Evergreen Brick Works is an oasis. From Broadview Station, a shuttle bus transports you through the Don Valley to this live-green community. It’s a great escape, leaving you feeling you’ve left Toronto and the city behind. (Of course, one work-related email popping up on your Blackberry brings you back to reality – but it’s a nice temporary thought.)
Everyone at Brick Works seems to have the same philosophy: that living sustainably and focusing on supporting local farmers and merchants and the environment as a whole is tantamount to a fulfilling existence. This philosophy is what drives Chef Brad Long, recognized as one of Canada’s top chefs. He’s the owner of Veritas and Belong Catering (get it: Brad Long > B. Long > Belong), and now the recently opened Cafe Belong.
Chef Long sees food as medicine, and food as love. It’s a mantra he takes to his cooking. It’s evident in the dishes he prepares. The menu at Cafe Belong features some of the best local produce and livestock, like Milk Braised Lamb and Grilled Vinegar Chicken and Vegan Moroccan Chick Pea Stew. Open for grab-and-go breakfast, you can poach a sticky bun and coffee for your drive to the office. Cafe Belong does a lunch service and dinner service, where Chef Long’s commitment to accessible and whimsical cuisine can be found.
The space at Cafe Belong is rustic and industrial and inviting. It’s a no-fuss kind of place, where you can go and relax in sustainable food respite. We saw it in the morning, but Chef Long insists at night when the lights shine in through the almost floor-to-ceiling windows is when you get to see the real beauty of the room.
Cafe Belong will soon house a small-scale retail component as well, with some prepared foods, again grab-and-go style. Open seven days a week, Cafe Belong will surely be a haven for the enviro-conscious diner and those just looking to get a great meal they can feel ethically invigorated to chow down. Cafe Belong at Evergreen Brick Works, Toronto.