I’ve shared a neighbourhood with Homestyle Diner my entire life. If I payed it any mind at all, it was at the discretion of knowing friends of friends who worked there. And it wasn’t, in fact, until Joey told me that a friend of a friend of ours was currently running the place, when we both decided, much to our facetious enthusiasm, to hurry and give it a try. Yes, to me the place always seemed a dying animal; a routine place with little appeal except to the regular crew that came in and out over and over again. But my culinary travels in our gastropolis have given perspective and patience to my once young and arrogant palate. Homestyle Diner is a strangely romantic place. Its décor may scream grandma kitsch, what with its sponged turquoise rose coloured walls, plastic plants, and wall art for sale. Joey described it as a showroom for old ladies that don’t know it’s a showroom; but I assure you, the space is part of the charm. In regards to what Homestyle Diner offers to eat, it’s trivial. Because what it does offer to eat is some of the most affordable and well to do fare I’ve had in a good while. From breakfast, lunch, to dinner, you can have it all, focused with the food of Americana. I did notice a shrimp stir-fry option on the menu though, which I dare anyone to eat; but breakfast was what I was after. I advise all of you reading to look for the same. And if you’re a little short for breakfast, don’t worry, Homestyle Diner has an absurdly affordable deal for 3.95. Unfortunately, Joey and I missed the special by a half hour (8am – 11am), so if we wanted to, we had to pay an extra dollar for a load of fixings like eggs, bacon, hash browns, pancakes, you name it. Still, don’t worry too much, because breakfast lasts until 4, if you really have a hankering for it.
I was resolved to stay a little more ambitious; and though all the hollandaise options were tempting, I decided on an omelet packed with bacon, sausage, and ham, accompanied with toast and 3 of the most satisfying pancakes I’ve had at a breakfast place. Does that speak to my experience? I don’t think so. They were fantastic, crispy on the outside, airy and light in the middle. None of that gluey, saturated batter that sweats by the time it gets to your plate.
My omelet was an interesting assembly too. Beaten eggs were cooked to a crepe like thickness, and wrapped around a medley of meat combined with melted, I’m afraid to say, processed cheddar. Still, it was kind of a guilty pleasure.
It was a strange decision to me, and I would have liked the inner workings mixed together with the egg, but nothing chanced nothing earned, I suppose. In retrospect, I’ve no complaints- breakfast is a very forgiving thing, after all. And if that wasn’t reckless enough, I did myself the good deed of having dessert in the morning; one of the many pies made in house at Homestyle Diner. A more than affordable 3.95 had me awaiting a choice custard blueberry strawberry coulis slice with a dollop of pillowy whipped cream. A balmy, buttery sweetness maintained the base of the pie with an even sweeter topping of confit fruit. And the serving was more than generous; so much so, I still catch myself fantasizing about it. Sure enough, Homestyle Diner is a little bit of serendipity. It’ll be a sad day when I’m forced to leave it. But, until then, I’ve a lot of spare change, and a lot of pie to eat.
504 Albert St
EVERYDAY 8am – 8pm