Like Barb & Ernie’s, I passed by Route 99 Diner (8820-99 Street) innumerable times, always remarking how I wanted to eat there. I loved the juxtaposition between upscale and “down-home,” so for our real meal of the evening, I suggested that we head to the diner. From the outside, Route 99 looks every bit like a traditional roadside stopover – boxy, bright, lined with windows, and dotted with “all day breakfast” signage. Inside, complete with cozy booths, a jukebox, working traffic light and rescued licence plates and gas station memorabilia, the space definitively screamed “diner” (I particularly enjoyed the meta Nighthawks wall hanging).
The menu contained nothing unexpected, with a mix of requisite breakfast and dinner items, including omelets, pancakes, sandwiches, and pizzas. Mack decided upon the evening-appropriate Diner Burger, while for the sheer novelty of it, I asked for a plate of French Toast and Sausages (and thankfully, no Grand Marnier in sight). We also agreed to split an order of poutine.
Our food came relatively quickly (though as Mack noted, the dishes shouldn’t be that difficult to pull together). First of all, the serving of poutine was huge! Even between the two of us, we weren’t able to finish it (photo evidence below). As for our individual orders, Mack found no fault with his burger, but I wasn’t as impressed with the French Toast. Though complete with a nice dusting of powdered sugar, the bread was a bit tougher than ideal. The sausage was prepared in an interesting fashion, however – flayed, which would not only encourage a faster cooking time, but also allow for a more even crisp on the outside. It’s a technique I will try myself sometime.
With good service and not an ounce of pretension, Route 99 is a friendly, not-off-the-beaten-track option for the hungry.