Sunday, October 23, 2011

Café Katzenjammer

Ghost story or fairy tale? Up until recently, this restaurant sat abandoned for four years and locals created their own myths about why. Some felt the place was mysteriously deserted, aprons left hanging over the chairs and dishes on tables as though the customers and staff disappeared one night never to return. Others believed that, having amassed his fortune, the owner returned to his native Germany to live in his Bavarian castle. A visit today to Café Katzenjammer dispelled both stories. The truth is much simpler (it always is). The owner of the restaurant is also the owner of the building and made a decision a while back that he needed a break from the business and shut the doors.

After breakfast today, we were both glad to see its reactivation. My Brat and Eggs and his Big Bavarian Breakfast were hearty, generous in portion, and delivered on flavour, especially the meat and potatoes. Recommended are the ham and bratwurst, and the pan fried potatoes and the potato pancakes. Extras like sour cream, apple sauce, and mustard accent the German influence on the meals.

4441 West 10th Avenue
Breakfast hours: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday/Sunday only

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Heidi’s Café

Previous to breakfast this morning, I was relatively ignorant of the fact that Vancouver has its very own “Sunset Strip”. Fraser Street is the heart of the Sunset neighbourhood, and from 41st to 51st Avenues it is a diverse community of shops, services, and restaurants. I ask myself, how have I lived in this magnificent city for over 20 years and have never explored this area?

Well, today was the day and Heidi’s Café was the inspiration for the journey. This spot reflects its surroundings – a mixed clientele, delightful staff, and low-key atmosphere. Logistics such as order at the counter and self-serve coffee support its café status. Chosen from a simple menu, my Pancakes and his Jumbo Breakfast were nicely prepared, my partner even commented “mmm, they are good cooks.” Remember to check the big chalk board for daily specials.

5943 Fraser Street
Breakfast hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Daily

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Docker’s Diner (CLOSED)

UPDATE: (10/14/13) Docker’s is now closed.
Docker’s Diner is a locals joint. Customers were saying hello to each other across the room and the staff knew their stories, and some of their orders. This Sunday morning, the 30-seater was full-up. A gentleman walked in (I felt sure he was a regular), shook his head in disgust at the lack of seating, and walked right out again. The hubbub was keeping the small staff on their toes, yet our waitress maintained her “how ya doin’ sweetheart?” composure the entire time. 

The food is classic diner food – primarily eggs, hotcakes, or omelettes. No fuss, no muss. And while it satisfies one’s breakfast needs, I think people primarily come here for the homestyle feeling of the place. I feel good about a place where the decoration includes an orange stuffed horse.

1869 Powell Street
Breakfast hours: 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Daily