A month ago, the brunch club, I belong to, hit the Lieutenant’s Pump on Elgin Street (361). We arrived at 11:00 am, but discovered the Pump a very popular place for Sunday brunchers. The lineup of eager patrons stretched out the door. Yet, everyone patiently waited for a table, refusing to head down the street to any of the other open restaurants.
Our party of 8 was eventually seated an hour later in our own private alcove. Since the club meets monthly, we took the wait in stride. Many of us enjoyed the opportunity to catch up.
The restaurant itself was deceptively small from the outside. The Pump has several tucked-away dining rooms and seating extends well beyond the front doors into the the building. Inside, it has a very cozy British pub feel, almost disarming: stained dark wood, long tables, polished brass accents, and hard wood floors.
Once we saw the menu, we realized why the Pump was so popular amongst brunch-goers. It boasted a long list of breakfasts, including 6 varieties of eggs benedict. Needless to say, patrons are spoiled for choice.
My dear friend Yannick (@endorphinbuzz) and his better half ordered stack of white chocolate pancakes with side orders of potatoes and sausage, and traditional eggs benedict respectively.
Their guest ordered a 2 overeasy egg breakfast, substituting toast for a white chocolate scone.
Me, I ordered Eggs Natasha, eggs benedict that substituted ham for smoked salmon. My better half, a 2 scrambled egg breakfast with raisin bread. Hearing the previous order, I also added a white chocolate scone to split with Jenn.
Our guest, Izzy (@spoonsie), ordered her usual, a 2 egg breakfast with bacon.
The portions were generous. The service was quick and friendly. And, the coffee was plentiful.
Best of all, the food was rather good, illiciting praise and few concerns from our hungry table.
The Pump handles its eggs well. Ours were shell eggs and came as ordered. Both the overeasy and poached eggs came intact and runny, neither overcooked.
Jenn’s scrambled eggs were fluffy and light, neither rubbery, nor swimming in liquid.
The potatoes were freshly made, crisp and tender in the center. Given their irregular size and texture, they did not seem to come from frozen. Not at all oily, they more than likely spent some careful time on the griddle instead of in the deep fryer.
The accompanying fruit, melon and citrus, was fresh and sweet.
Each 2 egg breakfast came with the option of sausage or bacon. Unfortunately, given how late we were to sit down to brunch, some of our sausage links had spent too much time under the heat lamps, developing an unappetizing starchy crust.
Me, while I have to commend the cooks for a well-plated and well-executed eggs benedict with a made-to-order hollandaise (fresh and not grainy), I discovered that my palate disliked the smoked salmon substitution. I am more used to eating smoked salmon chilled. The hollandaise raised the temperature of the smoked salmon, giving it an odd texture that disagreed with me. The dish would nevertheless have made another patron very happy!
Regarding the white chocolate scone, while I enjoyed it, it did not have the crumb of traditional tea scones. It was tender and light, almost cake-like, neither crumbly nor buttery. Since I have seen scones resemble biscuits, I surmise this one adheres more to that tradition.
Cost for the Eggs Natasha ($12.95), a dessert scone ($1.25), and a 2 Egg Breakfast w/Raisin toast and Juice ($9.28): $34 (including, taxes and tip)
Determination: Domestic North American – Sunday Brunch: –$$, –***
Lieutenant’s Pump: British Pub
361 Elgin Street