by Sabrina Melchiori
Sep 19, 2006
Located in the Kensington Market area, Maggie’s, the College Street staple and neighbourhood fave has earned its reputation as a decent greasy spoon. Cool jazz radio beats play in the background. There’s no attitude to deal with and service is friendly and laid back. Sizzling smells fill the air as the ceiling fans silently blow the smoke away. The sounds of the city are definitely palpable this morning. The kitchen noisily prepares dishes, while the College streetcar hums past. The bells of St. Stephen-in-the-Fields across the street clang occasionally.
Pleasant and casual, this is a place a single diner can feel at ease. The pink walls, and exposed brick painted red with mismatched photos and paintings give the place a crazy splash of colour. Stacks of local weeklies are thoughtfully provided. There are metal, mismatched cafeteria-style tables, low lighting and a helter-skelter decor. Red ketchup bottles and plain baskets of jam are prepared at every setting and a “seat-yourself” attitude prevails. Go early and you can linger over coffee and your meal. Later on in the day, be prepared to wait for a seat -- and your dish. This is a no-frills breakfast experience.
The crowd: It’s a cool, rainy Saturday, the kind of day where you want to go back to bed right after ingesting a big meal -- and it shows. The regulars are slow to make it in, and the little patio is deserted, but soon the trickle becomes a gush and the place fills. It’s a mixed bag of clientele with everyone from cool college kids in baseball caps, pulled back hair and sweats to elderly couples or singles quietly reading. Don’t worry about dressing to impress.
On the menu: Best thing about this place is the breakfasts. Religious Maggie’s diners swear by the French toast and these guys know their way around an egg, not to mention a batch of garlic fries which spice up the menu offerings. The all-day breakfast menu items (which range in price from $6.95-$12.25) come served with fresh fruit, coffee or tea. Breakfast/brunch staples include standard eggs, bacon, toast and fruit plates, toasted bagel or croissant with cream cheese, Eggs Benedict, Eggs Oceanic (with salmon), omelette Florentine, granola with yogurt and honey and the poached egg plate. Maggie’s Supreme (one massive plate) comes with the works -- eggs, bacon, toast, fries. Overall, it’s a good bang for your brunch buck.
Brunch for two: $30. Mon to Sun 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and breakfast items served all-day long.