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Restaurants

Wallace & Co.

Posted by Derek Flack / Profiled on June 21, 2013 / review policy

Wallace and Co TorontoWallace & Co. is a throwback diner that conjures up the snackbars of the past rather than images of small plates of so-called "street food." It's the type of place that smells good — you know, in that way that the combination of coffee, bacon and homefries is just comforting to the senses. Located on the southeast corner of Wallace and Campbell (where Yasi's used to be), it's a bright and airy space that looks just vintage enough to suggest its retro underpinnings without being gimmicky.

Opened by the folks behind Midfield Wine Bar, if there's a similarity between the spaces it's in their lack of pretention. To the same degree that Midfield is one of the city's few true wine bars (even with the more extensive food offerings of late), Wallace & Co. is a diner through and through. This is less an aesthetic designation, however, then it is a statement about the food on offer.

Wallace and Co TorontoThe menu comes courtesy of Stephen Payne (formerly of Parts & Labour), whose personality is about as big as his food. This is actually rather important in a place where the kitchen is less than a foot away from the prime seating at the counter. A gregarious chef who interacts with the customers is a big plus, especially with future regulars. I should know, I've already been in three times.

Wallace and Co TorontoFood wise, I've tried the all day breakfast ($8) on two occasions (one takeout, one dine-in), and it's yet to disappoint. There's nothing fancy about it, of course, but the little things matter. The eggs, should you order them scrambled, come indulgently spiked with cream, the homefries are crispy as hell, and the combination of the sweet beans and fried tomato offer that requisite bit of tang to cut through the fat.

Wallace and Co TorontoIf you're not into peameal or a sausage patty, Wallace & Co. does the dish with tempeh in place of meat. I prefer the more standard set up, but if you're not into meat and you still want a hangover cure, this will work just fine.

Wallace and CoAs much as I'd endorse the breakfast, the true standout is the aptly named dirty burger ($11). A fat ball of chuck is griddle-fried with cheddar cheese, bacon, onions (also fried) and coleslaw. It's one of those burgers that explodes when you first bite into it, which makes for a bit of a mess — but it's a good kind of mess. What else is there to say? It's a dirty, dirty burger.

Wallace and Co TorontoAlso in the dirty department is the Kung Fu corn dog ($7), a reference to the chef's nickname and Twitter/Instagram handle. It's one of those throwback dishes that a diner stakes its worth on, and it's just right if you're looking to step into a culinary time machine. The hot dog is homemade and the batter will have you asking for extra mustard before you're done.

Wallace and Co TorontoAlthough there are plans to re-do the patio, the one that exists now is kind of nice. You wouldn't call Wallace and Campbell a busy corner, but there's enough activity to make the street scene interesting and the awning is a welcome touch for those who don't want to fry while they eat (later in the day, shade is harder to come by). It's also a good place to enjoy a coffee, which is decidedly better than your usual diner stock.

Wallace and Co TorontoIt's tough to comment on service at such an early stage, but there's a friendly, laid back vibe here that suits the space and the food. I'd like to see the kitchen turn everything out a bit quicker when the place is full, but this is the type of thing that a restaurant usually gets a hold of once they've settled in.

All things considered, they're off to a good start — and this is a most welcome addition to the neighbourhood.

Wallace and Co Toronto

Discussion

35 Comments

local / June 21, 2013 at 08:24 am
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I'm so glad someone has finally taken over that gem of a spot and honoured its legacy (RIP Yasi's and those before it). Can't wait to check it out.
AV / June 21, 2013 at 08:45 am
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Hours? Facebook page doesn't have that info
Derek replying to a comment from AV / June 21, 2013 at 09:06 am
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Mon - Fri: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm / Sat - Sun: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.
AV / June 21, 2013 at 09:32 am
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Thank you Derek
Elizabeth / June 21, 2013 at 09:51 am
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Love the poutine! Better than smoke's or poutini's. The gravy is solid, and there are peas!
?? / June 21, 2013 at 10:23 am
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5pm?

What is, downtown Detroit ?
Karen / June 21, 2013 at 10:51 am
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I'd like to know more about the menu. The writer only mentions 3 menu items, and there's nothing on their facebook page
Jessie / June 21, 2013 at 11:11 am
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Glad something has opened there, but man...I really miss Yasi's
Derek replying to a comment from Karen / June 21, 2013 at 11:28 am
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Hey, Karen. Some other noteworthy menu items include the breakfast sandwich, poutine, salted beef sandwich, grilled cheddar, and milkshakes. There's also homemade sodas and a couple of salads.
Adam / June 21, 2013 at 11:46 am
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Great food. Try the salted caramel & sour cream milkshake. It's seriously delicious! Congrats to Giuseppe and Christopher and Kung Fu and everyone else involved!!
Heather / June 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm
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Are there any plans for kid's menu? Or at least kid portions?
Chabby replying to a comment from Heather / June 21, 2013 at 01:06 pm
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hahaha, kids menu, it's not milestone's, how many restaurants you know that have kids menus that aren't chains?
Ben / June 21, 2013 at 01:11 pm
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It's a shame no links to the FB page were included in the writeup.
AV replying to a comment from Ben / June 21, 2013 at 01:27 pm
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Except there's that little thing called the website link at the top right hand side of this article, near the google map.

*scroll up*
LunchBurger / June 21, 2013 at 02:38 pm
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And like everything else in Bloordale/Junction Triangle, good luck getting a seat for brunch!!

Area is still ripe for printing money by opening restos....
vic / June 21, 2013 at 04:12 pm
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"hahaha, kids menu, it's not milestone's, how many restaurants you know that have kids menus that aren't chains?"

For what it's worth, Yasi's Place had a kids' menu.
Karen replying to a comment from Derek / June 21, 2013 at 04:38 pm
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Thanks Derek :)
Karen replying to a comment from AV / June 21, 2013 at 04:40 pm
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They have a fb page, but there's very little on it. In this day and age, why don't restaurants post their menus online?
Why / June 21, 2013 at 06:24 pm
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Why do hipster brunch places only give 1 slice of toast?
Ansel / June 22, 2013 at 02:46 pm
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This place is great. They gave me my ketchup to go.
kstop replying to a comment from vic / June 24, 2013 at 03:13 pm
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It sells eggs, burgers, and corn-dogs. A better question might be "where's the adult's menu?", or "what kind of kid wouldn't eat almost anything from this menu?"

J. Orion / June 26, 2013 at 08:15 pm
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Went today for lunch - the food was fabulous, and the staff very engaging. Welcome to the 'hood, Wallace and Co.! We will be back soon.
Aaron R / July 1, 2013 at 01:18 pm
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Just got back from here. Great food at a reasonable price and friendly staff. Cash-only, so be aware of that. They also had lots of veggie substitution options which I found a huge plus.
GinaTO replying to a comment from Elizabeth / July 2, 2013 at 02:30 pm
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Good to know about the poutine! We went last weekend for the first time - both our dishes were great, service was friendly, we'll definitely be back - plus, we live right up on Campbell, so it's great to see that corner occupied with a good casual restaurant.
matt / July 12, 2013 at 04:11 pm
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Excited to try this out. Yasi's was great, and this looks like it's a suitable replacement.
Dr Drum Review / August 8, 2013 at 10:17 am
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You are so interesting! I do not think I have read anything like that before.
So good to discover someone with original
thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up.
This website is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!
C replying to a comment from local / September 19, 2013 at 09:56 pm
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Fun to cross over the tracks at the dundas bridge, take in the water tower at 224 then uturn back to settle in for a real fry up. I witnessed an extreem egg sarni yolk explosion on lap so knew before hand to bite and suck my food of the gods breakfast burger. Very nice bunch and vibe. It would be great if the patio was open all year with heaters for the hardcores. Next time I 'll try to remember to ask them to hold back on salt.
RM / December 6, 2013 at 03:44 pm
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Went for breakfast and was unfortunately very disappointed. The oil they use to fry stuff was either stale or of a poor quality...as result the food tasted burnt and had a sour taste. The fries and the breakfast s'wich appeared to have been left over stuff that was being re-fried. The place has potential but the food was a disappointment. Also, it wouldn't hurt to smile a bit!
John / January 6, 2014 at 03:58 pm
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Been three times. First time was amazing and I told all my friends about it. Second time my meal was good and my partners was not great. Third time the normal cook wasn't there and nor was the owner/manager and I had the worst food and service I've had in ages anywhere. Now I'm confused and likely won't go back. Strangely quick downhill slide as this all happened within 4 months.
Katarina / January 6, 2014 at 06:17 pm
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This place is the best! Their breakfast sandwich is to die for
stef / January 6, 2014 at 11:08 pm
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oh man! So excited to try this place. moved into the hood right before it opened - never reazlied what it was until i stumbeled upon this article.... dayum - cant wait to try it! There are few breakfast places around here!
ellietown / February 8, 2014 at 01:20 pm
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The food here is fine, diner stuff, but they haven't shovelled their sidewalk ALL winter. There are a lot of seniors in the neighborhood and they shovel their walks, well until they slip and break a hip on the menace these guys have in front of their business, and then I hope they sue ya. Even the drug dealer down the street shovels his walk.
Why you gotta be such bad neighbors, fellas?
Jessica / March 3, 2014 at 10:11 am
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The only complaint I have is in regards to the cleanliness. Other than that, everything else was positive- Food & service was great.
Janelle / March 26, 2014 at 08:08 pm
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Best. Tempeh. Ever.
Good variety.
Taters cooked just how I like them.
Dream breakfast place!
Good for meat eaters, veggies and vegans!
joe / October 24, 2014 at 12:32 pm
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They should put more effort/$$ into their patio/outdoor area. They need to move the garbages from the front and "Parisian" it up a bit. That was be a worthy investment.

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