1513 Gerrard Update

Get ready y’all!

We are opening very soon, but first another story…

When I was ten years old my family moved back to Toronto after living in Owen Sound for around five years. We moved into a house next to Withrow Park, just south of the Danforth, and I started going to Holy Name School, a Catholic grade school with an unfortunately un-creative name. I was confirmed at Holy Name Church with a whole slew of my new friends, most of which lived in the Danforth and Riverdale areas. We ate souvlaki on a stick from the original Mr. Greek – the luckiest kids would have enough lunch money to splurge on a whole combo plate with the starchy rice-potato duo.

I remember early versions of the Taste of the Danforth, held in Withrow where I competed in a spaghetti eating competition. I must have weighed 50 pounds wet, but I could crush a plate of spaghetti back then. I still can, but at forty-one I feel it for about a week afterwards.

As I grew older, the east end was still my Toronto. My high school girlfriend lived off Pape near the McDonald’s. My last year of high school (OACs for those of you that remember) was taken at SOLE, an alternative school near Danforth and Donlands. Upon graduating, my sister took me out for a sandwich at the Only Café, where only a couple of years later I would become a regular, along with friends from the restaurant world and elsewhere. We would drink stout and try to get the hi-score on the pinball machine. At the time, I listened to a lot of the Lowest of the Low and thought that bar was the coolest.

By the time I was 24 years old I was getting married and buying a house. It seems crazy to me that I could have done either of those things at that age, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the turn of the century. We bought a house on Kerr Road, near Greenwood and Queen, where I would be woken by the sounds of children using the back pathway to Duke of Connaught Public School. At night, after my restaurant shifts were over, I would walk around the neighbourhood, along Queen, up Coxwell, across Gerrard, down Greenwood. We would sit on our front porch and drink wine with our neighbor Ben. I fell in love with the ‘hood again.

Soon after, my big sister moved into the area, followed a couple of years later by my younger sister. I moved out a few years after that (the marriage and home ownership didn’t work out), but I never really left.

Fast forward twelve-ish years and I’m coming back. I have been fortunate enough to have built a great butcher shop in Kensington Market. I have been wanting to open a second location for a few years now, and had my eye on Gerrard to do it. My big sister was the one who alerted me about the space we’re moving into, and I’m so glad she did. I’ve met a couple of my neighbors, and I’m stoked to meet the rest. While I have traveled the world and lived all around this great city, the east end is where my Toronto began.

Look for the doors to open in early March. I’m holding off on stating a date until the contractor gives me the go ahead.

See you soon,


Homage to a Rebel (or Two)

By: Anne Hynes

I’m sure that you have felt it too – spring is on its way! The approach of Easter has me thinking of a fun egg-y treat – perfect for a spring breakfast, brunch or snack while shopping in Kensington Market.  This recipe was inspired by a few sources:  a recipe in Chatelaine Magazine, San Francisco’s famous muffin called the Rebel Within and by a former chef with whom I worked for many years, another rebel, named Karen Viva-Haynes.

The Rebel Within is a bacon and cheese muffin baked with a soft-boiled egg inside. The soft-boiled egg aspect of this dish makes it quite time-consuming, which is why I like the idea of an egg baked into a biscuit (thank you Chatelaine!)  A staple on Karen’s menu at Viva Tastings and one that we would make weekly was her Cheddar-Chipotle Biscuits.  The recipe below came together with elements of these three recipes in what I am calling the Rebel Inside.

I often remind younger cooks that most recipes are inspired by the classics that we already know and love. These dishes can be modified over time, perhaps with a new ingredient or technique, until they become something of their own.  Being able to riff on an idea and put your own spin on it is what creating great food is all about.

The Rebel Inside will be available at Sanagan’s Saturday mornings while supplies last. I hope that you will enjoy them!

The Rebel Inside

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup fine cornmeal

2 tbsp sugar

2 ½ baking powder

½ baking soda

1 tsp salt

½ cup cold butter, cut in ½ in cubes

2 cups old cheddar, grated

1 large egg

¾ cup buttermilk

1 tbsp chipotle pepper, minced

½  bunch of chives, finely chopped

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp cream

11 medium eggs

To make the dough:

– In the bowl of a stand mixer combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda. Using the paddle attachment cut in the butter until it resembles coarse meal. Add cheese and mix well.

– In a separate bowl combine buttermilk and egg. Add to the flour and butter mixture while on low speed until just combined. Add chopped chives and chipotle and mix briefly to combine. Gather dough together and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight.

To bake:

– Preheat oven to 425˚F

– Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1-inch thickness. Cut out circles with 4-inch cutter. Cut out the center with a 2 ¼ inch cutter. Place biscuit rings on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Gather scraps and reroll to make 11 rings.

– Combine egg yolk and cream and brush the tops of the biscuits.

– Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly add a medium egg to each biscuit. (The easiest way to do this is by cracking each egg into a small measuring cup and pouring it in.) Top each egg with a pinch of salt and pepper.

– Return to the oven for an additional 9 minutes. The eggs will continue to cook as the biscuits cool.

Makes 11 biscuits