The Church Street Diner
As the weather gets warmer, I find myself drawn back to Church Street for afternoon walks amidst the village crowd (and their puppies). This is definitely a part of the city that appreciates nice weather.
But setting out on a walk with an empty belly is never a plan, so without hesitation, I start the day with a jog up the steps of the Church Street Diner.
Like most diners, the menu here includes a long list of comfort foods as well as a few twists, but unlike many diners, the quality of the food is really worth noting.
Piling into a window booth with friends, we are greeted by a friendly waitress who briefs us on today's soup and the fresh-out-of-the-oven special.
A Shepherd's Pie has apparently just popped out of the oven as today's special, so I drop my menu and take one of those.
Mashed potatoes neatly stacked on a thick and juicy slice of chopped beefy goodness. I had asked for gravy on the side and almost forgot about it, the pie was so tasty on it's own. Next to it, I had a chef's salad (trying to balance things out) which was dressed really lightly... nice. ($8.95)
Next to me, the Church Club Sandwich arrives.
This was a triple decker chicken breast sandwich layered with bacon, lettuce and tomato, then dressed up in a homemade pesto-mayo. Delicious (yes, I snuck a bite). It's available with soup, salad or fries. A soup on the side made this a nice cozy lunch. ($8.95)
Across the table, someone orders my usual dish: the Hot Chicken Sandwich ($10.95). Pictured at the top, this is a classic diner dish and it hardly needs a description. It's as tasty as it looks. Served open face and piping hot, I usually sub in a slice of whole wheat bread and then sprinkle a little pepper on top. So good.
She who ate before she came (tsk tsk) orders up a Meditteranean Salad.
Choosing the small ($5.55) instead of the large ($8.95), we've got to wonder what kind of monster vegetarian digs into the large size... 'cause this small is enormous . Nothing out-of-this world, but the dressing is quite nice and the salad fresh. Sliced carrots, red cabbage, tomatoes and kalamata olives make it a nice colourful choice.
Delving further into the salad menu, an order of the Spinach Mix arrives.
A huge pile of fresh spinach topped with mandarin orange slices definitely made this the healthiest dish of all. I'm definitely ordering one up next time I'm in.
Finally, the one thing the gravy fans and salad fans could agree on, was that if we split a dessert, we might actually be able to leave without having to be rolled out the door.
Skipping on diner standards, we go for an East-coast import which is quite unique to the CSD: Sugar Maple Pie.
"Do you want it heated up?" asks the waitress.
"YEAH," we reply, nerdily, in unison.
"A la mode?" she adds.
"YEAH," I reply for the group... 'cause if you're gonna do it, you've got to do it right... right?
Sugar-maple-tacular. I'm not even a dessert person and I loved to the point of considering a plate lick (only considered!). Translation: This is definitely a must try for anyone with a chronic sweet tooth. ($4.95 plus $1.25 a la mode)
Church St Diner
555 Church (just North of Wellesley)
Open til 10pm daily.