(Catie: Dave's parents joined us for brunch and as they are such fine word smiths they appear below as guest writers for this post.)
We were over from Victoria and joined Catie and Dave for brunch today after our weekend at Irwin’s high school reunion, and Dave had been working hard all weekend doing the sound for Rhythm City Mess Around at the Russian Hall. We were all cheerful and a bit weary from over-funning and were looking forward to a good visit and an easy, gentle brunch sans lineups, gourmet prices and fancy décor.
Catie had heard of, but not yet visited, Dockers Diner (no website) at 1869 Powell Street, really close to Dave’s sound job. North of Hastings and close to Victoria Drive, it’s in an industrial neighbourhood like those in many of Fred Herzog’s East Vancouver photographs, with the old Rogers Sugar factory nearby. There was plenty of street parking available and there was no lineup so we went right in.
It’s a small place and we were greeted immediately by a friendly server; there was a large table of customers already there, but they were nearly done and the noise level subsided considerably when they left. The window tables look right on the street, and the servers’ counter is in the middle of the diner, creating a small and friendly atmosphere. The walls are covered with black-and-white photos of this part of old Vancouver, some with people’s business cards tucked into the frames, so we added the card for Dave Henderson Sound to the collection.
The menu advises that your first name is Honey or Sweetie, which pretty much sums up the attitude of the whole place. Relaxed but efficient, with speedy and thoughtful service, as hot sauce arrived without even being requested, and coffee, tea and water came quickly along with several offers of refills.
Irwin had the omelette with cheese, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes, plus panfries and brown toast, and pronounced it all excellent.
Georgina had the feta cheese and spinach omelette (always trying to recapture that old Greek spirit, she is), and it was packed with both. She noted that this is a real treat as sometimes the fillings are deeply overshadowed by the eggs. She also ordered the optional pancake-instead-of-toast, which was a plate-sized delight. It came with syrup and butter, both of which she eschewed in favour of jam, instantly available. As for the panfried spuds, again she was in heaven (you may recall that in Joe’s Diner she was also transported by their potatoes). Here too they are genu-winely potato-ey and ungreasy and her whole meal was, in a word, fabulous.
Dave had a special that was, surprise, an omelette. The omelette contained cheddar cheese, bacon, and onions. Dave enjoyed his omelette and hash browns thoroughly and despite it large size he cleaned his plate.
Catie had the tradition eggs benny. The ham was real ham, not the deli stuff and the eggs were done to perfection, for Catie that means hard. The hollandaise sauce was a kind she had never come across before. It was very pale, but though it lacked colour it did not lack flavour.
When we were brought our bill, we were also brought butter tarts as well. They certainly sweetened the end of our experience at Docker's Diner. We all loved our meals - the homey atmosphere (so good for chatting) excellent service, interesting photos and the classically tasty diner food, whose portions are generous and easy on the purse, will bring us back here for sure.