It was during my travels through the Twitterverse that I was introduced to Madelyn’s Diner. Described as the place where locals indulge in farmer’s sausage and buttertarts the size of your face, how could I refuse? And so, on a Friday morning in Stratford hubby and I awoke bright and early and headed to Madelyn’s Diner.
Owned by Madelyn McCarthy and run by her daughter Krista Moore, Madelyn’s Diner celebrates its 28th anniversary this year. Krista was a great pleasure to meet; she is a busy woman to boot with her five children, husband and hoppin’ diner to run! But, according to Krista, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
The exterior is colourful yet easy to miss; if not for the packed parking lot and smell of bacon wafting through the air you’d might miss the diner even if you were walking by! Good thing I knew where I was going.
The interior is kitchy and quaint – kinda like the Blue Star in Welland for all you Niagara fans. The tables are old with bright turquoise tops out of the 80’s and chairs are all mis-matched and tipsy. There’s a bar that flanks the kitchen window and there you’ll find stools much like a 50’s malt shop. Personally, I think the retro decor ads to the charm and authenticity of the place.
We ordered coffee, orange juice, eggs benedict, rye toast, canadian bacon, hash browns as well as farmers and garlic sausage. The coffee is hot and delicious, breakfast fresh sizzling off the grill and hollandaise certainly home-made. Krista explained the all of the diner’s meat is sourced from local farmers through a butcher in Tavistock called Yungblut Meats. Learning this was no surprise as the honey garlic sausages, bursting with juicy flavour, could be nothing but farm-fresh. And, the faces of the staff at Madelyn’s Diner are nothing short of well-recognized in the community from their participation in community events like the famous Savour Stratford (where in 2012 their butter tarts took home first prize for best dessert!).
Krista brought us a Bacon butter tart and it was – no exaggeration – the size of my head! And it tasted like buttery, baconey, heaven!
And so, it was only natural that we finished with the pièce de résistance, one of Madelyn’s award winning butter tarts. My girlfriend Annie, who lives in nearby Tavistock, told me about the butter tarts being irresistible and she was bang on. As much as we didn’t have space left for it, we finished the whole darn thing. I can see why people come from near and far for them.
During the rest of my time in Stratford, when I asked locals and tourists alike what food I should be sure to try before leaving, many people told me that I had to head to Madelyn’s for a butter tart. When I told them I had already indulged in one they called me out for not leaving with two more in my pockets!
Without loss of places to eat breakfast in Stratford, Madelyn’s is a definite stop for anyone wanting to eat like a local. Open bright and early and full of the smells of a well-loved griddle, Krista and her family and staff will make you feel right at home (and have coffee in your cup before you even have time to sit down). Surely the next time I find myself in Stratford I’ll be leaving with a baker’s dozen of assorted butter tarts but don’t expect me to share. Oh no, if you want one you’re going to have to make the trip and buy a baker’s dozen of your own!