2017: Our Big Ol' Year in Review
Whew! That 2017 was quite a little year for ol’ Buttermilk! Have you ever seen that Far Side cartoon, where the dentist is trying to squeeze a tennis ball into a patient’s mouth, just to see if it will fit? That’s is a bit how this year felt for us.
Of course, I am referencing the impending 17th avenue reconstruction that commenced in July. And the $12,000 property tax bill that landed in the mailbox. And the sluggish economy, the divisive elections, the downtown vacancy rate, the endless roadwork, the For Lease signs. And Gord Downie. That one still stings. And… well, you get the point. You were there. We were all there.
But there were many positive aspects to this year as well. First and foremost, our menu began to grow and shift. Springtime saw the introduction of the Grilled Cheese waffle, a delicious concoction of prosciutto and cheese broiled onto two waffles, which were then pressed into a Panini maker until golden brown. Delicious? You bet! Practical? Absolutely not! The golden rule of a great grilled cheese is time, so as to melt the cheeses without burning the buttery bread. Unfortunately, with hungry customers, time is of the essence, and so we parted ways after just a few months. Farewell, Grilled Cheese Waffle!
Next we introduced our first non-waffle item, the Yogurt Parfait bowl. After mastering Dad’s recipe for granola, we started rolling out these delicious bowls of morning constitutionality in July. The Parfait consists of pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, Greek yogurt, honey, fresh strawberries and bananas. This is built for the nearby office worker that wants to start that Monday morning off just right. We got you covered, Fortis. Seriously, though, come eat this Parfait bowl, Fortis. We made this for you, Fortis! Fortis!
In May, the Food Network descended on Buttermilk for two days of filming for an upcoming series entitled “The Baker Sisters”. How they found us from their offices on Queen Street West, I’m still baffled. While we were slaving over hot irons, our Instagram account was busy flirting with industry insiders, and clearly attracting enough interest to get us our first TV spot. Thanks, Instagram!
The biggest change to the menu arrived in August with the introduction of poached eggs, served on either Waffles Benedict, or Green Eggs and Ham. The Benedict consists a slice of prosciutto covered in aged cheddar, lightly broiled, topped with arugula, and cherry tomatoes, two poached eggs, and Hollandaise sauce. The benny now makes up about a third of our orders, and sells out by around noon each day. The Green Eggs and Ham consists of a poached egg on top of melted cheddar and maple-smoked ham, a sprinkling of green onions, and a drizzle of Sriracha mayo. This is proving to be a serious contender, and already has its band of loyalists.
We obtained our liquor licence in December and introduced mimosas, Irish coffee, and spiked eggnog, along with a selection of beers from our brethren at Annex Ales. Our fresh-squeezed orange juice has never tasted better!
In closing, I think it is safe to say that Buttermilk is certainly growing up! And we would not be where we are today without the love and support that our city has shown us. These past few years have been incredibly challenging for everyone who lives and works in this city, but I have no doubt that coming out of this, we will be stronger, smarter, and more connected to each other than ever before. As the slogan for this summer’s block party proclaimed: Can’t Stop Us, Won’t Stop Us!
Stay tuned. This is going to be a big year.
January 2nd, 2017
P.S. 2017: You’re fired. Ya bish.