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Mar 8, 2009 12:07 PM

Excellent brunch at School Bakery & Cafe

Following a less-than-stellar early brunch at Le Gourmand on Yonge St., my friends and I decided to try to make up for it (and ease our unsated souls) by heading down to Liberty Village to give School a try.

Glad we did! The place had a lineup almost out the door, but we decided to wait the 30-40 minutes it took for a table. The service and professionalism were evident the minute we entered and were offered, by chef/owner Brad Moore, a smoothie shooter as a token for waiting.

Chef Moore appears to have trained his chefs, wait staff and hostess extremely well. The service was delightful, and Chef seems to have a good pulse on the goings-on. Aside from offering the shooters, he's doing the expediting for the open kitchen and working the dining room, as well. There's an easy, laid back attitude among the staff -- no one's stressing out or sweating in the least, although they're extremely busy (Corey Mintz wrote a review in yesterday's Star).

We had the 4-cheese omelet souffle, which was fabulous and which came with a great pepper scone and wonderful white-and-sweet potato home fries; the SBC eggs benni, which were served with fabulous double-smoked bacon on biscuits, along with a perfect Hollandaise and the same home fries. The runny-egg-wary friend ordered well-done scrambled eggs, which came with bacon, a biscuit and home fries.

School is only open during daytime hours for now. Their lunch menu looks very appealing, and features all-day breakfast, along with lovely sounding lunch items.

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    1. Thanks Tatai. Moore's been to hell and back to bring us great brunches. Glad he finally has his own thing going on.

    2. Sounds great - thx for the review! Is the restaurant kid-friendly? i.e. accomodating of toddlers and/or infants in car seats

      2 Replies
      1. re: fortheloveoffood

        Although I didn't notice any infants in the restaurant, there were a few tables with families and younger children. And the atmosphere is so laid back (and the tables are not squished together, either) that I don't think you'd be out of place with your young ones.

        1. re: Tatai

          Excellent - will have to check it out soon. Thx again!

      2. Had Lunch there today as well as a few other is was a little hectic as someone had called in sick and they were short...however that still meant a delicious meal in good time...the Bar Tender and Chefs were also helping out at the tables...delivering...bussing ....collecting the was a complete buzz of team work...took home cupcakes...the Take out line was crazy but moved pretty well...Miranda

        1. SBC is excellent; the brunch is great. I've been quite a few times since it opened, and it has never failed to impress. My favourite brunch spot in the city for sure.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tjr

            Had a nice brunch there and since I work directly behind it decided to go in for a take out lunch to bring back to the office. First of all the whole arrangement for take-out is slightly confusing but really not a big deal. I ordered the special lucky seven which is the sandwich of the day and a choice from the soups of the day. Sandiwch was tuna and good. Nice bun, not too much mayo and some nice fennel and capers as well. The soup was a minestrone type deal. I got back to my office, opened it up and started laughing. It is literally several tablespoons of soup served in a medium sized container. It was barely a quarter full. I thought surely it must be a mistake but some so-workers confirmed that it's the standard serving. At least serve it in a smaller container or something. The special also comes with a cookie. If I go back I'm going to ask if I can tarde my cookie for another few tablespoons of soup.

          2. I tried out School today for breakfast. I was surprised at how dead the place was at 9:30 or so (compared to say, Aunties and Uncles) but I guess it's not as centrally located. My only real complaint with the experience was the food took quite some time to come out when it was so empty. We tried the French toast and eggs/potato/bacon or sausage combo. Everything was very good--and love those home fries with the mix of sweet potatoes and normal potatoes. The coffee (Illy) was also quite good and so was the mocchino they made for me (not on the menu but they have espresso and hot chocolate).

            The part that I really loved though was the baked goods part of the experience. I tried a banana chocolate chip espresso "muffin" (it was definitely more in the cupcake category) and it was so gooey and soft and tasty with just the hint of coffee flavour and nice banana. So good! I haven't tried the other chocolaty cakey things yet but root beer chocolate cake sounded too interesting to pass up---esp. with that thick chocolate icing. I did try a chocolate chip cookie (very nice) and a part of the black forest cookie (they are very large) and it was very good--chocolaty, chewy. I may have to drive all the way across town just for the baked goods and just pretend I'm going there for breakfast....

            6 Replies
            1. re: Ediblethoughts

              Since most people work in the area it tends to pick up more for lunch. On weekends it is busy for breakfast and brunch.

              1. re: jamesm

                They were extremely busy for breakfast when I went on a Sunday.

                Service was very good and very sweet. A really fun environment for breakfast and lunch.

                My chipotle breakfast sandwich didn’t really thrill me to be honest. But I’m not a huge fan of cheese and butter and pork when combined like that so maybe it’s more my own tastes than their doing. I felt that it benefitted by a lot of salt+pepper. I also wasn’t thrilled with the homefried potatoes, though most people seem to love them. Again, for me it needed loads and loads salt and pepper and ketchup. They were fine, but I prefer my local greasy food joint’s homefries. My yogurt was really really bad; bland fruit and yogurt in a watery tasteless mess. Although it sure did look pretty.

                My lemon scone was probably the best scone I’ve ever had in my life. It was amazingly awesome. The root beer fudge cake was decent, no root beer flavours to be found anywhere which I’m sure is how it is supposed to taste like anyways. It was fine, but I don’t think I’d get that again. It’s name and concept sounded better than it tasted. Not bad, just not great. Maple scone which I had the next day was pretty good, but not nearly as good as the lemon scone. But it was day-old at that point so not sure if the comparison is entirely fair.

                Although my experience there was mixed I’d like to return and try some other things. Just not sure I’ll be rushing.

                1. re: magic

                  I just tried the root beer chocolate cake and I thought it had a detectable root beer flavour but it helped that I also tried one of the chocolate cup cake thingies also--which is root beerless. The icing on the cake is really good but I wouldn't get the root beer cake again---I just don't think root beer belongs in cake.

                  1. re: Ediblethoughts

                    It's odd, I really didn't get any root beer flavour at all. Just chocolate cake. Hmm.

                    1. re: magic

                      I tried the other part of the CRB cake last night and since I didn't also have the other chocolate cupcake (I think they called it a puff something cupcake) left to provide contrast, it just tasted like chocolate cake to me too. So there you are!