28 July 2013

Carriage House Cafe

(No Pictures...but a milestone!)

Brunch: my least favourite meal of the day because it means that I didn't wake up early enough for both breakfast, second breakfast, AND lunch. However, brunch at the Carriage House Cafe this afternoon was quite a relaxing and novel experience.

Carriage House Cafe is a restaurant that offers local food. It is blatantly obvious when pointed out, on Stewart Ave, but is otherwise camoflauged because it has no blatant neon sign and it is painted an olive green that matches the nearby trees. It kind of looks like a barn, and the front door is difficult to open. The interior is both bubolic (with stone brick walls, lazy fans, and a winter scene painted on a giant saw) and old-school modern (with typewriters, a turtle lamp, old-style radio, and glass tables), if that's even a style.

It was really busy when we arrived at noon, so we either had to wait upstairs (really pretty, natural lighting, clean, quaint), or sit at the couch. We decided that we might as well eat at the wooden coffee table with the velvet, paisley-seated couch with plump beige cushions in which you could lose yourself (or your wallet, haha). It felt a little uncanny to be about 50 cm lower than everyone else seated at tables. Maybe it just seemed too casual. If the entire restaurant were couches and beanbags... well, then, that's a business plan.

The locally-killed animals included salmon, cow, pig, and rabbit (there may have been others but I don't recall...). As I have never been offered the opportunity to try rabbit, I was in quite a quandary. I like rabbits. They're cute. I frequently consider getting a pet rabbit after I graduate. Heck, a rabbit face is on my login screen! So...no rabbit, rabbit pate, or rabbit sausage? What a eerie feeling, which was soon overwhelmed by my animalistic desires to try new animals and not be a hypocrite (because I eat cows. Why not rabbits?).

I ordered the breakfast sandwich, which was an apple and rabbit sausage, egg (I asked for poached), and salad lettuce, served in house-made ciabatta (one side coated in butter, the other side with some mildly spicy mustard mayonnaise), with fried potato chunks on the side and homemade ketchup. The apple and rabbit sausage was really good. It was slightly peppery, and the apple cuboids were the size of rice grains. The rabbit part was very juicy, chewy, and sausage-like. It was kind of like eating a cow burger patty, but more fatty and chunky. I wonder which part of the rabbit they used. I would assume that the legs would be too muscular, thus rendering the patty too lean if they used it. But then, where do they use? The poached egg were great. The ciabatta was perfectly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, with lots of holes. The butter soaking into the ciabatta made me question why I never buy good butter to put onto my toast - or rather, why I never eat buttered toast in the first place. I also really enjoyed whatever mayonnaise sauce thing they threw on the other half of ciabatta.
The potatoes and ketchup were pretty good. Perfectly fried.

I also tried a slice of bacon which was pretty thick and not very fatty. It was pretty good but a bit too salty.

Overall, I currently do not regret adding rabbit to the list of animals I've consumed, though I think I prefer lamb more. The list is:
Various fish (eel, salmon, etc.), but not shark
Various other seafood and crustaceans (clams, mussels, oysters, squid, octopus, in various states of rawness)

Contrary to stereotypes, I have not tried kangaroo or dogs or cats. Possibly because of the stereotypes, I would prefer to keep it that way for now.

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