3rd Stop: Union Restaurant

“We don’t make friends with BBQ.”


I really must choose a less grating alert for my alarm.  Rising to the sound of “Night Owl,” I’m suddenly struck by a bout of self-reflection:  Getting home at 4am does not bode well for an 11am breakfast.  I had ambitiously set my alarm for 8am.  Fool.  Snoozed until 9…then 10, and miraculously by the grace of magical snooze fairies everywhere, Sully pushes breakfast to 11:30.  Perfect.  Face plant back into the pillows until 10:15.

I was struck with nostalgia as I took the subway and streetcar over to Ossington and Queen, musing to myself that it’s been less than 8 hours since I was here.  Should have just made camp to save myself travel time.  As I walk along Ossington with my nose pressed into my book (this is not safe-do not attempt, especially for those who are accident prone), I glance up to check whether I’ve passed Union and find myself standing at the threshold of the restaurant door.  As I enter, I notice the bar to the left with a sweeping marble countertop where a barista is busy working away, people chatting in a corner along the end, and whatever sleep had been lingering in my brain immediately dissipated.  It’s Benny time. Continue reading

First Stop: Lisa Marie

Stepping out of the cab on this rainy Sunday morning in July, I stubbornly refuse to allow the weather to put a damper on my quest.  I also ignore the fact that I’ve recently succumbed to the combination of gravity, a decline in a well worn bike path, and a weak right ankle, all of which have now rendered me a hobbling invalid.  The thought had crossed my mind to abandon my quest, considering how long it takes me to travel to the bathroom from my bedroom, managing to get to a restaurant would be far more painful and challenging.  But the enticing thought of devouring Eggs Benedict strengthened my resolve.  Besides, my ankle is injured, and this has little to do with my mouth or my appetite.  The door to Lisa Marie is a mere 10 meters away, and in the pursuit of Benny, I can manage that.

As I make myself comfortable on the bench next to the garage door style window, I take stock of my surroundings while waiting for Sully, noting the dark wood, white walls, and illustrations that decorate the interior of Lisa Marie.  It’s got a homie, cozy feel to it.  I hope to add ‘deliciously sated‘ and ‘satisfactorily drowsy‘ to that list post-brunch.

Sully’s arrived, and he’s excited, I can tell.  His posture and the glint in his eyes indicate that he’s just as eager as I am, or that he’s still drunk from last night.  This is good.  Actually, it’s more than good.  This is perfect.  He’s everything I need him to be.  Knowledgeable, a self-proclaimed food snob, easy on the eyes, and most importantly, hungry.  Now, you may be asking yourself, what does ‘easy on the eyes’ have to do with this quest of yours?  Absolutely nothing.  But nevertheless, it’s doesn’t hurt. Continue reading