We ended up in London, ON for one day and decided to check out the local food joints. Our original choice was The Early Bird diner, but there was a 20 minute wait to get in. Luckily, there was another traditional diner just a few meters away. And there was no line.
A casual written, fluorescent red wordmark on a blue background is prominant from both sides of the street. J. Dee's is definitely in the corner to see and be seen - covered in large window walls, this restaurant is right across the local market place and the stadium.
Old Ontario car plates above the ceiling, vintage wood carved signs and vinyl covers lining the walls. This place felt like it was transplanted from south of the border. Despite a game in the nearby Budweiser Gardens arena and busier than average lunch shift, the staff was very pleasant. We got a large table for five with no wait.
Other interior decorations included mock road signs pointing in fictional directions (Kilkenny avenue anyone?) and an occasional brick wall patch. The hardwood floors were worn in high traffic areas and tables are of a vintage variety, but this only added to the overall diner charm.
A simple yet functional menu had an array of options presented to us. The inclination was towards burgers - there was a whole page dedicated to patties between buns. There were a lot of exotic options to choose from, but we went with something more traditional. A turkey burger and stuffed potatoes were pure choices.
Our glasses were filled with water promptly and the sun was shining through the large window. There was a wall of vintage, classic albums to distract us - numerous The Beatles albums, Pink Floyd and Ozzy, to make a few. What else to wish for..?
Well, maybe for more pickles on on the burger when it arrived. In all fairness, we should have asked for more, but neglected to do so eager to sink our teeth in food. The burger was very juicy which is quite an achivment for a generally dry turkey meat(not as dry as chicken, but still). It went very well with some Mill Street Organic. We were actually quite surprised not to see local beers displayed more prominently. Barrie's Flying Monkeys had its own standee outside and folks were enjoying Mill Street at the table across from us. No locals as far as we could notice. As far as our second meal went, the stuffed potations were less than impressive. Even through they were loaded with tomato sauce, bacon cheese, and a side of paprika, the lack of taste and general dryness was rather unexpected.
At any rate, we enjoyed the place. It could benefit from more emphasis on local beers and already had an impressive list of burger options to choose from. Most options are under $15 which makes it a fairly priced establishment. We left Jdee's Grill happy, the sun was shining outside and it looked like our late Ontario spring was just around the corner. Talking about warm weather, we did not notice a patio. Burgers and beer are even better enjoyed outside!