About six months ago I was walking through the hub (at Princess and Barrie to be precise) past what was once, a long, long time ago, Night Owl Video, and more recently, an internet cafe. It had been closed for a while but this time I saw some activity so I stopped to read the City of Kingston sign in the window letting me know that a new restaurant was in the works. At that moment, a friendly young guy came out and immediately introduced himself as Tommy and started telling me about the new restaurant that he was going to open and how he was doing all the work himself. We hear this tale often enough but there was something in this guy’s energy that told me that this place was going to be special.
Since then, Tommy’s has opened up and I have yet to see it empty. Decorated to the nines as a 50’s style diner with a 21st century twist of Generation X and Y appeal. Along with the decorative records, license plates, photos of Elvis and real motorcycles, there are several TVs, which, during our visit were broadcasting Teletoon. Conversation around He-man and Thunder Cats ensued, making us feel like 6-year-olds again. We also enjoyed quizzing each other with Trivial Pursuit cards provided at our table. We were definitely entertained, so what about the food?
Harvey and I made our visit on a Sunday morning and were astonished to find we had arrived just in time to nab the last available table. The place was buzzing. We sat ourselves and were almost immediately offered menus and coffee. The first thing listed on the menu is the all day breakfast served every day, Sunday to Wednesday, 6am to 11pm, and Thursday to Saturday, 24 hours. 24 hours! When’s the last time we saw a sit down restaurant in Kingston open 24 hours a day? They also serve one of my local favourites: Cooke’s Signature Coffee ($1.75).
The menu is a fun mix of interesting meals named after some of Tommy’s friends such as The Blasko Tough Guy (eggs, cottage cheese and berries), Fraser J’s Daily Breakfast (toast with peanut butter, topped with bacon and maple syrup) and The Pregnant Colin (a peanut butter and pickle sandwich) but you can also find your traditional favourites too. And if you didn’t come for breakfast, there are lots of other items including nachos, pizza, sandwiches, salads and a variety of poutines.
This is the western omelette ($7.99), which is packed with ham, onions, green peppers, cheese, and is served with a side of homefries, and toast. Side order of sausage sold separately. Harvey enjoyed this omelette a lot. He said the amount of meat and veggies went above and beyond expectations. He wouldn’t have minded a few more home fries but that was remedied when I couldn’t finish mine.
I ordered Mikey B’s Eggs Benny ($8.99), consisting of English muffins topped with sliced black forest ham, poached egg and house made peppercorn hollandaise. Served with home fries or baked beans. I opted for the home fries and the first thought I had trying them was “This is how home fries should be made”. I’m not usually big into potatoes with my breakfast but these were delicious. They had some sort of spice on them (not hot) and were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. mmm. The eggs benny were yummy too, but not anything more than I would expect. The home made hollandaise was rich and quite delicious but I wouldn’t have minded just a bit more ham.
The service was not as quick as we would have liked. We even saw people who came in after us get their food first, but this is the plight of a new restaurant and my hope is that it is simply a matter of working out kinks. My only real complaint about Tommy’s is that they only accept cash. There is an ATM in the back that charges $1.75. This is a bit inconvenient and expensive and I imagine it probably diminishes the amount people are willing to tip. Interac would be a wise investment. Overall, we had a great experience at Tommy’s and are looking forward to going back, perhaps in the evening for a pint (yes, they have taps too) and dinner. Review to follow.