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Review of brunch at Vivetha (Yonge/Lawrence location)

TorontoJo May 21, 2011 07:13 AM

Sing hallelujah and slap me silly! A decent weekend breakfast/brunch option has finally opened in the Yonge/Lawrence neighbourhood. I was really excited when Hazel's Diner opened up a couple of years ago, but I found the quality went downhill pretty quickly and that straying from a basic bacon and egg breakfast was a bad idea. So I had pretty much given up trying to have breakfast in the area and inevitably ended up downtown. In another post, I described how I noticed Vivetha just a couple of weeks ago and wondered when the heck they had opened.

They open at 8am on Saturday and Sunday, which is a rarity and a welcome change. Turns out they opened in that location in January, which apparently means I don't eat in my own neighbourhood very often. The space is quite small, with a total of about 8 four-tops, which I imagine they separate into two-tops when they need to.

This morning I had the wild blueberry pancakes, which includes two large pancakes full of wild blueberries (yes, the nice small ones) topped with an unsweetened apple compote, two sausages and three slices of bacon. DH had the "Beach scramble" (a nod to their original location) which consists of a large portion of scrambled eggs and corned beef hash (with the potatoes shredded and the corned beef julienned instead of cubed). We both enjoyed our breakfasts. DH found the corned beef a bit too lean and thought the hash would have benefited from a bit of extra fat. I personally liked the leaness and dryness of the hash. My pancakes were good. Not fantastic, but good. I found the apple compote an unnecessary flavour note and would have preferred my pancakes without it so I could enjoy the taste of the blueberries on their own. The bacon was of the super thin variety, so that was a bit disappointing, as I like my bacon thick and meaty. But the protein portion was plenty generous with the inclusion of the two fat sausages.

I thought it was unfortunate that the syrup was chilled. I hate putting cold syrup on hot pancakes. But it's a minor quibble.

Service was friendly and coffee refills arrived regularly. DH said the coffee was very good.

Our two breakfasts, plus one coffee and a side of toast came to $21 before tip. Really reasonable for that area (and cheaper and better -- so far -- than Hazel's Diner just up the street). Our breakfasts at The Fry Basket, a greasy spoon at Yonge and Steeles have been the same price or more expensive, so Vivetha feels like a pretty good deal. I wouldn't call it a destination brunch, but it's a very, very welcome addition to the neighbourhood.

I'm looking forward to trying dinner there. It would be nice if this could turn into a non-Italian neighbourhood restaurant for us.

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  1. prima RE: TorontoJo May 21, 2011 10:58 AM

    Awesome.

    2 Replies
    1. re: prima
      prima RE: prima Oct 8, 2011 09:01 AM

      Finally got around to trying Vivetha for brunch. I think it's the best brunch deal in town.

      I tried the brunch combo- which included a slice (2 halves) of their Grand Marnier-infused French toast (made with Challah), topped with toasted walnuts and caramelized peaches (expect a warm peach sauce made of sliced, cooked peaches, not peaches that looked caramelized), a blueberry pancake, 2 eggs, 2 sausages, 3 slices of bacon, and maple syrup for $10. Lots of food. Next time I return, if I'm not in the mood for eggs, I'll probably just get the blueberry pancakes with bacon ($8 IIRC).

      I'm happy that the Vivetha kitchen is willing to make substitutions and omissions. I'm saying this, because some places serving brunch in North Toronto don't seem to even be willing to make omissions, let alone substitutions. I didn't feel like the eggs that came with my combo- so I ordered the combo without the eggs. Just to clarify, it's the same price if you ask for no eggs, which I expected, and which I'm fine with, especially considering how much food is already on the plate. I didn't want the eggs to go to waste. Everything was fresh-tasting and the portions were generous. Each brunch plate was garnished with a slice of orange, pineapple and canteloupe.

      My friend ordered the potato pancake platter, which came with 2 large potato pancakes, with smoked salmon, apple sauce, sour cream and 2 eggs, which was priced at $11.

      Most eggs benedict-type dishes and omelettes were in the $8-$9 range, which is extremely reasonable, especially for Lawrence Park.

      Coffee was $1.75. Very friendly service. Our order arrived less than 10 minutes after it was ordered. Very happy that they're serving breakfast at 8 am on Saturdays. I'll definitely be back.

      Thanks for the heads up, TorontoJo!

      1. re: prima
        TorontoJo RE: prima Oct 8, 2011 09:35 AM

        My mother-in-law had that combo a couple of weeks ago -- it's HUGE. And a total deal, particularly for the neighbourhood. I really like that their fruit compotes are not overly sweetened. Glad you liked it, prima!

    2. g
      girlstar RE: TorontoJo May 24, 2011 03:06 PM

      Where at Yonge and Lawrence is this? The link took me to the Queen address. Would like to try something good given a mediocre experience at Uncle Betty's and Miller Tavern was okay buy didn't find food that hot from the kitchen.

      -----
      Miller Tavern
      3885 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4N 2P2, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: girlstar
        TorontoJo RE: girlstar May 24, 2011 03:51 PM

        3334 Yonge St. Across from The Abbott Pub.

      2. p
        peppermint pate RE: TorontoJo Apr 16, 2012 10:11 AM

        I'm a fan.

        I knew I'd be up in the neighbourhood this weekend and I took a glance at this board, figuring I'd have to choose between mediocre brunch offerings (I will happily be corrected but I'm generally of the view that great midtown brunch is an oxymoron). Anyhow, I saw this thread and figured it was worth a try.

        Holy crap - seriously good food, seriously insane portions, seriously great value. Really generous and tasty eggs benny with a side of potatoes, peppers and onions, some salad and a nice portion of fresh fruit - for 8 frickin' dollars! Eggs vivetha was a riff on the benny, this time with sauteed mushrooms (shitake, I think) and sauteed spinach in place of the meat. Great kids menu options - eggs benny or french toast with milk or juice for $6 or a burger or pasta or chicken strips with a drink for $7. I wasn't wowed by the pancakes and the coffee was just okay but apart from that, great meal, friendly service and no sticker shock at the end. They also have an extensive menu of lunch options, including many gluten-free offerings, so the breakfast-leaning and lunch-leaning brunchers will all have a lot to choose from. It's a pretty small room so I wouldn't rush up there with a large group but for 1, 2 or 4 - highly recommended. Thanks for flagging this little gem for me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: peppermint pate
          TorontoJo RE: peppermint pate Apr 16, 2012 10:27 AM

          Glad you liked it! And yeah, I seriously wonder what kind of profit margin the owners make, because their portions are so generous.

          Vivetha is definitely a good standby for me and like you said, a great value!

          I just hope that the breakfast waitress learns to smile one of these days. :)

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