Last year I started hearing about the restaurant inside the Osborne Hotel, and that it was a great place for home-style comfort foods. Before I got a chance to visit, it was closed down as part of the changes that are coming to the hotel. I didn’t really think about it again, until I saw that it had, as the Village DIner. popped up again on Sargent Avenue.
The new location once housed an Indian restaurant. Truth be told I wasn’t even aware that the Indian restaurant had closed.
If you read Dining with Donald with regularity you know that service is important to me. One of the things that caught my eye about Village Diner was the presence of Mallory Letkeman as front of house manager. Mallory has worked at a couple of places I’ve frequented, and so that gave me more reason to want to check The Village Diner out.
Village Diner Breakfast:
I paid my first visit at breakfast time. The diner is bright and airy inside, and I found myself with a window seat that took full advantage of this. The board was advertising a breakfast with wild rice bannock. I found the eggs to be well cooked and the bacon well crisped perfect for eating with my fingers(and yes eating crisp bacon with your fingers is proper etiquette). The bannock on the other hand was a bit of a disappointment as the wild rice left it all a little doughy and a little undercooked.
The Coffee is a strong dark roast, and my refills on each of my visits were offered regularly through the course of my meal.
Village Diner Dinner:
On my second visit, I went for dinner. This time I chose the cabbage rolls with farmer’s sausage. The portion was enormous. The quality was also enormous. Too often cabbage rolls are tough and you have to really work to cut your way through the cabbage. Not these ones. The rolls are well wrapped, but give way nicely to your knife as you cut through them. The filling is flavourful, Also a great tomato sauce topping. This dish will leave you moving very slowly after you get up from the table.
Having been a little while since my first two visits I decided to pay a third visit before I wrote the place up. On my third visit I opted to simply go for dessert and coffee. The dessert menu is small, but there is still a variety of choices. I went for the Bananas Foster.
Wrapped in pastry and served with a rum sauce, this was a very delicious dessert. First, the pastry was flaky and crunchy on the outside. The sliced half banana served alongside adds a nice touch to the dish, and the sauce is good and sweet without overpowering the rest of the dish.
Last night was a slower evening with chef Leighton Fontaine providing attentive front of house service. This has been my experience each time in.
The Village Diner is a more than welcome addition to the Spence neighbourhood. I look forward to walking down there more in the future.