Breakfast Poutine | $12 | Diner Deluxe in Aspen Landing
Cool, funky, upscale, trendy, unique restaurants are making their way from apartment ladened downtown districts and coming to the burbs. Long the bastion of drive-thrus and chain outlets, the outlying areas of Calgary are getting an upgrade. Vin Room, Mercato, Fergus and Bix, and Diner Deluxe are already along W 85th St, with a World Bierhaus coming this winter.
Diner Deluxe in Aspen Landing moved in to a spot vacated by Broken Plate this summer and brings with it the award winning menu from the Edmonton Trail location. (Best Breakfast/Brunch FFWD Magazine in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012 & 2013, Calgary Herald Reader’s Choice Best Brunch in 2013, Best Breakfast Where Magazine 2007-2011, Best Brunch Avenue Magazine 2010, Best Breakfast Up Magazine 2009)
The restaurant recognizes it’s suburban location with a fun little nook for kids to play. There’s Ikea tables and chairs, a long chalkboard, a scattering of books, and some wooden cars to roll around. The boys loved it.
The Urban Spoon reviews are leaning towards the negative side, especially in relation to kids, large parties, and service. We had no such problem. We arrived at 8a on a Saturday morning, found a quiet corner, and enjoyed our time. Show up at peak brunch time and you might tell a different story.
The Diner Deluxe in Aspen space is bright and open. There’s a small bar upstairs (where the couples with no kids were seated) and the downstairs is about twice as big, features the kitchen, and a huge patio overlooking the Aspen Landing pond.
The booths along the wall can be a bit dark, but the long tables in the center of the room are bright, and the shabby chic mixture of styles of chairs is stylish and welcoming. Our service was quick and friendly, and just what we needed.
The Breakfast Poutine is basically hashbrowns with curds and hollandaise, if you really want to be simple. I tossed a handful of double smoked bacon into my order and the smokey salt hit with the bite of green onion and cradled by melted cheese curd and tart hollandaise was just magic. It was a perfect dish (If I order it again, I’ll add an extra poached egg to the top).
The menu is pricey at Diner Deluxe. You can easily get into $15-$20 for the breakfast items of potato pancakes, omelettes, skillets, stuffed french toast and more. There are corners of the menu that are more reasonable.
The kids’ menu of two pancakes, fruit compote, and syrup is a little hefty at $7. Other options include eggs and french toast. That said, the neighbourhood surrounding this spot is filled with million dollar houses, so $7 on two pancakes is a meh.
It’s good to have options to feel young and single again, even with the family. I fully welcome these foodie family friendly places stepping out of their comfort zone and hopping the bus for the ‘burbs. We need more, please!