It doesn’t seem like eight years since people started talking about a hot new spot along a stretch of Queen West that was visited by very few looking for a good time or good food. Well, a different kind of ‘good time’ was always available. Since 2004, the Drake Hotel has changed the landscape of Queen West, making it a go-to spot for cocktails, culture, and cool.
For those who only visit at night, there is a wonderful reason to stop by during the day. If the stories of Fried Chicken and Waffle ($14.75) don’t drag you to the Drake Café for lunch, then perhaps a good cup of coffee and a mouth-watering selection of house-baked sweets will. There’s also mojitos and mimosas if you need a little kick to start the day. We don’t judge.
How perfect for our easily-bored personalities that new daily muffins, scones, and cookies keep bringing us back. Head Pastry Chef, Marc Mendonca, has been at the Drake for two years. Famous before his time, the Blueberry Scone ($2.25) remains a staple on the menu. Light and flakey with beautiful buttery layers, its only hint of sweetness is the crunchy sugar sprinkled on top.
The cookie of the day on my recent visit was a White Chocolate Walnut ($2.50), perfect when paired with an iced coffee while hipster-watching on the patio.
Muffins also change depending on the day and what’s in season. Blackberry Lemon and Thyme muffins ($2.25) nestle themselves alongside blueberry versions equally dotted with deep purple fruit.
Marc provides another reason to head back to the Drake Hotel: a new summer menu is launching.
The Bacon and Blue Cheese Cornbread ($2.25) is a good example of the sort of savory baked goods Marc wants to add to the Drake Café’s menu. Like breaking open a Kinder Surprise egg looking for the prize inside, a bite of creamy blue holds together bits of salty bacon in the middle of this treat. And if it’s a treat you really want, there is nothing quite like a warm, freshly-made Cinnamon Sugar Donut ($2.50)– one that makes a grown woman squeal with delight when she sees it. My squeal was justified. Simple and cakey, it’s a damn good donut.