We finally made it to Liberty Village this past Saturday to have brunch at School. In spite of it being a tad chilly we toughed it out and grabbed a table in the sun on the spacious patio. It was actually lunch by the time we got to the table and got our food but it was well worth the wait!
I think that brunch is probably my favourite meal of the day and I have been known to have "brunch" for dinner so I was really looking forward to my meal at School because I've been hearing about it for years. Not all the press has been good but I believe in forming my own opinions about a restaurant and I have to say that going to School was not a disappointment!
Word of caution: they do not take reservations. This is something that a lot of Toronto restaurants have taken to doing which makes them look good as there is always a lineup but I'm guessing this causes less hassle for the crew when it comes to feeding the masses, as it's first come first served. Living in the city you just get used to the way things are done or you go elsewhere. I decided to stick it out and wait but I expected to be rewarded for my patience.
The wait at School for a table actually wasn't that long and the staff were genuinely concerned about getting you to a table ASAP. The wait for our food was long but, since this was my first visit, I’ll put it down to them being completely full and you could see the kitchen crew working overtime so there are no slackers slowing things down, just a high demand for great food. I guess there really is a method to their madness of not taking reservations, because seeing all that beautiful food leave the kitchen when you're standing in line makes you want to wait your turn.
The towering plates of Super Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes looked amazing, as did everything else we saw leaving the kitchen but brunch isn't really brunch for me unless eggs are involved. Eggs are a form of comfort food for me so once I saw the Sweet Potato & Leek Scramble served on a House Baked Cheddar Chive Biscuit being plated, my decision was made and I didn't even bother to peruse the rest of the menu. Great decision on my part because my eggs were fantastic! The Smoked Salmon Breakfast Salad we ordered was also a hit and came with a ridiculous amount of smoked salmon (enough for two people), School obviously doesn't believe in skimping and makes sure you leave satisfied and full.
The venue's decor pays homage to school life without going overboard on the theme and the large warehouse space is bright and airy with two indoor spaces, two patios to choose from or bar seating if you want to shorten your wait time and be right in the middle of all the action.
For those of us who grew up attending schools that prepared lunch for the students, just mentioning the words "school dinners" or "dinner lady" brings back horrible memories of cold slabs of liver with lumpy mashed potatoes, slimy bacon and hard peas (maybe that was just my English school dinner experience). It's no wonder it took me years to get to School! Thankfully, the "dinner lady" turns out to be a great chef and my "school dinner" was worth blogging about.
70 Fraser Ave.
Toronto, ON M6K 3E1