On Sundays we sleep in late, crawl out of bed and dust off the rust from the rock show the night before. The first one awake — "by law" — is required to send out a friendly reminder text. "THE NOOK? Breakfast?" It’s not long before phones start shaking and ringing all over the place. Keep in mind that every time you show up to The Nook at noon on a Sunday, you’ll be leaning up against the wall for a half an hour waiting for a table. Needless to say, the place is popular. We have since wised up and usually roll in around 2 or 3 o’clock for a very late brunch.
When you walk in the front door, you get blasted right away with the smell of fresh bacon, hash browns on the flat top and coffee in the pot. Never a bad thing with a stomach grumbling and empty. The Nook is divided up into two dining sections. The entrance side has a long counter with an open kitchen and old-fashioned booth style seating. But we always end up making a sharp right turn and head into the second larger dining section. The walls are clad with classy fake mahogany wood paneling and a small bar tucked away in the back corner. The entire west end of the room is floor-to-ceiling windows, giving us a great view of the old Misericordia Hospital and passing folks in Wolseley making their Sunday rounds.
The Nook never minds us pirating the dining room and rearranging the tables into some strange alien configuration to fit our famished motley crew dinner party. With all of us tending to roll in fashionably late, it’s the responsibility of the one early bird to reserve 10 or 12 spots. Usually this is not a problem, as the bulk of the civilized dining society have finished their breakfast or lunch by the time we roll in. Apart from the band, we have our usual set of regular dining patrons. The beautiful, bearded Mike Robins usually shows up wearing some completely uncouth pair of pajamas. Mark "The Onion" Teague is our mild-mannered punk rock pal who occasionally shows up with a gross, kitchen-related injury to report. Andy "the Dandie" Livingston, always inappropriately late, sits down half-eyed and looking like he’s in desperate need of a salad. Mr. Wolf and Doug the Bouncer come walking in, heads high and loud, claiming their seats at the table. Last but not least, Stephan and Ashley show up with the guest of honour, Cliff, the five-month-old super genius. They plop the little man down in the middle of the table as our perfect crowning centerpiece.
Enter our water-bearer and server extraordinaire, Adam. To make it easy on the man we usually order up a round of coffee, orange juice and strong caesars to start. With the bar being right behind our table, we get to catch up with Adam and hear how our long-suffering friend has been doing. We keep begging him to take a Sunday off and join us for breakfast. However, with all the people streaming in on the weekend, I wouldn’t want to give up those tips either.
The notepad comes out and we hit him up with our ingenious custom lunch orders. Someone is usually adding a poached egg to the top of a poutine or requesting some sort of obscure unavailable shellfish to add to their "perfect" custom omelette. Either way, Adam is always more than willing to accommodate and/or appropriately shut down our ridiculous order requests.
We would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all Nook patrons who have had to endure the loud and raucous Viking-like dining experience we may have put you through. But we love this place. For as busy as our lives are, we really appreciate the time we get to sit down to a meal with friends and family. The chance to do it in this fantastic local neighbourhood diner with great food makes it all the better. It’s for this reason, and the fact that they put up with all of our crap, that we choose The Nook as The JD Edwards Bands’ favorite place in Winnipeg.
The JD Edwards Band will be performing
at the 2013 Winnipeg Folk Festival July 10-14, at
Times Change(d) high and lonesome Club with Melanie Brulee Thurs., July 25, and at the
Winnipeg Fringe Festival Fri., July 26.