Louis’: home of my favorite Canadian-style pie. You know, the kind with the thick bready crust, good tomato sauce, a classic combo with green peppers, mushrooms and peperoni – chewy with cheese. A great Saturday use to include bowling at MacArthur lanes and pizza at Louis’. Late nights after Rob’s band played often included a stop at Louis’ which was hopping like it was noon even in the wee hours despite not having a liquor license. Family owned Louis’ has been a Vanier institution for 52 years. Our waitress, gravelly-voiced and sweetie-calling, has been there 34 years.
Louis’ serves breakfast, so we head over to check it out this fine, scorching Saturday. The place is full with regulars being questioned by another gravelly-voiced sister, “Where have you been?”, “Where is your husband this morning?”, “Have a great birthday!” We grab a table in the window, one of very few available at 10:30. Our server asks us if we need menus. We do as this is our first time for breakfast. Coffee – decent – and bottled minute maid OJ arrive, I order the breakfast special, $5.10, and Rob orders a western omelette and we wait.
Decorated in classic-diner, orange vinyl booths and formica, Louis’ walls are charmingly plastered with unframed photos of family and I presume regulars, kid’s artwork and local hockey club paraphernalia, cementing its neighbourhood-fixture status. A small confectionery is attached to the restaurant. Lottery tickets and Advil are sold at the cash. Dessert cases are filled with mile-high cream pies. On the way in and out you can waste a quarter on the love meter. If you score “kinky” you get a free pack of gum.
Breakfast arrives. Two eggs cooked perfectly. bacon – for me – very crisp (Rob notes that no one ever asks you how you want your bacon. I like mine a little less crispy but not limp), home-fried potatoes cooked on the flat top with fried onions, very good, white toast (brown available and rye as well – no extra charge). No jam is offered or on the table. Minor peeve. The plate is adorned with a nice sweet orange wedge and a lame slice of tomato. I would take issue with this except that breakfast at Louis’ is very cheap and I don’t appear to be charged much for this.
Rob’s western omelet, cooked on the flat top is well made, but seemingly lacking green pepper. They’re famously a pizza place, so clearly they have green peppers on hand.
Breakfast at Louis’ overall is quite good. The price is right and the service is exactly what you want in a diner – efficient and friendly. Like family is serving you. Being there was a nice reminder that we have to go back from some of that late-night pie.