The Breakfast Project is a personal initiative led by one bacon-addicted student and her Breakfast Partner in Crime (more commonly referred to as her BPC) to find the best and worst breakfasts in town and report the findings back to all of you, so you never have to sit through another bad breakfast again – well, at least not in Peterborough.
Another week, another breakfast.
This week, BPC and I realized it was about time we reviewed a downtown location. We keep going to the outskirts of town, where there are some great breakfasts, but it’s just not as accessible. So, keeping that in mind, we headed to the Whistle Stop Café at the corner of Charlotte and George at 141 Charlotte St.
I have to admit, we were both a little unsure of what we were going to find on our plates, as we’re both breakfast snobs, and the one time BPC had been there before, he wasn’t entirely impressed.
I know most people probably recognize the name because they’re famous for their 24-hour poutine (now only on weekends since they’ve started to close at 11pm on weekdays), but I’d never heard anything about their breakfast.
On a side note, BPC and I both got a crack out of their sign about closing the bathrooms off after midnight every night to prevent any drunken late night accidents, which is an incredibly smart idea on their part.
Anyways, back to breakfast. We sat ourselves down at a table near the window and settled ourselves in.
We got there around 10am and the restaurant was already pretty full, many of the small tables inhabited by solo diners, enjoying their morning newspaper as they sipped their coffee and enjoyed breakfast.
The restaurant had a surprisingly nice vibe to it with high ceilings and great décor.
Our waitress promptly came over and we ordered tea to start. We briefly perused the menu to see what other specials and meals they offered, but ordered the same thing we always do in the end—two eggs over easy (over medium for BPC), multi-grain toast, home fries, and bacon.
A couple of minutes after ordering, the breakfast arrived on time. I think I may start awarding a bonus point for breakfasts that come under 10 minutes because what hungry breakfast diner wants to wait more than that? Certainly not this one.
BPC and I were both pleased, right off the bat, to see a large pile of deliciously golden home fries and freshly grilled bacon.
From my first bite, I was pleasantly surprised. The home fries were lightly deep-fried with a variety of spices, and were salted to perfection. They were the perfect balance between hard enough that they didn’t turn into mashed potatoes on your plate, but soft enough that you never felt like you were munching on raw potatoes.
The bacon was cooked to perfection and seemed a little sturdier than the standard piece of limp bacon some restaurants seem to serve. I like my bacon quite well-cooked, and it was cooked enough for me, but also edible for those who don’t like bacon burnt to a crisp.
I never order my bacon well-done because I’m always curious how restaurants cook their bacon without any specifications.
BPC and I both noted right away that our eggs were cooked perfectly. Mine had a perfectly runny yellow yolk, while BPC’s were cooked just a little more, but still allowed him to dip his toast.
The bread was standard diner fare, but nothing inedible, so we were both content.
I am quite happy to note that my teapot poured perfectly, and I didn’t lose any of it on the table which then results in me having to sacrifice my napkin.
Our waitress refilled our hot water again mid-way through the meal, and offered again at the end of the meal.
Whistle Stop also offers 24-hour (or thereabout, Q.V. above) breakfast, so if your friends ever drag you there at 4am and you don’t want pogo poutine, I’d recommend the breakfast.
All in all, I would say BPC and I were both a little shocked and very content at the end of the meal. BPC certainly enjoyed this breakfast much more than his first one there. They’ve obviously improved their formula over the years. It might be one of my new go-to diners, not to mention what a bargain it was.
As a cheap student, I’m always on the hunt for the best deal and biggest portion of food.
At the end, our breakfasts came to $5.35 each including our teas. With a sizable tip, we still left spending under $15 combined for the biggest portion of food we had seen yet.
I highly recommend checking Whistle Stop out if you ever find yourself looking for a breakfast downtown, or if you decide you’d rather check the restaurant out when you can actually go to the washroom. Either way, I highly recommend it.
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 in my not-so-humble opinion.