Lady Marmalade – Not What I Was Hoping For

 Finding time for Leslieville’s popular brunch Mecca


people ahead in line

I loathe standing in line.

I think it’s genetic. When my daughter Jessica was five we vacationed in Florida. After spending a few days exploring Epcot it was time to hit the kiddie rides at Disney. We were standing far back in a very long line for the Dumbo ride. Jessie stepped to the side, looked ahead and said “Let’s go to the front” I explained that we had to wait our turn, her response, “Lets go back to Epcot, I’m not standing here all day.”

At that moment I loved her more.

So, when I see people standing in line I scoff and wonder, what could be so great that they would do that? I’ll wait days for a table if I can comfortably sit in a bar, but standing for all that time, nope.

I most certainly would have perished on the Titanic.

I had a Saturday with no pressing commitments

Out of curiosity and a desire to understand why so many people regularly line up to eat at Leslieville’s Lady Marmalade I scheduled my maiden visit for noon on Saturday, March 12.

I was meeting my friend Michel and figured I’d get there a bit earlier and grab us a table if I got in before 12. I set the stopwatch on my phone. There were only two groups ahead of me, a six and a four.

Hmmm, a deuce might open sooner, I could potentially jump the line.

To my horror I noticed a sign saying only full parties would be seated, no saving tables. OK, worst case I’ll say it’s just me and act super surprised when Michel walks in. I’m sure they’ve never heard that one before.

Michel got there within 10 minutes of us being seated. From the time I lined up to when we ordered our coffees it was just shy of 40 minutes. Long in my books, but not so excessive that we’d run out things to talk about before we sat down.

The service was prompt and efficient, just the way I like it. We ordered our food, pulled pork Eggs Bennie for me and a Baja rice bowl for the other one. Our food arrived in just under 12 minutes. It was delicious and we were offered coffee refills. My only criticism is the food wasn’t piping hot.

 However my hopes were dashed

  • I had hoped the lineup would have been over an hour, that way I could continue to shake my head in disbelief at those that choose to wile away their time in front of the place while those inside gloat.
  • I had hoped the food would suck and the server would have been a total snot.
  • I had hoped the people that went there were a bunch of pretentious a-holes, they could be, I didn’t really talk to anyone, but they looked nice enough.
  • I had hoped I could laugh in the face of these die-hard’s and report to my friends that I took the bullet and spared them the grief. But I can’t.

I get why Lady Marmalade is so popular, it was a great experience and to be honest I’ve been thinking about those eggs since.

I would go back, but I will not lineup again.

Thank goodness for this handy graph of popular times I discovered on Google. Saves me from standing around with my stopwatch observing the line ups.


Lady Marmalade

898 Queen St. E

Toronto, Ontario M4M 1J3


Monday to Friday:             8am-4pm

Weekends and Holidays:   8am-3pm

Two mains, two coffees, and one fresh OJ/Grapefruit juice $50 with tip.

Some takeout may be available depending on how busy it is. I’m gonna go with no, but call to be sure.






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