Tucked in between warehouses, big rigs and long tracts of cement and gravel, one of Saskatoon’s finest diners lurks, almost unnoticed by the passing cars on the nearby Idylwyld freeway.
Kelly’s Kafe — once an infamous bar and restaurant located just east of Market Mall — has reopened in a new location outside of the exhibition grounds.
The Irish trappings, the miss-matched mugs, the family photos and all the unique Kelly’s clutter have been transposed over the new digs; it retains its spirit, despite the absence of pool tables and booze.
The burgers, too, are as good as ever, and the portion sizes remain hulking. It’s fantastic hang-over breakfast and brunch food, perhaps only surpassed by the inimitable Park CafÃ© on 20th Street.
Still, Kelly’s menu is formidable, with a particularly massive hand-made burger selection: highlights include the Kelly Burger, the Cutlet Burger and the Brek-er Burger (burger, bacon, cheese, tomato and egg).
The hash browns are in fact fried potatoes. But, it’s one of the biggest perks of eating at an Irish joint, the potatoes are delicious.
Of course, we’re talking about greasy food here. Vegans and health nuts should steer clear or, I guess, order the soups, which are apparently quite tasty. But for those who appreciate four or five coffee refills and who won’t balk at an afternoon nap, Kelly’s is a juicy bite of paradise.
Did I mention that nearly everything on the menu is under 10 dollars? This includes eggs benedict, French toast and nearly any other diner entree you can think of. And, if you come early (before 10 a.m. on weekdays), you can get a few dollars off your already cheap breakfast.
It’s rare to find the restaurant full and the staff are kind and obliging, if a little peculiar. Hell, the whole place is peculiar but that’s why you’re going there in the first place, right? The sign above the cafe is smashed-out, the green exterior is slowly deteriorating, the parking lot is full of nails and, hey, where else do you have to be? The gym? It’s Saturday morning for Christ’s sake and you’ve been drinking all night. Give me a fucking break!
Kelly’s Kafe is located at 2520, Jasper Ave.
image: Greg Reese