Classic Diner at Homestyle Diner

Hello Saturday! It’s my favorite day of the week its #NewRestaurantSaturdays where I find a new restaurant to try out. With Covid-19 it is hard sometimes. I have to order in or get takeout, often due to the restaurant not being open to dine in. Understandably with all the rules and caution, it’s sometimes better to be safe. I feel for all the restaurants. So to find one that you can sit in, for one isn’t always easy. So off I go on a short Tram ride and a 800m walk from the R&T ION station in Waterloo. GRT #19 bus from the university also has a stop close by but was not convenient for me from my home. I’ve never actually gotten off at this stop before. But walking down the path towards Philip street this metal and wood old plow made by Sawyer & Massey Co. Ltd. was spotted through the gate. (Google indicates that its probably 110+ years old)

Homestyle Diner on Albert Street in Waterloo was recommended by a friend. They advised that its pretty simple food, and indicated they go quite regularly. Upon arrival at the strip mall type building. Their name in basic lettering indicates where their entrance is. No graphic logos, nothing fancy just their name, Homestyle Diner, in green lettering.

Walking in the first thing you see is a display of pies, I made a point of really wanting one. I thought about ordering one if I’m still hungry at the end of my meal. There was also a display of Christmas cookies, squares and cute Christmas gifts. This feels like a small town diner right away. It feels like home to me. I get it!

It’s a well lit room with tables well spaced to maintain public health recommendations for indoor dining. And nicely decorated for the holidays. There are a couple small families at two tables at either end of the room. I am greeted by a kind voiced woman inquiring if I’m there to sit and for how many. (For One Thanks)

She brings me to a table next to a colorful Christmas tree. I didn’t notice right away, but the benches are old church pews! How quaint!! Hands me a questionnaire paper to fill out for Covid-19 tracing. Indicates she will get a menu out to me, goes and assists another table, then heads into the back. Another young waitress comes out with menus, asks if I want the breakfast or lunch menu and if I want any drinks to start. I already have an idea what I’m looking for so ask for the lunch menu. And a coffee to drink. I have a soft spot for a good diner coffee any time of the day.

The young lady came back with my coffee. Diners always seem to use the same tough white porcelain and it always reminds me of good memories. I look over the menu. Yes! They have what I’ve been craving! Hot Roast Beef! I place my order. It comes with veggies. I have a choice of Potatoes (Mashed, Fries, or Home-fries), I picked Mashed. And the choice between Sauerkraut and Coleslaw, I love sauerkraut but with roast beef it’s got to be coleslaw.

Looking around I hear a conversation that the kind waitress is having with an older gentleman that I can’t see on the other side of the pretty Christmas tree right next to me. That seems to be familiar to her. A regular? This place seems like the kind of place you would come back regularly with family (or alone like me, or this older gentleman) for no frills food.

Three young friends are leaving to pay and mentioned they wanted breakfast but their usual Mels (in the university plaza) you couldn’t sit in, or they were full, and they looked online and found this place thought to try it out. Thanking the kind spoken waitress that first greeted me for having a delicious breakfast.

A young couple of friends, perhaps university students. Also come in while I’m waiting for my food. I overhear their conversation with the waitress they seemed unfamiliar with a classic diner (international students perhaps). One asked about a cappuccino, the young waitress indicated there was no way to make them a specialty coffee like that, they just have regular or decaf coffee. The other didn’t know what Canadian or peameal bacon was compared to bacon, it was oddly an enjoyable conversation as I grew up coming to places that serve exactly the kind of food on the menu here.

People watching over, Oh.. here comes my food!

Oh YES! This was what I was craving for so long! So much homemade right here! And I may have met my food match nearly dripping off the plate. White Bread, sliced roast beef Mashed Potatoes covered in thick brown gravy. A side of coleslaw that was probably the creamiest coleslaw I’ve had, was delicious. And some previously frozen veggies (no one has a hot roast beef sandwich for the veggies). This is a classic diner fare 100%. 

I enjoyed every bite. Though I did leave a bit of the mashed potatoes, that always happens. But I doubt I will be getting pie. I’m so full! I recall seeing some treats near where the cute Christmas gift area was at the entrance indicated I would be picking something out from there instead of regular desert. 

So I bought a box of Christmas squares!

Opinion: This is a gem of a restaurant that is so unassuming that you may just pass it by if you’re not looking. DON’T! They do takeout and delivery (through various 3rd party apps, if you must get delivery). This is a clean and classic no frills Diner that has wonderfully kind staff and delicious food. The food was exactly what I was craving: gooey gravy on a hot roast beef, white bread sandwich with mashed potatoes I will be returning again to try some of the other classics that I saw on the menu including perhaps their breakfast!

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