The Nook Diner
Neighbourhood: West Broadway
Address: 43 Sherbrook St
Fashion moves in cycles, and it’s not only vintage dresses and antique typewriters that are back. In the food world, the classic diner has experienced a renaissance as gourmands turn back to no-fuss food and the simple pleasures of a so-called greasy spoon. At The Nook Diner, where straightforward cooking has been practiced since 1986, this is hardly a revelation. Neighbourhood noshers continue to turn out in droves for hearty, filling meals and bottomless coffee.
What sets this spot apart is a high quality standard for ingredients. Locally sourced Elman’s pickles accompany impressive stacked sandwiches, and signature rye bread from City Bakery holds all those layers together. These sammies have game. Try to wrap your mouth around the 4 inch tall clubhouse layered with turkey, ham, cheddar, bacon, lettuce, tomato and a fried egg for good measure.
A whole turkey is roasted at The Nook every day, making this a stop for terrific housemade soups (chicken noodle in a golden broth that rivals ma’s) and a hot turkey sandwich smothered in gravy.
It’s clear by the mix of singles and groups, older and youngish filling the tables this is an everyman’s diner that is winning favour.
Burgers piled with grilled onions and overflowing with chili are a shameless staple and lure hipsters and seniors alike away from modern mavens of meat. A glance around reveals the caloric count doesn’t sway the crowd from agreeing to a pile of fries. The Nook is not oblivious to changing times, and the selection includes a gluten free veggie burger, grilled chicken and a grilled salmon club.
Some things don’t change, however. Old school entrees like liver and onions, veal cutlets, pork chops, chicken dinner round out the heaping plated entrées on offer. All of these, including a top notch 10 oz striploin steak seared expertly, are under $20 – an old fashioned bargain.
A good diner is one loved for its folksy continuity, which the first service of the day provides. Breakfast shines brightly here whether waking up to waffles and pancakes, or prompt coffee refills. Eggs Benedict fans are sure to cheer loudest. Among the list of choices, Mexy Benny swaps the English muffin for a fried polenta base. A generous smear of avocado is layered before a perfect jammy egg is placed and covered (liberally of course) with hollandaise. Knowing such plates of pure luxury await any time of day or evening, it is easy to see why The Nook’s front door is consistently swinging open.