Blog No. 348
You’re going to have to stay with me here, because this one is personal and may not make sense to some folks. Sundays tend to be a day for me to get things done. I’ll have stuff piling up all week and not enough time or energy to do the little things. Things need cleaning, desks need organizing, clothing needs to be folded. Sometimes I work on Sundays and that’s that. It gets skipped or whatever. Sometimes I work Saturday nights until three in the morning and I sleep most of my Sunday away. I’ve made it clear that I love my breakfasts. Sundays aren’t always a good time for a solo guy to venture out into the wild to find some eggs and bacon (or sausage if I’m lucky). The later in the day I start my search, the more the obvious options fill up. Plus, I have things to do back at home. When that happens, I get creative in what I consider breakfast. That leads me to a breakfast burger.
Breakfast Spot Seven: Barrel House
I’ve mentioned Barrel House in this blog in the past. It’s one of my favourite go-to restaurants in the city. Sometimes I go there because I’m craving something specific on the menu, sometimes it’s because I’m not sure what I want and I know I’ll have a bunch of good options. It’s the place I inevitably go with groups of friends when we can’t decide where to go for a meal. There’s always something you’ll enjoy at Barrel House. They have my favourite burger in the city. Anyone you choose there is good, since the patty itself is where the magic lives, but I tend to go for the Benny Burger (and not just because of the name). It’s essentially Eggs Benedict on a burger and that counts as breakfast for me. They’ll even serve you a cup of pretty good coffee.
You have to take into consideration the atmosphere and the time they open (as early as 11am on a weekday and 11:30 on the weekend). It’s a bar. There are going to be people there drinking and being loud (yes, even at 11am most of the time). Sometimes you’ll get lucky and it’ll be quiet for a while, but if you’re there during the football season, forget about it. I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m a counter guy. That goes for bars too. When things start to get busy, the seats at the bar fill up quickly. Many of those folks tend to be smokers, so after they go out for a puff, they drag the smell back in with them. For non-smokers, that can be a real stomach churner. It’s not every time, but again, football season increases the potential for that.
The place is generally clean, though, and the servers and bartenders are friendly. The kitchen is open to the rest of the restaurant too (just behind the bar and in the corner) so you can watch your food being made (a bonus for an overly concerned eater like myself). As I said a bunch already, everything I’ve had to eat there has been either good or great and the portions are generous. It’s not the cheapest place to go, but it’s definitely worth the cost. The Benny Burger (sans hollandaise sauce for me) requires two hands to hold. The large patty is topped with a mound of ham and a fried egg. Napkins are a must. Pair it with a tatter tot poutine (that’s kind of like hash-browns, right?) and that’s a breakfast (or lunch, or brunch) to write home about. Just be ready to have to work to get your bill. For some strange reason, it takes a long time to get it, no matter who’s working.
I give Barrel House a star for being a good place to go on Sundays, one for the best burger I’ve had, a third for having coffee or beer as options, and a fourth for also having the best poutine (tatter tot or fries). They lose a star for having to fight to get the bill. It’s not the end of the world, but I’ve got the rest of my Sunday chores to do, ya know?