HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
What's your latest food project? Tell us about it
TELL US

Hazel's Diner- good breakfast/brunch option for Yonge & Lawrence

p
phoenikia Jul 7, 2009 10:34 AM

Wanted to thank TorontoJo for the heads up re: Hazel's Diner, a couple doors north of Chega.

Friendly service, good food and surprisingly low prices for the neighbourhood. The eggs benectine (around $10- not called eggs benedict on this menu) and eggs natasha (around $10) hollandaise, smoked salmon, a little black caviar and eggs served on a potato pancake rather than an english muffin), and Reuben ($8) were great. The Reuben was on the smallish side for a Reuben- but that made it a manageable size for me. Good fries- better than most in TO. Our server topped up our coffee several times.

  1. g
    gnr Jul 7, 2009 11:08 AM

    We have been there several times as well, for breakfast as well as dinner. I wish they opened earlier on weekend mornings, but I think they are still trying to figure everyhting out. The owner of Chega also owns Hazel's. I had one of the burgers (can't remember the name - it had goat cheese), and requested medium Although the server gave the standard "we have to cook the burgers to well done, it was more like medium when it came to the table. It was a delicious burger, and I agree, the fries are very good. SO had the meat loaf with mashed potatoes. He said both were delicious, but a little more gravy would have been good. The servers are college kids who are very attentive and friendly..

    1. TorontoJo Jul 7, 2009 12:28 PM

      Totally agree about the fries -- they are surprisingly good for a casual little spot like this. Speaking of surprises -- I was very surprised to find out they are owned by the Chega owners, as I've heard nothing but horrendous reviews of Chega. So maybe Chega owners + diner food = good and Chega owners + fine dining = bad?

      Regardless, the neighbourhood was just crying out for a spot like Hazel's. Yay!

      5 Replies
      1. re: TorontoJo
        m
        millygirl Jul 7, 2009 01:56 PM

        sounds yummy, can't wait to give them a try....thanks phoenikia, and I guess, TorontoJo.

        1. re: mcdonald2103
          y
          Yongeman Dec 2, 2009 04:36 PM

          I drove past and saw the new place called, 'Antonio's', I believe. Portuguese style chicken and ribs. That much I did see. I was mentioning this place to someone last night and he told me that it's being opened by the owners of Hazel's (who also apparently run another local spot).

          1. re: Yongeman
            r
            robb Dec 2, 2009 06:02 PM

            This is very disapointing...Hazel's is horrible, so the prospects of Antonio's being decent just took a nosedive!!

            1. re: Yongeman
              TorontoJo Dec 2, 2009 06:51 PM

              That's as much as I know as well, sorry. I'm rather disappointed that it's the Chega/Hazel's owners, though. I would have been much happier to find out that some enterprising Portuguese family with deep pockets were opening a churrasquaria. Darn.

              1. re: TorontoJo
                y
                Yongeman Dec 2, 2009 08:14 PM

                I feel your pain, TorontoJo.

          2. t
            tfl_toronto Jul 25, 2009 08:32 PM

            We live in the Yonge and Lawrence area and were so excited to learn that a diner was opening. But, what an utter disappointment. This is the case of right location, right concept but completely terrible execution. Yes, there are people that line-up to eat there but, it is the area desperate for a diner. The food is awful and the service is very slow, even when it is not busy at all. Truly, truly disappointing.

            3 Replies
            1. re: tfl_toronto
              p
              phoenikia Jul 25, 2009 09:16 PM

              What did you order, tfl_toronto?

              1. re: phoenikia
                t
                tfl_toronto Jul 26, 2009 06:08 PM

                We had the pretty standard breakfast. The bacon was cold, the potatoes were cold, no crisp and flavourless. It was pretty much empty and it took them forever. It was awful. We went back to give it a 2nd try and the same results. Also friends who live in the area as well had the same experience.

                1. re: tfl_toronto
                  p
                  phoenikia Jul 26, 2009 06:18 PM

                  That's too bad. Sorry to hear you've had some disappointing experiences at Hazel.

                  Maybe the service and attention to detail is better during the week. Or maybe I lucked out with who was working in the kitchen and who was working the tables.

                  Our meal was delivered within 15 minutes of sitting down, everything we ordered was hot, the fries were better than most and better than what I've had at Mars, Good Bite or Patrician. The hollandaise was better than I expected, and I thought our server was courteous, and quick.

            2. t
              Toronto Fastfoodie Jul 27, 2009 05:32 PM

              I had a great meal there: the salad nicoise. My husband had the all day breakfast. The service was relaxed (not slow, but not diner-fast) and friendly. The portions were not large, but not too small--they were what portions sizes should be and not the super-size that we have become used to.

              http://runningandrecipes.blogspot.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie
                m
                millygirl Jul 30, 2009 04:49 AM

                We had a very nice brunch at Hazel's a few days ago. The service was excellent, and the food was pretty good. Grilled cheese sandwiches, blt's, and nicely done fries.

                HOWEVER, one thing that really put me off was seeing the chef hanging out near the back of the restaurant in his whites, that were literally turning black. It was very off putting for me. I mean come on, wash the damn thing!!!! Some may think I'm being petty but to me, that is indication of their standards and we weren't impressed.

              2. p
                phoenikia Aug 8, 2009 03:49 PM

                Decided to have a second meal at Hazel's today, on a Saturday. We had quick, friendly service at 11:30 a.m.. Different servers today, who were courteous, and quick to offer warm-ups on the coffee.

                Our friendly server recommended the burgers, since I wasn't in the mood for eggs or breakfast foods.

                I tried the House burger- a bacon cheeseburger with fries. Very thick, dense burger patty- too much hamburger for me. I'm not really a burger connoisseur- but I have to say I like Caren's stilton burger and Harbord Room's cheeseburger better than Hazel's version. But then again, Hazel's Burger and fries costs $9, whereas Harbord Room charges $14 (and it comes with 1/2 as many fries) and Caren's Wine Bar charges $20 (and it comes with potato gratin or salad instead of fries).

                Hazel's fries were great, once again. More than I could finish.

                My friend was happy with her Eggs Natasha- poached eggs with smoked salmon and hollandaise.

                I'll probably get a grilled cheese or tuna melt on my next visit.

                PS millygirl- I saw the chef wearing very white whites at the back of the restaurant today, so maybe he read your post;)

                1 Reply
                1. re: phoenikia
                  TorontoJo Aug 8, 2009 05:37 PM

                  Thanks for the review of the burger, phoenikia. I've been debating trying them, but I don't like dense burgers, so I think I'll pass. They do a good grilled cheese -- cheddar with crisp bacon is my personal preference. :)

                2. y
                  yummyumm Aug 10, 2009 07:46 AM

                  Interesting that you had such a different experience than we did.

                  We have tried this place twice - both times we were disgusted with what we ate.

                  Most recently we were there for the eggs (asked for poached) hashbrowns and toast. The eggs were prepared in little steamer dishes. Hey - I can make real poached eggs and thats what I expect if I am eating out. The hashbrowns were dull - no flavour at all. And then there was the service...they brought us a glass 20 minutes after we asked for it.,

                  It is cheap - but if I am going out I want something closer to edible.

                  1. TorontoJo Aug 26, 2009 08:21 AM

                    Just an update and a recommendation -- stick to breakfast and brunch and whatever you do, avoid the burgers! Order a plain burger this past weekend because burgers form such a large part of the menu that I figured I should try one. UGH. Whoever made that burger (and they claim "hand packed" on the menu -- i.e. they don't buy frozen patties) has never been taught that the less you handle the ground beef the better. The meat was so densely packed that it was actually chewy. It was like eating a giant version of the worst meatball your well-meaning aunt made for every family gathering. Maybe they vary depending on who is in the kitchen, but I won't be trying another one to find out.

                    On the other hand, my husband's omelette was excellent! So I'll stick to breakfast in the future. :)

                    Edit: just reread the thread above and noticed that phoenikia had already observed the denseness of the burger. Damn, I had totally forgotten about that and really, really wish I hadn't.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: TorontoJo
                      b
                      barneyvernon Aug 29, 2009 05:20 PM

                      I've been here 4-5 times. Enjoyed it every time. Service was attentive, even on the busy weekend mornings that I've been there. Food delivered in a reasonable time, re-fills of coffee were frequent, and the two servers do a good job of handling the whole place. Omelette was fluffy, hot, etc. Also enjoyed the pancakes, french toast and the standard bacon/egg breakfast. Cheesecake is good, but it's plain. Prices are very, very reasonable. Working my way through the menu and will soon start on the salads. wish they would introduce a fruit cup for breakky. My only complaint - screaming children.

                      1. re: barneyvernon
                        y
                        Yongeman Sep 1, 2009 05:40 AM

                        I've only eaten at Hazel's once. It was a totally standard breakfast, bacon and eggs done over easy as requested. No complaints. It's a great place for a cheap breakfast--$3.99 between 7 and 11 every day, including weekends. Coffee not included bumps it up, but it's refillable. I'd go back.

                      2. re: TorontoJo
                        p
                        phoenikia Aug 31, 2009 07:38 PM

                        lol TorontoJo... agree completely with your description of the burger ;)

                      3. prima Jul 19, 2012 08:05 PM

                        Has anyone breakfasted at Hazel's lately? Is it as good as it once was? Wondering whether I should go here, or head further south to Goodbite.

                        Not in the mood for Vivetha or a cafe.

                        Thanks for any comments.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: prima
                          y
                          Yongeman Jul 20, 2012 01:04 AM

                          Sorry, haven't been lately, but I noticed that there's another Hazel's Diner now open on Mt. Pleasant north of Millwood.

                          1. re: prima
                            t
                            trane Jul 20, 2012 08:43 AM

                            It's been a few weeks since my last visit, but I find it the same as it ever was for breakfast. They've added some additional breakfast items ("mexican" benny, stuffed pancakes, etc) but still $5 for eggs and bacon before 11am as per usual.

                            I've always been happy with it, never understood the gripes and groans of others.

                            1. re: trane
                              prima Jul 20, 2012 08:50 PM

                              Thanks trane & Yongeman. I was running later than I expected, so I started my day with an eggplant parm sandwich at Ciccio instead. Will breakfast at Hazel's sometime soon.

                          Show Hidden Posts