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Weekend Brunch at Carmen's Verandah
Weekend Brunch at Carmen's Verandah
Carmen's Verandah
Carmen's Verandah
Foods from Carmen's Verandah

2014 Oct 29
Bummer, i liked Carmen's.

That said, when they went from bistro to tacos, i wondered if something wasn't working out any more.

2014 Oct 28
Pretty sure it's closed. Paper over windows and new restaurant advertised at that address (Belmont)

2014 May 20
We tried out Carmenís Verandah for the first time using a Groupon. Definitely money well spent and certainly a restaurant to which I would return.

The food was delicious, although very slow to come out. But given the small space and chef/owner doing all (or most) of the orders, it was understandable.

I had Crispy tofu tacos and Black bean wrap. Both were really delicious although the taco was not what I had expected. The tofu element comprised fried tofu bits added on top. But overall the taco Ė with all its components Ė was perfection!

BF had Avocado and mango salad (very tasty!) and Pollo con ancho which he said was delicious and ample.

We shared the rice pudding which was creamy and comforting -- exactly what I expect rice pudding to be.

2012 Jul 25
We walked in yesterday for lunch (Tuesday). Twenty minutes later we walked out, not having eaten. I get annoyed with venues giving off a vibe that I should be so lucky to be in their establishment. Between taking her time to step out from behind the counter to greet us to letting 20 minutes go by without taking our order despite our menues being very obviously set aside, and the place not being busy, the service had us walk out. We won't be going again, especially since Havana Cafe, which is fantastic is just across the street.

2011 Mar 23
Enjoyed tonight's dinner at Carmen's. Nice appetizer on arrival - toasted spiced pita chips with a white bean dip. My main course was fresh collards, nicely cooked without being soggy. Bbq chicken, moist and skin perfectly browned. The sauce was good, but I like a sauce that is a little less sweet. Also served with a roasted new potato salad in a chive mayonnaise. My other half had a stacked corn and black bean tortilla vegetarian main that was also quite good, very fresh tasting and colorful. We were both too full to order dessert. The service was friendly and helpful. The only negative was that there was a long delay in the kitchen for our mains (nearly 45 minutes) and the restaurant was not that busy, with only 2 other tables. The server was apologetic for the delay, and when the food arrived it was freshly cooked and hot, so no worries. They are currently in the process of making some seasonal changes to the menu, and would like to go back and try some of the other things on the menu.

2011 Jan 8
After an absence of 6 months had lunch here this week. Friendly, attentive service. Excellent mushroom soup, thankfully not thickened with flour and nicely seasoned. Perfect for a cold day. We shared a pulled pork sandwich with side green salad and curried chicken salad on toasted naan also with a side green salad and enjoyed both. Good bottle of Australian vino to accompany all. Won't wait 6 months to return.

2010 Aug 26
I tried Carmen's for dinner several times after they first opened, and was underwhelmed. I haven't been in several (5?) years but thought it was time for an update. I conscripted my son and his lovely girlfriend (that's you, Rhonda, I know you read these things) to join me for dinner.

First - service and atmosphere. We had a reservation, which I had thought would not have been necessary, but on a Wednesday night, every table was taken. There was more energy than I recall. The server was pleasant and positive. She appeared to be alone, which made some things take longer than expected, but at the end of the day I tipped my normal percent, so I must have been happy.

For appetizers, Rhonda and I shared the bruschetta duo, which include a brie and sour cherry version, and a goat cheese with apricot version. Both were interesting and there were no crumbs left on the plates. My son ordered some sort of a pear/cheese/greens thing, and it disappeared before I got a good look, so I guess it was good too.

The mains at our table (and I tried them all) were the pizza (blah), the beef tenderloin stuffed with blue cheese (the steak and stuffing were good, the plain mashed potatoes and green beans were blah), and the vegetarian black bean tortilla cake (my order, and I think I won). My vegetarian option was really delicious. I'm not vegetarian, but I'd order this again.

We enjoyed a couple of nice bottles of wine, and the good news is that real wine glasses are used. Years ago, juice glasses were used for wine, and I really really didn't like that.

We had no takers for dessert.

Total for three of us with apps and mains, before wine and tip (I generally leave wine out of the cost equation as it is such a significant cost item if you decide to go silly) was about $125.

Bottom line: better than I remember. The food didn't wow me. The prices were on a par with other similar establishments. I suspect they've survived largely on a neighbourhood following. I think they have their work cut out for them with Taylor's opening up down the street.

2010 Jul 30
It's interesting to me that these recent, and positive, reviews are all related to brunch. I have also had brunch at Carmen's and enjoyed it. I'd be interested in hearing about recent dinner experiences. I went two or three times (so as to be sure I had given it a fair chance)and was really not impressed, so I haven't been back in a couple of years. The food was "okay", but only just okay. The wine list was limited and weak. Wine was served in juice glasses - I don't think I'm a wine snob, but drinking wine out of juice glasses just doesn't do it for me. I know from checking with others that I'm not the only one to feel this way.

If others have been for dinner recently, I'd be interested in their thoughts. I'd like to support a local restaurant, but would need to hear good things to be motivated to give it another try.

2010 Jul 27
This past weekend my husband and I made an impromptu visit to Carmenís Veranda. We just happened to be walking by on an empty stomach when we saw their breakfast sign out front.

I have to say, I was pretty excited when I first walked in. It had the most comforting feel, with warm orangey walls, unique and random little decorations, and retro table and chair sets. On the walls, chalkboards filled with wine and beer lists, wine anecdotes, and of course, the breakfast menu of the day. I love this style of restaurant Ė kind of diner-meets-bistro. Itís that place in your neighbourhood you could just pop in to on your own and have a great meal for a reasonable price. Itís not near my place but I would definitely make it a regular if it was.

Minus the fact that our server forgot to take our order, when we finally did get our breakfast, it was really good. That little mishap did nothing to the quality of the service Ė she was super friendly and efficient. My husband ordered the scrambled eggs with sausage and me, the poached eggs with spinach and maple bacon. The presentation was nothing special, but the fragrant needle-like rosemary leaves in the side serving of breakfast potato was delicious. My fresh, poached eggs were flawless, and the bacon, perfectly crisp. Not bad for $12!

Iím looking forward to trying dinner here. I would love to just sit back, sip some wine and enjoy a nice, casual meal. You can even bring your own wine on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for a $10 corkage fee Ė very exciting. Breakfast ranges from $8 to $12, dinner apps from $8 to $10 and mains from $18 to $29.

2009 Mar 14
We came here this morning for brunch, with my SO's sister and her daughter (9 and picky).

The good: The decor is super fun, it was fairly quiet for a Saturday morning, the menu changes once a week, the food is downright delicious.

The bad: They only had one non-egg item on this weeks menu, which was unfortunate for my SO's sister who *hates* eggs (unless they're in something like soup or baked goods). Because the menu changes weekly, it's hard to predict what you can have, which is something I like about breakfast. Also, the menu is written on a chlakboard and there are no paper copies--meaning you either have to sit in a very convenient spot, or decide what you want to eat before sitting down (which is awkward if there are other diners sitting right under the menu)

The downright ugly: The price-to-portion ratio. All of the brunch dishes (except granola) were $12. While I liked that it was a flat price point, the portion sizes are what my SO and I refer to as "Bittman sized" (after trying many of Mark Bittman's recipes and still being hungry afterwards). The french toast was two medium sized pieces of baguette with marscapone cheese and berries in the middle. Very yummy. My SO and I split this and the pancetta/shallots omlette, which was made from eggs of the world's smallest chicken. I would say it was about a two-egg omlette based upon size. It was also very, very yummy, but there was minimal pancetta to be found and now that I think about it, I couldn't find a shallot.
But, the real kicker for me what the sides. I get only making a small portion of the main at brunch to save money and then serving up a few slices of bacon (advertised with the french toast) or a good portion of homefries (for the omlette). What we got, however, was *one* strip of bacon, extra crispy and not more than two or three bites of homefries. Honestly, it was the biggest food tease I've ever experienced.

For four of us--four mains, two coffees, two juices--with tax and tip it was $75. For breakfast. And we were left hungry afterwards. The food was quite good and the atmosphere was really nice. But in complete honesty, all that's done is left me feeling incredibly confused as to how I feel about Carmen's. I might need to save my pennies before going again.


2012 Feb 4
Another large dish, my girlfriend enjoyed the blueberry and mascarpone stuffed french toast. Topped with strawberries, raspberries, and banana! Also draped overtop were a couple strips of thick-cut bacon, drizzled with maple syrup.

This thing was just straight up sweet and delicious! Fruit was fresh, and the french toast was warm and fluffy. Not as eggy as you would expect, almost more of a dessert than a traditional breakfast.

We also shared a orange and cranberry scone between us to start. Also served warm with butter and jam. Fluffy instead of crumbly with a nice hint of citrus - not overpowering.

Both our dishes, plus scone, a tea, and an americano came to $38 with tax which seemed perfectly reasonable. We left stuffed, and will definitely be back.

2012 Feb 4
Tried out Carmen's Veranada for brunch for the first time today. I ordered the scrambled eggs with pancetta wrapped honey dijon sausages. There were an extremely generous portion of eggs here - at least 3 eggs worth, and cooked perfectly. Moist and fluffy.

The sausage was the standout on the plate though. Savoury, salty, sweet, and all around delicious! Also included were a bunch of hashbrowns, seasoned with rosemary (Fresh potatoes, not frozen). The dish was finished off with a small side-salad and buttered rye toast.

Overall I was very satisfied and I'll definitely be back!