Breakfast. It’s a universal word everyone can relate to. It’s the cereal you toss into a bowl with some almost-expired milk in the morning, it’s the slices of bread you slam into the toaster, groggy-eyed on your way to school, it’s even that bagel with cream cheese you buy at the Tim Horton’s on campus before your lecture.
But that’s not the kind of breakfast I’m referring to. I’m talking about the ultimate breakfast.
The Mecca of breakfast – piles of delectably spiced potatoes, perfectly cooked over-easy eggs, smiling a happy morning greeting at you, impeccably cooked pieces of thick, crispy bacon poised perfectly on top of your meal, and a few slices of wholegrain toast buttered right to the edges.
You’re drooling a little bit now, right? Of course, the breakfast I just described is a 10-star diner masterpiece.
The ugly truth is the fact that this isn’t the breakfast we see at most local diners. It’s a sad truth, as we’re forced to struggle through countless breakfasts full of limp bacon, overly greasy potatoes, and undercooked (or overcooked) eggs.
That’s why I’m here.
I’m sacrificing myself for the greater good of breakfasts everywhere. My goal is to sample breakfasts at as many diners in Peterborough as I can, and report my findings back to all of you, so you never have to sit through another bad breakfast again, or at least not in Peterborough.
When I first decided to do this, my breakfast partner in crime (also commonly referred to as my BPC) and I went on the hunt for our first breakfast destination. This landed us at the Queensway Diner (685 The Queensway) in the industrial area of town (because BPC needed to pick up some tool or something), which I didn’t even realize existed until I found myself in a quaint, old school diner on the Queensway.
Honestly, I don’t think they’ve changed a single thing since opening, from the curved breakfast bar, to the frayed vinyl stools, to the chipped paint on the walls. We’d had a few people mention the place to us, so we thought we’d give it a try. We plopped ourselves in a booth by the window, with a scenic view of the Queensway, and awaited our waitress, which, let me tell you, was definitely worth the wait.
Our waitress was totally classic. She threw out “hons” and “sweethearts” like they were going out of style. But she was one of those women who pull it off, and make you feel like you’re right at home and part of the family. She knew everyone’s business and gossiped with all the regulars about everything.
It felt like the kind of place where everyone knows everyone and the same people have been going there since the day it opened. It could have been straight out of some small town, hard luck romance movie where the trucker, the widow, and the young struggling waitress/aspiring singer all have a shot at a new life.
All went smoothly from there. BPC and I ordered tea, our drink of choice, and got ourselves acquainted with the menu, which was a pointless activity considering we always order the same thing – two eggs over-easy (BPC orders over-medium), home fries, bacon (well done), and brown or multigrain toast.
On a side note, BPC and I are both tea drinkers, so, sadly we cannot give you a coffee review. I did consider the idea of ordering a coffee anyways and sampling it, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin critiquing it as I think all coffee tastes disgusting, so all I can give you is a tea review.
Promptly after ordering, our breakfast arrived and we dug right in (which is a bonus, as I hate waiting too long for breakfast as I get crabby when I’m hungry). Now, as I mentioned earlier, I’m a total breakfast snob, and I like my food cooked in a particular way, so I was happy when my bacon was well done and the toast was buttered right to the very edges (with butter, not margarine, I may add).
The eggs were perfectly done for both my tastes and BPC’s. I tend towards a softer egg, and BPC prefers a slightly more cooked yolk with no possibility of that horrible, runny white liquid that makes your potatoes all soggy and inedible. I live on the wild side of life though, so I take my chances and order an over-easy egg whenever I can.
The tea was good, and they offered a free hot water refill, which I love. However, the milk was served in little packages, and I much prefer a container of milk on the side to minimize waste and packaging because I always go through way too many of those tiny little packages, and it makes me feel like a garbage monster (which is never a good feeling).
The potatoes were very basic but tasty. They obviously fried and lightly salted them, but they didn’t feel too greasy or overcooked (or undercooked for that matter – there’s nothing worse than a hard home fry). I could have used a little more seasoning on the potatoes, but we can’t have everything, right?
The bacon was a little on the thin and overly processed side, but it was cooked to perfection, so I can forgive that.
The toast was obviously store bought (mega points for homemade bread), but it was buttered right to the very edges, which I’m a stickler about, and it still made a good bed for my egg yolk.
Overall, it was an enjoyable experience and I was pleasantly surprised. As BPC and I later discussed, it was about as good as a breakfast gets without any added embellishments or spices. It’s not my favourite breakfast in town, but if I ever find myself out on the Queensway again (which is very unlikely), I’d happily dine there.
Below is my personal rating scale for breakfasts. Each component of breakfast will be rated out of 10 on my bacon scale. Overall atmosphere will also be rated. This includes the staff we encounter and the general ambience of the restaurant.
Bonus points can also be awarded for things like a surprise piece of fruit on the plate or extra embellishments to the meal like a sprig of parsley or homemade toast.
I’ll add up all these points and award each restaurant an overall mark, and at the end of the adventure, we’ll see who the reigning champs of breakfast are, and which breakfasts should just be avoided.