My favorite memories of breakfast are when I ate at my grandparent’s house, where almost every meal was cooked in bacon grease or lard, on the stovetop in an old cast iron skillet. Bad for you, some would say, but my Pepe lived to 84. And he smoked. One of his specialties was something you rarely see in a restaurant these days – corned beef hash. I love the stuff.
I discovered a place called the MCM Restaurant many years ago, while working the Drouillard/Walker Road beat with an old war horse we affectionately called Hammer. At 2005 Ottawa Street, across from Juniper Books, it was a typical diner that served the type of good meals you’d get at home, for reasonable prices. I loved going there for breakfast, cooked on a grill that was directly behind the counter.
At some time in the not too distant past, the MCM closed and was replaced by Roast ‘N Toast. I smiled when I walked in the front door and recognized the same old bar stools at the counter, and cozy atmosphere of days past. The smell of bacon frying on the grill gives me great great pleasure, but when I saw corned beef hash on the menu I was ecstatic. It wasn’t quite the same as grandpa’s, probably because the grease wasn’t a month old.
Roast ‘N Toast is my kind of diner – they serve breakfast all day. Who says you can’t have bacon and eggs for lunch? My new favorite there is the Meat Lovers Skillet, piled high with ham, sausage and hamburger meat, eggs, cheese, and home fries. It easily fills me up, leaving no room for their sinful homemade butter tarts that stare at you from behind the counter.
The restaurant has suffered through Covid like the rest of us, but they added unique wooden partitions for privacy and social distancing. They also added outdoor seating. Each and every time I’ve been to Roast ‘N Toast, my meal has been perfectly cooked and delivered to my table by courteous and friendly staff who aren’t afraid to tweak your order to your liking. And if you’re a reader, be sure to keep your receipt for a 15% discount across the street at Juniper Books.