_MG_77668 Stars. January 2, 2011.

Dawning Restaurant. 3277 Portage Avenue

Monday             Closed

Tues – Wed       8 AM – 3 PM

Thurs – Fri        8 AM – 7 PM

Sat                        8 AM – 3 PM

Sun                      9 AM – 3 PM

_MG_7760-filteredBacon & Eggs $5.75. Coffee $1.75, refills $0.35. Breakfast served on weekends and holidays until 3:00pm.

Wheelchair accessible, but has awkward interior door.

Aside from sounding like a cult and retaining the decade-old Santa Lucia decor, the Dawning is a great place for breakfast. They have a huge menu with many omelettes and eggs Benny. It was full at 11am, and from talking with the people who work there, it’s usually like that.

Our server responded to our orders with a cheery “Thank you very much!” and brought us medium-calibre coffee. They have the standard selection of toast, white/brown/rye. I ordered the eggs Benny corned beef hash (see picture), and while the Benny was good the hash was just corned beef laying on top of potatoes.IMG_0506 I expect a hash to be mixed together with some onions and maybe other veggies, like at the Falafel Place or Johnny’s Marion Restaurant. Instead, it was similar to how The Don does it. It was still good though, due to the hashbrowns which were tasty and crispy.

The potato ranch omelette Leif got came with a side of sour cream and an awesome fruit bowl. The omelette was surprisingly good. I usually prefer my potatoes outside the eggs, but with the conservative amount of ranch, real cheddar cheese and a touch of sour cream, it was a tasty winner. They had Louisiana hot sauce and a big basket o’ jams to complement the meal.IMG_0505-filtered

The last time we were here, in 2008, we didn’t like the breakfast special so much, and rated it a 6/10. Well, go outside the special and you’ll find some tasty treats. Much better this time around.

Bonus points for hosting the St. James Beer Museum, otherwise known as the dusty collection of recently out-of-date domestic beer bottles on top of their bar.

IMG_0504August 9 2008

Monday             Closed

Tues – Wed       8 AM – 3 PM

Thurs – Fri        8 AM – 7 PM

Sat                        8 AM – 3 PM

Sun                      9 AM – 3 PM

Breakfast Special

$3.50 during weekdays

$4.75 on the weekend

(I guess the eggs are tougher to cook on the weekend.)

Screen shot 2011-02-06 at 2.47.09 PM-filteredDawning is a very subtle Asian restaurant. By subtle I mean that it’s not obviously ethnic at first glance. You have to look for the dragons on the wall, but the random Christmas-like dangly decorations hanging from the ceiling are a dead giveaway. The bamboo stalks bound in gold ribbon also arose the notion of Vietnamese origin. To complement these decorations, a large fish tank with about a half-dozen goldfish took up space on one wall, and fake hanging plants wasted more, next to our table.

A massively inappropriate apostrophe on the front page made me weep for the English language, but I forgot about it when I saw “Crackles and eggs” and “Gloms Kuak” on the menu below it.

Gloms Kuak is a cottage cheese patty (so, a wheel of cheese?) and I can only imagine that crackles is a synonym for crackling, the burnt skin of a pig (or any other animal you care to sear). We didn’t order it to see. Somehow a plate of burnt pig skin doesn’t sound appetizing, but right off a roast and I’m all over it.

Another funny thing about Dawning is that while they display the words “Breakfast Special” on their outdoor sign, the two words never come to meet on the menu. Our breakfast was imaginatively listed as “bacon and eggs” and “sausage and eggs.” With a name like Dawning, you’d think there would be some sort of sunrise/eggs theme of a name, but no.

The coffee was a 2/3. Not undrinkable, but not memorable. Many, many coffees fall under the 2, and it is rare to find a 3 or a 1, thankfully. 2 includes the underground reservoir of terrible brew, but can include a high and low end (or tides) of the pool.

Our meals appeared small but tasty. The potatoes looked like they were chipped, a first for the Breakfast Connoisseurs. They were mostly cooked evenly, but still some were underdone. They were tasty though; a winner in my book.

The eggs were small, further indicative of the Asian origin of the breakfast – for some reason eggs are always petite in their Breakfast Specials. Leif pondered the wisdom of the method steaming his over-hard eggs rather than just gently flipping them, but found no fault.

On to the meats: I got four pieces of bacon and Leif received three butterflied sausage links. Those were predictable, but my bacon tasted a bit off… not fishy like at Bamboo, but more like the grill than bacon. Too bad. The unsliced rye toast was small but fine and had peanut butter and two types of fruit spread to jam on it.

The service was good (our coffees were refilled a few times), and the food didn’t take too long to prepare. The place was packed at 10am but thinned out a lot by 10:30. Maybe it’s the pleather booths. Truly, this is a good place to go if you live immediately in the area, but you shouldn’t go out of your way to sample their breakfast. Yet another completely average, inoffensive breakfast.