What's in a name? The story behind Beach eatery The Goof

Photo: The Goof

Photo: The Goof

Jennifer Lopez pulled up a seat here in Angel Eyes. So did Dennis Quaid in Frequency. Indeed, in a neighbourhood dotted with historic landmarks — Kew Beach Fire Hall and the Fox Theatre, to name a few — Garden Gate Restaurant, or the Goof as its universally known, is an institution in the Beaches.

The beloved eatery on Queen East has been a neighbourhood mainstay since 1952, packing in diners for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The story behind its name is a sweet one:  its old school neon sign reads "good" vertically and "food" horizontally. At some point, the "d" in "good" burnt out so that it read "Goo F" — the local shorthand has stuck ever since.

While the space was gutted and given a slick makeover in 2006 (the current owners aquired it in the 1990s), it held onto its retro neon sign, and every ounce of its charm.

The menu is heavy on nostaglia, too. Old school diner classics like hot turkey sandwiches sit alongside all-day breakfast, dim sum and a huge Chinese menu (the snow peas chicken is a standout).

The prices are cheap, the portions are massive and the staff are lovely. It has a gorgeous side patio, which offers prime people watching in one of the prettiest stretches of the beaches, at Beech Avenue.

The Goof is located at 2379 Queen St. E. Visit thegoof.menu for more info.