|Location||385 Roncesvalles Avenue|
|Breakfast sandwich for one||$6|
At 385 Roncesvalles Avenue is a small takeout window that dishes up all-day breakfast sandwiches and burgers. It’s an offshoot of Dundas West hotspot The Federal. The shop’s name, Gold Standard, connotes something spectacular—and has been buzz-worthy since Toronto Life food critic, Mark Pupo, named it as one of Toronto’s Best New Restaurants in 2018.
While I don’t always agree with Pupo’s reviews, I was curious to see if this hole in the wall was worth the hype. So, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I sauntered up Ronces in search of “one of the city’s best breakfast sandwiches.”
I wasn’t surprised by the crowd of people who filled the limited sidewalk seating. There were tired-eyed hipsters who looked like they needed some greasy breakfast as a hangover remedy. There were lovey-dovey couples on dates. There were parents with kids and dogs in tow. There were cyclists who scoffed down sandwiches without removing their helmets. Everyone silently soaked up the grease in all its glory, and I couldn’t wait to join them.
I walked up to the window and there was only one guy in front of me. I perused the four-item chalkboard menu. There were three types of breakfast sandwiches ($6 each)—one with bacon, one with kale and one vegetarian option “The Alternative”—a playful riff on the classic with mushrooms and hummus. In addition, they had a burger ($12). I decided to get the Gold Standard breakfast sandwich with bacon. As I waited for someone (anyone?) to take my order, I observed a duo of cooks laying cornmeal-studded English muffins on a flat top and wrapping up the finished products in gold foil. After waiting for three minutes, a guy took my order and informed me they were out of bacon. Plan B: Gold Standard breakfast sandwich with kale.
Traffic at the tiny window was steady while I waited. The guy rotated between handling cash and going back to the griddle to prep la nourriture. I’m all for multi-tasking, but I’m not sure if he washed his hands in between. About once every ten minutes, the guy would call out orders. People practically ran to the window to fetch their gold packages. I watched as one customer unwrapped his sandwich and sunk his teeth into the English muffin. The scrambled egg, melted cheddar, pickles, aioli and hot sauce dripped out from the corners of his mouth. It looked like a sandwich dreams were made of—striking a balance between greasy and glam.
Twenty minutes went by. The guy came to the window again and called out an order. Two people who had ordered after me went up to collect their gold packages. I was getting a little peeved. But, at the 30-minute mark, my solo sandwich finally arrived. I carefully folded back the gold foil, observed the thin sandwich, and took a big bite. The flavours were overtaken by pickles. The steamed kale was waterlogged. The once-plush English muffin that had been toasted on the griddle was soggy. The scrambled egg was bland. There was one saving grace: the aioli. But, a true breakfast sandwich can only be measured by the sum of its parts. And, it didn’t measure up.
Unfortunately, Gold Standard failed to look up “takeout window” dans le dictionnaire. Any breakfast sandwich should be designed to satisfy acute hunger, and should be prepared with vitesse. Customers may submit to the unaccountably long waiting-around times, but I refuse.
Gold Standard’s sandwich isn’t even worthy of a bronze medal, et c’était tellement dommage.
Mme M. xoxo
Le rubrique de Madame Marie
1 étoile – Run. Before you get the runs.
2 étoiles – Mediocre, but nothing you couldn’t make at home.
3 étoiles – C’est bon, with some standout qualities.
4 étoiles – Many memorable qualities and excellent execution. Compliments to the chef.
5 étoiles – Formidable! Michelin Star quality. Book a reservation immediately.