Pan-fried and excellent

The Black Sheep Diner is a great alternative if you’re feeling burnt out from other breakfast options

  • The quaint decor and homestyle breakfast make the Blacksheep Diner a restaurant worth visiting regularly. – Jordan Janisse

The Black Sheep Diner
540 Ellice Ave.

OK, so the Black Sheep Diner didn’t win the best breakfast award this year from local breakfast bloggers the Breakfast Connoisseurs (though they did in 2008), but the Black Sheep is a great alternative if you’re feeling burnt out from your other options.

Less than a minute walk from the University of Winnipeg on Ellice Avenue, the Black Sheep has become a staple of West End breakfast cuisine and a meeting place of sorts for the community.

Proof: the diner won the 2010 Rising Star award from the West End BIZ.

The proof is also in the quality of the food.

This is not a diner for the adventurous like some across the city. The bacon, eggs, pancakes and French toast that anchor the menu are just fine and done with precision.

On a recent Saturday, when the diner was full, my Breakfast Adventure ($7.50) came out hot in little more than five minutes from when I ordered.

Admittedly, it’s pretty hard to screw up scrambled eggs, but the two eggs were hearty and moist.

For the more adventurous, the diner serves up daily omelettes – red pepper, zucchini, and spicy eggplant the main ingredients on my recent visit. There are tofu options available for vegans and vegetarians as well.

But it’s the hashbrowns that deserve the most praise.

These homemade beauties are clearly sliced fresh, lightly pan-fried and seasoned with just enough kick to help wake up your tastebuds.

The diner still maintains its quaint and charming décor – pastel purple on the outside, pastel yellow on the inside.

Much of the furniture is a ragtag ensemble of mismatched chairs and tables, seemingly scrounged up at random, which adds to the DIY ambience of the community diner.

The only apparent downside is that the restaurant doesn’t seem to have any free wireless, and none seems to be in the area, which makes eating, studying and reading online a no-go. Oh, and they take cash only.

Still, those aren’t big enough detractions to avoid the Black Sheep.

No, the vibrancy of this little nook on Ellice is plenty enough to keep coming back for a quick bite to eat before classes, and hell, even on the weekends too.

Published in Volume 65, Number 16 of The Uniter (January 20, 2011)

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