Blog No. 335
I did not intend for my breakfast reviews to end up getting me anything. My intention was to talk about places where I enjoy going to get a good breakfast. I didn’t even think that the people who own the restaurant would read them. While I meant to be positive in my assessments (as I’m really only reviewing places I already like) I have pointed out some things that I didn’t like, or would prefer in a different way. Some of it was just being honest and some was for comedy (whether you think so or not, I’m funny).
The people at Deb’s Place happened to read my review and pointed out that I could get my potatoes without onions, and they did so the last time I was there (which was on a Wednesday, when I said that their hours stated that they are open but I thought they weren’t). They have also asked if I would be interested in kicking off an Artist of the Month at their restaurant. My new book, The Neon Heart will be available there for a month, then I will help them find another fantastic local writer to have their book featured. Again, none of that was my intention, but it worked in my favour and should continue to work in the favour of other local authors, so thank you to the fine folks at Deb’s who are open when they say they are and will gladly make you potatoes without onions. I’ll have the information available on the The Neon Heart book page when it’s available for purchase there.
All that is a distraction from the real post, though. A couple of years ago, I was on the Bookfest Windsor committee. I’d like to say that I helped them organize this fantastic local event, but really, I mostly tried to just stay out of the way. One of my jobs was to go to Long & McQuade to get a wireless microphone for one of the panels. On the following day, I went to return the device, but the store wasn’t open, yet. Rather than wait in my car, I decided to head to the nearby Ottawa Street to grab something to eat. I knew that there was a breakfast place not far from Walker Road, so I drove down to check it out. What I found was a real, old school diner with all day breakfast, a counter, and a bathroom down a couple of steps and in a little hallway at the back. The place was busy, but I found a spot at the counter and ordered the special.
Breakfast Spot Four: Roast ‘n Toast
Roast ‘n Toast is a favourite breakfast place for a lot of people. Nearly every time I’ve been, it’s busy. Once or twice, I didn’t see any space and decided to just keep driving. There have been a few days where I made the drive out there to find that they were closed due to illness or some other one-off reason. In those instances, I’m only really put out to the level that I spent gas on getting there. It’s not close to where I live (in the Windsor way where nothing is really more than a half hour away except for the fact that people are all terrible drivers and sometimes a short drive takes three times too long). I generally have to plan on going to Roast ‘n Toast or be going out that way for some other reason. Because of that, I don’t go terribly often in my rotation. On the other hand, my brother (who is a pancake connoisseur) is particularly fond of the place, so whenever we go out to breakfast together, that’s generally where we go.
While I love the counter, there are a couple of things that are (I’m hesitant to mention it after the Deb’s indecent) not my normal favourite. I don’t like their sausages. There. I said it. Instead, I get bacon, and I find the bacon they use to be generally good quality. It’s not super thin or extra fatty, and they do a good job cooking it so it’s not rubbery and gross but also doesn’t shatter into tiny charred pieces when you try to take a bit (and then the little shards stab your gums and get stuck in your teeth and generally ruin the bacon eating experience). So, trading sausage for bacon is not a big deal when the bacon is good. The eggs do that fluffy, bubbly thing that I think happens when they are cooked on a really hot surface. They taste good and they get the over-easy part right, so I’m fine with it. The potatoes are fine and they have rye toast, but I’m convinced they use margarine, which is not as good as butter. (That’s a fact and I won’t hear any argument against it).
The staff is very nice and attentive. They hustle, too. So much so that it’s almost a show to go along with the meal. I enjoy watching the cooks working and the bustling kitchen (which is right there on the other side of the counter). The coffee is diner coffee. It’s not amazing, but it’s good and they are happy to fill up your mug. The price is right for what you get and I always leave clean plate. I’m not there often because of the distance, but when I know I’m going to be in the area, I try to make an excuse to stop in for a meal.
I’m giving Roast ‘n Toast two stars for the aesthetics, and two for the food. They lose half a star for being inconveniently far from where I live and another half for the fluffy eggs, margarine instead of butter, and making me get delicious bacon (rather than my preferred sausage).