Photography by Kathy Tran. 

By early afternoon one Monday in June, 80% of all credit cards swiped at Maple Leaf Diner that day had been used at the restaurant in the past. Only 20% were swiped for the first time to buy a bloody Caesar, nanaimo bar or poutine from the restaurant.

Maple Leaf is a place where locals eat. There’s one man who visits four or five times a week. Another group of men orders meat for breakfast every day.

People expect “not to go away hungry, that’s for sure,” says Canadian-born Michael Delaurier, who opened the restaurant near Preston Road and LBJ in 2015.

Sometimes the appearance of a restaurant on a TV show will lead to an influx in customers, causing regulars to avoid the place and crowds. That hasn’t been the case with Maple Leaf. It’s been featured on programs including Incredible Edible America and Food Paradise. Locals just keep coming. Savvy neighbors will join the waitlist online, especially on the weekend, as Delaurier recommends.

The most popular breakfast order by far is the chicken, bacon and waffles, which includes fried chicken, bacon and a waffle, topped with strawberries, whipped cream and cream puffs. It can be ordered in the morning or evening. The same goes with the rest of the menu.

Delaurier’s favorite item is the Canadian eggs benedict, which comes with peameal bacon — the real Canadian bacon. Originally, pork loins were cured with salt and coated with ground peas, which would absorb moisture. Now, producers use cornmeal instead of peas. Maple Leaf had to make peameal bacon in house for a while, due to a lack of sup- pliers. But Delaurier eventually found a smokehouse in the Northeast that made it “almost identical” to the stuff he used to eat at home.

Food offerings stay the same, though there’s a special poutine each month.

“We always crazy pride ourselves on just making everything great,” Delaurier says. “Like crazy customer service all the time, and great food.”

Maple Leaf Diner, 12817 Preston Road, 214-434-1626

To read more about brunch places in Preston Hollow, click here