This morning we checked out a café/diner we have been itching to go to for a couple months. Little Nest is tucked away just off the Drive, up Charles; walking up to the front door, I admit I was a little bit overwhelmed. The place is noisy and at 10:30 on a Sunday morning, packed with people. Their debit machine was either not functioning or non-existent, not a problem for us on most days (Andrew and I try to only deal in cash anyways) but our brunch guests did need to find the nearest bank machine.
Sebastian felt right at home in the large and well-stocked play area. He found a great vintage-looking wind-up train and an old Fisher-Price airport and plane. Our group of 6+1 took up one end of the large centre table, a substantial vintage wood table painted the colour of a pale robin’s egg. When our food came Sebastian sat in one of those fantastic old highchairs with the Formica trays. Our food was delicious, I chose the very simple Two Eggs with Soldiers – two boiled eggs with strips of hearty brown bread. Sebastian loved his Kid’s French Toast, but also insisted on having one of my eggs (minus the yolk, which we all know is the best part!), Andrew and Molly both ordered the Potato Frittata, which came with a salad, only one of them noticed that the dish had sausage in it – Andrew says that it was awesome anyways, but will remember to omit the meat next time. Casey had a fresh-baked almond muffin and Amy and Nancy both ordered the Pancetta Scrambled Eggs, which looked and smelled like heaven*.
I found the egg-shaped salt and pepper shakers really charming, and the fact that they use local ingredients, including only cooking organic, free-range eggs, very reassuring. The Little Nest staff is friendly and hard working, I have heard complaints about the service from other parents, but didn’t find the wait for our food terrible. The only one among us who might have kicked up a fuss in any other place was reluctant to stop what he was doing to come eat once the food did arrive. I like the order the front, have your food brought to your table set-up they have, but the resulting line-up – coupled with a lack of tables – did make us nearly turn-away.
The din, while constant, was not as overwhelming as it felt when we first walked in – the high ceilings allowed for decent acoustics and we were able to maintain a comfortable conversation. I see Little Nest working through some growing pains to become the ideal place to bring your kids for a bite. My only suggestion would be to get a gate or half-door for the front. We saw one frazzled mother drop her food repeatedly to chase her feisty pre-schooler as he made his way out the front door. I could very easily see myself in her runners. I was also a little warm in there for my liking – but I think that will sort itself out soon.
Review on Urban Diner
*cast of characters: Amy - my 21-year-old half-sister, visiting from Calgary, Molly - my 14-year-old half-sister, Casey - my 16-year-old half-sister, and Nancy-my (ex)step-mother, mother to Casey and Molly.