Used to be that a greasy spoon diner was content being your standard greasy spoon diner. There were three condiments: ketchup, salt, and occasionally pepper if the place wanted to be fancy. The cook would look at you suspiciously if you ordered your eggs any other way than scrambled. (Asking for eggs Benedict would, not infrequently, get you run out of town on a rail. I am led to understand the rail was only officially retired in 1987.)
Nowadays, though, people demand things like “variety” and “quality” and “working arteries,” so the greasy spoon diner has had to adapt or die. A lot of them die, and are subsequently reborn as eat-out/takeaway places, most trying to stand out from the pack with a gimmick: a certain style of cuisine, a funny name, a former Michelin-starred chef trying to get over a heroin addiction, you name it. You can always tell them out, though, by the formulaic grill/burners/deep fryers assortment behind the counter.
Munchaway Foodz (2210 Dundas St. W, right at the intersection of Dundas and Roncesvalles) has been in operation for just over a year now. They have no heroin addict chef, and they’ve definitely failed at the funny name bit (come on. “Foodz”? With a Z? That was played by 1991). But they’ve got the grills and deep fryers, and they’ve got decent nosh.
The decor in Munchaway Foodz is a bit helter-skelter; a couple of tables are pleasant enough for eating, but they’ve also put in a few couches that scream “somebody saw too many episodes of Friends“, complete with a small selection of outdated reading materials. On the other hand, now I know what was in Vogue‘s February 2005 issue. This doctor’s office feel for the lounge area kind of sucks.
Munchaway’s signature item is the “gipsy burger”, an enormous (nearly a foot in diameter) burger served on a toasted homemade bun (all of Munchaway’s breads are homemade, and excellent), slathered with cream cheese, cabbage, pickles, onions and tomato. You have to eat it with a fork and knife, and don’t bother asking for fries, because this burger is a meal and a half all by itself, and it is the epitome of greasy goodness. And at seven bucks for the burger, it’s not a bad deal either, considering that your seven bucks gets you a burger the size of the plate on which it arrives.
Other items of note on the Munchaway menu include the chicken parmesan sandwich and chicken fingers, which are both hand-breaded and deep-fried to order; drippy good for your tastebuds, probably not so much for your arteries. The chicken fingers go nicely with Munchaway’s fries, which are handcut from peeled potatoes (I would have preferred, honestly, unpeeled fries, but Munchaway’s are fine). If you prefer healthier chicken, the grilled chicken sandwich is a solid entry. A sausage sandwich is the fattiest yet of Munchaway’s offerings, nearly swimming in a sea of meaty juice – but the bun holds up (barely) against the sausage-slobber, and the sandwich goes quite nicely with a little mustard and coleslaw.
An assortment of savory crepes round out Munchaway’s fare – the crepes themselves are fluffy pleasant things, and the fillings, while nothing really staggeringly original (egg and feta, sausage, etc.) are all made well enough that it’s not an issue. For liquid refreshment, Munchaway offers coffee and a small but reasonable canned/bottled beverage lineup.
It’s good food, reasonably priced, and if there is no homicidal maniac behind the counter claiming that “only fags eat eggs over easy,” at least there’s enough grease in the food that I can live without such ambience. Commendations to Munchaway Foodz! Now get rid of the damn Z.
OTHER STUFF YOU NEED TO KNOW: Dinner for two, $20-25 with tip. Open seven days a week. Not licensed.