- Uncle Betty’s is a family foodie heaven: the sole Toronto provider of New York’s famous Dreesen’s doughnuts, a colourful ice cream and dessert bar, warm and fuzzy comfort food, and a small selection of beer and wine for the grown-ups in the crowd, all make this a popular place for parents and kids alike. Uncle Betty’s has only been open for a few months, but it already seems to have garnered a dedicated following. We went to Uncle Betty’s on a bustling Friday night, looking for a casual meal and easy-going atmosphere; Uncle Betty’s certainly provided both. Painted in bright blue and cheery orange, lots of seating inside, and a small patio off the front, we felt right at home. Several families were enjoying meals with their kids in tow As the evening wore on though, most of those families were replaced with twenty and thirty-somethings looking for a cool place to hang out.
Offering sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, salads, and many other of Uncle Betty’s specialty creations, the menu is fairly extensive and varied. We ordered the roasted vegetable sandwich with a salad, and the grilled cheese sandwich, which was made with homemade mac-and-cheese and meatloaf stuffed inside. Their grilled cheese also comes in a pulled pork variety, which I am sure we will try on our next outing. Both meals were great, the vegetable sandwich was warm, the cheese was nicely melted, and the bread was crisp. The grilled cheeses sandwich was deemed as one of the “best ever,” however, the portion size was on the small side for a $15 sandwich. Both of us agreed that the sandwich could be a little bigger, but overall we were impressed with the quality and creative effort put into the food.
For dessert, we each tried a Dreesen’s cinnamon sugar doughnut, made fresh on site, and although they were pretty tasty, I am setting my sights on the ice cream bar next time. It is far too bright and colourful to miss, with jars of candy toppings and a great selection of ice cream flavours to choose from.
The service was friendly and attentive, and we had a conversation with the owner, Samara Melanson, as we were leaving. Samara and her husband recently opened the restaurant, and it’s always great to meet the owner while dining out and learn about the creation of the restaurant and where some of the ideas for the food come from. She told us that chef Paul Lampa was brought over from Coquine restaurant, which explains the “gourmet” comfort food bent and the locally sourced ingredients.
Most appetizers are priced from 6 – 10 dollars; entrees varied in price from about 9 – 15 dollars, and wine and beer was in the 6 – 8 range. And Uncle Betty’s carries Kicking Horse coffee, which is an instant sell and a welcome find for this Toronto-transplanted Western girl.
Betty’s also offers what looks to be a delicious weekend brunch, with homestyle blueberry pancake and Uncle Betty’s own take on eggs benny, which comes served on a doughnut. We will definitely be back to Uncle Betty’s to try some of the other great entrees on the menu, and of course to dig into their ice cream bar.
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