People's Hamburgers was always a tasty spot to have breakfast, but was less interesting for other meals. Its re-emergence as an upscale deli-style diner is a big improvement. The changes are actually fairly subtle and restrained, retaining the original diner ambience. The surfaces are upgraded (coffered ceiling, wood benches with mingled dining achieved by taking out a barrier between two sets of booths, upscale shabby-chic electric fixtures and white retro tiles); but the ambience remains friendly. This friendliness is also reflected in the demeanour of the wait staff who come and sit with you and chat about the menu and the Lee Valley/retro LCBO ordering style whereby you write out your own meal order. The whole enterprise is rife with bonhomie, with large numbers of diners lining up to take spaces in what is a small restaurant, tolerant of the wait time. Recognisable there are other celebrity chefs on their day off, actors and media personalities looking only slightly more careworn than they do on camera, so one feels the exalted company, more so if you are cheek by jowl in a refectory-style table seating.
At lunchtime, there are half a dozen options - the restricted menu making ordering a simple procedure and helping with the ability to have sufficient quantities prepared for reasonably quick service. The food delivers taste and style and the whole feeling is one of authentic ingredients carefully prepared. Each offering appears to have its own intriguing twist, indicating a pleasant approach to tickle the palate but at the same time to deliver the comfort food experience. Ask about the desserts and if they have the bread pudding, grab it. The portion is small but deeply satisfying blending the flavours of childhood memories with a sauce geared to adult taste buds.
This place is good. if you are passing by and see an empty seat, jump in because it will not be empty long. This is not a budget establishment like its predecessor, but for a treat it is well worth the extra expense. You will leave the restaurant well fed and perhaps imbued with an extra sense of your own inherent trend-setting status. The epitome of a changing street scene on the Dupont Strip.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.