Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hazel’s Diner: try it, you’ll like it

I don’t know about you but I love lazy Sundays. And one of my favourite activities is to go for brunch. Since Mr. B isn’t a big fan, we don’t go very often but today he decided to oblige me and try Hazel’s Diner, a new addition to the north Toronto landscape.

Although it’s sad seeing many local businesses fade away during tough times, one of the benefits is the recent surge of new eateries in the Yonge St. strip between Lawrence and York Mills.

Hazel’s Diner came with a respectable pedigree in that it’s owner, Tony Xavier is a well-known restauranteur responsible for Chega, the successful upscale restaurant with the grey stucco and no sign a few doors down. Always wanting to support neighbourhood businesses, after reading a review in North Toronto Post, I wanted to see for myself.

Arriving at 1 p.m., this cozy diner was about half full, mostly with young families. Within 20 minutes, it got much busier. Service was friendly. The atmosphere was warm and casual.

As expected from a diner, the small menu offered predominantly all-day breakfasts and other comfort foods (salads, sandwiches, several varieties of burgers and 5 or 6 typical diner entrees) at reasonable prices. Meals started at $3.99 and the average price was around $9 with nothing more than $14.

Mr. B. ordered an all-day breakfast for $6.95 (Update: $3.99 between 7 a.m.-11a.m.). I ordered the vegetarian omelette with mushrooms, roasted peppers and broccoli. My request for salad instead of home fries was granted hassle-free. Both our meals were delicious. I was impressed by the lack of grease (there didn’t appear to be any oil or butter on my omelette) and the freshness of the food.

We’ll definitely be back and for Hazel’s hand-cut New York steak with side priced at $12, we’re looking forward to returning for dinner. (I’m guessing it’s orderd along with the meat for Chega’s kitchen and a great bargain.) Oh ya, that’s my one complaint, in a neighbourhood with few true family-friendly restaurants, Hazel’s closes at 6 p.m. every night but Sunday when it’s open until 9 p.m.
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