Red Wagon Cafe Fails to Meet Expectations 

After waiting for months and months and months to get into the Red Wagon Cafe on East Hastings Street, we finally found a moment when there wasn’t a line-up of hipsters out front of the place. And what a total and complete disappointment the entire Red Wagon Cafe experience turned out to be.

First off, the service was typical hipster-pathetic. The kind of attitude where the servers make it clear that they are doing you a huge favour by bringing you a cup of coffee. The servers make it seem like the customers are an interruption to their performance art. Yawn. Honestly, I am so far beyond that kind of attitude.

The other really annoying thing about the Red Wagon Café is that the tables are so close together that if you dare to lift your arm to get food into your mouth you end up bumping elbows with the person sitting beside you who may also be trying to lift their arm.

Trucker's Breakfast
Trucker’s Breakfast

And then the breakfast. When you see a truckers breakfast listed on the menu what do you imagine? I imagine a massive meal. So when you see the Super Trucker’s Breakfast? I imagine a mountain of food.

Instead at the Red Wagon Café the Super Trucker breakfast had two pancakes that would not cover the palm of my hand, one piece of toast that could’ve been used as a brick and two eggs.

We asked for the eggs overeasy and instead they came with the yolks cooked hard. When we told the server that the eggs were cooked way too hard she said she would get it fixed, took the plate back to the kitchen and returned within a couple minutes.

The server returned with the same plate and if I’m not mistaken the same eggs. If they weren’t the same eggs, they were another two eggs that were as equally butchered.

Yes, the small piece of pork belly was good. And the tablespoonful of pulled pork was also yummy. However it’s a Truckers Breakfast – actually a Super Truckers Breakfast! Honestly, you should not leave any restaurant hungry if you have had a Super Truckers Breakfast. Especially if you’ve paid $20 for breakfast.

Total disappointment on this one. We will not be returning anytime soon. Or rather anytime.

The Red Wagon Cafe is located at 2296 East Hastings Street, Vancouver.

Poached Eggs on Potato Pancakes

Lunch today was made by students in the Foods and Nutrition class and served to the rest of the students in the school program.

Poached Eggs and Potato Pancakes
Poached Eggs and Potato Pancakes

Two perfectly poached eggs on a couple of potato pancakes with a side of grated carrot and apple salad.

And is there anything better than 14 % sour cream? I’m telling you, I could almost eat that stuff out of an ice cream cone!!

Benny’s Bagels on West Broadway 

I actually do not ever remember being in Benny’s Bagels during daylight. However, in the late 80s and early 90s I was a regular at Benny’s Bagels between midnight and 3am. 

So being back in the neighborhood during daylight hours, I jumped on the opportunity to once again visit Benny’s.   

I wasn’t disappointed. Benny’s Bagels has aged beautifully. Still full of young and old, still eclectic, and still serving good bagels. 

It was nice to return to an old haunt. Being in Benny’s was a pleasant little trip down memory lane. Good times. 

Benny’s Bagels is still located on West Broadway at the corner of Larch. Worth a visit. 

Eggs for Lunch

Another home cooking type of day for lunch today.

  
I love the simplicity of a soft boiled egg, a sliced Roma tomato, and baked potato patties. Add a sprinkle of salt, a grind of pepper and I am in bliss. 

A Super Quick and Healthy Breakfast 

My One Pot Pasta was easy but this quick and healthy breakfast one is even easier!

quick and healthy breakfast
Two Eggs

First, I cracked two eggs into a mug! As a side note, notice how the egg yolks are such different colours?

quick and healthy breakfast
Cheddar Cheese and Peppers

I chopped up a small piece of cheddar cheese and less than a quarter cup of the leftovers from yesterday’s one pot pasta and added that to the mug with the two eggs.

I stirred the mixture vigorously with a fork, added a shake of salt and a grind of black pepper before putting the mug of egg and stuff into the microwave for a minute and a half.

No kidding. A minute and a half later I had a creamy omelette in the mug.

I moved it out of the mug onto a plate to see what it looked like and I was very impressed.

The flavour was good, the egg had a pleasing creamy texture – in less than five minutes I made a tasty and moist omelette. It was awesome!

A quick and healthy breakfast in less than 5 minutes and virtually no dirty dishes!

Breakfast at Fat Jack’s Diner

On the weekend I was out for a motorcycle ride and I stopped in at Fat Jack’s Diner on the other side of Boston Bar for a late breakfast. 

  
As always, Chef Todd was masterful in his kitchen. 

And the little spoonful of jam? Strawberry and rhubarb preserves made from the produce of their garden. 

Early Lunch at Cheese St Grill Food Truck 

I forgot to share this picture from yesterday’s lunch so here it is today – a Breakfast Brioche sandwich from the Cheese St Grill food truck. The Cheese St Grill truck was parked on Poirier St, near the Coquitlam Farmer’s Market. 

  
I was looking for a breakfast type sandwich and this one fit the bill. A fried egg, havarti cheese, fresh tomato, and a heap of smoky ham with a mustard-mayo aioli all on a grill-warmed brioche bun worked together to make a perfect breakfast sandwich.

It was just what I needed! 

The Big 6 Restaurant For Breakfast

In my continuing research efforts of finding trustworthy breakfast joints around the Metro Vancouver area, I stopped at a Burnaby institution, the Big 6 Restaurant. 

 
Years ago I would meet my grandfather at the Big 6 for the Trucker’s Breakfast special. Back then the special was $2.95. Now the Trucker’s Special of two eggs, bacon (or ham or sausage), hashbrown potatoes and a pair of toast is priced at $4.75. Still a pretty good value. 

  
I was Impressed with not only the speed at which they cooked my breakfast, but also the quality. Granted this is your typical “greasy spoon” joint so I know what to expect. It was good. I like the hashbrown potatoes and although the bacon could have been cooked a little longer it was still very flavourful. 

  

The eggs were cooked perfectly overeasy – no icky watery white stuff and yet soft yolks. The toast was unimpressive. Overall, a good breakfast that I enjoyed. 

I will return to the Big 6 Restaurant which is located at 7660 6th Street in Burnaby. 

Biscuits and Gravy at Tony’s in Blaine

On the weekend I was in Blaine Washington a little too early to get into the post office so I did what I like to do best – I found a little hole in the wall joint and had a second breakfast.

Tony's Just a Bite
Tony’s Just a Bite

One of the things that never fails to intrigue me is the fact that in my home town and province of BC there are VERY, very few places that you can go and find biscuits and gravy on the menu. And yet you cross the border into the USA and nearly every breakfast joint will have biscuits and gravy as an option and I have to say, I LOVE biscuits and gravy!!

Twin Sisters
Twin Sisters

So I ordered the Twin Peaks – two eggs on top of two biscuits smothered in sausage gravy with a side of “American potatoes”.

I asked for my eggs to be cooked over-easy and they were flawlessly over-easy. So perfect that I actually shared a 10 second video of me breaking open one of the yolks on my Instagram feed.

And sausage gravy – so unbelievably rich and creamy and flavourful…oh my. Admittedly, my mother makes a superior biscuit than the ones I had at Tony’s but the overall breakfast experience was awesome.

Kale Quiche Pie

Seeing as our kale and Swiss chard are still producing like wild things and I have not yet reconciled myself to drinking “kale” smoothies or eating roasted kale chips, we are always on the look out for recipes that we can incorporate kale or chard into.

I think this crustless quiche is the perfect way to get kale into your diet.

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So without further ado, here is the recipe –

  • 6 farm fresh eggs
  • A slog of half & half cream – or if you are unfamiliar with the size of a slog, about 3/4 cup
  • Some kind of acidic dressing (I frequently use non fat Italian, but this time I used blue cheese and pear dressing)
  • Handful of crumbled feta
  • Approx. 1 cup cheese (used marble because it’s what we had left)
  • Fresh herbs – whatever you have growing in your pots (I used thyme, basil, dill and parsley)
  • Good shake of Greek seasoning
  • A chopped leftover red pepper
  • 3 cups finely chopped kale, spinach, Swiss chard or other leafy greens
  • Handful of wholewheat flour – maybe a half cup.
  • One chopped onion – sautéed until all wilty and translucent.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Cooking spray

Let me begin the “instructions” by saying that we use whatever is in the fridge and we don’t sweat the amounts. If YOU think it will be tasty, add it.

The easiest way to make this kale-pie-quiche is to use a stand-mixer. It just so happens we have a Cuisinart mixer that works well.

To begin, add the eggs to the mixer bowl. Set the mixer to “mix” and let the eggs mix and mingle with one another until they are frothy. Then add the half & half and let that mix for a few seconds – maybe 20-30. Add the salad dressing, and the cheeses – grated cheddar, crumbled feta, or whatever you have in your fridge. Let it mix.

Then add ingredients like the kale (or chard or spinach or whatever leafy green vegetable you have), sautéed onion, red pepper, herbs, seasoning and salt and pepper.

Shake in the wholewheat flour until it has the consistency of a really thick ketchup. You may not need much. You may need more. Just get it to the desired consistency.

We cook the quiche in a 24cm flan pan. But before pouting the mixture from the mixer, give the flan pan a quick spray of cooking oil to make sure the quiche will lift out without a struggle once cooked.

Then you can pour the mixture from the mixer bowl into the flan pan. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and fire into an oven at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Watch the top of the quiche to make sure it is not burning.

Remove from oven, let cool and then enjoy.

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