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May 12, 2011 08:48 AM

Cardinal Rule on Roncesvalles Ave - Anyone been yet?

Read about a newly opened (late April 2011) restaurant/diner on Roncesvalles and was wondering if anyone had checked it out yet. Supposedly very vegan/vegetarian friendly.
They have their menu up on their website:

Cardinal Rule
5 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R 2K2, CA

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  1. We went for brunch on Easter weekend. Service was a bit slow and the basic 'eggs, toast and bacon' breakfast was a bit bland. However, the latkes were simply fantastic and the gluten-free pancakes were a really cool twist on breakfast. Love the decor too, totally fits the neighbourhood. The women who run the place are charming too. Very welcome addition to Roncy!

    4 Replies
    1. re: slradcli

      Sounds worth a try, for sure. Thank you!

      1. re: soytoy

        Had the Caesar Eggs Benny today. Eggs poached in clamato and pickle relish instead of hollandaise. The meat was a capiocola I believe. I thought this was a hit. I had to try it despite the unlikely ingredients and was very pleased that I did. I found the latkes to be too heavy to thoroughly enjoy them but was happy they weren't greasy at all. I think the latkes would do better if cooked with onions rather than leeks and if the potatoes were grated more fine.

        The coconut quinoa pancakes were a real hit! If you like coconut, you should love these! Amazing how tasty and well made they were and not overly sweet. If only they had real maple syrup rather than corn syrup as a topping.

        Coffee was decent to good but nothing to go back for. Laid back mixed crowd.

        1. re: justsayn

          Corn syrup? Really, that alone is enough to make me say no thanks. I don't know any chef who would proudly have corn syrup as a pancake topping. That's so sad.

          1. re: JennaBean

            Apparently for an extra $1 you can have real maple syrup, huh.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. We went for brunch this past Saturday. I should start out saying that I never try to judge a restaurant by its brunch offerings alone.

        On the food side we had 1 hit and 1 miss. The burger was a hit, although we were split on the merits of including the latke ON the sandwich. The "hawaiian stuffed french toast" was a definate miss. unispired french toast stuffed with a 1 1/ 2 of slices of peameal, swiss cheese instead of the advertised mozza (good sub), but the reason for us ordering it was the mention of 'homemade pineapple chutney"-what arrived was a ashen 1/2 slice of tinned pineapple. These items did not come with any side-no salad, home fries, fruit or anything. Add a beer, coffee & tax...$37.

        Service was another matter. We came in just after 'the rush' . Walk in, greeted right away (have a seat anywhere-I'll be right with you). Well the right with you ended up being about 5 minutes of us looking around and staring at each other while the greeter chatted it up with someone at the bar. The other server realized our wait and brought menus and asked if we'd like anything to drink, we asked what they had as there was no beverage menu in evidence. Beverages came quickly and replenished as requested. The food arrived in good time (see above for thoughts on that) but nobody came back to check on the food....the busboy took the plates away once we were done. We had to ask for our bill, but nobody seemed to care about our experience there-so we didn't share. Left 15%, reviewed the posted menu-just in case we got the 'chutney' thing wrong-we didnt.

        I am not sure if the Now review brought in a huge business or the wrong element or what ever. We are local to the hood, we aren't hipsters, we didn't look like the staff and the hipster clients...maybe we were pegged as food tourists....maybe this is just how it is...

        Went to Liberty Bell Bistro and had a way better experience on Sunday.

        I wouldn't hurry back, I might give them another try-maybe for dinner but not for brunch.

        Cardinal Rule
        5 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R 2K2, CA

        7 Replies
        1. re: ingloriouseater

          Read the NOW review and was looking for something new. It would seem to me a cardinal rule of running a restaurant would be to listen to your customers, or at least look like you were interested in the results. On a quiet Tuesday around seven pm, we and two other tables occupied a former greasy spoon. Ordered the roasted beet salad and the meat muffins as an app, and the brisket panini and the BLT panini and a side fo fries which looked good at the next table. The beets in the salad didn't have any "roasted " flavour, could have been out of a can and nuked. The meat muffins were amusing to look at, but the phylo container fell apart instantly with no real meat flavour. The brisket panini had some sort of slimey sauce which made everything slip out. Menus had no mention of beverages of any kind. Cash only which can be a pinta. Wirdly there was no tax on th ebill. Overall, gave the impression the owners and staff were just playing restaurant, no real knowledge or expertise. I give it six months tops.

          Cardinal Rule
          5 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R 2K2, CA

          1. re: ingloriouseater

            Ate here on the weekend.
            Rather uninspired food - I will echo a previous review about the pineapple french toast - tinned pineapple -really??? There was very little pineapple chutney with the toast - just merely okay. My partner had the Caesar Eggs Benny which were very disappointing. First, the eggs were cooked solid - absolutely no runny yolk whatsoever. The flavors did not really work together. Needed a sauce of some kind.
            Great service - very friendly.

            Cardinal Rule
            5 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R 2K2, CA

            1. re: pagogo

              Yes - been a few times now and can't get excited about the place.

              1. re: pagogo

                Agree about the caesar eggs benny. Sounded good, tasted like rubber pickles.

                1. re: pagogo

                  I had Sunday brunch there last summer around June or so and was satisfied. I had the hawaiian stuffed french toast with an extra side of bacon, and was actually very impressed. The pineapple chutney was definiely fresh cut pineapple so Im not sure if its just seasonal when they can get fresh pineapple or what has changed, and I can understand that with canned pineapple the result would be a fraction as good. Hopefully they fix that back up.
                  $4 for a side of bacon seemed a little steep but it went so well with the french toast, peameal bacon, pineapple, and syrup I'm willing to look past that.
                  My girlfriend had the breakfast pie and really enjoyed it.
                  Breakfast x2, coffee, an orange juice and a pint of beer, came to around $40 which seemed like a fair deal. Haven't been back since though as I dont make it down to the Roncesvalles area often as I should.

                  1. re: Honto

                    they told me that they didn't get or buy fresh pineapple and didn't make the chutney as a result. the admitted to using the tinned pinapple-i told them that they should say they are out of the item rather than sacrifice quality and their standards-obviously they haven't as later posts show. i find it odd that they talk a great game of their standards and no substitutions policy as they don't want to change their vision but then they make this very poor substitution-their vision and standards really can't mean that much to them....i have given them 4 opportunities and will not give them more. i will be happy when they leave the neighborhood and go crawling back to mr. greenjeans for a job again.

                    1. re: ingloriouseater

                      Being able to see into the kitchen from the front window as you walk past has been enough to deter me from ever going in. They must also be concerend that 4 or 5 new places have opened on Ronces in the last few months that are more attractive options.

              2. I was going to post about this in its own thread based on what I read in NOW but based on what I have seen here doesn't look like it is worthy of its own thread. I will probably pass despite the heavy discount as it seems like it has been a mediocre experience for most.

                Regardless, teambuy has $12 for $30 worth of food/etc :


                Buy before end of May 30, 2011. Good until April 2012

                1. Been a few times. Good vibe, friendly staff and vegan food. Vegan is hard to come by so I'll take it wherever I can.