Originally I thought Bannock was a humourous name for a restaurant, but it piqued my curiosity. An eatery that was going to combine a camping favourite with urban appeal in downtown Toronto seemed to me like quite a task.
The decor of the hardwood tables and chairs was very warm and inviting and even though I arrived at opening, it didn't take too long for the room to fill. The staff was very friendly and quite eager to help out with meal choices or providing more information as to what was in a particular dish.
I chose to start with something as simple as poutine which included Monforte Dairy Curds (from Stratford, Ontario), Fries and Chicken Gravy and was surprised by it's elegance and deliciousness.
The poutine was a guilty pleasure, but the real reason I was here was for the bannock (this is an outdoors blog after all!) so I chose to give the bannock Caesar salad a try. It was constructed with Romaine hearts, bannock croutons and horseradish and I loved the perfect mix (and I'm a Caesar salad kind of guy). When it came to my first bannock crouton, I was focused purely on it's taste. Crunchier than I expected, with a soft interior, I could immediately identify the bannock core, but this was a level greater than anything I have made on the camp stove. I was impressed!
On to the main course of a BLT bannock (as if I could turn down both bannock and bacon in one meal) and again, was surprised by what was presented to me. Bannock's goal was to take traditional Canadian comfort foods and put a playful spin on them. Instead of regular ol' strips of bacon, I had an actual cut wrapped in warm soft bannock with a side of handmade crisps. Rocket was used to garnish it, along with vine tomatoes and 'horseymayo'. It was a delight!
Bannock exceeded my expectations with every dish being presented so beautifully, and the food itself so appetizing, that I will be dropping back in on my next trip to Toronto. This is the camper's food taken to the gourmet level and will be it's own adventure for your tastebuds.
Bannock is at 401 Bay Street in Toronto, across from Old City Hall.