The Breakfast Project: Two Dishes Cookshop (261 Charlotte St.)

two dishesAnother week, another breakfast. This week’s breakfast hunt found BPC and I at a new breakfast/lunch joint on Charlotte: Two Dishes Cookshop.

They only opened their doors a few weeks ago, but we’d already heard rumours that it was a great breakfast that we had to go check out.

It’s a super cool place both inside and outside. It totally feels like the kind of restaurant you might find nestled on Queen St. in Toronto between some fashion boutique and a tattoo parlour.

On the outside, it’s very simple except for the giant painted rooster on the top of the building. I found it immediately intriguing and I wanted to go in purely because of the giant rooster.

Inside is also really cool. It’s very simple and classic but has a really cool edge that you just don’t see in Peterborough unless you go to the Planet.

I was very excited when I walked in because I’d been waiting for a breakfast joint with a little more class, like this, to open up for years.

Immediately you can tell it’s not your classic nostalgia-filled greasy spoon diner. It’s got far more class, but I was happy to see that they still served the classic breakfast special; however it’s served with a twist.

The menu consisted of a bunch of interesting eats including a huevos rancheros inspired dish as well as house-made granola and a few other interesting things.

They also serve lunch and take-away meals.

BPC and I were completely intrigued by the décor and spent the first five or so minutes just dissecting our surroundings and pointing out all the awesome design touches they had added to give the place an extra special somethin’ somethin’.

BPC and I were excited by the whole menu, but being breakfast purists, we decided we had to start with the classic breakfast special served with two eggs, bacon, crispy potatoes, toast and a tea or coffee.

After sitting down our waitress promptly came over and took our tea orders. I was incredibly happy to see that my tea pot poured (plus it was a super cute little pot). I was also happy to see that it was served with a little container of milk rather than those pesky packages. I could tell we were already off to a good start. Throughout the meal the waitress also offered to fill our tea pots quite a few times, which I always really appreciate.

As we waited there was a continuous stream of staff coming out of the kitchen with pans filled with warm, delicious looking loaves of bread. BPC and I could just tell we hit the jackpot.

After a short wait, our breakfasts arrived and we dug right in. On first glance I was very excited at what I saw. I could tell this wasn’t going to be the standard breakfast fare as it had a few added bonuses.

Right off the bat, I noticed the crispy pile of potatoes on my plate. From the first bite I knew I was in love. They’re not your classic diner potato, but they were definitely homemade. They were grilled into a crispy pile, almost like a potato pancake but with more texture.

They were mixed with a bunch of delicious spices, which BPC and I were trying to dissect, but we just couldn’t figure it out. There was also some fried onion in there that added a special kick. They were served with the restaurants specialty homemade ketchup which was absolutely delicious although it didn’t taste much like your typical Heinz.

The eggs were also quite interesting. They were fried with some green onion on top, which we both agreed was a great touch. However, they were a little crispier and browner than I tend to like, but because of the added embellishments, I actually didn’t mind it this time.

I was excited to see that breakfast came with FOUR slices of extra thick bacon. I would have liked mine to be just a little crispier but BPC’s was fine and it was definitely edible. Plus the extra thick cut of bacon made it all the better.

All that said, the cherry on top of the entire breakfast for me was the homemade toast placed perfectly on the side of my plate.

They also run their own bakery with breads, cookies, scones and other tasty treats. (I couldn’t resist taking a loaf of the most beautiful raisin molasses bread home with me.) Because of this, they have different specialty breads everyday to go with the breakfast. Today’s was a jalapeño/corn bread which was incredibly delicious.

The toast was also served with a little of pot of what seemed like homemade and very delicious jam. You wouldn’t think it would go with the bread, but it totally did. I even found myself using jam, which is something I never do.

Overall, BPC and I were incredibly happy with our meal. It’s definitely more of an “upscale” breakfast experience. If you’re looking for a good place to bring your family when they come to visit or have a nice brunch out, this is definitely the place.

The breakfast was a little on the pricy side as it was $10 a person, but I guarantee it’s worth the money as you get so many personal and homemade touches.

BPC and I did note that you could definitely split a breakfast if you weren’t starving as it was a huge plate of food. I could barely finish mine and ended up taking some potatoes home with me.

We will definitely be going back soon. Since they did just open, I’ll be curious to see how things proceed in the future, but judging from today I can guess it will only get better from here.

Below is my personal rating scale for breakfasts. Each component of breakfast will be rated out of 10 on my bacon scale. Overall atmosphere will also be rated. This includes the staff we encounter and the general ambience of the restaurant.

Bonus points can also be awarded for things like a surprise piece of fruit on the plate or extra embellishments to the meal like a sprig of parsley or homemade toast.

I’ll add up all these points and award each restaurant an overall mark. Since it’s the last issue of the year, we’ve reached the end of the adventure. Below we’ll see who the reigning champs of breakfast are, and which breakfasts should just be avoided in my not-so-humble opinion.

two dishes score

East City Coffee Shop = 52 bacon strips
Two Dishes Cook Shop = 51 bacon strips
Thurston’s Diner = 49 bacon strips
The Whistlestop Café = 45 bacon strips
Nicholls Oval Restaurant = 41 bacon strips
Queensway Restaurant = 40 bacon strips
Speak Easy Café = 36 bacon strips