Two weeks ago we went for brunch with our friends Nick and Rachel to the Lakeview Diner.
The Lakeview Diner is a Toronto institution – it has been at the same location since 1932 and is legend to people west of Bathurst in Toronto. Guy Fieri recently visited for his Toronto edition of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives which further peaked my interest in this diner.
The Lakeview Diner has a great Art Deco aesthetic utilizing accents of chrome, steel and extensive use of the sharp, industrial fonts associated with the movement. The restaurant is huge, but despite that we had to wait about 15 minutes to get a table for brunch on a Sunday morning. If you are tyring to go for brunch in Toronto on the weekend, be prepared to wait. Unlike other restaurants though, there was a seating area for waiting and the staff continued to check on us and reassure us that they hadn’t forgotten about us. We were seated at a roomy booth near the back of the restaurant with an interesting print done by a local artist entitled, “Peeping Tom.” If you don’t like naked women with your food, don’t look at the walls.
Four people, four different breakfasts. Unfortunately, because my computer decided to have an aneurysm there are no photos to accompany these descriptions so you will just have to use your imagination OR visit the restaurant yourself – which I suggest!
I ordered the Freedom Toast – Egg dipped baguette stuffed with peameal bacon, Brie and Havarti. Served with Organic ‘Quebecois’ Maple Syrup. This was good but not the best Monte Cristo I have ever had. And that’s what it was, a Monte Cristo, just dressed up under a fancier name. Brie and Havarti do not have strong enough flavours and are too creamy to stand up to the heartiness of peameal bacon. Overall this was tasty but not my favourite. My favourite part of the breakfast was actually these potato chips that they make in house. They are thinly sliced potatoes that have been quickly fried to a crisp. Yums!
GC ordered the Country Benny – Two medium poached eggs, corn flake chicken and country sausage gravy over waffles. GC loved this! The corn flake crust gave the chicken a slight sweetness which complimented the rich, fattiness of the sausage gravy. The eggs were oozy and a gorgeous, rich yellow gold colour. The waffle was fluffy and airy, the perfect base to hold all this dish together.
Rachel ordered the The Ossing ton Massive – Three Eggs any style (she got poached) with maple sausage, strip bacon, peameal and toast. My favourite thing was they asked her if she wanted whole wheat or rye, or one of each. I think that is amazing because sometimes you want rye for jam and whole wheat for your eggs. My tip for this breakfast: the smallest person at the table should probably NOT order this meal because it is exactly what it claims, MASSIVE. It is massive but it is delicious and filling,.
And lastly, but not least, Nick ordered the Philly Cheesesteak Benny – two medium poached eggs over baguette with shaved sirloin, sauteed bell pepper, maple caramelized onion and Hollandaise sauce. Nick didn’t love this – he said the steak was not seasoned enough. The point of Philly Cheesesteak is to let the steak stand on its own, and be flavoured by the toppings. This meal was lacking the cheese that traditionally pulls together the entire “sandwich.” The Philly Cheesesteak is an emerging trend on the Toronto food scene so we will have to check out some sandwich shops in 2013.
This is an excellent restaurant for brunch. It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week which suits all breakfast type – early risers and the lazybones who crawl out of bed at noon. I want to go back to this restaurant and try some of their other dishes and their extensive list of cocktails.