Half Empty, Since 1998

Today’s special: BURGERS. A quest for the cheapest, the sexiest, the most experiential … breakfast in Toronto.

This Isn't Tiffany's

Lindsay Kearns. February 7th, 1999

Today’s Special:

BURGERS at Pape and Danforth in lovely T.O.

The Scene:

11:30 am on a Sunny Sunday morning

The Characters:

Titus – A Poor and Unemployed Student who spends any money he has on Guitar and Japanese Lessons. Current Funds: $2 of his own, $2 of his 11-year old brother’s, and $2 of his mother’s.

Lindsay – Another Student, and Part-time Coffee Jockey at a prominent Cafe Chain, who puts all her money away for University except when she’s spending it on Titus. Current Funds: $11.

The Establishment:

A Hole in the Wall with Seating for 11.

The Style:

Eclectic sculpted Wooden Walls painted Turquoise and Green, with an added section of Faux Stone for extra Ambience. There’s an Oil Painting for Sale: $350 for a Still Life of Veggies, a Colander, and a Knife. It’s all very Friendly.

The Clientele:

Mostly old Greek Men. There’s a Guy Drinking a Milkshake who looks as though he may be a Student.

The Proprietors:

An older Woman with a flair for Grandma Makeup and brown Hair Dye. Her companion is a Mid-Forties Man with no chin and Confidence oozing from his pores; he Smokes on the Job, which would be Classy and Romantic in our Books … except that he’s the Chef.

The Menu:

Most Expensive Item – Steak & Eggs @ $6.50.
Cheapest – Toast @ $0.80 (Aside from Gravy @ $0.35).

The Food Itself:

After examining the Menu for several Minutes, Titus placed his Order. It was the Same Thing Lindsay had planned on Ordering. After the Ensuing Skirmish, it was decided that it would not actually damage the Artistic Integrity of this review after all if Both ate the Same Thing.

The BURGERS Breakfast Special:

2 Slices Toast, Brown (no options). Jam upon request; generic Old-Style Brand little plastic Packages of Strawberry.

2 Eggs, Sunny side Up: It’s an egg. It’s a half-raw egg.

Homefries: These are very good. I think they’re McCain’s. They look like fat Ruffles Chips.

6 slices of Bacon: Holy fuck, it’s raw… no, wait, it’s just incredibly pink and greasy. Tastes alright though. Look, if you can cut through bacon with a knife and it goes <squish> instead of cracking, something’s wrong.

Bonus! Bottomless coffee cup, and you don’t even have to Ask! Coffee is coffee … tastes Good.

The Washrooms:

Downstairs; no wheelchair access.

Mens’ – Wide open Pink doors; 2 People at a time. Nice paper towels and Lots of Toilet Paper. Tall People beware! Low ceiling! Ouch! Relatively Clean overall.

Womens’ – Satisfactory but Grungy; only one Person at a time. Extra points for the Trippy Flowers on the tiles on Bottom Half of Wall.

The Grand Finale:

Titus ate Half of Lindsay’s bacon as well as all of his own (6 pieces total), but didn’t Finish his Toast (left 1/2 slice). Lindsay ate everything of Hers except said Bacon.

The Damage:

$8.63 (Before Tip)

Lasting Impression:

Titus is Concerned about the Quality of any food Cooked while Smoking cigarettes, while Lindsay remains Dubious about the effects of consuming Raw Animal Products. With the Untouchable Ambience of a factory cafeteria, the high points here are definitely the Intimate Seating arrangement and the Free-Flowing coffee. Not East Toronto’s Best-Kept Secret.