907 Dundas St W
Toronto, ON M6J1V9
Note: I forgot the battery to my camera, so I apologize in advance for the camera phone pictures in the gallery below.
Saving Grace is one of those places I’ve been meaning to eat at for awhile now. The unusually small breakfast and lunch nook on Dundas always boasts a line of hungry patrons waiting outside on little pink and green benches. It used to be a residential home and the kitchen, if you peek in, almost looks like your mother’s. While the place is cute, Saving Grace’s fare isn’t as good as the long lines would make you believe.
It’s a good thing we were early. A line the size of the restaurant’s capacity had formed well before Saving Grace opened. There was no semblance of order when the restaurant opened, and some line holders were upset that recent arrivals walked into the restaurant ahead of them. While we got a cozy seat without much problem, the staff wasn’t good at dealing with the hordes who were all seated at once: our drinks took 20 minutes to arrive and we had to wait another 20 minutes to order. When we ordered, the table on one side of us already had their food; the table on the other side was complaining that they hadn’t even received their drinks yet. After all of that, one of the two dishes that came to our table was incorrect. The meal took almost two hours. It’s no wonder why there are lines in front of this little eatery.
Savory French Toast – $11.50
The savory French toast sounded delicious. French toast served with gruyere, caramelized apples, and roasted red onion accompanied by mixed greens and roasted potatoes. But descriptions in restaurants are often deceiving. What arrived at my table was closer to a grilled cheese sandwich than what the menu described. Lots of gruyere overpowered the smaller amounts of apple and onion. The real disappointment was the French toast. Each slice had only been grilled on one side, which left the middle and non-grilled side soggy and bready. This is not a sandwich that I would order again.
Potato and Green Pea Masala Omelet – $12
The potato and green pea masala omelet was ordered on account of it being an interesting dish that neither one of us had sampled before. This dish was much better executed than the French toast, but was still a bit disappointing. The masala just wasn’t very flavorful, and when you put something like that inside eggs, you want it to provide a flavor that pops. Instead it landed flat. When combined with the super-tasty chutney and eaten on the provided roti, the dish wasn’t bad, but definitely not worth standing in line for.
The best part of saving grace was certainly the atmosphere: the small space allowed us to interact with both of the nearest tables. I’m not sure if my taking pictures of the food tipped them off to my blogger status, but when we had finished, the table next to us struck up a conversation about the food. They, having ordered totally different dishes, also found the meal unsatisfactory. At first I had thought maybe I was being too hard on Saving Grace; maybe we just ordered the wrong dishes and deep down, there was more that the little place had to offer. But when strangers, unsolicited, want to share their poor experience? Maybe it’s a sign to wait in line elsewhere.