The hash browns are the key to this breakfast. They are thinly shredded and then fried to a crisp which means you almost have a side of potato chips with your eggs. Yummy! I don’t know of any other place in Winnipeg that does this to the potatoes, but I’m sure some of you will tell us if you know.
That last time I was here was with Andrew and the old breakfast crew about 8 years ago, and Kelly recognized me as I walked in, and then remembered how I like my eggs! Her memory skills are flabbergasting, but she claims to have no short term recall.
The decor has not changed since the late Nineties, but that is not a bug, it’s becoming a feature; a design feature that is becoming endearing. Like Mom jeans from the 1980’s were unflattering and frumpy then, but girls born in the 2000’s don’t know that, so they are “so fashion!” and don’t know how ridiculous they look. Kelly’s posters of Van Gogh paintings and other Home Depot framed art is actually rather hip and “ironic” and was way ahead of trend ten years ago; who knows what it will be like in ten more.
This place is loved by the locals in the surrounding high rise apartments and mostly unknown to the rest of Winnipeg; except for the Free Press having 2 Kelly’s in the Munch Madness playoff for best breakfast. Somebody out there is paying attention, and Kelly, the real one not the imaginary one, is not shy about getting people to vote for her and drum up likes. The other Kelly is rarely seen but hides in the back and takes the blame for any problems in the restaurant, but she is a champ and can take any abuse the real Kelly throws at her, because she isn’t really there and only lives in the mirror. Her laugh is not as uproarious as the Kelly up front who takes the orders.
The food came lickety split and the eggs were done perfectly; even James’ eggs which were annoyingly “basted medium”. When I was a short order cook in Gimli this was the most difficult way to cook eggs and we cursed the customers who didn’t keep on the usual path of sunny side up, over easy or over hard. The coffee was strong enough and the toast was thick. The price was right, under $10 for the special, and the bacon was nice and crispy.
2 Kelly’s is a solid 8 stars for me, which makes me want to go back and revise some previous 8 star places. It is a winner in both charm and technical breakfast making skill.
The location is a little challenging to seek out, but that is the fault of the lobby design which is a mishmash of discarded ideas and confusing angles that create dead corners and large unfriendly areas. Just getting to the front door of 83 Garry street is a rotten experience for humans as you are made to walk along a dingy concrete path made for cars and enter through a door that looks like the staff entrance off an alley.
Martin Bergin can be held responsible for the odd look of the place which was built between 1986 and 1990.
“The design also came in for some derision. Marketed as having “Old World Charm”, it superimposed a castle motif along with hundreds of decorative pillars, lions and statues. One University of Manitoba architectiure prof referred to it as a “…gross act of functional and visual vandalism”, (April 19 1986, Winnipeg Free Press). The result was the city tightening downtown development rules for future projects.” Christian Cassidy