As a brunch aficionado, I have a few different categories for restaurants - fancy gourmet, diner, good hearty breakfast, cheap (maybe not as good as you remember) nostalgic places, etc. Cafe Universel is certainly in the reliable hearty breakfast category with a whole menu dedicated to different breakfast offerings. They offer hearty portions, reasonable prices, good homemade (i.e. not frozen) home fries, fresh fruit, lots of coffee, and friendly reliable service.
I also give them extra points for having a menu with savory/sweet options (eliminating the breakfast dilemna of waffles or eggs), pumpernickel bread as a staple, no extra charges for coffee, and real maple syrup - like the kind that comes from a maple tree. The location closest to me is a more typical relaxed breakfast place but there is another location downtown on Peel that's a bit more upscale (although same menu/prices) and has an outdoor seating area.
Although not exceedingly unique, sometimes these reliable basic places are the spots you return to for years to come, I know I will!
I couldn't believe this was real - usually genuine maple syrup is offered in tiny one serving containers!
I went with the waffles and eggs a few weekends ago and would also highly recommend the vegetarian omelette - my favorite on their menu. On a slight side not - for some reason, 9 times out of 10 I get a larger portion than my boyfriend at restaurants. He was a little jealous of this stack of yummy potatoes, lucky for him I can never finish this much food so it wound up on his plate anyway.