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Part of ever-expanding restaurant options in the area
The festive chicken sandwich complete with stuffing and cranberries was a big hit with Scott MacDonald during his first-ever visit to Just In Thyme Homestyle Eatery.
Word of mouth on the new venture featuring homestyle meals, big portions and friendly service brought him to Sydney River for what turned out to be the daily special. The place lived up to his expectations.
“It was delicious,” he said, while finishing the remnants of his lunch.
“I was told to get the Reuben and I did and it was fabulous,” added his wife, Sarah MacDonald. “We are stuffed.”
Close by was restaurant owner, Kristen Kerr-Eagles, checking in on another customer to ensure their overflowing plate was up to the standards the restaurant has been trying to implement since opening in October.
“We wanted to do homestyle and fresh,” she told the Post. “We went out and talked to people and found out what people were looking for in the area. One of the main things here is people wanted to have breakfast. We do the actual sit-down breakfast — Eggs Benedict and the three-eggs breakfast and French toast. People love that.”
Donair day on Wednesday has also proven popular, as has Friday fish day and an ever-expanding and changing array of daily specials that keep people anticipating the identity of their next kitchen creation.
Kerr-Eagles gives much of the credit to her creative staff, including Chef Linda Burnett, who is endlessly trying to be inventive.
“When we decided to do this we all got together and didn’t want to do the same old thing,” she said.
“I knew three days in we were going to be busy when we were getting calls for reservations. I was like 'oh my goodness, really.' It was wonderful.”
Just In Thyme Homestyle Eatery
- Where: 1290 Kings Road, Sydney River
- Owner: Kristen Kerr-Eagles
- Hours: Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. until 9 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- From: Originally from Sydney; lives in Sydney River
- Opened: Oct. 1
- Previous occupation: Hairdresser, restaurant employee
- Quote: “I was a hairdresser for a long, long time. I had an accident. I got powdered bleach in my eye. That ended that career there for me and I retired. That lasted two weeks I decided retirement wasn’t good for me, so I decided to come back to work.”
Mediterranean dishes, vegan and gluten-free items are also helping them meet their "a bit of something for everyone" goals.
“We love going to different places,” said Scott MacDonald. “This one is along the lines of No Quarter Deli. I could eat there three times a day. We are starting to see a few more restaurants around, like with Seven By Seven, Freshii. It’s not just Subway and Burger King anymore.”
The MacDonalds aren’t the only ones noticing that variety has become a key attribute of the restaurant scene in the area.
About 18 months ago, Dave Dunn, best known as the owner of Sydney Chiropractic and Laser Centre, began a weekly mission to visit a new local restaurant every week.
“I like to eat and I thought I’d just start posting on my (Facebook) site as a fun thing,” he said, just before heading off to try yet another new-to-him eatery.
“I’m a wannabe food critique. I want to be the next Anthony Bourdain, that’s my dream job.”
As such, every Friday has found Dunn at a different restaurant for 24 consecutive weeks to sample a menu and then tell his readers about it.
“At first I wondered how long it would last until I repeat one but I’m thinking I’m going a long time before I repeat.”
Vegan and plant-based options to eat are growing, he said. Newcomers to the area have brought plenty of Japanese, Tai, and Indian restaurant choices, too. And then there are plenty of long-standing "mom and pop" operations in the area and some new entrepreneurs that are producing tasty items, he said.
“Even four or five years ago we didn’t have many options. That’s a good thing with the economy. Maybe it’s just showing a sign of growth when these people are taking the initiative, and the guts and the moxey to open up a business.”
Kerr-Eagles has also noticed the increasing number of dining options in the area and believes there’s plenty of room for everybody to make something good to eat in this area.
“Everybody has their own little thing they do so well,” she said. “I couldn’t say that there is one thing we are doing really well. We are just kind of trying to do what we do well.”
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