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Reservations for 15 people for Sunday Brunch?

Hi,
I have a friend visiting from out of town for a day, so a bunch of us want to do Brunch to visit with her. While I'm normally game for standing in a brunch line up, there are going to be 15 of us, so reservations are a must.

The only place I can think of offhand that take reservation and can handle a group that large is Free Times Cafe (for Bella Did You Eat). I'd really rather be somewhere without entertainment, since we all love chatting so much. Any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance!
jenn

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Free Times Cafe
320 College St, Toronto, ON M5T1S3, CA

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  1. Brassai has a terrific brunch and excellent service. Even better, 15 can be seated communally there.
    http://www.brassaii.com/

    6 Replies
    1. re: Googs

      Agreed. That's what I was going to suggest too.

      1. re: caddie

        Furhead, how is the brunch at Free Times....I've never been. Like to hear more about it. What kind of entertainment do they have? Or are you referring to the people watching in the buffet line - that's always good for a laugh or two.

        1. re: millygirl

          Milly,
          The brunch at Free Times is called Bella Did you Eat and is a Jewish Dairy Buffet brunch (see http://freetimes.sites.toronto.com/). They have live entertainment on the stage in the back which changes from week to week - always Klezmer music :)

          I've been twice -- once was with my family and some family friends who all speak yiddish the other time was with a group of my friends. Both times we had a great time singing along with the performer.

          The food includes yummy Jewish fare like blintzes and latkes. For my mom, who is a bit of a health nut, there wasn't much to eat. We actually made arrangements in advanced that she could get egg whites. But the brunch didn't have much in terms of other healthy stuff.

          One other thing to keep in mind is it's hit or miss in terms of how busy it will be. I've been where the room is so crowded it's really difficult to get in and out which makes seconds from the buffet a bit challenging. The other time I was there it wasn't an issue.

          Hope that helps!

          1. re: millygirl

            I wasn't particularly impressed by the brunch at Free Times. They did comment that it was a long weekend, so they weren't busy, so there were some items they normally included that weren't on the buffet (though god knows where they'd have put them, since the place is really badly laid out for a buffet). That might also account for the fact that a lot of the things on the buffet appeared to have been sitting out for far too long -- not that they were gone bad, just overcooked and kind of unappetizing.

          2. re: caddie

            Brassaii sounds great. Just called - they said for large groups they like doing a set menu. I'm waiting to receive it via email and then will decide based on that! Thanks!

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            Brassaii
            461 King St. W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K7, CA

            1. re: furhead

              Never heard back from them over email, and as I mentioned we got a reservation at United which we're quite happy with :) Will have to try here another time!

        2. Mill Street Brew Pub can be a good option. It's big, so they should be able to accomodate a large group. Their brunch is standard casual fare which tastes good.

          1. My girlfriends and I have been doing quarterly brunches for several years now. We are usually a group of about 8 and we've had success at the following establishments:

            Epic (in the Royal York)-good service, so-so food
            Wish-great service, solid food, good value
            Thuet X 3-poor service but superb food

            We've been meaning to hit up Brassai, but haven't yet.

            1. I had a good brunch at Milestones (on John St.) a while ago (I am talking 2006). I know, I know, it's a chain but we got good service (the party was over 25 people) and the food was tasty.

              Other suggestions:
              Fressen on Queen St. (vegetarian)
              Bolier Room at The Distillery - they have live jazz but you can talk.

              1. We're going to United Bakers. They don't normally take reservations, but said they'd do it for a big group -- only we MUST be on time.

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                United Bakers
                506 Lawrence Ave W, Toronto, ON M6A, CA

                7 Replies
                1. re: furhead

                  Have you been to United Bakers before? I mean it's fine for Jewish dairy and it will accomodate a big group. I kind of like that kind of place for a weekend lunch. It's completely different than any of the other places suggested/mentioned. I'm just confused, because you were considering Brasaii, which is a completely different world from United Bakers.

                  1. re: pescatarian

                    Bring your earplugs and perhaps football padding (or whatever it's called)lots of undisciplined little kids running around. I love United Bakers but really have to psyche myself up before going for a meal...brunch, lunch, dinner or otherwise!!!
                    How about the Boulevard on Harbord? If you call ahead of time(a couple of days or so) you can have a larger space at the back of the upstairs room.

                    1. re: pearlD

                      Undisciplined kids? Heck, it's the crazed adults you gotta watch out for :) Attempt to budd in line and they'll kill yah.

                      1. re: millygirl

                        I know, I know... UB is totally different. That said, my friend declared a craving for their pea soup - which is fantastic -- and a twister bagel. Who can argue with that?

                        So this weekend we're going to eschew all the downtown joints with their hungover hipsters and head up to Lawrence Plaza to brunch with the octogenarians!

                        We can be a lively bunch (especially when the environment allows [requires?] it), so volume/kids shouldn't be an issue for us. :)

                        But I'm definitely going to try out some of the other suggestions on the thread... Thanks!

                        1. re: furhead

                          <lol> Forget the crazy group inside the resto, watch out for the Indy 500 in the parking lot as everyone juggles for the 3 prime spaces out front, I should have to valk 25 extra feet?

                          1. re: The Goddess

                            That too!
                            Furhead, do let us know how you enjoyed your UB experience.
                            I often do 'take out' from UB and even that process leaves me 'cranky' for days!

                            1. re: pearlD

                              You know what though....furhead is right. Once you get your head around the noise level, etc. and you don't go expecting something other than what it is - the food is very good. Me and my hubby love going there also. Oh I love your post Goddess, you are sooooo right - that has to be one of the scariest parking lots in the city.

                2. I agree with Brasaii suggestion foremost! Thuet is a bit more money and I have never had service issues (many visits).

                  Less costly...
                  The Drake has a very good more traditional brunch and a large spacious room they may allow reservations for. The Drake offers amazing baked goods. Insomnia has great traditional brunch foods also - space enough for 15 - not sure about reserves. Le Select has room and probably takes reserves - it is another tasty spot!