We met up with a friend last Saturday morning at the recently opened The Hoof Café, The Black Hoof‘s newest outpost. Well, it’s more like a nearpost, as it’s located right across the street. With a totally different vibe and menu, we sat down and were presented with an issue: what to eat? I mean, we knew what we wanted, but really, could we consume it all? Taking the safe tack, we opted to keep it at a main per person and two shared dishes. We threw in the Caesar listed on the wall and we were good to go.
Updated notes on The Hoof Café (2010.01.15)
Sabodet (above) Supposed to be a strong, earthy pork sausage of pig’s head and skin and a specialty of Lyon. So Google tells me. Reminded me more of breakfast sausage. Came on a bed of lentils, which were pretty tasty. I would say this was our least-favourite dish overall. Not bad, but everything else was just more to our taste.
French Press Coffee They use 49th Parallel from BC. It’s quite mild/mellow and quite lovely just black, even if you’re a milk ‘n’ sugar kind of person. A perfect drink for a relaxed morning.
Pig Skin Soup Thick and hearty, reminding us of a French pea soup. Came sided with baguette toast, and instead of butter, some delicious kind of porky fat was spread upon it. I had to refrain from eating it up since this was an early dish and I knew we had more coming…
Rabbit & Buckwheat pancakes The smell when it hit the table was incredible. Quite a nice dish, but we couldn’t finish it. Candied celery dice hidden underneath and chunks of rabbit were embedded throughout. But what I loved (and what gave off that heavenly smell) were what I assume are the slightly charred piggy/bacon curls on top. More of that please! (Thanks to ksl for the reminder!)
Pig tails ‘n’ grits Tasting of a mild tomato with a gentle kick. Loved mixing that yolk in and taking a bite of the pork. A hearty and heavy dish. Maybe a bit too heavy for me in the morning with the addition of cheesy grits, though the hit of green onion every now and then helped to break things up.
Tongue grilled cheese Looking more like a pastrami sandwich, but still really tasty. Lovely grill marks on the toasted brioche. You can’t really tell from this photo, but the thinly-shaved tongue is piled high. Hidden within is some chorizo. Comes skewered with some sweet pickles. My preference would be some dill pickles instead. (Thanks to Renée for the brioche/chorizo bits).
Marrow side Usually only one marrow per order, we were given two because the first one was small. Since there were three of us, I wasn’t going to complain. Tasty, as always, especially with that hit of Maldon sea salt. So good.
A Caesar was up on the drink menu. Pink peppercorn, vodka, marmite syrup, horseradish. It had to be ordered. I kinda felt like it needed more bite and I didn’t really taste the marmite. I think I preferred the one at Ceili Cottage (you’ll see it in a future post) better.
You can check out the kitchens through the little window near the door. I think that’s Grant Van Gameren playing with some sweetbreads on the left there. Yay to him for making offal cool and broadening Toronto palates.
Though we left things like the Suckling Pig Benny and the Brioche French Toast (with a slab of foie gras on the side, of course!) for next time, despite our discretion, we still were really full. So full that I didn’t even think to ask about dessert – something I regret, now that I hear talk of bone marrow donuts with cherries inside. Sigh. But what we did eat was very good, very rich, and ultimately, satisfying.
I know we’ll be sitting in the sunny room of The Hoof Cafe again very soon.
- The Hoof Café 923 Dundas Street West, Toronto