Dangerous Dans Diner…….A Dangerous Burger, served with a heaping side of ATTITUDE.
7 May 2012
After a lovely Sunday afternoon hanging out with friends and family in Lesliville, some afternoon suds, and great conversation – early evening hunger set upon us. Combined with the “end of the weekend” blues and laziness we decided to check out a diner just down the road which apparently serves one hell of a burger. The joint is called Dangerous Dans Diner.
Ill try and keep this short in the spirit of not posting every detail about everything I eat in the city…..but this place deserves a few points to mention.
First, it is a basic diner, set on the corner with views of the street through the large glass windows, and lit up by traditional fluorescent lighting. The menu was quite extensive but certainly focused on various burgers ranging from the traditional ½ pound cheeseburger all the way through the “Colossal Colon Clogger Combo” at $25.
Note: the “CCCC” is a 24oz burger (1 ½ lbs) topped with 2 eggs, ¼ lb of bacon, ¼ lb of cheese, served with a small poutine and a large shake. I asked the manager how many people actually eat the CCCC and he replied that they probably sell 25-30 a week. WOW, glutten.
Immediately upon entering the diner you could smell the grill, hear the music and chattering, see that the seating was slightly different than we are used to……and notice a touch of attitude from the manager, cashier, cook, and dishwasher. For those of you not familiar with traditional diners and “how they should be”………..a certain amount of attitude, cockiness, no care if youre there shtick, is appropriate and expected. They treat you as if youre the one lucky to be there….that WE need them (to eat) more than THEY need us (the customer to pay the bills). This however is no reflection of the food or speed or efficiency of service, simply how the staff interact with the guests. After finishing your meal it wouldn’t be out of place for the waiter to say something to you like, “hey you done?”…………ah ya…………”well if so why don’t you free up these seats and get the hell out of here.” . This might sound offensive to some but it is the essence of a proper old school diner, and just one small example of this attitude.
None the less. Dangerous Dans Diner is this type of place, and interestingly enough the seating in the restaurant is comprised of seats from cars and vans. Neat concept. Not sure if it adds to anything or takes away….but it is what it is, and when you go there you sit in a retro fitted car seat around the tables of four. We all ordered the traditional cheeseburger and decided to split a large order of poutine to see if in fact it was good old traditional poutine or simply fries, gravy, and shredded cheese.
Everything was served quickly and in the astonishingly large portions we were expecting – becoming even more impressive when the plates are right in front of you.
Burgers were awesome all around. I though the bun could have used a bit more work but all in all, what a good burger! Poutine was decent as well. Good Ontario cheese curds but certainly not those rubber squeaky curds you get in La Belle Province. Well, we tried.
We finished our meal and on our way out of the diner, I had this exchange with the cook.
Me: “Hey man, good burger.”
Cook: Walking by, looking away, in a snarky voice says “Ya……. you don’t think we know that?”
Prices: ½ lb Cheese Burger – $ 5.55. Large Poutine $ 7.25. Pitcher of draught $14.00
Location: 714 Queen St East, Toronto, On 416 463-7310
It is never interesting to watch people eat, but here is a quick video of us at the table with food in front of us. The really cool thing about the recording is: THE MUSIC PLAYING IN THE BACKGROUND. To hear a sample of that alone, is worth clicking on the video if only for a few seconds. Hilarious.
Another weekly visit to Jims Diner in Lesliville for some eats this past Saturday at noon.
As always, the food was hot, fresh, served quick, and with just enough attitude to make you feel welcome. I had a choice of weekend papers to read and found a quiet table close to the back of the restaurant – me and the Toronto Star. As I have previously written about the “Best Western” they serve here, it was on the tip of my tongue to make that my choice yesterday as well. However I opted for a dish we are all familiar with but one I neglect (do to the grandness of the western) when Im visiting Jims. This particular choice can be found in many restaurants, diners and bars with the prefix “all day”. After eating I got the check and proceed to the cashier. A quick look at the bill to see what I was in fact being charged for, I decided to take a picture of the order as written by the waitress. Based on this, any ideas what I ate? Of note, the total included a drink and came to $5.50 with tax.
897 Queen St East. Lesliville.
Jims diner for lunch with big guy, dad.
Home of “the best westerns”, as it says on the sign outside. $4.50 sandwich, $7 combo with drink. The western steams all the way through the last bite, a big sandwich which is well put together.
Me, Club on white, mayo of course. Proper chicken breast – which is probably cold and from the night before but who cares, its the right tempurature and that is fresh when it comes to chicken breast on a club anywhere in the city.
Casual, Very clean – never visited the washrooms though – Eyren neither actually she was saying. Dad comented on how clean the floors were, right to the wall…..hes into that sort of thing. Also liking restaurants simply cause the soup is very hot or the ice cream very cold….simple meus impress him even more. None the less, Jims is likeable and easy. No nonsense fast service, not eager to kick you out either. Busy times you might share a table, after 2 pm you might be in there alone, or with the Toronto Sun kicking around as well.
Started writing this for my dad just to see if he’d read it.
If youre reading this thats cool….
I’ll have some more to say Im sure.
Oh what can you do in an hour and a half with a ZIP CAR rental.
Booked on the phone through their app and making a reservation for the appropriate car and pick up location. Done four hrs in advance and pre paid.
Picked up the car at the designated spot (Queen E and Logan’ish area) called “busy”. The car was there, ready, clean, and good to go. My cousin Eyren had the timing down and drove a block around to pick me up at 3:10pm – a bit late due to an unscheduled boss appearance at her shop.
Ready to go, trunk packed with random empties for the beer store. In that time, friend across the way kindly offers for us to take back some of his empties as well. For the sake of it and the dream of a bit of effort to earn an extra five or six bucks – they were along for the ride, in the trunk with the others.
And off we went…..here were the order of stops and random comments.
–Beer Store – arrival – 3:13pm – Empties in arms, sorting in the bins on the roller track to the counter. Purchasing of a case of Lakeport Light and out the door in 7 mins. Cost savings for returning the empties: $9.50. Of note: this Beer Store is one of the few remaining with full service old style set up. You know the one we all know and like – And it is usually reserved for small Ontario towns which have not yet been converted to the new convenience store/functional beer and liquor store all in one combo. Thats a lot of words for LCBO, in the new tiny shops.
–Liquor Store – Arrival – 3:23pm – A quick discussion about needs and wants and ultimately, the advantages of having a car there was a quick stop here to pick up the months worth of wine. Either that or communion wine for say, every catholic church in Ontario this Sunday…..none the less, a deserved stop and one that took us through every grape stomping producing nation in the world. Eyren had locations, years, styles, label colours and creative names all tucked away in the part of her brain noted for efficiency and a box of wine was filled in minutes. I was impressed. Of note: this liquor store did carry one type of Flora De Cana Rum (the most popular rum in Honduras but distilled in Nicaragua) and the 750ml (26’er) of the 5 yr old was $26. In Honduras, on over priced touristy Utila this same bottle is $6.
–Gerrard Square Mall (Staples) – arrival – 3:32pm – In through the door of what should be a terrible run down – out of style dollar store shit show – this was a generally pleasant little mall. Anchored by Staples and Home Depot, the surrounding stores seem to keep up in quality – or variety at the least – and its clean. Note: there was no music playing, hmmm is this another one of those things that has changed in the past three yrs? Shopping for random office supplies and goods was aided by the staff eager to point out to us where the goods were located. A well written list by Eyren even led to this quick exchange after having just picked up the tape dispenser and the wacky puddy “stick things” to your walls stuff.
“excuse me…….can you tell me where the velcro strips are?” Eyren asks.
“yes of course” replies the staff member, “they are right in front of you.”
…yes folks, service can be that efficient if everything and everyone are in the right place at the right time.
Im not sure how long we really were in the store because it seemed quite short to me. In that time however – and after splitting off with Eyren – I was able to quickly re acquaint myself with the prices and technology of the webcam, head phones, and compact digital cameras – In that, everything has changed and everything is still the same.
“Andrew!” I hear from somewhere by the check out area.
And we were off.
Of note: There was (point 1) a Service Canada outlet in the mall close to Staples, and (point 2) with no line up – see follow up comment below.
–Canadian Tire – arrival – 3:47pm – With underground – or below store – parking I should say, this Canadian Tire is quite impressive in size from the outside. From the inside – after walking a mile or two just to get in past the check outs – the beginning of the tour was not so impressive I must say. None the less a big store with big aisles and seemingly not to many people. We moved around to find cleaning goods for the store and walked out with brooms and plungers and cleaners and all this other stuff. There was time to count out random Canadian Tire money in the purse and accumulated to a savings of $1.50. Of note: Right inside the store was a Service Canada outlet. Quite large as well and lots of information and kiosks to serve. Interestingly enough we observed a substantial line……Funny comment made by Eyren that the people should go to Gerrard Square for no line ups and faster service. In that one random coincidence of life it would have actually been better to be shopping for office supplies than car parts today – thats if you needed to go to Service Canada as well.
-Back in the Zipcar heading south with no further schedules stops to make (meaning 1.5 hrs of errands are done in just under 1 hour) – 4:05pm
“Holy Shit, were done already, weve got some time to kill.” proudly states Eyren.
“Oh ya nice….. well lets go down there, and show me the Leslie Spit and Cherry Beach.” I offer.
And now we are cruising along south of the Lakeshore giving me a tour of my soon to ride bike paths. Learning this is here, and this is there…….all Im seeing are factory’s, but lets go with it. Looks inviting at times and I can see with green on the trees and by heading all the way down to the beach, this is going to be ripe for the warmer days ahead.
“I should take you to TNT, its the one Ive talked about taking you to, the big asian grocery store…..there it is.”
And we turn in the lot to TNT and drive towards the doors.
“Are we going to go in?”. Knowing of course that we apparently have some time to kill. And we do, or did.
–TNT Grocery – arrival 4:12pm – We walk through the front doors and are immediately met by two things familiar but never generally in the same context. First, a well lit, clean, organized, inviting, and massive grocery store. And second, asian cuisine and goods so plentiful you figure every brand, colour, smell and product was imported in directly from the shores of the south pacific – via Lake Ontario, not like thats possible – within that same hour. The fresh cooked fare in the beginning aisle on the right from the entrance had us stopped in our tracks. Within minutes I was ordering shrimp dumplings, pork dumplings (throw them in what the heck), BBQ ribs and the finally, sushi. In those quick moments of indiscretion Eyren and I decided that this was to be dinner tonight. A longer line than we had time for greeted us at the checkout, but we were able to scooch around to a suddenly available counter and get our way out of there within another few minutes. Cost $19.75.
Once back in the ZIP CAR (and a few extra minutes to actually deactivate the locks with the magnetic card) we were on the road back to home. With two drop offs to make and a look down at the clock saying 4:26pm, time was now not on our side. Quickly approaching the “busy” drop off spot, a quick swing around the side of the flat to drop me off with the goods for the house. Eyren to continue on to the drop off the car prior to 4:30pm and transfer the brooms and plungers and stationary….oh and velcro, to the store.
Job well done. Quite the little hour and a half of course. Organized and executed. Efficiency ended up giving me the opportunity for a tour of the new neighborhood and provided dinner for the two of us this evening.
Being the overall optimist and reasoner of everything….I determined we saved over $10 by returning the bottle empties (which other wise would have gone out to the curb) and $1.50 by using the Canadian Tire money. For a total of $11.50. On top of that, everything that was planned and done for the store was done. Interestingly enough, ZIPCAR costs about $11/hr to borrow….about the same we saved cause of the efficiency of the whole system.
And a Special Shout out to Eyrens Store: Rowe Farms Lesliville.