Friday, October 21, 2016Overcast 8°C

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.


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