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Black Hoof Cafe - Review with Pics

flying101 Mar 14, 2010 12:04 PM

Went for brunch yesterday... kinda sad since apparently today they are launching some new menu items that I would of loved to try. But no complaints from the menu on the day we went, just means I have to head down again soon :p

started off sharing the Ploughman's Breakfast:
This was an assortment mixed charcuterie and two types of cheese (one aged goats milk, one soft cows milk), mustard and pickles (gherkins, carrots and spicy cauliflower). The meats where tasty as per-usual, the cheese where outstanding, the creamy soft cows milk one (for get the name, but both were from quebec). The mustard for one of my fellow diners was to strong in vinegar, but I rather enjoyed it as it cut the fat/creamyness of the meats and cheeses very well.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lricharz/4429738267/in/set-72157623489189703/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lricharz/4429738603/in/set-72157623489189703/

Mains:
Blood Susage and Crepes
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lricharz/4430506134/in/set-72157623489189703/

Tongue Grilled Cheese
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lricharz/4430506406/in/set-72157623489189703/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lricharz/4430506762/in/set-72157623489189703/

Hoof Hash:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lricharz/4430507080/in/set-72157623489189703/

Eggs Benny:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lricharz/4430507410/in/set-72157623489189703/

The eggs on all dishes were perfectly poached, the sandwich was not as filling as my friend wanted (lucky we got the shared dish prior), the biscuits the eggs benny were served on were slightly on the hard/crusty side, but when used to soak up the hollandaise it was perfect.

Long wait to be seated (as expected with such a crammed space and no reservations... but once seated serves was polite, knowledgeable and attentive.

Came to about $25 a person after tip with no alcohol

Also was able to pick up a platter for 'take out' that I served at a friends party.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lricharz...

  1. j
    JennaBean Mar 15, 2010 11:14 AM

    Thanks for the review and pics! Just wondering how much the take out platter was and how many people did it serve?

    3 Replies
    1. re: JennaBean
      flying101 Mar 15, 2010 02:15 PM

      Take out platter was $50... it came with:
      12 different types of curred meats (including their blueberry bison)
      1 piece of terrine
      2 cups of duck liver mousse
      2 kinds of mustard
      Pork Rinds
      Assorted pickles
      Full loaf of bread

      served around 10-15people in the end (not everyone at the party was very adventurous)... did end up getting some leftovers that I am still munching on, probably could of served up to 20

      the price point was by my choosing, so it isn't a set amount. I am sure if you email Grant you could find something that suits you best. He is very approachable and replies quickly to his email.

      you can find it on their twitter account
      http://twitter.com/TheBlackHoof

      1. re: flying101
        j
        jamesm Mar 16, 2010 06:24 AM

        Those pictures are fantastic and that take out platter looks like a pretty good deal. Looks like Grant is pretty much doing everything right.

        1. re: flying101
          j
          JennaBean Mar 16, 2010 10:10 AM

          That seems like a great deal for the quality of product! Thanks very much for the info.

      2. BusterRhino Mar 16, 2010 09:15 AM

        About 8 of us when to the Black Hoof 2 months ago (right before they opened the second location across the street). I won't go into what we ate, all I can say is we were all very adventurous that night. Would I go back - damn straight I would. Excellent food, great price point. We live in Oshawa with 2 kids so it's not an easy go for us. The friends we went with from TO have all been back - numerous times to mention really.

        Is the wait worth it - we waited 1.5 hours in the FREEZING COLD - I would do it again!

        2 Replies
        1. re: BusterRhino
          haggisdragon Mar 16, 2010 09:56 AM

          Next time walk east for about 5 minutes and have beer in The Press Club while you wait. It will be warmer!

          1. re: haggisdragon
            BusterRhino Mar 16, 2010 11:35 AM

            We were actually going to do that - and we should of. The wait was only supposed to be about 20 minutes but the 2 parties that were there took longer than expected. Was worth it though 100%.

        2. j
          JPJ Mar 16, 2010 11:36 AM

          Thanks for this. The takeout platter is a great idea. Got to say I loved the Hoof but had no plans of returning as it's not 1-2 hour wait good for me personally. Not to mention my experience was similar to your review, all the charcuterie was awesome good, but some of the surrounding players were not up to snuff. Knowing I can get just the meat without the wait...priceless.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JPJ
            flying101 Mar 16, 2010 03:14 PM

            For the black hoof I would suggest either aiming to arrive JUST at 6pm, or every 2hrs post 6pm to get the shortest wait (so 8pm, 10pm, 12pm... last call for food on thurs-sat is 1:00pm+) 10pm-11pm being your best bet for a table in my experience, I have never had to wait more then 15min at those hours but maybe I am just lucky?

            the cafe for brunch is a diff story, expect a wait on the weekends... but they do take your number and give you a call so you can leave and come back.

          2. h
            Hmm Mar 16, 2010 04:00 PM

            I was planning on sneaking here for lunch during the day on Thurs or Fri. Anyone know how busy the cafe is on weekdays?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Hmm
              l
              lightbulb Mar 19, 2010 08:42 PM

              Paid a visit this past Thursday; arrived at 11:30, open tables. During our yummy meal, steady but never long lines.

            2. c
              Calam1ty Mar 20, 2010 05:15 AM

              I have yet to try Black Hoof or the Hoof Cafe but plan to shortly. If I had to choose one, which would it be? One thing - on a recent trip to Lille, I went to La Part des Anges http://auxplaisirsdesvignes.com/menu-la-part-des-anges-restaurant-bar-cave-vin-lille-59.php - seems the presentation is lot messier in Toronto and in Lille, the bread kept flowing. Someone talk up the Hoofs to me, please! http://www.flickr.com/photos/jan1ce/4... for my Lille experience - the MIXTE

              -----
              The Black Hoof
              928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

              3 Replies
              1. re: Calam1ty
                b
                bytepusher Mar 20, 2010 06:39 AM

                You want to go to the Hoof. Remember the Cafe only serves brunch and "snacks" not the full dinner.

                If I comparing your pictures to what I have been served at the Hoof it is not messier, remember the plloughman's lunch in the original review here is NOT the same as the charcutarie at the main restaurant. I will comment that the one thing I found a little silly here is that they charge for bread.

                1. re: Calam1ty
                  flying101 Mar 20, 2010 11:32 AM

                  The black hoof is only open at night 6pm+ the cafe serves brunch, and after 6pm serves 'snacks'

                  1. re: Calam1ty
                    flying101 Mar 20, 2010 04:19 PM

                    Here are some pics so you can compare the charcuterie at the black hoof... it doesn't come with cheese or bread (both you have to pay separately for $15/25 for the cheese $4/6 for the bread if I can remember the prices)

                    Here are some photos (sorry for the poor images of the charcuterie plates, it is very dark and me lens couldn't fit the whole board in 1 image)
                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lricharz...

                  2. j
                    Julia_K May 28, 2010 11:15 AM

                    I've been looking forward to going to The Hoof Cafe for quite a few weeks. Well, actually The Black Hoof was on my list first, but after reading articles about long wait and no reservations The Hoof Cafe seemed a little bit more accessible. We got there just a little after noon and were told that the wait is not too long. We chose to wait on a bench outside the cafe, which in retrospect was not such a good idea since the "not too long wait" took about an hour. Even though it was our first meal of the day, we were not too hungry; we enjoyed the weather outside and watched a few guys running back and forth across the street from The Hoof Cafe to The Black Hoof carrying bags of spinach and other foods.

                    Sign
                    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4034/4647476378_883ed5c531_o.jpg

                    The place is small, only about 6-8 tables and a bar that seats around 8-10 people.
                    Decor
                    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4033/4647468824_74155afa5f_o.jpg

                    The service was nice although maybe a little bit on the slow side. The stuff was very knowledgeable about the menu and we were explained in details how everything was prepared. There are no menues, everything is written on blackboards.
                    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4040/4646852577_014c4d6858_o.jpg

                    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4035/4647477330_a834dfe48c_o.jpg

                    We started with their Charcuterie platter - Ploughman's
                    Except for Prosciutto on top and Cheese, everything else was housemade. Blueberry Bison was amazing, as well as Capaccola. I was not overly impressed with Duck Prosciutto although it was still very nice. Lightly pickled vegetables contrasted really well with the saltiness and fattiness of the meats. It was a great sample platter and I am definitely going to return if only just to have that again.
                    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4003/4647468588_4c7f193433_o.jpg

                    My boyfriend had Beans & Links, i.e. Baked Beans with Tongue, Homemade Sausage, Perfect Egg (which actually was a problem since he doesn't like runny eggs and he was not asked how he likes it to be cooked) and Fried Greens (I think it was Collard greens but I am not sure). I tried the beans and really enjoyed the flavour, but he was really unimpressed by this dish.
                    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4014/4646853365_ec4c00d05b_o.jpg

                    I had Eggs Benedict which was absolutely amazing. Nice soft biscuits piled with the most tender and flavourful pulled pork, topped with perfectly poached eggs and covered in really nice a little bit tangy sauce. One of the best egg dishes I've ever had!!!
                    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4004/4646853517_39c5872136_o.jpg

                    Coffee was served in French Press
                    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4054/4...

                    -----
                    The Hoof Cafe
                    923 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M6J 1W2, CA

                    26 Replies
                    1. re: Julia_K
                      jlunar May 28, 2010 12:22 PM

                      I really liked their Spicy Summer sausage off of the Ploughman's! I also really liked the Bacon and Egger recently. Did a huge Hoof-a-thon. late lunch at the cafe, dinner at The Hoof, and then breakfast the next day!!

                      1. re: jlunar
                        j
                        Julia_K May 28, 2010 12:27 PM

                        Spicy Sausage is the red one on the right in my picture? I really liked that one too.

                        How was Bacon and Egger? Was it filling enough or one might want to have something else?

                        1. re: Julia_K
                          jlunar May 28, 2010 12:38 PM

                          Definitely filling enough. It's the thick-cut bacon that they use and an egg per half-sandwich. I'll have photos up sooner or later... But one is enough, especially when supplementing it with a shared ploughman's.

                          Quite tasty and currently my favourite on the menu. I hear they're changing it up soon though.

                          ---
                          http://www.foodpr0n.com/ -- food. is. love.

                          1. re: jlunar
                            j
                            Julia_K May 28, 2010 02:02 PM

                            I'll wait for your review.

                            I really want to go back there but my boyfriend was discouraged by somewhat smaller portions, so I am not sure when I am going to be able to visit the place again.

                            1. re: Julia_K
                              g
                              ggom1 May 31, 2010 06:44 PM

                              I've got a photo of the bacon and egger here (and a photo of the pig-shaped summer sausage lol!):
                              http://welovebrunch.blogspot.com/2009...

                              To say I loved it is an understatement. Good to know it might get pulled from the menu soon - I'm going to see if I can grab another one (or two...) before it's gone!

                              1. re: ggom1
                                jlunar May 31, 2010 07:32 PM

                                I'm so mad that there was no summer sausage left ;;_;;

                              2. re: Julia_K
                                jlunar Jun 6, 2010 11:59 AM

                                The Bacon & Egger – so good that I had it two days in a row. Thick-cut bacon, topped with a fried egg, sunny-side up and some greens. Sandwiched between soft Calabrese bread, if I recall correctly. Decadent and delicious. Comes sided with lightly-battered onion rings. Really tasty.

                                Really, it's my favourite breakfast sandwich right now!
                                Photos: http://www.foodpr0n.com/2010/06/06/ho...

                                1. re: jlunar
                                  g
                                  ggom1 Jun 7, 2010 04:51 PM

                                  The side of bacon photo on your blog - what's the liquid it's sitting in?

                                  And wow, that's a lot of charcuterie lol! What are they selling now? It looks like a few new items since I went.

                                  1. re: ggom1
                                    jlunar Jun 7, 2010 06:17 PM

                                    I'm not sure - that one wasn't mine and it wasn't someone I felt comfortable ninjaing some from. :) However, they liked it but didn't comment on if it was sweet/salty, so I'd imagine it was bacony juices.

                                    1. re: jlunar
                                      jlunar Jun 8, 2010 09:54 AM

                                      I take that back! It's maple :)

                                    2. re: ggom1
                                      pinstripeprincess Jun 7, 2010 07:43 PM

                                      pork belly pastrami sitting in a maple syrup sauce - a little buttery to me. i got 3 pieces, not sure if one is hiding underneath in the photo, and as a side at $4 it is a must get.

                                      not sure when the bacon and egger made it onto the menu, but they mentioned the menu was switched up this weekend and it wasn't on the board.

                                      1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                        g
                                        ggom1 Jun 7, 2010 07:48 PM

                                        Mmmm I was wondering if that was maple syrup. But sad that the bacon and egger is off the menu! :( Any standouts on the new menu?

                                        1. re: ggom1
                                          pinstripeprincess Jun 7, 2010 08:30 PM

                                          i had a very minor sampling.... part of a food tour day... so other than the pastrami i tried the grilled octopus with ndjua (sp?) which was quite nice though the octopus obviously not the freshest (a TO issue in general) and they've finally got control over that nudja (sp?) spiciness which was sauteed with pieces of pork. it also had potatoes and a delicious burnt lemon sauce. quite liked the summer salad with peas, shaved asparagus, dehydrated ... proscuitto?, butter lettuce, etc though i didn't feel it needed a truffle gastrique... something sharper maybe mustardy would have worked better for me. finished it off with the salted chocolate cookies... more reminiscent of a two bite brownie because of its fudginess and only the tiniest hint of salt which i appreciated the restraint of - seemed like the salt was in the chips. i could eat those things forever! btw the savoury dishes were stunning... i love that plating in toronto really seems to be taking a turn for the better.

                                          really wanted to try their hay ham (another side for $3!) which is braised with hay and then something else is done to it.... but will have to save it for another time along with the crown bacon (didn't get an explanation) and blood sausage & crepes. those were the only items i could identify as new but it's been a while since i had gone.

                                          1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                            Notorious P.I.G. Jun 7, 2010 08:43 PM

                                            Went in this morning and had the Octopus as well. I was pretty stoked on it. Got the pig tail and grits and their BC Spot Prawn special of the day.

                                            I'm going back to order the entire menu.

                                            1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                              pinstripeprincess Jun 7, 2010 08:48 PM

                                              did you find the octopus a bit mushy? other than that i think it was a great dish. also good to know brunch is available monday morning, i always assumed it was just thurs-sun.

                                              1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                                Notorious P.I.G. Jun 7, 2010 09:00 PM

                                                My Octupus was very nicely cooked. Sous- Vide then grilled maybe? Too bad about the mushiness...

                                                Yeah, I never think to check and today it just sort of popped into my head as somewhere I'd like to try if it where open. Lo and behold...

                                                1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                                  g
                                                  ggom1 Jun 8, 2010 09:40 AM

                                                  Ooo sounds like the same octopus we had - it was on the Black Hoof menu over the May long weekend as a special. The server mentioned it was cooked sous-vide.

                                                  -----
                                                  The Black Hoof
                                                  928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                                                  1. re: ggom1
                                                    jlunar Jun 8, 2010 09:56 AM

                                                    Oh! Are you guys talking about this one?
                                                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/4...

                                                    I really liked the toasty garlic bread bits. Thought the Octopus was fine when we had it.

                                                    1. re: jlunar
                                                      g
                                                      ggom1 Jun 8, 2010 10:00 AM

                                                      That's the one I had! We had the pork shoulder too but only with asparagus - yours looks so much better.

                                                      1. re: ggom1
                                                        jlunar Jun 8, 2010 10:24 AM

                                                        I was there over the long weekend too - that particular set is a mashup of two visits. So I had that asparagus + pork shoulder and the other pork shoulder a week later. I did like the latter one better - but how could I not? Morels!

                                                      2. re: jlunar
                                                        pinstripeprincess Jun 8, 2010 10:51 AM

                                                        it doesn't look like the same dish save for the octopus main ingredient.

                                                        nduja sauteed pork pieces, octopus, fingerling slices, some greenery i don't recall, and a burnt lemon sauce. no bread. it's an aesthetically stunning dish with all the colours.

                                                        1. re: jlunar
                                                          Notorious P.I.G. Jun 8, 2010 10:53 AM

                                                          Plated differently but could be...did yours have the Nduja and Lemon sauce?

                                                          I think the highlight for me was still the Spot Prawns with Morels.

                                                          1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                                            jlunar Jun 8, 2010 11:27 AM

                                                            I had the spot prawns, but no morels!

                                                            And mine did have njuda and maybe the lemon sauce - it's a bit of a blur now.

                                                            PSP > mine was pretty identical, except I don't remember the lemon sauce.

                                                            1. re: jlunar
                                                              pinstripeprincess Jun 8, 2010 11:31 AM

                                                              funny, it looks pretty different... yours with ramps, mine definitely not.... octopus was grilled but did not have any sauce all over it.

                              3. re: Julia_K
                                a
                                alvar Jun 15, 2010 09:58 AM

                                Am planning to go check out the Hoof after all these great reviews. I know it opens at 6pm, how early should I arrive on a Friday afternoon to get a table (for two)?

                                1. re: alvar
                                  jlunar Jun 15, 2010 10:50 AM

                                  Unless there's an unusual flood of people, at 6 is more than fine for 2. Especially since their back patio is open now.

                                  I arrived with my party of 6 at about 5:45 and there were two small parties ahead of us. By the time they opened their doors, there were two more parties behind us (one larger one).

                              4. g
                                ggom1 Jul 13, 2010 09:33 PM

                                If anyone's curious, I took a photo of the fried chicken special - http://adventuretess.blogspot.com/201...

                                They're serving it on both Sundays and Mondays. Pretty good, I liked the hot sauce a lot. It's a big dish, if you're splitting it between two people I think you might be too full to order any of the other dishes (they have takeout containers though, if you want to pack up leftovers).

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