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As we were walking down Fraser Street towards School Bakery & Café, we saw a huge crowd from afar, which turned out to be the line for the restaurant. After putting our name down on the waitlist, I inquired with the hostess how long she estimated the wait to be for the two of us, but she couldn’t give me a firm time, stating that not only were there many groups ahead of us, but there were also two large groups who had yet to be seated. So, we braced ourselves for a long wait.

Iced Coffee - served in a beaker

There was a couple who had arrived a few seconds before us, so after they went in, we thought we were next. However, the next two sets of twosomes they seated had arrived after us so I went to talk to the hostess. She had already crossed our name off! Apparently she called our name, but nobody answered, which was odd since we were standing there the whole time listening for our names. Luckily, she was able to seat us right away after discovering the mix up. We ended up waiting about 25 minutes, which definitely wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Seemed like we arrived at a time when a lot of people were finishing up their meals and heading out.

I could tell it was a very popular (and trendy) brunch destination. The entire time we were there, there was a constant line of over 20 people waiting outside the restaurant. Everyone also seemed to be very well dressed here. The restaurant has a small patio facing the street as well as a large patio out back (which wasn’t open today – likely because the weather forecasted rain). The décor of the restaurant was all school-themed. Their menus were on lined paper attached the clipboards, they served their iced drinks in beakers and had a wall of clocks all set at 3:30.

Spiced Benni - "served on cheddar chive biscuit with back bacon, chipotle hollandaise and home fries”

Mike started with an Illy Coffee, his favourite coffee brand. After ordering this, he noticed there were 2 sizes on the menu, but the server didn’t ask what size he wanted. When the bill came, we noted it was a large for $2.75. I went with the Iced Coffee, which was also $2.75. It came sweetened and was WAY too sweet for me. It tasted like I was drinking syrup! What a waste… If you don’t like your drinks super sweet, I’d recommend asking them to make it half-sweet.

After noticing the Spiced Benni on the menu, I knew what I was going to order. Their Spiced Benni – “served on cheddar chive biscuit with back bacon, chipotle hollandaise and home fries” ($13) was delicious! The hollandaise was flavourful and had a bit of a kick. I especially enjoyed the cheddar chive biscuit it was served on. I love it when restaurants replace the boring English muffin with something a bit more interesting. The dish was served on a cast iron skillet and came with some chunky home fries, which were just okay. Mike really enjoyed them, but I prefer my home fries a bit smaller and crispier.

Black and Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes – “stacked high with whipped cream & maple syrup”

Mike was trying to decide between the macadamia-banana and black/blueberry pancakes. He settled with the Black and Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes – “stacked high with whipped cream & maple syrup” ($12). They were thin and not very fluffy. Mike said they were a bit too thin to be pancakes but too thick to be crepes. Although they tasted good, they certainly weren’t the best pancakes we’ve had.

Since we noticed a counter full of fresh baked goods by the entrance, we wanted to get a few pastries to go. I asked the server for some scones to-go, but unfortunately they were all sold out. Maybe next time! Overall, we both enjoyed our experience here. I’d come back again…just maybe a bit earlier next time to avoid the line and missing the scones!

At a glance:

  • It’s a very popular brunch destination, so be prepared to wait
  • They have a large patio to enjoy on a nice day
  • Although I didn’t get to try any, they have some pretty nice looking baked goods
  • Ratings (out of 5):

  • Food: 4 stars
  • Service: 4 stars
  • Atmosphere: 4 stars
  • School Bakery & Café on Urbanspoon

    1. Teena in Toronto (Reply) on Saturday 11, 2011

      We had a late lunch there today … it was good.