PM

                          I've had similar experiences at the Ottawa Rideau St. location - repeatedly giving regular instead of decaf coffee, rude service, not bringing what was ordered. I sent an email after the fact and received an extremely rude reply. I've had fine experiences at the Blue Jays way location as well as the Mtl ones.

                      2. MiniMom RE: mimiwhite May 2, 2007 04:39 PM

                        When they first opened in TO years ago i went..one of the worst experiences dining out ever. Service was horrible, the tea decanter (bottom just shattered when picked up) broke all over one of my friends and not one staff member was concerned about it, fellow diners helped us keep from getting burnt & cleaning up the mess. But when the local one opened up I thought i would give it another chance...overpriced, slow service, mediocre food & line up out the door. Will not give it another shot.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MiniMom
                          Das Ubergeek RE: MiniMom May 2, 2007 05:00 PM

                          You know, I haven't been to a Cora's outside of French-speaking areas (Quebec and Moncton, specifically), but my experiences have been much less dramatic than what I'm reading. I wonder if the franchisee in Ontario has training problems?

                        2. Klumzee1 RE: mimiwhite May 2, 2007 05:01 PM

                          As has been stated the basic breakfast is pretty good. I was fortunate enough to have had a good experience. The fresh bread really stood out for me. It was pretty cool when I was expecting Denny's and I found it was more like that little family owned breakfast place I used to go to when I was younger. You know, the one that had the egg, bacon, coffee special when you really wanted hair of the dog...

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Klumzee1
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                            artificialard RE: Klumzee1 Jan 27, 2008 12:36 PM

                            Went to the downtown location (off of Skydome and the Soho Met) on a friend's recommendation today for brunch, in short - good for a chain-restaurant but there are more interesting alternatives in downtown Toronto.

                            Had to wait 20 mins (and there's no waiting area so even with 4-6 parties half the time we had to wait outside. Decor has that faux-country style look but a pleasant enough with the large window front to let light in.

                            Our server came and brought drinks quickly enough, but the wait for food was unreasonably long, even for a completely-full brunch place on Sunday. I know it's not going to be super-speedy but I go all over even to smaller places for brunch and our wait time of more than 45 mins. seemed unreasonable. We tried to get our server's attention but she was just too busy, it would've been nice to know she was aware that we were waiting that long...

                            Food was good enough, I had the 'Rosemary's Sunday' which was 2 eggs, bacon, blueberry crepe, homefries, and toast (~8.5$). The eggs which I asked for scrambled with some cheddar (+2$!) were actually really good, fluffy, cheese melted in nicely but the crepes were a disappointment; they were just two thick slices of the crepe batter with blueberries mixed into it almost like blueberry pancakes but using crepe batter. Either the crepe batter just wasn't good or the thickness of it made it taste gummy, gluey, and doughy. Latte I ordered was adequate but a little light and not piping hot.

                            It depends on how you look at this place: if you compare it to other places such as Dennys or Frans then I think it's actually the best chain-breakfast joint. The food is decent, fresh, and a little interesting. But the long wait time for OK food and considering there are so many other brunch places in Toronto where you wait less, have more personality, better food, more unique choices wouldn't lead me to recommend them.

                            1. re: artificialard
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                              rbc RE: artificialard Jan 28, 2008 01:14 PM

                              For breakfast, especially on weekends, I'd much rather go to Golden Griddle. As stupid as it sounds, it's the same ambiance (read: screaming kids, lots of noise), less schtick and the same food for about the same prices.

                              1. re: rbc
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                                artificialard RE: rbc Jan 28, 2008 02:38 PM

                                As blase as I was about the experience, I found that Cora's had better food than the Golden Griddle - simply fresher fruit, more attention to eggs, presentation, etc.

                                They do seem to be well-run so it could've been just our table (actually 2 people that came in 5 minutes after us and sat beside us finished like 1/2 hour earlier but of course that just served to annoy us more).

                                It's a perfectly serviceable place for breakfast food - I just like seeing out more independent or unique brunch places.

                              2. re: artificialard
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                                paper_bag_princess RE: artificialard Jan 28, 2008 01:24 PM

                                I'm really surprised at the length of time you waited for food. I live walking distance from this location and have been there many times.

                                My biggest complaint about the place is that they rush you in and out since they always have a massive line up out the door.

                                Must have been an off day.

                            2. c
                              CaymanSS RE: mimiwhite Jan 29, 2008 08:48 PM

                              Coras is ok thought it was better in Montreal, U can't go wrong with Frans

                              1. w
                                waky RE: mimiwhite Jan 29, 2008 08:55 PM

                                (I have not read others statements before posting - these are my opinions)

                                Hailing from Montreal, I've been to Cora's, and Beauty's, and Brown Derby, and Snowdon Deli, and Schwarz's, and Magic Pan, and Chez Grandmere, and Crepe Breton, and Eggspectations, and all the other brunch/breakfast places so popular in that city.

                                Cora's is allright, especially if you have children who have never seen a crepe, or been offered chocolate and whipped cream as a main dish. And yes, people line up in Montreal for Cora's, but there are much much larger line-ups at many other brunch places....

                                The fruit is decent, but you won't get the ripest fruit as a rule - few restaurants can afford to pick and keep large quantities of completely ripened fruit.
                                Berries and citrus do need the sugar, cream, and oil to help mask the tartness from being not fully ripened, but it is provided (that's a *good* thing).
                                Because of this, you may not enjoy a plain fruit salad without something to chase it with (like cottage cheese). If you're used to picking and eating not-so-ripe fruit, or tart things are what you like, you'll be happy. Otherwise, consider fruit as a side only.

                                The egg based mains are decent - nothing that can't be found elsewhere, but the presentation tends to be nice at Cora's. If I have to go to Cora's, I will always choose an egg main, as do all my meal companions who have been to Cora's - the newbies tend to go for the crepes and sweets.

                                Crepe-wise, Cora's does not compare favourably to a proper creperie. If you had a top notch crepe suzette or crepe st-jacques recently, and want to taste that again, don't expect it at Cora's. The crepes are slightly cooked batter, with a bland flavour, but with the fillings that are offered, you won't find them disagreeable.

                                Overall, it's a nice chain place for suburban Toronto, average price for average food, good for kids who like picture menus and sugar. If you live anywhere with neighbourhood/independent brunch places, Cora's is not worth the trip. If Golden Griddle and Denny's are what you want, Cora's can top them.

                                Personal tip: avoid the buckwheat crepes - I first had this over a decade ago, and while healthy perhaps, it tastes like brown packing paper, and is almost as dry. Why they still have this on the menu baffles me.....has it improved??

                                1. w
                                  waky RE: mimiwhite Jan 29, 2008 08:59 PM

                                  I just read the reviews previous to mine. It looks like I took what many said, and put it in one post!!! Funny.
                                  Looks like there's a lot of agreement, which I didn't expect.

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