Black Foodie creator Eden Hagos takes Karon Liu (of Toronto Star) on a mini crawl of her favorite spots in Toronto that serve “the kind of carbs you’re craving at brunch time.”

By Karon Liu (Toronto Star) |

TORONTO, ON―There’s no doubt that Toronto is big on brunch. Crowds are as much a weekend morning staple as the waffles and pancakes they’re lining up for. But there’s an entire category of brunch many diners are missing out on: the spicy, comforting and addictive flavors of Ethiopian-style brunch.

“Ethiopians don’t really use the word ‘brunch’ but there is a culture of having a late breakfast at a friend’s house on weekends,” says Eden Hagos, founder of the Toronto-based Black Foodie clog, which promotes Black-owned restaurants in the GTA and cuisines of the African diaspora that don’t get much mainstream coverage. “There’s a lot of eggs, flatbreads and butter. It’s sturdy and filling, it’s the kind of carbs you’re craving at brunch time.”

Local restaurateurs have recently started embracing the power of the b-word, serving traditional breakfast dishes under the brunch banner. Eden says they’re taking a cue not just from Toronto’s love of the midday meal, but from the younger generation in Ethiopia, where — like with all things brunch — millennials are driving a boom in its big cities. There, entrepreneurs who left to work or study abroad are returning to open brunch spots that offer Western-style dishes like avocado toast alongside Ethiopian flavors such as platter of eggs, kinche (cracked wheat similar to cooked oats) and firfir (torn pieces of crispy flatbread sautéed with butter and spices).

Eden, who grew up in Windsor where her parents owned an Ethiopian restaurant, would like to see more Torontonians getting on board. She offered to take me on a mini-crawl of her few favorite brunch spots, promising to win over me — an anti-bruncher who’d rather sleep in and make pancakes at home — as well as Torontonians who may not consider heading to an Ethiopian spot for brunch.

Continue reading this story at Toronto Star
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