Toronto Bites: Fran’s Restaurant

My best friend Kenneth and I had brunch at Fran’s last Friday morning. We hadn’t seen each other in months because of school, and now that we were both on break for the summer, we were trying to steal time between my internships and his job. It was hard trying to find a time that was good for us both, but when we looked at each other’s schedules, we realized that the only day and time that would be great for a date was Friday morning from 10A-1P. Brunch? Heck yeah, brunch!

Kenn is an amazing person to go out with because the awkward “where do you wanna eat? I don’t know, where do you wanna eat?” dance never happens with him. Once you suggest a place, you go there, no complicated questions asked. Or, say you haven’t decided where you want to eat yet, he gives a suggestion, making the choice easier. Kenn is wonderful at all these social interactions that I have never – and probably will never – mastered.

I haven’t been to Fran’s before, but he had, and the diner was highly recommended. Actually, the moment he said that they served breakfast all day I was sold. I adore breakfast food of all kinds: the various incarnations of the Filipino –silogs, french toast, hash browns, eggs, pancakes and waffles, quiche, bacon, sausage… The list, my friends, is endless. Take me out to a great breakfast place and you will have earned a lifelong friend.

Fran’s has a pretty facade. The patio had tables and chairs that were unavailable for use at that moment because of Toronto’s extended cold snap, but looked like a fun option should it be given as a choice. Kenn and I were seated almost at once, and our server immediately asked what our drink of choice would be so we would have something to sip on while perusing the (extensive) menu. He was also incredibly cheerful, which just added to the restaurant’s friendly atmosphere.

To start with, Kenn and I both had a cup of coffee and water. The coffee was really good, and was also at the perfect temperature to start drinking as soon as it was served. I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I’ve had bad experiences with gulping down scalding hot coffee. I immediately beelined towards the breakfast section of the menu and was overwhelmed with the choices. Man, I thought, this was going to be a tough decision.

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I take my coffee with two creams and three sugars, in case anybody was interested. (c) DM

I decided to go with the Corned Beef Hash with scrambled eggs and white toast. When the plate was put in front of me, I was amazed at the serving size! It was massive, one that would probably have comfortably fed two people on a lazy Sunday morning. I got two pieces of buttered toast, two individual servings of strawberry jam, two scrambled eggs, and a whole lot of corned beef. Oh, and the tater tots. Those taters were the star of my meal. I know that the corned beef was supposed to be the centrepiece, but after having had breakfast at Cora’s a lot of times, having tots instead of home fries was a great change. I think that my euphoria over those bite-sized potato pieces was more than a little enhanced by the surprise. Overall, I still prefer Cora’s home fries over Fran’s tater tots, but that day, the tots reigned supreme.

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My giant plate of breakfast. (c) DM

So, how was the food? As you may have gathered from my over-enthusiasm about the tots, I loved them. They weren’t amazing, but they were certainly good. The toast was a little too buttery for my taste, as in my fingers became slippery while I was spreading jam on my toast, and I also didn’t like that I wasn’t given a choice over what jam I wanted on my bread. The corned beef was a bit dull, although the onions in it did help with the rather lacklustre flavour. The eggs were okay, the coffee was good. The server was amazing though, service was prompt, and the waiting time for food was really short. All in all, I’d give it a 3/5. I would definitely go there again, although I wouldn’t hesitate to say that I’ve been to better places.

Overall rating: 3/5, would try again. 

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