The Templeton Restaurant
1087 Granville St.
E: Lining Granville Street are numerous eateries of various design. When James wants to go cheap, he certainly knows how to find ’em, and sometimes I feel reluctant to go the route of just the basics, ma’am. In a diner that’s been around since the 20th century (the 1940s), that’s not too much of a bad thing.
For a late night snack, I can appreciate The Templeton for what it is. But I will have to give James the evil eye for not being willing to put up with the lineups at the Fritz European Fry House cause I was tempted by the New York style presentation of what looked like delicious fries… the only deterrent was my appetite since James could eat a whale, and I was thinking of splitting the order.
424 W Pender St
E: Smile, you’re on candid camera! In this case, that’s the name of this diner that has been used in many a television production. This operation certainly has a vibe to being used in front of a camera. One such show that’s been said to have featured this diner is Delete, a sci-fi drama that featured Janet Kidder, Jaylee Hamidi, Jessica Lee, and Mike Azevedo. Another program was Caprica and I’m sure if you look carefully, its exterior might be noticed from afar in productions like CW’s Arrow.
I may have to start looking back at programs filmed in Vancouver just to see what other shows used this pleasant and cozy place. For me, it was like going back in time to a simpler place for some good ole’ fashioned eats.
De Dutch Pannekoek House
60-1055 Canada Place
“There’s only two things I can’t stand in this world,
people who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch”
— Nigel Powers (Michael Caine)
J: I don’t think one can convince Austin Power’s dad to visit a Dutch pancake house, but Ed and I took a little prodding. In fact with a 10% discount card for De Dutch from the Marriott Pinnacle for being their guests, I was perhaps more excited than Ed to enjoy a nice Dutch served breakfast. Although there was no smoke and a pancake, I could feel the groove as I walked into a time warp. The decor of this popular restaurant and even the photos on the front of the menu screamed 1960’s. People looked at me as I entered. I wonder if my pants were too tight.
The Old Fork
140 Trans-Canada Hwy
The Old Fork can easily be missed when driving through Duncan, BC to further points beyond. This diner is tucked inside the Travelodge and although established in 2013, the feel of this place is rustic. Photos of Duncan from its historic days decorate the entryway and inside, I thought I’d find a ghost or two to tell some tales. I had to wonder what stood here before this motel. Perhaps the land has history but not necessarily the building.
The waitress was welcoming and on a quiet day, I could sit anywhere and enjoy the old world ambience. Looking at the photos reminded me of the fact that there is more to this town. Wayfarers should be reminded there more to this township than just a highway. The Whippletree Junction may well be a more colourful and desirable place to visit in the tourist sense but sometimes the best secrets lay on the beaten track. You just have to stop, listen and look.
E: I’ve done the BC Ferries Pacific Buffet on and off over the years when I’ve missed a meal in trying to get to the ferry on time. Sometimes in my planning, arriving can be a close call, but other times — especially with James around — we have a sizable gap as wide as his belly.
To err is human but to eat a man’s worth of delicious ferry food (insert sarcasm here) requires watching James stumble when the ferry tips over because of some ocean wave.
J: All of Ed’s mocking aside, we made it early to the ferry that was to depart to Vancouver. I hadn’t much of a breakfast to digest and paying almost $8 for an egg salad sandwich at the Swartz Bay terminal would require a lobotomy on my part. I was hungry but not at those prices. And the idea of eating in the cafeteria on the ferry wasn’t appetizing either. For a man like me, the buffet is a cheaper option.
J J Morgan Family Restaurant
1520 McKenzie Ave
This corner restaurant by McKenzie and Cedar Hill was once a favourite of mine during my youth. Back then, it was known as Pizza Patio and yes, while I’m dating myself, the memories are oh so pleasant. When birthdays were held here, kids were allowed to head back to the kitchen and make a pizza just the way they wanted it. They could pile the ingredients on high, slather tons of cheese or spread tons of sauce on it and make the product look like a sloppy joe.
Since then, it has become one or two other restaurants before settling as J J Morgan, a traditional restaurant with western flavours than anything else. They have a reasonable Sunday buffet and I went there with buddies a long time ago to chime in about how they fared back then. What they offered did not convince me to return. Fast forward to now, well, it seems the tastes have not changed by much. At least the service is always friendly.