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I’m a fan of the Oliver and Bonacini chain of restaurants (i.e. Auberge du Pommier, Oliver & Bonacini Café & Grill, Jump) and when I heard that a new restaurant was opening up near the Eaton Centre, I was eager to try it.

Bannock, conveniently located at Queen and Bay is centered around Canadian comfort food. A portion of the restaurant is actually a café with limited seating and items that people can purchase quickly to go. The other portion of the restaurant, where we ate, is a casual sit-down restaurant.

Clearwater Lobster Roll

The four of us arrived at the restaurant around noon on a Sunday, expecting the restaurant to be packed given its close proximity to the Eaton Centre. Luckily the restaurant was still about half empty so we were able to grab a table immediately.

The restaurant has a large menu consisting of a variety of salads, sandwiches, burgers, fish, meat and “meatish” (aka vegetarian) dishes.

After mulling over the menu, I decided to go with something on the lighter side, the Clearwater Lobster Roll – with root veg crudités on an O&B artisan pain au lait ($16). When the dish arrived, my first thought was that the portion was rahter small. So, if you’re coming with a large appetite, this probably wouldn’t suffice.

Boneless Back Rib Burger

The roll contained large chunks of lobster which was seasoned well and wasn’t overly dressed with mayo. I liked the soft pain au lait bread the lobster was served on and overall thought this was a solid lobster roll. The roll was served with “root veg crudites”, which was a fennel and apple salad. It was a light, refreshing side but wasn’t anything special, in my opinion.

Mike decided to go with the Boneless Back Rib Burger – with smoky tomato jam and maple mustard bbq sauce ($15). For some reason, I expected this to be a patty made out of ground up rib, but the burger actually contained large pieces of boneless ribs. Similar to my lobster roll, the burger was on the small side, but the taste made up for it. The ribs were saucy (just the way I like it!), messy and finger-licking good. This burger came with a side of root crisps – taro and regular potato chips, which were delicious. I wish my roll had came with these instead of my fennel and apple salad.

Veggie Bannock

Our friend Adrian ordered the Veggie Bannock – with portobello mushroom, marinated peppers, comfort cream ($12). Given that the name of the restaurant is Bannock, someone had to order a bannock dish. We were surprised when it arrived since we were all expecting a flatbread pizza as opposed to a flatbread sandwich, especially since it was under “Bannocks & Pizzas” on the menu.

I didn’t try any of this, but Adrian really enjoyed this. He mentioned that it was quite oily though. Probably from the “comfort cream”, whatever that is.

Our other friend, Cary ordered the Margherita Pizza – Ingersoll mozzarella, basil ($13). He actually asked for it without basil, so you won’t see it pictured below. The pizza came with five thick slices of yellow tomatoes and presentation-wise, it looked like it had been in the oven a touch too long. I didn’t try any of the pizza but Cary liked it. He mentioned that sometimes he finds thin crusts to be a little dry but he liked what they had going on here.

Overall, we had a nice leisurely lunch at Bannock. The food was solid and while the prices aren’t too high, the portions weren’t very big – perfect for lunch, but probably not quite enough for dinner. So, if you’re in the area looking for a good lunch option, I’d recommend coming to Bannock.

Margherita Pizza

At a glance:
• Part of the O&B chain
• Serving up “Canadian comfort food”
• Casual restaurant with a large menu
• Portions are on the small side
• Located on Queen and Bay near the Eaton Centre

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

Bannock on Urbanspoon

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