Love Your Community – Part 2: Fabarnak and the 519

There’s always someone who knows somewhere that does an ‘aMAHzing’ brunch. And yet, just when you thought you’d heard about, read about, or been to the best joints in town you just happen stumble across a hidden brunch gem. We didn’t go to Fabarnak specifically for their brunch but I’m sure glad we did.

Housemade Scones

My friend Coco*a called me up one day asking if I would be interested in helping her scout for a good dinner location somewhere in the downtown core.  The dinner was to celebrate a friend’s upcoming nuptials and Fabarnak’s relationship to the 519 Community Centre honoured our friend’s passion and work in the non-profit sector. An initiative of the 519, Fabarnak’s mission is to provide opportunity to members of the community who have faced barriers to employment. These candidates have included new immigrants, young people in recovery from addiction and newly transgendered youth.  They are also part of the farm-to-table movement, committed to providing food in an ethical and sustainable way.  

This all sounded like a perfect fit and really the only thing left to determine was – can they cook?

Fabarnak on a Sunny Saturday

One bright  Saturday morning, Coco*a and I sat down to a truly excellent meal. One thing that has become clear in the short time I’ve been doing this: if a restaurant can knock your socks off at brunch they can probably do it at dinner too! Whatever they’re teaching back there in the kitchen, they’re teaching it right. Co*a and I both ordered the Special Omelette loaded with cherry tomatoes, okra and chevre.

Special Omelette – Cherry Tomato, Okra and Chevre

Yes, okra!  Anyone who can make okra NOT taste slimy is a 4 star chef in my books. The omelette was perfect, proving that the egg bit isn’t just a vehicle for the filling.  The chèvre was a nice touch that brought all the flavours together.  Our omelettes came with a nice mix green salad with housemade vinaigrette and we added a side of homemade bacon to round off our meal. How does one get thickly sliced AND crispy bacon!? They managed to do it here. To finish our meal we had the housemade cranberry and coconut scones and some divine Illy coffee.

Caryl: Coffee and no one gets hurt!

We did end up having our dinner party there and not only was it a blast but everyone was impressed with what came out of the kitchen!  Just when I think I’ve seen all Toronto has to offer, I hear about and experience places like the 519 and Fabarnak. It just goes to show what kind of potential you can unlock when you give people a chance.

Want to learn how to cook like a dream? They also offer monthly cooking workshops. I impressed my friends and family with a killer pumpkin pie last month and this Thursday, November 15th at 6:30 PM, Co*a and I are signed up for a S’mores cake class.

To learn more about other initiatives like Fabarnak be sure to visit the 519 community centre website. If you want to know what’s cooking at Fabarnak they’re always posting yummy pictures on twitter or facebook. But really you should jut go there because this could be yours:

Caryl: Soon you will be mine again, S’mores Cake!

See you at class on Thursday?  😉
Fabarnak Restaurant and Catering on Urbanspoon

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