Saturday, 2 March 2013

Breakfast in Tweed

My hypothetical online dating profile wouldn’t have an exhaustive list of interests: biking, traveling, writing and…..breakfast. I. Love. Breakfast.

Noms. Breakfast in Tweed: Vegetarian Style.
I mean, how can you not? Sunday mornings were meant for greasy, delicious and hearty foods. In breakfast we find the answers to life’s most important questions: what’s a high-energy solution for starting the day off awesomely? Breakfast. What’s the best remedy to shake off last night’s drinks? Breakfast. How do I avoid an awkward morning with what’s-her-name I just woke up beside? Walk of shame, then breakfast. How can you ask for anything better?

So when I was given the opportunity to eat at one of Southern Ontario’s best breakfast joints while en route to Ottawa last weekend to see family, the answer was easy. We would deviate from the monotony of Highway 401 and head northeast from Belleville, stopping just before the road meets highway 7 in the small town of Tweed, Ontario. While this tiny collection of farmers, small businesses and local restaurants is a typical rural settlement full of quaintness and familiarity, tucked in the main drag is a breakfast joint that rivals the best: The Gateway. 

My early morning culinary adventure began as I stepped from the snow-covered sidewalks of Victoria Street on a Friday and into the interior warmth of the Gateway Family Restaurant. While I’d like to imagine that I fit in well with the locals, I’m also pretty sure my polished leather Clarks and flannel print scarf beamed an obvious ‘city folk’ label the minute every other patron acknowledged my presence. “Never mind”, I told myself, “we’re here to get our breakfast on”. And getting our breakfast on we did. Three eggs, multiple cheeses, two slides of toast and a pile of fried potatoes later, I was as satisfied as I could have been after demolishing everything on my plate.

Though the food was exceptional, the enjoyment of a meal at the Gateway doesn’t end there. What I appreciated most about the experience was how unapologetically normal this place was. The flashiness of breakfast spots in the city is all but alive at the Gateway. Instead, wood paneled dividers and cheaply framed photos create an ambiance of plainness that refuses complication. Everything is straightforward and real. No bullshit. A breakfast that fills your hunger and expectations without the fireworks show. I liked this place immediately. 

So next time you’re driving route 36 towards Ottawa, be sure to stop in the small town of Tweed for a breakfast you’ll not soon forget. We recommend the Gateway special. 

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