Too cool for school

July 13, 2010 · 44 comments

We now return to your scheduled programming…

As previously mentioned my trip from Santa Fe to Toronto was less than ideal thanks to United Airlines deciding to sell my seat to someone else and then proceeding to send my luggage off to Washington to see the president. The following day however started off promisingly with a cold wet nose wake up call, and news from Mardi that my luggage had been located and was currently arriving in Toronto to be delivered to me some time that day (hopefully with Tim Tams unpillaged).

School Bakery and Cafe

The day continued as well as it began, with a delicious brunch at School Bakery and Cafe, where we were joined by Krys of Rosewood Estates Winery. Well, it was a largely delicious brunch although I made an error in my dish selection which I blame on Mr Neil. I was tossing up between the eggs benny and the egg white shrimp frittata, and he told me to go with the benny but I rebelled and went with the frittata. It was good, and I loved the sweet potatoes on the side, but overall the dish was a little lacking in flavour and I wished that Neil had tried the old reverse psychology on me.

Egg white frittata of shrimp with oven roast tomatoes and spinach with lemon tinted greens ($18)

The others were far more decisive in their breakfast selection, and were all very happy with their choices. I was not surprised. Mardi went with the “overstuffed popover” – yes, OVERstuffed, not just pleasantly stuffed – while Krys and Neil went with the “super cheesy french toast”. I really should have known about my ordering error due to the lack of hyperbole in the description of my dish.

Overstuffed popover with Gruyere, smoked bacon and greens

Super cheesy French toast with smoked bacon and greens ($13)

The restaurant had a pretty cool setup, with the school theme being expressed in the serving of maple syrup in little beakers, various things written up on blackboards, the waitresses dressed in school attire (leaning more towards the Brittney Spears style than my Catholic school getup) and a hopscotch path leading you up to the toilets where you have to identify with either Dick or Jane. I was easily able to figure out that behind Dick’s door I would be faced with unpleasant smells and startled men, unlike some places where the toilet door symbols are some sort of aptitude test, paralysing you with uncertainty about which of the funny pictures or phrases is meant to represent your gender.

Jane's counterpart

After we had all passed the gender assignment test, it was off to The Village Cheesemonger to test my claims of being unable to face another gram of cheese as long as I shall live. I surprised myself by not only tasting a few of the local and international cheeses on offer but also rather enjoying them. I guess they were so far removed (like chalk and cheese) from the grated unidentifiable yellowness that had been filling my arteries in Santa Fe that I was able to mentally separate them (like curds and whey).

The afternoon carried on swimmingly, consisting of going for a walk through Mardi and Neil’s neighbourhood where we found a local bar spruiking the afternoon’s world cup game of “Germany vs. Austria”, then finding ourselves wishing this was actually true as we then watched Germany thrash us. The loss, combined with the drone of vuvuzelas and my continued separation from my suitcase of Tim Tams must have been a bit too much for me because I then had a wee kip, during which time my luggage was finally delivered and Mardi got cooking for our contribution to the latest international incident – noodles!

OK, so perhaps “our” contribution is a bit of a stretch, given that all the assistance I offered was to remain asleep whilst Mardi did all the hard work, though I did manage to emerge in plenty of time to socialise over a few drinks and eat the fruits of her labour.

A top day all round, and the good times continued the next day…

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite July 14, 2010 at 3:22 am

I just want to point out that the cold wet nose waking Conor up did not belong to me!

And you are right – your dish at School must not have been the best choice due to its lack of superlatives. Why didn’t we think of that???


Conor July 19, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Ah yes, perhaps I should have been a little clearer about that :D

I am not to blame for not noticing the lack of superlatives! I was still recovering from Uniteditis! Oh foolish me and my lack of yolky ordering..


Patty Price July 14, 2010 at 8:35 am

I hate to mention it Connor but it looked like your dish lacked a certain amount of cheesy-ness that the other choices contained!


Conor July 19, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Patty, you are totally right. I think my body was rebelling against the thought of any possible cheese. Any possible yolk either, apparently.


Iron Chef Shellie July 14, 2010 at 10:27 am

Oh travel dramas… I can’t imagine how annoying that all would be.

I love the concept of this cafe! …. and the overstuffed popover looks damn fiiiine :P
Iron Chef Shellie´s last blog post ..Week 31 – The Cookbook Challenge- Coq Au Vin for Bastille Day


Conor July 19, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Shellie, the answer is super annoying. In fact, it was as annoying as that popover was fine :D


Hannah July 14, 2010 at 10:31 am

I will say one thing that your dish has over its competitors (or the popover, at least): it doesn’t look like it’s vomiting. Now that’s a win, surely?

Hurrah hurrah hurrah, travel posts! Hurrah!
Hannah´s last blog post ..Candy Cane Rice Pudding- or Readers- I Failed


Conor July 19, 2010 at 7:13 pm

A ha!! Brilliant! If only I had thought of that at the time. Non vomity food, oh yes.

More on their way! Hurrah you like them! Hurrah indeed!


penny aka jeroxie July 14, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Overstuffed popover with Gruyere, smoked bacon and greens!!!!!!!!! I am just jealous that you get to spend time with Mardi!


Conor July 19, 2010 at 7:14 pm

You should be jealous, Penny.. it was awesome! You should come next time! Imagine all the overstuffed things we could eat!


Forager @ The Gourmet Forager July 14, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Is it just me or do the slices of super cheesy French toast look incredible huge and remarkably like pizza? They look like very generous servings too.
Forager @ The Gourmet Forager´s last blog post ..Game degustation at Restaurant Balzac- Randwick


Conor July 19, 2010 at 7:16 pm

They were incredibly huge, and yes quite pizza-like also. My was remarkably unpizza-like. Still pretty huge though!


Cakelaw July 14, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Glad your luggage turned up. I am an eggs benny fan myself, so I would have had that.
Cakelaw´s last blog post ..TWD – Brrrr-ownies


Conor July 19, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Thanks! Yes, well, I think we can all agree I was an ordering fool.


Amy @ cookbookmaniac July 14, 2010 at 7:23 pm

You had me at super-cheesey-french-toast. I would have asked for extra cheese on the side! ha! greedy or what?
Amy @ cookbookmaniac´s last blog post ..Perama Greek Restaurant – Perfection in every bite


Conor July 19, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Haha, I would’ve liked to have seen the result, Amy! Maybe they could have stuffed it with cheese for you too.


Trix July 14, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Well you can’t really attach very many appetizing superlatives to an egg white anything can you? It’s super whitey! It’s not too eggy! Nope, that doesn’t work at all. I hope everyone shared with you!!


Conor July 19, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Mmmmmmmmm, not too eggy. Nope, don’t think we’ll be reading that on a menu anytime soon.

I actually ate all my breaky, so no sharing was required. I don’t think I ate it too begrudgingly either.


mademoiselle délicieuse July 14, 2010 at 8:44 pm

That cheesy French toast would be most welcome right now, as I’m snuggling beneath a blanket on the couch.

And, hey, no photo of the cold, wet-nosed alarm clock?
mademoiselle délicieuse´s last blog post ..Ju Ge Mu &amp Shimbashi again!- 25 March 2010


Conor July 19, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Funny you should say that.. I’m reading this snuggled underneath a blankie on the couch. Let me know when it’s spring.

Ah crap, I’ve dropped the ball again with the photos! Didn’t have the brainpower when woken to grab my camera, and somehow I managed to go the whole visit without photographing the superstar Cleo!


Betty @ The Hungry Girl July 15, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Oh shame about your dish being lacklustre, but at least now you know to go for the dishes that have exaggerated names!
Betty @ The Hungry Girl´s last blog post ..La Grande Bouffe- Rozelle


Conor July 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm

I’ve learnt my lesson, Betty!


jenn @ defunkt gourmet July 16, 2010 at 10:12 am

Hi Conor,
Hope that you had a lovely time in T.O.. I haven’t been there in ages, it’s definitely been a while. Mardi’s breakfast was insane! I love me some popovers. Sorry to hear that your breakfast was underwhelming :(
hahaha… glad you had some cheese. You just can’t say no. It’s so hypnotic.
jenn @ defunkt gourmet´s last blog post ..Saturday Sun


Conor July 19, 2010 at 8:02 pm

I surely did, thanks Jenn! Hopefully won’t be too long before I’m back there again.
You’re right about the cheese. There’s no point resisting.


OohLookBel July 16, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Another fun read to brighten my boring work morning! You must have a good memory to get all of that down, or were you so traumatised by the lost luggage and seat bumping that you’ll never forget?
OohLookBel´s last blog post ..Product review and new love- McCain and Ottolenghi Sweet Potato


Conor July 19, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Hooray! :) Oh, I’ll never forget that day despite trying my best to wipe it from my memory. Luckily I have better memories to try and overwrite them with.


Jo @ secondhelping July 16, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Look at that French toast!!! It certainly looks super, and cheesy.

I have never been able to get my head around the maple syrup on bacon thing though so I wonder how I would far in Canada!


Conor July 19, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Jo, I was definitely looking at it, that’s for sure ;)

You know, I didn’t quite get the maple syrup bacon thing either, until I tried it. It’s weirdly good. Certainly a “sometimes food”, in the words of the Cookie Monster.


Simply Life July 17, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Too bad it didn’t have enough flavor – it definitely looks good!


Conor July 19, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I guess that’s half the battle, but not the half I was after.


The Blogs Rocket July 19, 2010 at 1:24 am

Very nice article, thanks! I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed. Please keep up posting.


Conor July 19, 2010 at 8:08 pm

My pleasure, thanks very much for reading and subscribing!


Adrian @ Food Rehab July 19, 2010 at 10:34 am

hmmm, more cheese! Never had cheesey french tiat, but that looks damn good.
Adrian @ Food Rehab´s last blog post ..The Best Breakfast in Melbourne’s West Plus Swiss Buttercream Pineapple Pies


Conor July 19, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Adrian, I was filled with orderer’s remorse when I laid eyes on it.


denise @ quickies on the dinner table July 22, 2010 at 11:14 am

Always go with the cheese, Conor. Always go with the CHEESE!
denise @ quickies on the dinner table´s last blog post ..Just Pointing in the General Direction


Conor July 26, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Denise, why weren’t you around to guide me? Actually, never mind, I clearly was in no mood to take advice. Just as well you weren’t there too, I would have really rebelled and ordered nothing at all!


Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite July 26, 2010 at 7:21 pm

We were there yesterday for brunch as you know and I ordered the egg white frittata and can confirm that whilst it was very delicious (and just the light sort of breakfast I was looking for) it does, indeed lack cheese. Neil had a sausage, potato and brie omelette which did not!
Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite´s last blog post ..Kids in the Kitchen at Nella Cucina


Conor July 26, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Yes, Mardi, I do indeed know this. I knew this very clearly when you were there, wishing myself also there to join you so I could get some upstream benni in my belly. Continually thwarted by the bounds of space and time, that is I.

Maybe if you want to have it again later you could smuggle in some cheese.

I find the idea of a sausage, potato and brie omelette somewhat alarming. There’s a lot going on there!


Mr. Neil July 26, 2010 at 9:03 pm

And just “for the record”, the wet nose did not belong to Mr. Neil, either…


Conor July 26, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Someone needs to take ownership of this wet nose. If only Cleo could use a keyboard.


CMC July 26, 2010 at 9:55 pm


Cleo wants to know…is that your pink nail polish in the bathroom?
CMC´s last blog post ..Time to Go -


Conor July 26, 2010 at 10:22 pm

(Cleo, do you need me to take the rap for you? Not allowed to use nail polish yet hey?)

Yes! Yes, it is mine! I uh, left it there when I was replacing the toothbrush and little tube of chalky toothpaste. Oh gosh darnit, it was my favourite too. What a shame. I guess you’ll just have to hang onto it. It is best to store that particular type of nail polish in an airy yet humid environment – say, like near where a cat might keep her water bowl and other belongings, for instance.

P.S. I wish I had known about the CMC blog when it was in its heyday.


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella August 2, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Aww you guys are so lucky to have met up! I would have jumped at the chance to meet either of you! :D


Conor August 4, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Aw thanks Lorraine, same to you :) If only we could have had a mega rendezvous in Montreal!


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