Dairy Lane (Calgary) – Not as much dairy as the name would suggest
I love breakfast food. I love eating breakfast food at any time of the day. I particularly enjoy eating breakfast food for breakfast but I like having the option to eat it later as well. Hence, Dairy Lane has become a new favourite place of mine.
My first experience was with a few classmates at 8:30am as Calgary snowed and snowed. It was the last time I went where it was kinda empty. Normally, there is a 5-15 minute wait for a table. By my estimate, there are about 20-30 people eating at any given time.
The service is just impeccable. I’ve never been so happy to wait. Coffee and water was constantly refilled. And most of all, the servers were proud of their work and their establishment. I like that.
This is the Dairy Lane Burger. The first time I had it was at 8:30am. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to study too much after it. The meat patty is fairly thick and nicely seasoned. It is topped with some smooth chedder cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and crispy bacon. If that wasn’t enough, there is also a huge tomato, a fat pickle and some lettuce. The bun itself is nicely toasted as well. Honestly, it is too big to eat all at once. But I try anyway. It comes with fries, salad, or soup (tomato basil pictured). Not a deal at $12.25 but it certainly isn’t a rip off.
After 3 Dairy Lane Burgers in a row, it was time to try something different. So we tried the 3 Cheese Pork Burger. The pork burger is interesting. It is again nicely spiced but quite a bit more juicy than the beef burger in the Dairy Lane Burger. The 3 cheeses included are Jack, Cheddar, and Feta. I couldn’t taste the Feta but the Jack was surprising and zesty. Those tendrils you see here are fried onion. Here Jules tries to be healthy and has the Mandarin Salad (the best side salad I’ve seen in a while, though a touch on the oily side). Again, not a deal at $12.25 but it certainly isn’t a rip off. Do I like it more than the Dairy Lane Burger? No. But it is a nice change.
Ok, so it is a breakfast place and I haven’t had any breakfast yet. This is the Break Booster, a bowl of fruit, granola, and yogurt. The grapefruit was very fresh. The cantelope and honey dew could’ve been riper and could’ve had less rind. The yogurt and granola were both yummy. Reasonably priced at $9.95.
I’ve tried other items here as well (stuffed french toast, homemade crepes) and they are quite tasty but the burgers are what bring me back again and again. In terms of breakfast, this place beats down Belmont Diner, Galaxie Diner, and Diner Deluxe easily. The only competition it has is Avenue Diner and even then, the type of food is quite different therefore not really comparable. Dairy Lane makes my favourite places list.
Addendum September 17, 2009 – Came to Dairy Lane over the winter and had their Eggs Benedict for 13.50 with back bacon and grilled tomato. This was eaten at 8am after playing laser tag all night… yes, I am that lame. It is well made. The flavours are simple and the dish is complete and satisfying. It isn’t the most elaborate Eggs Benedict but really… after that much laser tag, I am not picky. It remains on my favourite places list.
Dairy Lane, 319 – 19th St. NW, (403)283-2497, http://www.dairylanecafe.ca/