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Restaurants

The George Street Diner

Posted by Charlotte Johnstone / Reviewed on June 21, 2009 / review policy

George St ExteriorThe newly crimsoned exterior of the George Street Diner is a welcome and arresting sight for anyone who finds themselves around the King East area in a famished state.
George Street InteriorThe recent paint-licking is the latest in a series of changes made since Ash Farrelly, formerly of The Senator took over ownership of the place in 2007. It follows a slight interior tweak and a menu reworking that reflects Farrelly's Irish nativity.

A welcome slant on the traditional diner breakfast line-up (an Irish breakfast with toasted soda bread and Belfast Ham is offered alongside its Canadian counterpart) gives the George Street Diner a special point of difference in a neighbourhood relatively sparse with breakfast/lunch options for under $10.
George Street BoothOn days when I don't feel like giving my appalling grasp of French time in the exercise yard at the marvelous Le Petit Dejeuner, it's nice knowing that Gaelic alternatives await just past the acting English channel that is Adelaide St East.

Other changes include a switch to using fair trade, organic coffee, adding home made lemonade and making in-house desserts like the excellent Dublin apple crumble. Extended summer opening hours are until 9 p.m and a new dinner menu includes a $21.95 three course special.
George Street SpecialsThe friendly staff often get overwhelmed at peak times; this isn't a place to go for brunch if you're in a hurry, but the laid-back atmosphere seems to be enough compensation for regulars who know what to expect. I've even seen one guy that prompted apologetic servers 3 times for his breakfast pass his 30 minute breakfast wait by adding a favourable customer review to Googlemaps via his iPhone.
George Street TillGiven that the recent days of elliptical sunshine have left me feeling like a cat determinedly stalking a ray of light across a wooden floor, I decided to see how amenable The George Street Diner would be to park-destined take out on a fleetingly bright afternoon.

Luckily we arrive just after the mass exodus of George Brown students and be-suited business lunchers that occupy every booth on weekdays between noon and 2 p.m. Our food is made, paid for and packed up to go in under 10 minutes.
George Street SaladMy vegetarian friend goes for the board special of Fattoush salad ($9). The salads here aren't the usual dieter demurs that are mandatory inclusions on most diner menus. The fattoush is a base of mixed greens piled high with peppers, tomatoes, falafel, warm pita triangles,capers and egg, finished with an ample drizzle of tahini dressing.

Apart from the falafel component being a little hard the salad is viable competition for any of their other more meat-centric offerings.
George Street Grilled CheeseRecent late NXNE nights have left my stomach militantly opposed to all non-greasy food so a grilled cheese with tomato and side salad ($6.50) pretty much orders itself. The combination of doughy egg bread and plentiful cheddar hit the spot even though the inclusion of what seems like an entire tomato has created a sort of Trojan horse sandwich that spits out slices with every bite.

Our considerate server must have been wise to this when she included a fistful of napkins and I feel pretty lucky, as a messy eater, to have incidentally boxed up the messiest item on the menu. Anything that buys me one more visit while I still have the illusion of dignity is fine with me...
George Street Counter
Photos by Peter Lusztyk.

Discussion

23 Comments

Sharky / June 22, 2009 at 12:04 am
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I liked it best when it was the Florida Tea Room.
Tim / June 22, 2009 at 02:12 pm
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Please keep comments on topic. I have removed comments that didn't have anything to do with the restaurant itself, but instead were attacking the quality of the writing of the review. While we accept and welcome both positive and negative feedback, the comment thread for this and other restaurant reviews is intended to be about the restaurants themselves; not about the individual writer's writing style. Critiquing or praising the writing style doesn't help anyone decide whether they should go and eat here. If you have any comments you'd like to share with us regarding the competencies of the writers of this site, the best way to do that is to contact Jerrold, the editor of the site at jerrold [at] blogto [dotcom]. Thanks.
Gloria replying to a comment from Tim / June 22, 2009 at 03:39 pm
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So it's OK for people to comment that they don't like seeing men in palm fronds?
Regular / June 28, 2009 at 03:26 pm
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I love their all day breakfast plate, great marmalade. Also, I love the old Pop Shoppe selection. Of course, any plate brought to you by Jane (the beautiful and retro-fab server) will make any man blush(!)
Jyo / June 29, 2009 at 10:09 pm
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You'll get a great brunch...with a great soundtrack.
Lance / July 2, 2009 at 11:50 am
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I'm there a few times a week. Great food, good prices, friendly staff -- I'm going there right now to pick up another lunch! :D
You Got It! / September 18, 2009 at 03:34 pm
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So, I 'm a huge fan of this place!
For some reason I can't get enough. The coffee is ok, but I drink it daily. The Irish Breakfast comes with whole wheat Soda Bread (well we in the North call that Wheaten Bread).
Keep it up folks!
follower replying to a comment from Regular / September 21, 2009 at 05:39 pm
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who doesn't frequent the 'GSD' but to only see Jodi, Jane or Rosie...
like_sweets replying to a comment from follower / September 25, 2009 at 10:40 am
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Follower sure does have a point...dear dear sweet Jane!!!
Bethany / June 3, 2010 at 10:45 pm
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Happened upon the George Street Diner looking for a breakfast spot last Sunday. We're from out of town and it was such a refresher to come sit at such a place. We both loved breakfast and the atmosphere was great. I wish I lived around the corner as I'd be back all the time!
HOOPSTER / December 31, 2010 at 09:44 am
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Woke up early this morning with my girlfriend so we could give this place a try. I was very impressed with my breakfast and the atmosphere of this diner.
I would definitely come back again.
More people should support smaller based business's as I think you will find the food & customer service are always the best!!!
Senga / June 30, 2011 at 06:14 pm
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What first attracted our attention were the spotless windows and the “home-style dinners” sign in those same windows. Reality and anticipation didn’t quite match.

The menu is very limited, the only “home-style dinner” item being meatloaf with mushroom gravy. I am extremely fussy; my husband will eat just about anything without complaint, even justified complaint. The two cooks wore filthy uniforms we wouldn’t be caught gardening in, never mind preparing food in a kitchen. I ordered a club sandwich with coleslaw; my husband ordered the highly anticipated meatloaf with mushroom gravy and french fries. There was something very “off” about pink coleslaw so I didn’t even try it. My husband reported it was quite good. The vinegar from the coleslaw soaked one piece of my sandwich bread so I had to eat that open faced. The sandwich itself I’d give nothing more than “satisfactory”. Even my husband was just about sick looking at his dry looking meatloaf smothered in a grey congealed substance which was supposed to be mushroom gravy. He said he’d eat the meatloaf again but definitely not the gravy. However, since we have no intention of returning, that won’t be an issue.
Duncan Fremlin / December 18, 2011 at 10:12 am
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Love this place. Best diner in the city. Great food. Friendly staff and it's a real diner. I had a minor issue with the temperature of my potatoes and they removed the entire entre from the bill. Wow.
Demitri / July 12, 2012 at 01:49 pm
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BEWARE!

I went there for lunch and got a dirty glass filled with orange juice reside from the last customer.
It was disgusting.

When I confronted them over it the staff didn't care and still charged me for the meal/drink.

AVOID THIS PLACE
Marvin replying to a comment from Demitri / July 12, 2012 at 04:31 pm
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What, you didn't go oops! and spilled it off the counter? You should have blame them for it, too.
J T / October 1, 2012 at 03:00 am
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Cannot cook and the owner is some thing else.
Josh / October 15, 2012 at 01:12 pm
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Been here many times, too many times in fact. It's convenient so I'm there. The quality of the food isn't the worst but for the price it's actually a little outrageous. The portions are on the sparse side, the bacon might as well be from a turkey because the delicious thing about bacon, that greasy succulent goo is non-existent.

The coffee is unbelievably bad, anyone who drinks this coffee must not like coffee very much.
Tina / October 5, 2013 at 06:52 pm
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I am a regular at this place and have always liked it, until today, I have to say the food is great and the service had always been great until today, I visited today at 2:00 in the afternoon there we only boy's working today and the music was turned up way too high, I like music don't get me wrong but It's a restaurant not a NIGHT CLUB..I asked if they could turn the music down slightly, NOT asking too much I believe, to which the young man replied "not sure if I can the cooks like it loud" I found that reply rude at best, what happened to the customer is always right! I mean I'm paying for something, should I not be allowed to enjoy it in pleasant surroundings? they did turn the music down slightly, for about 4 min's until one of the waiter's decided it was disco time again and turned it back up, so again I asked if they could turn it down, to which he did ever soooo slightly that it made NO difference at all... I mean really I'm only going to be in your place for the least 45 min's you can't be courteous enough to turn down music down for a paying costumer? after that it can be disco time again for the kiddies all you want.. I have to say I'm very very very disappointed with the treatment I received today and this place is always usually very nice friendly and courteous towards it's costumers... I'm really not sure if I'll EVER go back again to the GEORGE STREET DINNER again..
GSD COOK replying to a comment from Tina / October 11, 2013 at 05:45 pm
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wear ear plugs next time bitch.
Malachai / October 23, 2013 at 06:46 pm
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The service at George Street Diner is terrible. The chili was cold but the rest of the dinner was fine.

However when it came time to pay, the server asked for money before providing a receipt, charged more than the price on the menu and added extra charges without telling us there would be an extra charge at the time the order was placed. When we refuted the bill, all we received were excuses like she did not write out the board.

If you eat there beware of the prices you are charged.
Dorna Zaxx replying to a comment from GSD COOK / October 24, 2013 at 10:34 am
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Why don't you have the speakers duct taped to your head so you
can REALLY HEAD THE MUSIC, GSD COOKEY-BOY?
tina replying to a comment from GSD COOK / November 3, 2013 at 04:06 am
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REALLY! and you kiss your mother with that mouth! your mother would be ashamed of your rude attitude, guess she was a lousy mother if your responding so rudely to a comment, SO defensive.. just another reason I won't be visiting your lousy place ever again.. just goes to show you that your not a customer friendly establishment...... Karma's a bitch, not me.. every action has an equal and and opposite reaction.. be rude to a customer and maybe the health board will be rude to you in return some day, or ever worse.. good luck with that.... I did say some positive things about your place.. but I see your negative and narrow view on the world missed that part.. maybe some customer service training would be a help.. have a great day..
GSD chef replying to a comment from tina / December 16, 2013 at 07:44 am
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On behalf of the kitchen I would like to personally apologise for the comments of the FORMER gsd cook. Karma is indeed a bitch, and his comments are only representative of the ignorant child he proved himself to be. If you do chose to return, I hope your next experience will show that we really DO care.

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