We left our secret location and headed out of downtown. Arriving at about 8:30, there were many seats available, both at the booths and at the cute bar. We selected a booth for two, and settled in to read the menu. Looks like more than brunch, but, of course, we selected brunch favourites. Classic Benny for Catie, (sub strip bacon for back bacon, eggs poached medium please,) and Ham Hock Hash for me. Catie's coffee was good, but my orange juice was fantastic. Fresh squeezed, nicely chilled, and just what the doctor ordered.
I really enjoyed the ham hock hash. I think I ate three whole potatoes in total, along with most of an onion, a plethora of peppers, and perhaps a fist-sized piece of pork. The waitress said that the ham had maybe been cooked with a maple sauce, but it tasted almost sweet and sour to me - in a good way. Nicely contrasting with the crunchy potatoes, it was. I'd eat it again.
Catie, on the other hand, wasn't so enthusiastic about her benny. Not that it was bad, mind you, but that it was not really a stand-out meal. The Hollandaise was creamy, her potatoes were also crunchy/delicious, and the eggs were poached medium, as requested, but there wasn't anything that made it special. Would she eat it again? Probably, but there are others breakfast items on the menu that she'd like to try.
Pro-Tip from our server: Come early on the weekend. There will always be a lineup by 11am, she says.
Pro-Tip from Catie: The ketchup is probably made in-house, as it isn't the sugary tomato stuff that comes from a bottle. This ketchup has an almost chunky texture, with a more vinegary taste. Delish!
Paul's Diner by Fol Epi, 1900 Douglas St. at Chatham.