Pan Chancho Bakery & Cafe
I visited this restaurant by myself a while ago and very much wanted to bring Cheri here when back in Kingston, to share the experience.
an Chancho’s facade is painted in a milky green and yellow, with the restaurant name written in white, sans-serif letters which, I think, are quite conservative for this diverse, social company. We were happy to see the two benches on the sides of the entrance. Even better was to find these being utilized by a few elderly people chatting away. The big windows, beside showing the busy interior, was letting a lot of light in.
Upon entering, don’t let yourself get too confused by the wide variety of breads, pastries, cakes, even a fridge of cheeses. As you will make your way to the back of the open space and slightly up on the ramp, you will find the actual restaurant
e had no reservation so our only option was to sit on their patio. Despite it being slightly chilly (hence the empty patio), it turned out to be a great option when sun cleared. We sat at one of their many circular, perforated green tables in this surprisingly generous space. With large umbrellas folded to the side, we soaked up the sun overlooking the back part of the building - a beautiful, old, but well maintained brick building. The patio floor was finished in matching interlocking stone, adding a feeling of visiting someone's backyard. We normally greatly enjoy greenery and trees on patios and Pan Chancho actually had a very large poplar. A beautiful mature, tall and narrow tree, but we found the choice strange as their cotton-like bloom gets overwhelming causing allergies.
As we were there prior to 11am, the brunch menu was not served yet. We chatted with our waitress a bit to find out that their most popular dishes were French Toast with Apple Butter Yogurt, The Weekender and Breakfast WrappedUp. We decided to go for all three. We should note they also had a “red eye poutine” as part of their breakfast options - a unique choice, and a personal favourite of our waitress. Drink-wise, it was too early for us to take advantage of their summer cocktails and plenty of beers on tap. They also offered freshly squeezed orange juice, plenty of teas and some coffee lattes.
We both thought their bight clothing napkins with old floral patterns were a charming idea. There was quite a few patterns, almost seeming random. This was a cheerful element that reminded us of childhood.
Their french toast with apple butter yogurt was truly a unique dish. It consisted of four triangular bread slices crusty and dark, but soft on the inside. These breads circled around a generous portion of “apple butter yogurt” - a special butter-free sauce made in house. To prepare, apples cider is boiled until it thickens and drained. Yogurt is added to it right after. This milky orange coloured sauce was thick, with small chunks of apple to remind you of its origins. We found a side of maple syrup. While an interesting variation on French Toast, we would say it was an acquired taste. With every bite, the slight tartness of the apple butter kept on surprising me. Perhaps they used Greek Yogurt variety in the process. I tried it with and without maple syrup. In the end, the dish was not the best choice for my tastebuds that day.
The weekender consisted of two eggs (over easy) on a croissant with bacon chives and two year old cheddar. A very safe option, in fact we both thought it was rather uninspiring. It was greesy with the croissant and bacon working together. The much promised chives were hardly traceable, which would have enhanced this dish. In addition, it came with a side of sweet salsa with smell of smoked peppers - a great idea to add some interest to the dish.
Last, but not least, the Breakfast Wrapped-Up was our favorite. It came wrapped in whole wheat tortilla with sour cream right on top. The plate was shared by a mountain of refried beans paste, a corn salad and a mini-dish of a green sauce. The wrap consisted of Ranchero scrambled eggs and Monterrey Jack, We underestimated the Ranchero part as we were both fooled that there was a meat in there. It was the diced tomatoes and spices that added so much. The side of roasted corn salad had coriander, peppers and onion. This was a great addition to the wrap, giving it a slight degree of spiciness. We decided to try the mystery green sauce. It was spicy and fragrant. We were saved by the side of dry, salty refried black beans, sour cream and leaves of coriander.Overall, well thought out levels of spiciness and a great balance. Breakfast Wrapped was a very enjoyable experience for those interested in mild experimentation.
We were surprised not to see any of their lovely baked pastries as an option for a quick dessert. Also, we thought there was an opportunity of having a more diverse choice of breads - to emphasize all the great varieties sold in the bakery.
We really enjoyed this spot and will definitely be back for their lunch menu and local beers.