A promising new restaurant called Maple Leaf Diner will do diner food in North Dallas, but with a Canadian flair: poutine, Canadian bacon and more.
As any flag fan knows, the maple leaf is on the national flag of Canada, and it serves as a nod to the home country of owners Michael DeLaurier and his aunt Debbie DeLaurier. Their family has an extensive background in restaurants. Debbie previously owned St. Joachim Diner, an Ontario restaurant that has been featured on the Food Network Canada's You Gotta Eat Here! She's a food-channel darling whose other restaurant, Route 42 Diner, competed on Cooking Channel's Donut Showdown.
In addition to Canadian signature items, Maple Leaf's menu also includes eastern European specialties such as cabbage rolls and pierogies (Polish dumplings). There'll be chicken, pot roast and burgers, but with a unique spin, Michael says.
"We do everything from scratch, even our bread, and we always have a 'wow' factor," he says. "Our burgers come with these toppers that are 10 inches tall. It's a skewer with some kind of edible bite. For example, our pizza burger has a skewer with breaded fried mushrooms. That's something Debbie started; that's how she got recognized. It always gets an amazing response."
A bacon-cheeseburger comes with cheddar cheese, spinach, tomatoes, pickles, red onions and mayo on a house-baked bun, topped with a stack of onion rings. Pot roast comes with mashed potatoes, root vegetables and brown gravy served inside a bread crust as big as a plate.
"She does an amazing pot roast, and they call that bread a 'Yorkshire bonnet,'" Michael says.
They'll open in mid-September in a centrally located spot at Preston Valley Shopping Center at LBJ and Preston Road — a space that's seen a number of delis come and go, including Deli News Too, Ed's Deli and Roasters Deli. It'll be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Michael anticipates that breakfast will do very well.
"We'll be doing real home fries — no hash browns," he says. "Even our toast is house-made, and we'll be serving real Canadian bacon, not like the Canadian bacon found here. You can't buy real Canadian bacon here. Nobody sells it, so we're actually making it."
They'll be doing poutine the "right" way —"with fresh-cut French fries, with cheese curds and brown gravy," he says. "The secret to good poutine is in the cheese curds, they're hard to get right."
There'll be chicken breast, lightly breaded and pan fried, topped with mozzarella and baked with linguini noodles, cheese curds and Bolognese sauce, sprinkled with Parmesan and basil, and served with garlic bread and a garden salad. And fried chicken with choice of potato and slaw.
In true diner style, prices will be reasonable. Breakfast will be in the $8 range, and burgers —which come with toppers as well as a choice of side — are all under $12. "We're value-oriented," Michael says.