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The words “food” and “school” conjure up nightmarish memories of lunch ladies’ in hairnets, bland chicken burgers and lumpy gravy over limp fries. So it’s a treat to have those experiences erased and replaced with images that are much more visually appealing. Brunch time at School Bakery and Café (70 Fraser Ave.) in Liberty Village is a something I’ll have fond memories about for a long time.

The space is a quite large, with a huge patio and an interior that will remind you of well, school. They’ve taken the concept quite literally with a wall of clocks (who didn’t watch that minute-hand and pray it’d hurry up and signal the end of class), chalkboards, shelves of books, and a menu printed on lined paper attached to a clipboard.

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Pardon the pun, but School definitely gets a passing grade when it comes to brunch. The menu is enormous with so much variety it’d take the equivalent of a full recess to read through their offerings. From the four varieties of pancakes, we went with Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes ($11) featuring more blueberries, whipped cream and a shot glass of maple syrup. These were absolutely divine and there were eight, count ’em eight, stacked on top of each other. These are definitely superior to neighbouring Mildred’s Temple Kitchen’s measly three pancake brunch.

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There’s also crepes, waffles, french toast, an eggs benedict variation, frittata, steak, omelets and a breakfast sandwich composed of a Chipotle Biscuit with Fried Egg, Pepper Jack Cheese, Back Bacon and Home Fries ($8). To be honest, I chose wrong with this selection because it tasted like a rich man’s Egg McMuffin, and not in a good way. I’m an expert on breakfast sandwiches and this one was far from my favourite. The biscuit was too crumbly, the fried egg arrived in five different pieces and had almost slipped out the side, pepper jack wasn’t the right cheese match and I couldn’t taste the back bacon at all. However, the home fries were better than most because it included large chunks of seasoned and soft sweet potatoes along with the regular kind.

Meal-time entertainment comes in the form of School’s open kitchen. Here you can watch the chefs frantically prepare the endless stream of brunch orders, taking a breather only to reprimand a slacking waitress. Detention time, indeed. At the end of your meal, the receipt comes in an enveloped labeled Individual Progress Report. I’m not sure what grade I received as a diner, but I’d give School a solid B.

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School Bakery and Café / 70 Fraser Ave., Toronto
416-588-0005 / Brunch: Sat & Sun 10-4

Brunch is one of the Double P’s favourite meals, as you can see from our write-ups on Toronto’s Bar_One, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, The Senator, and Saving Grace. But where can the best weekend morning feast be found? Leave a comment and let the great debate begin!

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