Mussels at Back Lane Café
Duck Confit at Back Lane Café
Bouillabaisse at Back Lane Café
Pizza at Back Lane Café
Back Lane Café
Back Lane Café
Doughnuts at Back Lane Café
Pizza at Back Lane Café
Bouillabaisse at Back Lane Café
Bread (at a restaurant) at Back Lane Café
Back Lane Café
Back Lane Café
Weekend Brunch at Back Lane Café
Weekend Brunch at Back Lane Café
Back Lane Café
Back Lane Café
Back Lane Café
Foods from Back Lane Café

2012 Dec 1
I really enjoyed dining at the Back Lane Café. I went simple with a Margherita Pizza after reading that they have fantastic ovens. I was extremely impressed with the crust, and fresh flavours of the sauce and mozz. There is something incredibly unique that comes from a super hot stone oven and it's affects on dough.

2012 Oct 29
Wonderful Sunday lunch at Back Lane yesterday. Arrived without a reservation just before noon and were happily seated right in the window. As has been our experience here before, everything was exceptional. Yesterday's choices were a duck, poached egg with "muhammar?" sauce - roasted red peppers were a key ingredient I believe. Really delicious. I was feeling more lunch than brunch so I ordered the pasta carbonara, which was as near to perfect as any I have had. Pasta al dente, lovely eggy coating and peppery chunks of bacon. A nice surprise was that there was also a healthy portion of bright green fava beans in the dish. Haven't had carbonara this way before, but it was a really tasty addition. Back Lane has never disappointed!

2012 Aug 29
Went to The Back Lane last night as a farewell dinner for a couple moving to the UK. The place was jumping as usual - even on a Tuesday night.
We were greeted and seated quickly and got some wine ordered. We were the only couple who had been there before (twice). Others are restaurant goes with fairly sophistocated palettes.

Without exception everyone raved about their food. The appetizers were particularly outstanding - a beet salad - a proscutto and fresh mozzarella plate- a grilled octopus and a lamb cauliflower pizza shared by the group. The latter was the server's suggestion. Great idea for those who can'd decide between the regular dinners and the wood oven pizzas.

For mains there was a lamb three ways which was declared delicious. I had the seafood stew. Everyone talks about this and I have not ordered it as I spend half the year in NS and avoid seafood here. BUT - it was delicious - scollops, clams, shrimp, mussels and cod in a tomato medeterranian broth. Very rich but that might have been the smoky garlicy toast for dipping. YUM.
Others had pizza, declared to be top notch and the steak and frites which were cooked to perfection. The tuna nicsoise was also beautiful.

Despite the fact that they were short one server, service was great. All at our table look forward to returning. I will be returning today to correct our error in undertipping that great waitress.

The only (slight) downside is that the room remains pretty loud, with sound bouncing off all the hard surfaces. But if you are aware of this issue you can simply avoid the place for occasions when you need quiet intimacy.

2012 Aug 13
I had a great birthday lunch here in July.. including the burger and a killer salad to start. All around a lovely spot and Waupoos on tap makes it even better.

2012 Aug 13
Couldn't pay me to have a burger here. If you want a burger, cross the street to Hintonburger. I ordered a burger because the entrees were of little interest to me. Didn't think you could screw up something as simple as a burger. They don't have ketchup either, or any sort of sauce. Which was necessary to try and rescue the fries that had been doused in salt.

The burger itself was garbage. It has to be the worst burger I've had in a few years.
Totally mushy, tasteless, disgustingly sweet, that I had to pick off the sugary CARAMEL drop onions.

Both myself and my colleague were totally disappointed.

Decent looking place.. but we went to eat.

2012 Jul 13
Excellent lunch on a nice patio, on a very hot day.

The burger is very good. Caramelized onions, pickled zucchini, cheddar, nice homestyle bun. Juicy patty, good size, pinkish which I love.

The fries also very good, fresh, dark, real fries. I found the side mayo a bit too lemony and not as much body, thickness as I would like. But tasty, and fresh.

All washed down with St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout which is my new favourite dark beer, and a very good lunch overall. $14. They had a couple of other mussel dishes, and a chicken sandwich too I think.

The meal was prefaced by an oil and balsamic with three nice strips of a really fresh, moist, doughy, baguette. Nice touch.

Would definitely be back for lunch. Absinthe is still my top burger in the area due mostly to the bacon (neither HPH nor Back Lane have bacon), and the size, but also to the fries which I find to be the best around. However, they now have competition. These latter 2 newish restos in the 'Burg make an excellent burger, and great fries in their own right.

Next time I'll try the moules frites and report back.

2012 Apr 20
On a lark, we called and got a early table at Back Lane Cafe.

Really happy we did. As others have described, quaint and whimsical interior that's friendly and intimate.

Great and friendly service. We shared the garlic, almond and mushroom pate - yummy, with a selection of pickles and accompaniments. The in-house bread was quite nice, my favorite being the bagette over the sourdough... nice crisp to the crust, chewy and tender crumb.

The mains were the Fisherman's stew and Lamb loin with a mint yoghurt. Both excellent... really nice amount of seafood done just right. The broth was nice and tomato-ey but didn't mask the delicate seafood. The lamb was tasty and a nice medium rare... the mint yoghurt really made the dish.

I had the lemonade, which was delightfully zingy, with just the right amount of sweet...wish the glass was bigger, but it's not a lemonade to be slugged back, but rather tasted.

Finished with sharing the citrus fresh doughnut. Large item to eat solo, so splitting it was good. Warm doughnut, fresh, tasty and a nice delicate orange-y flavour... what's not to like? The accompanying strawberry ice cream was fine, but was a sideshow to the main event.

All in all, a really nice dinner and another no-brainer for us to return to.

Small nit (not food related): the men's, while impeccably clean is incredibly small.

2012 Mar 30
I've been here three times in the last month-twice for dinner with my husband and once for a girls' night out. With the exception of a seating delay which was beyond their control, and for which they more than made up for, the service and the food has been impeccable every time.

One cannot ask for a better experience.

George informs me that they will be starting to serve brunch again in the spring, after all the logistics for their patio are sorted.

2012 Mar 8
I've dined at the Back Lane Cafe twice since it opened and have had terrific experiences both times. I ordered the mushroom/nut pate and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a pretty substantial serving so the decision to share it with my husband was a good one. I had the braised lamb shank both times (I need to try something else, but honestly, my mouth still waters when I think about that lamb shank...). The preparations were slightly different each time, and I enjoyed both. My husband had one of the pizzas. Both of us were delighted. I promise I'll try something new next time - and there will be a next time. On my second visit I had three guests with me and stole tastes of everything that was ordered. I can't remember the specific dishes, but I can say that everything was delicious and the entire table enjoyed their dinners. For dessert, both versions of the home made donuts were ordered and the consensus was that the citrus glazed one is preferred. I think my husband nearly fell off his chair as he swooned over his dessert. I found it a bit sweet for my taste, but I don't have a sweet tooth and everyone else loved them, so I'm probably not the best judge.

It was nice to see a familiar face behind the bar as well. Paul was the Sommelier at the Echo Cafe once upon a time, and now has that role at Back Lane. We took his advice in our wine selection and very much enjoyed the bottle he recommended. On our second visit, I was pleased to learn that the server was very well educated about the wine options and was able to help us make a terrific selection based on the preferences described by my guests.

It is a small venue, so reservations can be a bit of a challenge. The on line tool works well, so you just need to do a bit of advance planning.

All in all, two very pleasant outings.

2012 Feb 19
Lambshank on couscous. Very good. Sauce a little on the sweet side. Not as mouth watering as the now defunct morrocan restaurant in Vieux Hull (I forget the name) but wow the morrocan food was divine!

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2012 Feb 17
Possibly the best in-house bread I've encountered! The baguette has a magical crust and a moist chewy crumb. My only quibble is that butter might be preferred by some over the cliche oil and balsamic.


2011 Dec 2
I think George Monsour should be applauded for offering a delicious, sophisticated brunch option on Saturdays. Although several restaurants offer upscale brunches on Sundays, it is difficult to find something that is open on a Saturday morning.

Back Lane Café delivers in spades. We tried two of the dishes - raspberry pancakes with fresh fruit & bacon and scrambled eggs, bacon, baked beans, bulger salad & homemade crusty bread. These are large portions and both were enjoyed with gusto. The coffee, constantly refilled, was high quality too.

The food was perfectly complemented with a pleasant mixture of jazz music which really enhanced the experience.

Once again, had a great time here.

2011 Nov 6
I had the scramble with two eggs, twice-smoked bacon served with baked beans, bulgar pilaf, and tartine.

The eggs were cooked perfectly - moist but not slimy. The bacon was text-book perfection; firm but not dry and crunchy with a low fat to meat ratio and a subtle smokey flavour.

The beans were sweeter than I was expecting (seemed tomato rather than molasses based), but paired really well with savoury pilaf.

My only criticism: I would have preferred a little jam to be served with the tartine. The bread had a wonderful crunch and was lightly toasted with butter. Some homemade strawberry jam would have been killer.

I also ordered a decaf coffee which is served americano. I usually don't expect much from a decaf, but this was wonderfully smooth and savoury. My companion's regular coffee was also very smooth and flavourful.

We arrived around 11:30 on a Sunday and were promptly seated. Food came quickly as well. I imagine once the word spreads this will change ;)

We'll definitely be back.

2011 Nov 6
Had the pleasure of stopping into the Back Lane Café for brunch today and discovered a wonderful new breakfast spot in Hintonburg.

My partner had the Za'atarr Fish Cakes (as shown) topped with a perfectly poached egg, and served upon some sharp greens and pickled beets drizzled with tahini.

In the middle of the bottom cake was a (very welcome) surprise scallop. The cakes were moist and flavourful with a light crust; crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside. The fish was fresh with no off-putting fishy smell either. They were everything a fish cake should be!

She also ordered an orange juice which came ice cold and squeezed literally seconds before serving.

Service was attentive, but not overly intrusive. Pricing was higher than average for brunch, but for this level of quality - entirely justified.

The brunch menu was dated, implying the menu changes regularly. We will certainly be back for brunch, and are eager to try dinner as well!


2012 Feb 17
The dessert doughnut with honey glaze and vanilla ice cream is so good! I liked it much more than what is offered at that other recently opened restaurant known for its dessert doughnuts (which, surprisingly, has a name easily confused with this one - is it Side Lane or Back Door?).

Pizza 1


2012 Apr 25
My Musa pizza was less charred than Fresh Foodies. I really really liked the balance of unique flavors.

Not too rich for this guy, but I did pace myself.

Top shelf ingredients were found along with some charr/toasting marks on the underside crust.

2012 Feb 17
My Musa pizza ($18) was a wonderful combination of flavours. The lamb with parmigiano cream and pine nuts made the whole thing a little too rich for my taste. The crust was tasty but too charred in some places. All in all, it's an excellent pizza but in my books there is better pizza to be found across the street...


2012 Apr 25
Here's another Rustic Seafood Stew or whatever they called it.

The herbs added complexity to this simple dish and the melt in your mouth gigantic-atlantic scallop was the the high point. Cooked just beyond raw and miles from overdone.

2012 Feb 17
My wife quite enjoyed her Hearth Roasted Fisherman's Stew. Quite a generous amount of nicely cooked seafood in a mild (perhaps a little too mild) tomatoey broth. This went for $30.



2012 Aug 13
Disgusting, sweet like sugar, burger itself is poorly formed and a horrible consistency. The fries had about a truckload of salt on them. ... I think the water was about the only thing I'd sad was edible in this place.

2012 Apr 25
Can't remember what the confit came with, but it was super tender and was interesting.

2012 Apr 25
Tomato and chilies (mild) broth. Sarasota chips (house made in duck fat). Dollop of squash puree.

Standard fare . Well done.