It’s 7:00 a.m. Earlier than the time I used to wake up for school. Well, when I was in 7th and 8th grade, I'd wake up at 6:30 a.m. to style my hair perfectly pin-straight hair and gob layers and layers of different mascaras onto my eyelashes. High school was about 7:15 a.m. and uni, not even close… some of my classes didn’t even start until 3 p.m., so you can do the math on that one 😉
But here I am. On a Sunday at 7 a.m., waiting on my porch for my old pal Rosie to pick me so we can drive down to Liberty Village.
Cloudy skies, cool air and spitting rain embrace me, which definitely doesn’t mean it’s patio weather but YOLO! We’re on the quest for a good brunch spot this summer.
After a construction-stricken, traffic-causing commute, we eventually made it to #School. Pardon our tardiness.
Directly across the street from The Liberty Village Respite Centre, School is an influencer haven…. Kinda odd to see gold Gucci belts and designer fanny-pack donning kids live streaming their brunch shenanigans across from people sleeping on the sidewalk. It made me feel grateful for the things I have and curious on the restaurant’s take on their location and if they have any programs in place to work with their neighbours.
Anyways, even on an overcast, Rosie and I were one of the many lined up, waiting to try some raved about breakfast foods. I mean, doesn’t a shot glass filled with maple syrup sound enticing? Or maybe it only does to me because I'm a Canadian 🍁
After a thirty minute wait, we were seated on their enclosed patio under a little white and blue umbrella. Despite the fact that it is summer, both Rosie and I both opted for a steamy beverage - coffee and a nice calming cup of chamomile.
Reviewing the menu, we were both disappointed to find a lack of school-related names. Black and Blue Flapjacks and Synonym Toast Crunch were the only nods to school-yard bruises and classroom phonics.
That said, the restaurant’s All Day Classroom Specials have a few more appropriately-termed dishes (Ie; Pep Rally Nachos, Homeroom Classic, The Hall Monitor). Still, I think they could've really ran wild with naming their dishes, but sadly that just isn’t how School does it.
While we’re on the subject of committing to a theme, the resto also isn’t terribly one with its décor. I spotted one chalkboard, which excited me but this whimsy fizzled as it didn’t have ABCs or 123s scribbled all over it in white chalk, just a butcher’s sketch of a cow and it’s meaty cuts.
There were also a lot of clocks. Like, a lot. Why? I’m already having an existential crisis and I don’t need forty clocks reminding me about the fleeting passage of time.
Back to the menu. Deciding to be healthy, me and my pal opted to share Millennial Toast with greens along with their signature Black and Blue Flapjacks. It’s all about balance, right?
Quick out of the kitchen, our meal was served, trails of steam billowing from the flapjack stack and the charred toast hidden by a lump of what was probably three whole avocados. This is not an exaggeration.
Naturally, we first took photos of everything. You know what they say, you eat with your eyes first.
Also, pics of the food just have to be taken when you go out for a bite, especially when you make a sizeable commute. After posing with our plates, it was time to dig in and warm our bodies up with the freshly cooked grub.
Pancakes. First bite: delicious. I loved the gorgeous blue and blackberry mountain piled high on my pancakes. And that berry sauce was incredibly fruity. But alas, these pancakes quickly moved from an amazing dish to a super sweet diabetes-inducing death wish. Think: Candyland-level sucrose coma.
Moving the sauce aside, I put a pat of brown-sugar butter on my cakes to melt, along with a drizzle of maple syrup which was served in a shot glass (too cute!). Again, it was a tasty first bite but take away all the works and all the sauces and you’re left with dry (dare I say, dusty) flapjacks. Should it be mandatory to douse sweet sauce just so I can have moist pancakes? Not in my grade book 📚
Thankfully, we also ordered the palate-cleansing avo toast.
Fresh, green and healthy. It had to be an A+ dish, right?
Sadly, the avocado toast didn’t make the passing grade. Boy oh boy, was it was spicy! Powdered cayenne that was sprinkled with a rather heavy hand on top of our guac and artichoke mash was not quite the culinary surprise I had imagined or hoped for.
And don’t even get me started on the Savoury Mushroom Bacon layered underneath. Not even remotely what I expected. An occasional vegan, I’ve had creative vegan bacon substitute - rich, crispy and crunchy- but School’s mushroom bacon was like a slippery boiled funghi. Not even the side salad could save the Millennial Toast. It was nothing to marvel at, just a bunch of garden herbs and kale on a plate.
Overall, School won’t get a passing grade from me. Friendly staff and a great patio made for sunny days are great features, but it stops there. In my opinion, there are just too many negatives in School’s favour, making this restaurant not worth the wait or price.
Though the food was alright, after a few bites everything just became a bit too much; either too sweet or too spicy. For me, the balance was off.
Definitely got some cute brunch pics, but was it really worth it? I think School has got some more homework to do for now.
♥️ ♥️ ♥️