I think it’s safe to say that Church St. Diner, located in the super hip area of Church and Bloor, is a lovely secret hideaway (if you blink, you may miss it) that very few have yet to discover. I say this because Ashley and I went for Sunday brunch and the small yet cozy diner was adequately packed (meaning there was a reasonable five minute wait but it was not horrendous). With food as good as theirs and the location, it was a bit surprising to not see a line outside but that may also be a sign of fast service.
I think with any diner, one has expectations of what a “quintessential diner” should look and feel like. It should make you feel nostalgic and bring up good old memories. This place, flagged with thought-provoking and sassy art work, an open-concept kitchen at the back and an intimate diner-esque set-up, was far from traditional but more like uber urban. It certainly met all aesthetic expectations of a modern and noticeably clean (as in linear, simple and non-dirty) diner. I do enjoy the odd dive from time to time but I would much prefer great food AND at a CLEAN place any day.
The menu, as much as I can recall, is limited but I’ve always believed that success is not about doing a bunch of things on a mediocre level but doing a few things supremely well. Although I have my bias, where egg Florentines are concerned, this one came close. The best part was the delicious, sweet balsamic dressing because for some reason, just like my signature amaretto sours, no two are ever the same or done properly in my opinion and Church did it right and it was finger-licking, hail Mary superb!
Church St. Diner gives Sunday church a whole new meaning!
***1/2 out of 5