By Lori Bosworth
Having moved to Toronto’s Leslieville last year, I have been eager to explore local restaurants and businesses in this east end neighbourhood of the city. Lazy Daisy’s Cafe on Gerrard Street East has received a lot of buzz so I contacted the owner to see about reviewing her restaurant for Torontonicity and she agreed.
Lazy Daisy’s Cafe is a casual, modern breakfast and lunch place located steps from Coxwell Avenue in the Gerrard India Bazaar. It’s a welcoming place for moms and kids, particularly the wee ones under 2. I immediately loved the light, airy space and distressed chairs, which added to the homey atmosphere of the place.
We stopped by on a cold Tuesday at noon and waited inside the door for someone to greet us. Our mistake as this is a cafe in the sense that you approach the counter and place your order. After a few minutes, we walked down where orders were being placed and introduced ourselves. We placed our lunch order and found an available table.
At the back of the restaurant is a kiddie area with toys and books for busy children. There were a few moms with toddlers enjoying lunch and one toddler was playing with the toys while his mother finished her lunch.
Lazy Daisy’s Cafe offers freshly squeezed orange juice on the menu so we both opted for a medium sized orange juice, $3.95, to boost our Vitamin C levels on this frigid day. When they had been squeezed, we were asked to pick the juice up at the counter. Served in Mason jars, the juice tasted amazing, the way orange juice should taste.
Items on Lazy Daisy’s Cafe include eggs & bacon, sandwiches, burritos, chili, quiche, salads and a soup of the day.
My dining partner ordered the Big Bean Chicken Burrito, $8.94, with roasted chicken, black beans, sweetcorn, red onions, salsa, Monterey jack cheese, and avocado in a tortilla. Served with fresh greens, the burrito was super tasty, fresh and quite filling. Fortunately, the tortilla shell was light and crispy.
I ordered the Farmer’s Club, $8.94, with Mennonite smoked bacon, roasted chicken, white cheddar cheese, tomato, greens and garlic aioli on ancient grains bread and have to declare that this is the healthiest club sandwich I’ve ever tasted. All of the meats served at Lazy Daisy’s Cafe are naturally raised and free of drugs and hormones. It’s a mouthful though as the chicken was thickly cut and there were plentiful portions of greens and cheddar cheese. In fact, I had trouble keeping all of the ingredients in my sandwich, but no worries: that is one delicious sandwich. The superb ancients grains bread (I found out it is from Silverstein’s) is so tasty, spread with garlic aioli. The sandwich was served with a mixed bean salad that was fine although not extraordinary.
Lazy Daisy’s Cafe offers a tempting array of desserts including Black Bean Brownies, Carrot Cake with Coconut Lime Icing, Date Squares, Lemon Square and Ginger Spice Cookies. All the pastries are made in house.
I couldn’t resist ordering the Nanaimo bar, $3.25, with its Rice Krispie base. Brilliant! Instead of the traditional graham cracker crumb, coconut, chocolate and nut base which weighs these bars down, the Rice Krispie base transforms this Canadian favourite into a light and sweet cookie.
I love that the cafe featured works from local artists for sale.
If you’re looking for a breakfast, brunch or lunch spot in Toronto’s east end, definitely check out Lazy Daisy’s Cafe. The food is definitely worth the trip.
Lazy Daisy’s Cafe is located at 1515 Gerrard Street East (at Coxwell Avenue), 647-341-4070. Cafe hours are Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.