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Okay Okay Diner

Posted by Tim / Reviewed on May 19, 2008 / review policy

PancakeMy favourite pancake has a home and it's at 1128 Queen Street East. Hot off the grill and topped with fresh whipped butter, the big fluffy wonders at Okay Okay Diner give any flapjack operation a serious run for their money.

With a side of maple syrup and infused with either bananas or blueberries, the pancakes are among the star attractions at this popular Leslieville hang-out which oozes character from its plush red banquets to retro TVs each tuned to a different (inaudible) channel.

Settling in for a late brunch on Sunday, we start off with some fresh orange juice ($2.50) and a bottomless cup of fair trade Sumatran coffee. The coffee is strong, deeply aromatic and delicious and by the third refill we're re-thinking plans for a post-meal top up at Tango Palace down the street.

The menu features brunch only on weekends but a range of more typical diner fare (onion rings, sandwiches) during the week. For this meal I'm feeling like a bit of a mix and mash and order a series of sides including hash browns, a blueberry pancake and two poached eggs ($1 each).

The aforementioned pancakes are amazing - thick and fluffy with a melt in your mouth consistency. The eggs perfectly poached. The only disappointment are the hash browns. For some reason, the kitchen opts for what looks like the frozen patties one would find in the freezer aisle of No Frills. It's an odd choice considering that home made hash browns are what most diners (and brunch spots in general) do so well.

Poached Eggs

Across the table, the Eggs Brunhilde are also a big hit. Poached eggs, asparagus, and smoked salmon on hash brown patties, topped with a homemade horseradish Hollandaise sauce and served with a slice of watermelon. The eggs are perfectly cooked, the aparagus thick and fresh, and the sauce infused with a subtle yet distinct horseradish twist.

The only request for next time would be to substitute the hash browns for a thick piece of toast which would be a better option to soak up the yolk.

Eggs Brunhilde

Napkins and Ketchup

Inside Okay Okay

TVs at Okay Okay

Okay Okay

Photos by me and Jerrold



keven / February 21, 2008 at 11:56 am
Amazing little place!

Great service, great food, great prices! When you go here, you feel right at home!
mark / March 2, 2008 at 08:41 pm
impossibly large portion of crazy-fluffy buttermilk pancakes. not sure whether to eat them or sleep on them. and the bacon was so good that i'm ordering some direct. beyond okay.
krystyn / May 19, 2008 at 11:31 am
Melt in your MOUSE consistency??
Tim / May 19, 2008 at 11:41 am
Oops. Um, mouth. Fixed.
Jerrold / May 19, 2008 at 12:18 pm
We call that a Freudian (Dumpling House) slip.
clarissa / May 19, 2008 at 01:18 pm
I wish people would stop misusing the pronoun "myself". It should be "Photos by ME and Jerrold". Don't be afraid to use the word ME, people. 'Myself' is almost never the right pronoun to choose!

Having said that, I'm eager to try out Okay Okay!
Alex Fayle / May 19, 2008 at 04:41 pm
I usually found Okay Okay a little over-priced for the quality and amount of food. That being said, the eye candy of the hot bearded muscly waiter serving the food and a week's worth of fantasy was always incentive to go...
badur / May 19, 2008 at 07:39 pm
For the price I was disappointed with okay2. But I haven't tried the pancakes yet. personally I'm a fan of the greasy spoon breakfast at Stratengers across the street. Less pretentious, good value and no wait time.
Tim / May 19, 2008 at 07:41 pm
Hmmm...How exactly is Okay Okay pretentious? It's such a friendly, easy-going diner vibe.
dawn / May 29, 2008 at 01:31 pm
Great place, awesome staff, one of my favorite neighborhood spots! Do not suggest sitting at the bar if your
Riccardo / June 1, 2008 at 09:05 pm
Hi Iam one of the new kids on the block (one of the parters at OKAY OKAY)just wanted to thank everyone who posted a blog
I will be reading it often so that I can get your feedback.
Paul / June 4, 2008 at 02:57 pm
It's interesting the ways we have come in the Toronto area. From donut shops when I was a kid and teen to $8 cups of coffee (and individuals don't even blink an eye at the prices, in respect to coffee.) I live in the area and was envisioning entrepreneurial plans (mental plans after peeking the original diner booths behind the old boarded up
newspapers) when Tony's was snapped up) and turned into okay okay.

I agree that it's over priced, for what should be basic food at times. But I'm happy that it wasn't gutted but was left as a diner. Other diners in the area have been leveled and turned into chi chi dining spots. There used to be a slew of these from Broadview and into the beaches, probably the largest that were left in Toronto, where a regular man on the street went to get a cheap meal. The diners stuck around due to the depression of the are for most of late 70's, 80's and 90's.

For the man/woman on the street (poorer people in the area), restaurants like these takes basic foods and tack a few dollars to the price by adding a few fancy ingredients, that's where the "pretentious" comes in. But it seems that's how food is being marketed theses days.

Poorer people in the area are already complaining because most of the restaurants that have open up or are opening up are catering to upper scale professionals...and many from out of the area.
snoop309 / August 4, 2008 at 09:02 am
OKOK Was Fantastic - the waiter made it totally 'HUMM' and the food was magnificent, the total atmosphere was perfect - warm, friendly and welcoming once you've been in a couple of times. However, since the recent management change thinks went down hill on the food side. The new paint job, seat outside, new sign, and even some plants are all a great idea and worth the investment. However, the only thing that keeps people coming back again and again, is...... Good Food & Good Service. although the food is technically the same (no change on the menu) the quality stinks in comparison to the old OKOK. the eggs are greasy, the Huevos come in a slightly burnt shell, the pancakes are not the same at all. There appears to be no care in the kitchen, the attitude seems to have changed along with the ownership. QUALITY keeps people coming back, sadly the new owners don't realise this or think that a 'churn & burn' attitude in the kitchen is enough! It's not, as you will see from the notable lack of regular locals.

There is no substitute for QUALITY, Many would have crawled over broken glass to have brunch at OKOK, now it's more of a take it or leave it place - much to my disappointment! please make improvements....
Riccardo / August 15, 2008 at 06:37 pm
Hi Paul I'am sorry if your visit with us was not up to par,It is a honor to serve our customers/friends best as we can . Although we have been here since Febuary we strive to improve daily . If there is anything that I have to argue with u with is the Quality of food , we purchase produce , meats and just about all are menu Items daily .Hope you can come in and give us another try , please let me know who you are so that, we can have a coffee and chat. Thank you for the feedback I'll let my partners and staff know about your concerns.
Riccardo / August 15, 2008 at 06:45 pm
Sorry Not Paul...snoop309
Allister Thompson / September 7, 2008 at 12:49 pm
I sat on the half empty patio of this place for 45 minutes, waiting for my order to be never was, so I went to Stratengers and was eating within 15 more. Thumbs down.
Jackie / November 3, 2008 at 12:28 pm
I had heard so many things about OkOk. When my sister and I were making Saturday Brunch plans a few weeks back with some friends I eagerly suggested we try OkOk. I am still apologizing for that decision. My Coffee mug has a lipstick stain, that wasn't mine, the waitress was running around and was unfriendly and stressed out. The restaurant was definitely under staffed. She brought 1 glass of water for a table of 4. The meal itself was just awful. Greasy and unappetizing. My poached eggs tasted like vinegar. We all felt ill after the meal. We had to walk off the sick feeling. I hadn't realized there had been a change in ownership. Obviously this has made a difference. I remember seeing lines out the door of OkOk. I will not go back!
Shyama / December 6, 2008 at 06:54 am
I moved right into this area in the Spring from just a few blocks west at Broadview and Queen. OkOk is my fave spot in my hood, and it's literally within a 2 minutes walk...beautiful! I never used to be able to get my friends to come to the east end for anything, but since I've moved I think we hit up OkOk almost every single weekend. And now one my friends just moved down the street and is just as addicted to the neighbourhood and the diner as I am. I love the atmosphere and hope it never changes and Jennifer and Stacey rock!

I recommend the French Toast, it's the best I've ever eaten, the fruit with the cinnamon stuff on top mmmmmmmmm. And I also am an avid fan of a side of bacon with everything, even if it comes with Bacon. Jennifer smirks everytime, cause she knows it's coming :)
Gigi replying to a comment from clarissa / February 28, 2009 at 08:50 am
I wish people would stop correcting people's grammar in online food reviews and such. Do you take a big red crayon and circle your 'puter screen each and every time you see one? LOL!
Vivi / March 27, 2009 at 01:44 am
i haven't a review for this place since i have yet to try it out, but after reading the first sentence, i gotta ask....

have you tried the pancakes at Bar One on queen west yet?

Mmmmmm... if pancakes are what you love, please do try. :)
Adam / May 3, 2009 at 04:23 pm
Been here twice now. Great sunsoaking patio that catches the morning rays but food can be a bit hit and miss. Waited for quite a while to get the food on the table and service could be friendlier - though the many coffe refills helped. Nice vibe and great potential so hoping this place can kick it up a gear and give the many other strong brunch options a run for their money...
sharon / July 4, 2009 at 01:46 pm
Used to be a big fan of OK OK under old management, but was less than impressed with the cooking as of last year. Gave it another chance today - gummy undercooked french toast will not bring me back to their patio again. Technically everything is the same as before, but the cooking really has fallen from grace.
L Fuentes / March 13, 2010 at 06:03 pm
This is not one of the best brunch places in Toronto... I checked it out based on all the recommendations but the pancakes were bitter and left an unappealing aftertaste. And everything else was so greasy and mediocre.
just-saying replying to a comment from clarissa / July 24, 2010 at 07:37 am
Shouldn't it be "photos by Jerrald and me" - not photos by "Me and Jerrald"?
V / August 4, 2010 at 09:06 pm
Had lunch with co-workers a couple weeks back. Staff wasn't particularly friendly and the food took forever to come. My burger was great, juicy and flavourful, however the bun was sub-par.

I would say the the food is overpriced for the quality of service and flavour offered.
trawna replying to a comment from just-saying / October 21, 2010 at 03:27 pm
No, saying "me and Jerrald", is perfectly fine. And that earlier poster was right- "myself" is very frequently misused by people who think it sounds like more "proper" English, when in fact it's just bad English.
John / October 30, 2010 at 12:40 pm
Been to the Ok Ok diner since new owners took over at end of August food is amazing. New owners have added some awesome picks to the lunch menu. The Brunhilde rocks (old favourite), new favourite is the chicken souvlaki...simply amazing. New owners really nice guys, family run apparently have been in the restaurant business for a while. Thumbs up!
Marilyn / November 9, 2010 at 01:17 pm

And pretentious, yes! For a place to charge that much for a sandwich yet can't be bothered getting a decent loaf of bread to make them with is just insulting. And it's not as if they weren't asked.

Looks like there may be new owners again now. Have to give them a try.
Gordon / February 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm
The place rocks. Good solid selection of food, great vibe and a real weekend treat.
Susan / January 10, 2012 at 11:09 am
Love this place, but the description of the seating is a bit off. The "plush red banquets" (presumably the word you were aiming for was banquettes) are actually classic red vinyl diner benches.
Rp replying to a comment from Marilyn / November 13, 2014 at 01:40 am
Couldn't agree more...
Rp replying to a comment from Rp / November 13, 2014 at 01:42 am
I meant "I couldn't agree more" with Marilyn's comment from 2010. I won't be back unless there's new management from when I went a few years ago, and new food (not heated up from frozen hashbrowns aka MacDonalds style), and new servers.
JoeCarter / March 4, 2015 at 01:00 pm
I went a few weeks back on a Saturday morning and had a delightful time. We were served by the sweetest woman who continually checked on us and provided delightful banter. The food was exactly as expected: delicious and reasonably priced diner food. The French Toast melted my brain - too good. Highly recommended and will certainly be back again.
Evan / June 21, 2015 at 01:46 pm
This place is fine. Nothing special. The pancakes are neither fluffy nor buttermilk. They're just pancakes. It seems that diners in Canada think that fluffy and buttermilk are adjectives that can be applied to pancakes as automatically as flat and round. They're not. If you like pancakes, like just the concept of something made in a pan from milk, eggs and flour, you'll like Okay Okay's just fine. If you like pancakes that are truly fluffy and truly made from buttermilk, you'll find Okay Okay's palatable, but not stellar.

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