I've walked past Bannock countless times without glancing at it twice -when shopping at the Eaton Centre, when skating at Nathan Philip's Square, and so on. However, when a friend and I were thinking of a spot to grab dinner at before shopping, Toronto's ice cold weather prevented us from desiring any type of mission. Since the reviews were fairly good, we decided to give it a go.
Caesars, (4$/drink non-alcoholic) First thing we ordered were Caesars, served with a side of bacon and tomato jelly on the side. They were one of the best I've had! A little spicy, but very flavourful. The bite of bacon and jelly was also delicious, as the sweetness of the tomato nicely complimented the salty bacon. Definitely would reorder.
Garlic and Herb bannock + o&b Artisan Breads 6$ It's difficult to see, but underneath the breads there is a dip of the day. The day we went, there was a delicious bean dip that was very flavourful and delicious. Although the breads look just like any old bread, they were very fresh, light and flavourful. The bannock, especially, was amazing! Tasted like a medley of pita and matzo to me.
Griddled Octopus (22$) and Roast Duck Poutine Pizza (16$) Bannock was extremely accommodating my subbing the potatoes that originally came with the meal with sweet potato fries (as I hate potatoes) and subbing out the duck for chicken in my friend's pizza. Terrific customer service in that respect. Anyhow, I ordered the octopus salad because I'm an avid seafood lover. The salad was amazing! I loved the wilted escarole because it was slightly bitter and worked amazing with the peanut romesco sauce. The octopus was grilled perfectly and absolutely delicious. The whole meal just worked very well together, and the portion was just right; filling but nothing excessive. The duck poutine pizza on the other hand was horrid. The sweet onion was overwhelming and caused the crust to me weighed down and ultimately soggy. I was barely able to find any pieces of meat, and the fries, gravy and cheese were bellow par. Overall, the flavours were too rich and too heavy....simply an unenjoyable dish that was too large to be finished unless split by three or more. Considering it was supposedly Bannock's signature dish, I was very disappointed.
O&B Artisan Butter Tart (8$) The picture definitely does not do this dessert justice. It was amazing! The best butter tart I've had, hands down. The inside was warm, gooey and buttery with a rich flavour. It worked well with the whipped cream, and the jam on the side was just tart enough to cut back the sweetness of the tart. Would definitely order this again, especially to-go if I'm ever around the Eaton Centre. A must-try!
Overall, I very much enjoyed my meal at Bannock. Although my friend couldn't say the same (hence, the pizza), I would definitely return albeit ordering items outside of the scope of "Canadian comfort food". The butter tart, especially, is a must try that I would recommend to anyone.