Bloor Street Diner (Sunday brunch buffet)
The variety of food items for brunch is great for the price (especially with brunches costing 10-15 bucks at nearby diners now). You even get juice/coffee included. When I go, it's usually with family members who like familiar brunch food. The food itself isn't spectacular - but it's good by buffet-with-steam-table standards. They have carving and omelette stations that tend to be popular, as well as plenty of salads. The highlight is probably the table with the salmon, cheese and chocolate fountain. Most of my brunch tends to focus there. The only things I find consistently not worth eating are the eggs benny, especially if they've been sitting in the steam table for more than a couple of minutes.
If you're looking for higher quality food, my go-to is Fire on the East Side, about a 5 minute walk away. If you have a group and need variety, then Bloor Street Diner is great for that.
Bloor Street Diner
55 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M4W1A5, CA
re: Underdog Rally
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The last time I went, I remember them having 3 cakes out (one chocolatey, one vanilla and one caramel glazed, I think) and a few bite sized pastries. I don't know if they make these in house, but I wasn't too impressed. Most of the dessert section is taken up by the fountain and all the chopped fruit/marshmallows for dipping, so there's only a few square feet left for other desserts.
The bite sized selection was similar to what you'd find at a buffet like Mandarin. Little cream puffs, brownies, butter tarts, etc.
If you google "Bloor Street Diner" and look under images, you can actually find some pictures of the various tables.
We tried this place after reading a few reviews. To start, the restaurant opened at 11am (a bit later than 11am) and the food was already fairly cold! Perhaps the food was prepared too far in advance, or the warming trays were not working properly, but we were extremely disappointed. It was the first comment we made when we sat down to eat … we took a bit of the food and just looked at each other and said, “Why is the food warm, and not hot?”
We were the first couple at the buffet stations so I don’t understand why the food was lukewarm at best. The yolks on the eggs benedict (which don’t fare too well on a buffet in general, except at the King Edward Hotel which is a different price range and restaurant category all together) were already cooked and not runny, and the sauce had dried up. The potatoes were barely warm. The omelets were dry (I’ve had this experience at other buffet stations as well) and in my opinion, it comes from either an imitation egg mixture, the high temperature on the cooking element, or over-cooking the omelets. I had even asked the cook to undercook mine!
The french toast and pancakes (not good quality at all), were also warm. The bacon was chewy (and I don’t mean in a good way). The roast beef was also quite chewy, but to be expected when it’s not Prime Rib, which they would only serve at higher end hotel brunches.
The mac and cheese lacked cheese, and the chicken was dried out. The chocolate fountain was ok, but the marshmallows were definitely no name brand, were stale and hard, and had a very strange taste. The coffee and tea could also have been hotter.
I would say the only thing that was enjoyable were the cold salads and the baked ham. The baked salmon (room temperature) was moist and the cookies were good. The mini individually wrapped sugar cubes were cute! I’m really trying to find something positive to say.
In our opinion, for a brunch of $21.95, we expect a bit better quality food and definitely warm to hot food at the very least.
I can understand if we came later, but we were one of the first guests in the door and at the buffet stations.
Our regular brunch spot is the Hot House Café (not an extraordinary buffet, but we enjoy it) and my husband regretted not going there, but I had wanted to try the Bloor Street Diner.
I’m sure others have had a more positive experience but I could not in all honesty recommend this place, nor would I ever go back.