MTO Mini Donuts with Local Honey
Chicken in a Waffle – Bechamel, Fried Chicken, French Fries
Vegan Carrot + Coconut Pancakes with Pecans and Agave
Fat Elvis – French Toast, Banana, Bacon, Peanut Butter, Strawberries, Nutella
Grilled Cheese – Brie, Local Honey, Toasted Walnuts, Brioche
Thanksgiving Burger – Open Faced on Truffle Bread Pudding with Orange-Cranberry Sauce and Mashed Browns
Always happy to see a chef preaching the ethics of local-seasonal sourcing and scratch-made-to-order cooking, particularly in the breakfast scene, it was unfortunately a rocky start for myself and MTO Café as even before they opened for business a steady trickle of shady “Five Star” reviews began to fill the internet, a trend not uncommon but nonetheless off-putting and causing me pause until more respectable voices were heard…in this case 3 months later. Open seven days a week from breakfast till lunch and already a downtown darling with critics, city hall, and Zappos affiliates it was on a lazy Sunday that a friend and I sat down to a table in airy, charming space just after 8:15 and with on-point service highly praiseful of both Chef Church and owner Ben Sabouri’s vision much of what followed would prove well worth the hyperbole, a total of seven items and nearly as many cups of coffee comprising our 90 minute stay. A menu broad in sections yet well-culled in scope it was with a wide swath that we cut through the options and requesting that items be sent out individually as the kitchen felt fit it was from sweet to savory that the morning progressed, an early offering of doughnuts that came off a touch oily and the doughy bread of the ‘Fat Elvis’ minor disappointments more than offset by fluffy vegan pancakes, creamy brie on lightly sweetened brioche, and superlative proteins such as the fried chicken smothered in béchamel or the tender turkey burger atop savory bread pudding alongside signature “mashed browns,” a crunchy/creamy juxtaposition of butter, brine, and starch. Off to a good start and informed by our server that the new menu is scheduled to debut in just a few weeks I look forward to seeing how MTO evolves over time – early marketing tactics aside this is a spot with ‘destination breakfast’ potential and along with ‘eat’ already a reason for suburbanites and tourists to make their way downtown before dusk.