So, I’ll set the context. Picture Banana Republic at Bloor and Bay full to the brim with enthusiastic Waterloo alum, anxious to score with the discount on all store merchandise, and looking for a little networking/style advice. A couple hundred young professionals clutching their winter coats (and bike helmet, oh, that was just me…) roaming around a store with Naked Grape (I hate to advertise for them here…) spritzers sipping through straws and wondering why they decided to spend a precious Thursday evening milling about with strangers. It was hot in there, busy, and poorly organized. Alex and I spent most of our time in one of two fitting rooms which we co-occupied trying on bleached denim shirts and canary yellow dresses that fit more like scalloped chiffon curtains.
We needed comfort food. A chilly, somewhat directionless, walk south-west found us on Harbord. So many choices. Harbord Room, Tati, The Boulevard Cafe, but we decided to sample the local fare at The Harbord House. Months earlier, I happened to be cycling behind a guy who wiped out on some loose gravel turning a corner. I sat with him for a while to make sure he was okay. We spoke for a while, I wanted to make sure he didn’t have a concussion, and he turned out to be the owner of The Harbord House, and since then I had meant to go in and check it out.
I am very fond of French Onion Soup. I love the often sweet-salty, aromatic, and slippery qualities that come with those short handled bowls of yummy. But, arguably, the best part of a French Onion Soup is the bubbly, melty, stringy, browned, chewy, oily CHEESE on top!!! Cheese became the theme of both of our dinners, as Alex opted for pub classic, Mac and Cheese boasting cheddar, jack, parmesan and ermite on penne.
This veggie-friendly version of the classic was the perfect companion to the debriefing of a ridiculous event, catching up on the gossip, and weighing the pros and cons of opportunities that lay ahead.
The menu certainly promotes it’s effort to work with local flavours. Berkshire Pulled Pork Sandwiches, the Hoser Burger with certified Angus beef and peameal bacon. It does a good job, could do more, but the price is right, the atmosphere casual, and a great spot to stop in and have a bite sans pretension.