Café Belong

Brickworks (on the Bayview extension) 416 901 8234

The Brickworks is a delightful project on the space of the original Brick Works of Toronto. The grounds are wooded in a country atmosphere. The garden centre is a great place to top up your garden with fresh green plants. Make sure you visit the gift centre featuring a variety of creative gifts. The little café is a spot for a light lunch and a cup of coffee. It is great for cyclists who need to take a break. The Saturday market is great.

Best of all is the restaurant. One wall of Café Belong looks out to the country atmosphere of the extensive grounds and to the charming outdoor patio. The beautiful wood interior makes it look as if you are dining in a lodge up north. The array of brilliantly colored Crueset Belgium pots makes me covet more of those exquisite pots on my kitchen shelf. The food is always environmentally positive and the seafood is ocean wise. We found many items to our liking

I think the best part of this visit was our server, Stefhan. He was outstanding. His recommendations were ‘right on.’ We were interested in the Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Stefhan told us it was quite large and we might consider sharing it. Thank you Stefhan. The sandwich was amazing. Mountain Oak Gouda was served on delicious house bread. The sandwich was stuffed with the tastiest caramelized onions. The melted cheese and warm onions were ‘manna from heaven.’ A light lovely green salad was on the side. It was the best grilled cheese I have ever eaten. I feel like going back for another order.

We admired the presentation of food at the next table. The young girl was enjoying her Mac & Cheese. It looked so tasty. The parents were served their food in a large olive green Crueset pot. How original and so dramatic! Another table was presented with the Y U Ranch Longhorn Burger. 7 oz. of grass & pasture finished beef was served in a 5 folded tortilla. House chips and garnished made this a beautiful presentation and no doubt a tasty meal. Every dish was beautifully plated.

The St Lawrence Salad offers greens, nuts, fruits and cheese with browned butter vinaigrette. We were also tempted with the Spring in the Woods featuring grilled and marinated mushrooms with charred ramps, fiddle heads, braised onions and asparagus on arugula with cheese & cider vinegar. The Bricklayers Board will fill you up with house cured cold meats, pickle, mustard and toast.

For a little more substantial fare the Pork Tacos or Great Lakes Tempura will be tempting. Pappardelle Pasta is served with braised rabbit, tomato & seasoned foraged greens. A Prix-Fixe offers the choice of a 2 or 3 course lunch. The Soup of the Day will vary. A cold Tomato Soup was offered on this occasion. A creative Flatbread was served with a variety of grilled vegetables. It sounded delicious. Who could refuse the Rhubarb Shortcake? It was too much food for us for a lunch but perhaps another day.

My Macchiato was superb. The texture and flavor of the coffee was outstanding. As a joke I told Stefhan that a piece of dark chocolate would make this a perfect meal. I am so embarrassed. A plate with thin slivers of a dark rich outstanding chocolate was presented with tasty fresh strawberries. You can even buy the fair trade chocolate in the gift shop. It doesn’t get any better than that. The meal was amazing. Thank you Stefhan for contributing to our wonderful afternoon Good friendship and great food makes for a happy day.