Hometown Eatery

I should say that I’ve been to Hometown Eatery before – it was the first restaurant that I visited upon moving to the KW area – but when dining out, it’s inevitable that certain things on the menu will catch your eye.

And so it was with Yukiko’s lemon poppyseed slaw and the Polenta Lasagna; though happily distracted by the burger selection (which has got great variety and taste), something told me that these would be worth trying.

So, book in hand, I wandered back. I was on the late side of lunch, but the cafe was bustling with friends and coworkers out for dessert or a more substantial meal. I enjoy eating out on my own every so often (it’s a great way to people-watch and to get in some writing) and it’s always interesting to see how servers/hostesses treat you upon realizing your singledom. Props to the server at Hometown, who smiled genuinely with her “for one?” and bustled me over to my choice of two tables.

Hometown Eatery, or Yukiko’s, as some locals still call it, is bright and whimsical; well-lit with a mix of abstract canvas art and pop-art-esque depictions of food nestled beside chalkboard lists of beer on tap (considerable; lots of in-province breweries) and daily specials. I was disappointed to see a lack of Ontario wines on the winelist, but think that this has more to do with liquor laws than Hometown’s interest in having them on the list. Plus, although it was 5:00 somewhere, I stuck to water.

My lemon poppyseed slaw arrived first; the dressing was crisp and refreshing with lots of poppyseeds, and while the slaw was crisp and not pre-packaged, I couldn’t help but wish for a bit more of a punch in flavour and texture (sliced almonds? red cabbage?) Still, it was enjoyable, and a good precursor to…

Lasagna! It’s one of my favorite comfort foods, and appeared in an oblong baked-pasta bowl with two slices of in-house rosemary bread (YUM). The bread was handy for soaking up the pasta sauce, and the lasagna itself was a yummy twist on the traditional version. The veggies (mushrooms, cauliflower, zucchini, onions, and peppers) and generous amount of melted mozzarella made a tasty counterpoint to the discs of polenta; I’m not certain I’ve been fully seduced away from the traditional combination of noodles/mozza/meat, but this was a delicious alternative!

…It’s not necessarily lighter, though – I was still pretty full at dinner.

Service at Hometown can be uneven (read: slow, although always friendly) but today my server was excellent, even though she was doubling as hostess. With tax and tip, my bill was close to $20, which is on the expensive side, but with most of the dishes, a side is included, and the polenta’s one of the more expensive items. I’d save it for dinner in future, but I’m sure I’ll be back.

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