Only a couple years ago, Eat Café would have seemed totally out of place on Dundas. But the revitalization (and gentrification) of the city's most stubborn street has become one of 2003's most talked-about downtown stories, whether it's debated over drinks at one of the "new generation" bars and restaurants along Dundas west (Lula Lounge, Communist's Daughter, Saving Grace, Chelsea Room, Musa, Cocktail Molotov ...) or someplace else.

In any case, Eat (1321 Dundas St. W.) glistens alongside its scruffier neighbours in this particular stretch. The entrance is set back from the street to make way for a covered summertime patio. Inside, the place could be a Caban showroom, with the now-ubiquitous brushed steel and dark wood tones the prevailing motif.

But the one-room café is intimate, the staff are friendly, and nobody seems to mind if you read your weekend paper while sipping a better-than-average cup of coffee, and taking dainty bites of the better-than-average food. For breakfast, it's the standard french toast or eggs or omelette or waffle or yogurt and granola (all $7), while lunch has more range, focused on pizzas ($7) and panini ($7).

In all, an auspicious step for a neighbourhood in transition.

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