Old School Review: Brunch Home Edition
Old School is the place to go in Toronto for elevated takes on familiar favourites. From BLTs, to burgers, to stacks of pancakes and milkshakes, they’ve got all the classics down pat for all your brunch needs.
On a typical sunny weekend in the city, Old School’s patio would be packed with brunch-goers. So, we tried our best to recreate that perfect dining experience by setting up our own faux-Old School patio.
While it wasn’t quite the same, that was alright, because the real treat was the meal in front of us — plus, we didn’t have to wait for a table.
Finger Lickin’ Chicken and Waffles ($19)
First up, we have the Finger Lickin’ Chicken and Waffles, which features buttermilk fried chicken, tabasco honey, herbed waffles, and syrup. While it doesn’t come with a side, you can tack on homefries ($5), coleslaw ($3.50), turkey sausage ($5), half an avocado ($4), or another one of their many options.
I usually lean more towards the savoury side for breakfast, but this dish had the perfect amount of sweetness from the tabasco honey, balancing out the herbed waffles and crispy chicken nicely. The tabasco honey didn’t add much of a kick, so if you’re looking for heat, you’ll need to amp it up yourself.
The waffles were incredibly fluffy, though I do wish the herbs came through more. Most noticeably, they were huge! I ended up saving half to enjoy all over again the next morning.
Blueberry Hill Pancakes ($19)
We also got a vegetarian-friendly take on their famous Blueberry Hill Pancakes, which traditionally come with a huge stack of buttermilk pancakes, blueberry compote, brown sugar butter, maple syrup, and bacon. Just like the Finger Lickin’ Chicken and Waffles, the pancakes came abundantly, with double the portion of what’s featured in our photo.
Old School’s pancakes are what you wish you could make every weekend morning; they’re light and fluffy but still filling, and when the blueberry compote mixes with the brown sugar butter it makes the ideal topping, even without the maple syrup.
While we did miss out on the savoury edge that the layered strips of bacon would typically bring, the dish still served up a good mix of flavours. Though, as dedicated Canadians who are ready to shell out the big bucks for the purest of maple syrups, theirs was a bit underwhelming.
We added a bottle of Fresh Orange Juice ($8) to the meal, because there’s nothing quite as satisfying on a sunny day than a refreshing glass of citrusy OJ. I did have some minor milkshake FOMO after seeing the pictures of the shakes they offer for pick-up. It may not be as refreshing as OJ, but it’s the perfect weekend treat. Next time, milkshake!
The Bottom Line: 4/5 Brookie Stars
There’s always a caveat to reviewing a meal that’s been ordered in; the food won’t be as off-the-griddle hot, you have to pour your own cup of coffee, and the atmosphere just isn’t the same. But all that aside, it’s the food you’re really there for! Old School earns marks for their huge portions, delicious sauces, and masterfully fluffy foods.
What goes great with a delicious meal? A book that’s just as satisfying! Pick out your next read by shopping our latest picks here.
Shannon Hodgen is a lifelong writer, DIY enthusiast, and homebody. She satisfies her need to put pen to paper–or, more accurately, fingertips to keyboard–as an agency copywriter, blog contributor, and freelance editor in Toronto.
Favourite Book: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Favourite Brunch Spot: Dirty Food Eatery in The Junction