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Located on Dundas St West and Gladstone, The Federal (@TorontoFederal) serves up brunch everyday from 9am to 3pm.

While they are primarily known for their brunch service, they also offer an evening menu from 6pm Tuesdays to Sundays. Since brunch is their specialty, that’s the meal we came for. The four of us arrived around 11:30 on a Sunday and thankfully only had to wait 10 minutes before being seated (I think we got lucky… short waits during prime brunch hour in the city doesn’t seem to be the norm).

The interior

The space is quite small so groups of two are definitely your best bet. The tight space features exposed brick walls, a bar at the back and the usual hipster décor.

The bar

The Federal’s brunch menu consists of several sections: soup & salad, eggs, sandwiches and “un-savoury”.  On the beverage side of things, they offer brunch cocktails (from 11am), a selection of beers and house-made pop. Oh, and bonus points for bottomless coffee for $2.50!

Hibiscus Shandy ($7)

I decided to go with the Eggs Federal – poached eggs, bacon, English muffin, mushroom tarragon cream ($14). You have the option of substituting the bacon for kale… but I think you all know me better than that.  The toasted English muffin was topped with bacon and perfectly poached eggs. While the mushroom sauce was tasty and made for a nice take on a benny, my preference is still hollandaise sauce (nothing beats a buttery hollandaise!).

The accompanying sides were quite enjoyable. The arugula salad added a nice freshness to the heavy dish and I loved the addition of the pickled red onions. I also loved that the benny was served with rosti – which tasted amazing with their house-made ketchup.

The Eggs Federal

Mike ordered the Cubano – roast pork, cheddar, ham, avocado, Dijon, pickled red onion & dill pickle on sourdough ($14). It wasn’t traditional by any means but it was a damn good sandwich. The roast pork was wonderfully moist, the pickles and pickled red onions were plentiful and the avocado added a nice creaminess. A must-order in my opinion!

The Cubano

Mike and I also shared a half order of Belgian Waffles – served with lemon cream, fruit & maple syrup ($10 or $6 a half order). Unfortunately these were pretty mediocre. I found the waffles to be on the hard side and just not very memorable. Le Petit Dejeuner is still the place to get some of the best Belgian waffles in the city.

Belgian Waffles

One of our friends ordered the Sausage Waffle Sandwich which is a secret menu item. While I didn’t try any, he didn’t have any complaints and seemed to enjoy it.

Sausage Waffle Sandwich

Despite the waffles, we still had a great brunch experience. The Federal is definitely a great brunch option in the Dundas West area.

At a glance:
• Serving up brunch everyday from 9am to 3pm
• Evening menu offered Tuesday to Sunday from 6pm
• Located on Dundas St. West (one block east of Dufferin)
• Small space filled with mostly two-tops
• Must-order: the Cubano

Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 4 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars

The Federal Reserve on Urbanspoon

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