J&H’s has been an institution on west Portage Ave (2735) since 1976. D and I first started dropping in for breakfast there about a decade later in the mid eighties. Our first home was in the neighbourhood and in those days we couldn’t afford to go out for dinner very often, so we would go out for breakfast instead. John and Helen Damianakos are the J&H of the restaurant’s name and they have been at the grill and in the kitchen for all this time, raising three children in the process.
In those days, the boys would help in the restaurant by delivering water and coffee cups and clearing away the lighter items. We loved that the couple had created such a warm family atmosphere in their restaurant and the same is true today. The exuberant and polite boys are all grown up, but still helping Mom and Pop out.
The little spot has doubled in size since our last visit many years ago. The décor hasn’t changed though and some might call it “dated”. In my mind, it is warm and clean and I would dub it more kindly with a description of “authentic”. One thing has not changed and that is the families’ expertise in grilling up and serving delicious and enormous meals.
The all day breakfast is especially good value at 6.95 with six strips of bacon stacked up like the frame of a log cabin.
Adorning the edge of the bulging plate are the most succulent breakfast potatoes you will likely ever taste in Winnipeg. Helen shared with my husband that she uses her Grandma’s recipe from Greece. A potato is peeled and then sliced lengthwise. I could not determine if they are deep fried, grilled or pan-fried, all I know is that Helen makes then sensational.
I chose a Greek omelet which brought back memories of time spent in Greece. Our typical lunch while traveling was a big rustic salad of garden-fresh produce, briny olives and creamy feta. Then a light omelet would arrive with a side of lemony potatoes.
We have never visited any time other than the morning, so we cannot comment on other menu selections, but I cannot imagine that they wouldn’t be anything but expertly prepared using traditional recipes and fresh ingredients. The menu declares: “Good Food and Soul Warming Friendship”, it’s as simple as that.
Kath’s quote: “I’ve long said that if I were about to be executed and were given a choice of my last meal, it would be bacon and eggs. There are few sights that appeal to me more than the streaks of lean and fat in a good side of bacon, or the lovely round of pinkish meat framed in delicate white fat that is Canadian bacon. Nothing is quite as intoxicating as the smell of bacon frying in the morning, save perhaps the smell of coffee brewing.”-James Beard
Love-that is all.