For this post, and this post only, The Friday Lunch becomes The Wednesday Lunch. Wednesday is the day that owner/chef Anton Heggen of the Fraser Park Restaurant serves up his completely homemade, gut-busting German Lunch.
If you’re in the GVRD, the Fraser Park Restaurant is about as far outta the way as you can get. It’s down by the Fraser in Burnaby at (nearly) the end of Byrne Road. It’s kind of easy to miss. About 150 meters before you hit the river, hang a sharp right into an industrial park. Look for the big green awning.
You’ve got to get here early in the day. Closing time is two p.m., Monday to Friday. One thirty on Saturday…closed, for a well-deserved rest on Sunday. Starting at 6:30, six days a week, they put out a major-league breakfast. The German Breakfast is, still, hands-down, the best value/quality breakfast anywhere. A three egg scramble with all three favorite (homemade) breakfast meats for $7.50. The German potato pancakes are an excellent addition…thin and perfectly crisped. Stay tuned for the full German Breakfast post.
Unfortunately, the days of the good old-fashioned drive-ins & diners are long gone in these parts. Well, maybe they’re not all gone, but they are definitely few and far between. Lost In The 50’s Drive-In is an old-school spot that has recently been given a facelift.
Located in Burnaby, just east of the Canada Way/Edmonds intersection, this little burger joint has literally been “Lost in the 50’s” for quite a while now. As it’s en route to my office, I have passed it by thousands of times over the years. For the longest time a double-decker bus was parked alongside only to fall victim to years of neglect and vandalism. As it appeared, so did the diner. Probably a big reason for it’s lack of success. Recently a young Korean fellow took over the reins from his parents and gave the place a whole new feel.
This intrepid restaurateur has taken the old-school diner, saved the basics, and given it a modern twist. Alongside the milkshakes and onion rings are organic burgers and mini bottles of Mexican sugar-cane Coke. There’s even a selection of hand-crafted root beers, to boot.
For about twenty years, or so, Hawaii Cafe was a coffee shop/bacon & egg joint at the foot of Gilley @ Marine Drive. It was a stalwart, a last of its breed. Then, as with most cafeteria-style restaurants, it shut its doors. Several months later it magically reappeared with the same name and its original Pepsi sign.
This time around, however, they’re putting out standard Chinese food along with Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup. When alerted by a co-worker about the new re-incarnation, I hustled down to see what else is on the menu.
No, they’re not serving fuzzy puppies in black pepper sauce. They do have an affinity for putting cute doggie pictures around the room. Unfortunately, these two were placed a bit too close to the menu signage. Maybe a photo of their Steak in Black Pepper Sauce would be in order!
Of all the items mentioned on the front window, the one that stood out for me was the Spicy Dan Dan Noodles.
Ah, the burger. Some would say it’s the perfect meal. When done right, it can come darn close. One of my favorite burger experiences was at a stand in Mexico City (Hamburguesas a la Parilla Roma) this past summer. For about $2 you got a freshly-grilled, loaded cheeseburger with options like chiles and grilled pineapple. The burger I had, with everything, was quite messy but oh-so-damn-good! Hot chiles, sweet pineapple and dripping beef fat…whatta combo.
Luckily for me, I discovered this video by Don Cuevas of My Mexican Kitchen. Love finding those food-blogging nuggets!
Around these parts, aside from chain burger joints, it’s hard to find the burger-fries-Coke meal for under $10. At Burger Burger, the lunch special is either the Mushroom Cheeseburger or Bacon Cheeseburger, fries and a canned pop for $5.69.
There’s this cool little joint way down by the river in Burnaby. Sometimes the really unique places are far off the beaten path. You either work in the area or someone points you in the right direction. If you’re lucky, you’ll wind up near the end of Byrne Road with more food in front of you than you were bargaining for. Not only are you overwhelmed by quantity, the quality is way above par.
The Fraser Park Restaurant is an eclectic mix of home-made European and Asian food. The emphasis is on home-made. The chef/owner, Anton, makes his own sausage, bacon and ham…and probably, much more. I don’t much like to use the term ‘dying breed’, but this man seems to fit the bill.