On a recent weekday, two friends and I wandered into Emma’s Country Kitchen on St. Clair West looking for both breakfast and lunch (our circadian rhythms often diverge). Although we were hungry and there was a line-up we decided to wait since the two friends had eaten there before and assured me it was worth it. Luckily the wait was not long and the atmosphere welcoming. This is the type of place that has been longed-for in the neighbourhood for many years. The simple photocopied menu says, “All items made fresh in-house” that day. Included is an all-day breakfast with eggs any style, house-cured bacon, gingerbread pancakes and a breakwich (a buttermilk biscuit topped with cheddar or Swiss cheese and an egg). Of course I didn’t try all of these but one friend had fluffy scrambled eggs and bacon with griddled red skin potatoes and loved it! This is indeed high praise from one of the most accomplished cooks (I’d call her a chef) I know.
Lunch items included corn and black bean fritters, salmon cake, Cobb salad and quiche. I opted for the Cobb salad but wanted to make sure the chicken in it was not some sliced faux-fare that is often added in Cobb salads at more careless, less generous eateries. Of course at Emma’s it was roasted in-house that day and delicious. The salad also included bacon, a hardboiled egg, cheddar, avocado and greens with a honey mustard vinaigrette. And bonus – it was $8! In Toronto!
There are also soups, lots of sides and sweets to choose from, with nothing over $11. A fridge in the back is full of homemade goodies that you can take home to heat and serve and/or pretend you made yourself. And the service is very thoughtful without being obtrusive. We all appreciated that.
The restaurant’s website provides some background on the place: “Emma’s has been open since July 2012 and is owned and operated by best friends and food lovers Rachel Pellett and Heather Mee. The restaurant pays tribute to the original Emma’s Country Kitchen owned by Rachel’s grandmother in rural Cheltenham, Ontario some 20 years ago.”
The new Emma’s is a busy place; even more so on weekends when the brunch crowd descends and the waits are longer. But for a local restaurant that serves great food and that you can walk to if you live in the neighbourhood, it’s an especially welcome addition.
– Miria Ioannou
Photos by Miria Ioannou
Looking forward to trying Emma’s when I’m in the area – thanks!
Carol Phillips, Richmond Hill