10 Stars: December 5, 2009.
The Tallest Poppy, 631 Main Street.
At a new location: 103 Sherbrook.
Hours of operation:
Tues – Fri 8am – 3pm
Sat 8am – 2pm
Sun 10am – 2pm
Family Style Sunday Brunch – $25, includes everything, and gratuity (no debit available. Cash Only)
“For those who hate choices.”
This motto refers to the fact that if you want the Sunday brunch, they will note your allergies and preferences and then give you whatever they feel like. I love that. The Tallest Poppy has been visited by the Breakfast Connoisseurs several times now, and each time has been different.
When we first went there in early ’08, it was right after they opened and were still feeling out their style. Now they’re more settled and have a stupendous family style breakfast, but the food is different every week! It depends on what ingredients they have and what mood the cooks are in. The “family style” refers to the serving style – on big platters to be shared by all the diners. It’s also famously known for “slow food,” where the food is prepared per order, not made weeks before and shoved into a freezer. Originally, owner Talia Syrie pictured operating a catering business only, but in the end it made no sense to not have a restaurant as well. For this, we thank you Talia.
The food is always amazing. It’s all locally grown if possible, and all cooked perfectly. They pay super close attention to the quality; none of it is slapped off the grill haphazardly. Our most recent breakfast had four courses (as they all have). 1. Amuse-bouche (figs cut in half with goat cheese and nuts on top). 2. Mini-pancakes, latkes and spinach salad with goat cheese. There was syrop with a little raspberry in it for the pancakes. 3. Scrambled eggs, bacon, bison sausages and fancy bread grilled cheese. 4. Dessert (puff pastries and cream puffs with berries on the side). All that, and the coffee was great.
Don’t go if you’re in a hurry, slow food is good food.
April 2008. THE TALLEST POPPY; 631 Main St
Mon – Sat 10 AM – 2 PM
Sun 10 AM – 3 PM
Brunch Breakfast – $22.50 (after tax and gratuity)
See, from the outside, only the name is clearly displayed. It could have been an antique store for all I could tell. It’s attached to the south side of The New Occidental, which was the only indication to me that they might serve food.
Maybe if they called themselves The Tallest Poppy Restaurant it would be more obvious, but whatever. The name comes from an Australian saying, warning that the tallest poppy is the one that gets cut. So basically, “don’t stand out”. Hmmm… considering their advertising scheme, maybe the name is appropriate.
Enough about that. They opened in December ‘07, and are just now finding themselves.
The coffee was okay. Definitely better than the standard diner-fare but nothing to write home about. It did come in pleasingly large mugs which balanced it out. We had a large pitcher of water on the table that was flavoured with orange wedges which had a two-pronged effect. The water was refreshing with a hint of citrus, but it also included many many floaties that were distracting.
The restaurant itself is fairly small. The kitchen is about twice the size of the dining area but the quality that comes out of it is proportionally excellent. The walls are covered in large photographs of seniors in diners, with an emphasis on the posterior perspective. The walls are pressed wood board and the floors are quintessentially-rustic-looking chip board. The ceiling is an ornate spread of antique-looking wallpaper/linoleum but looked amazing.
One downside was that they didn’t take debit, but they did conveniently have an ATM right beside their antique till. Other than that, this would be a terrific place to eat in any area of the city, and is a great one where it is.