It was pouring as Stan and I made our way to Gusto Food last weekend. Thankfully, the weather cleared up when we arrived despite it continued to be chilly. Unsurprisingly, the cafe was packed and there was already a line outside. Perhaps it was due to the rainy weather as the line was not as long, so we were seated within a 5 minute wait. The staff were friendly and service was prompt. We realised that cafes and brunch places normally fall short when it comes to keeping their services at a reasonable pace, especially when they are busy.
Stan and I ordered each ordered a mocha. The mocha was not scalding hot and it was just warm enough to hit the spot on a cold winter morning. While we were waiting for our main orders, the almond croissant that Stan spontaneously ordered came first. The croissant was toasted right before serving so it was warm and had an extra crunchy crust and edge. It was pleasant and had the right amount of subtle nutty flavour to it. However, Stan and I prefer the ones from La Galette, which is filled with creme patssiere.
Not long after the croissant was served, our mains arrived. Stan ordered The Lot, which was served generously on a large wooden board. The dish was a combination of traditional fry ups, such as bacon, house made hash brown topped with caramelized onions, chipolatas, two slices of toasts, tomato; all accompanied with a side of mushrooms in a small ramekin bowl and two large poached eggs. Stan considered this dish ‘the breakfast of champions’. I think at this point, anything served with a generous portion of meat and protein typically falls into that category for him. Needless to say, he thoroughly enjoyed his meal, though he found the caramelized onions slightly too sweet for his taste. However, he did comment that the hash brown was well seasoned, so the saltiness sort of kept the sweetness of the onions well balanced, when eaten together.
Unlike Stan, my weakness would be my sweet tooth. Whenever I want to order something savoury for brunch, I often get tempted by the sweet dishes that the menus have to offer. Thank goodness to whomever came up with the idea of marrying those two flavours together! I settled for the French Cinnamon Toast without any hesitation. The two slices of french toasts came out nicely stacked with slices of bacon, bananas and housemade honeycomb. All these components were served drizzled with maple berry compote and a generous dusting of icing sugar on the side. Though it was a nice touch, I did find the large honeycomb crumb on top was a tad too much for this rich dish. Of course, that was not really a huge issue as I could just leave some of it on the side. The tartness that came with the maple berry compote, however added another depth to this dish.
Through our observation, or more like ‘people watching’, Stan and I noticed that the pulled pork Benedict seemed to be a crowd favourite. As cheesy as it sounds, Gusto Food was our little ray of sunshine on our otherwise gloomy Sunday and we would definitely come back again!