What’s on the menu at White Lily Diner, a brunch-and-dinner spot with a Grand Electric chef

What’s on the menu at White Lily Diner, a brunch-and-dinner spot with a Grand Electric chef

Name: White Lily Diner
Neighbourhood: South Riverdale
Contact: 678 Queen St. E., 416-901-7800, whitelilydiner.ca, @whitelilydiner
Owners: Ben Denham and Ashley Lloyd
Chef: Ben Denham (Rosewater Supper Club, Veritas, Grand Electric, Electric Mud BBQ)
Pastry chef: Sharon Hammond (Le Dolci Bakery)

The food

An all-day menu of diner classics like an English breakfast, a turkey club, steak and eggs and four different patty melts, including a Reuben variation. Though it’s not stated anywhere, almost everything is either made, smoked or brined, in-house. “It’s not necessarily going to look like anything more than what everybody else is doing, but there’s a little more thought put into the components—where they come from and how they get to the plate.” Right now, White Lily targets the brunch, lunch and dinner crowds: it’s open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m to 10 p.m.

Buttermilk griddle cakes go for $8, but guests can customize their stack with strip bacon ($3.50), thick-cut bacon ($4.50), cottage cheese and sour cherries ($2.50) or two eggs ($2.50).

This side of biscuits with sausage gravy eats like a meal. $4.50/$5.50.

For this sandwich, house-brined pastrami is stacked on house-made rye-caraway bread and dressed with deli-style mustard (that’s also made in-house). It’s topped with a sour pickle. $14.

This smoked fish platter with dry-cured smoked salmon and Albacore tuna is one of the lighter dishes. It comes with an asiago dip. $14/$22.

For dessert: a lemon meringue tart and daily doughnuts (the ones pictured here are honey dip with Maldon salt). $4.50 each.

The drinks

Two beers on tap (Beau’s, Sweetgrass) and a few others in cans and bottles, wine (a couple of reds, a couple of whites) and cocktails, both of the classic (negroni, gin fizz) and brunch (caesar, mimosa) varieties.

A manhattan ($11) and a gin fizz ($9).

The space

Between bright-yellow booth and barstool seating, there’s room for about 30 or so people in the space that Denham and Lloyd largely built themselves. “You’re basically looking at all of our efforts put together—which doesn’t translate to the nicest restaurant in the world, but we’re pretty proud of it,” Denham says. A few old photos of the neighbourhood line one wall and—in true diner style—the kitchen’s an open one.