My 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.
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.
Photos by me and Jerrold