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Tommy’s

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?

Tommy's restaurant, Thomas HunterHarvey 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.

Tommy's restaurant, Thomas HunterThis 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.

Tommy's restaurant, Thomas Hunter
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.

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Danielle Lennon

Danielle Lennon is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. She was the Editor, Community Event Coordinator and Contributor at-large (2008-2018). She is otherwise employed as a section violinist with the Kingston Symphony, violin teacher, studio musician and cat lover. Learn more about Danielle...

4 thoughts on “Tommy’s

  • June 15, 2011 at 12:49 pm
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    If you look at all of our breakfast reviews, I think you'll notice that I always get omelettes. I've enjoyed my fair share, and suffice to say that although Tommy's western wasn't the absolute best, it's closing in on the top spot. My mind might have been clouded by the delicious Cooke's coffee (awesome), or bites that were mixed with their perfectly seasoned home fries (awesome-r). Thank you to Tommy for opening up this place. I know I'll be making some late night visits, and can't wait to try out some non-breakfast menu items. Million dollar sandwich looks ridiculous, but do-able.

  • June 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm
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    does anyone know if this is connected to Tommy's in Kanata ? the menu, motorcycles and wall decor have a lot in common

  • August 13, 2011 at 2:18 pm
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    Just went here for breakfast, and I have to say we were impressed. We had their Groupon, and both of us had a substantial meal that added up to less than the $15 Groupon! The prices are so reasonable, I feel like they could have charged me more for the Classic, which is a ton of food for $5.25.

    I'm allergic to eggs, so they let me get both baked beans and homefries with my toast and sausage. I was stuffed, which is sometimes hard to achieve when eggs are out of the question at breakfast.

    The service is great, the food is hot and fresh, the homefries are perfect and the prices are amazing.

    My only complaint is that the place smells a bit like second hand smoke…I'm not sure if a previous business allowed smoking? It has a faint eau de bowling alley.

    However, everything was so great that I can get over that (and hope the smell fades over time).

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