Remember when we were all worried I wouldn’t find a good locally-owned brunch joint in Richmond? How I panicked that my days of hot, maple-syrup-drenched pancakes, eggs, and bacon were nothing but a sad, distant memory? That the experience of hanging out in a booth and drinking Maker’s Mark-infused milkshakes before noon was one that future generations of Richmondites may never have a chance to experience? Remember that??
Ok, perhaps that last scenario hadn’t actually crossed your minds, and maybe this isn’t as much of a crisis as I’m making it out to be, but today I get to reassure you IT IS ALL STILL POSSIBLE. After my last breakfast experience, I received a number of recommendations for places to try. One of them was Steveston’s Diner No. 1, a new eatery in the heart of the village. Their well-designed website convinced me that yes, Diner No. 1 should be the spot for Brunch: Round 2. How many of us were eating? 3. And how many things did we order to eat? 4. This numerical whimsy only just occurred to me, and I had to point it out.
On this breakfast mission I was joined by my friends Chris and Anna, who were visiting from Ontario for a beach volleyball tournament. They’re tall, tanned, and a thousand times more athletic than I’ll ever be, but I was a DARN good cheerleader/provider of snacks.
They’d spent the weekend working up serious appetites, and – lucky for me – were ready for some serious food.
We ordered 3 hearty breakfasts: The Lumberjack ($8.99), The Steveston Platter ($11.99), and the Florentine Eggs Benny ($8.49), plus a carrot cake with almond cream cheese icing for dessert ($4). Then we had a post-dessert dessert, but I’ll talk about that later.
My Lumberjack meal was a big buttermilk pancake with chopped bacon mixed into the batter.
It came with two eggs (I chose sunny-side up), and a large pitcher of maple syrup. I appreciated that, because I’m a maple syrup fiend and Aunt Jemima’s simply will not do. Because they’re so easy to make at home, I rarely order pancakes in a restaurant, but the phrase “bacon-stuffed” captured my heart and I had to get it. This particular cake o’ the pan was fluffy, deep golden brown, and made from scratch. If you order a restaurant pancake only once in a blue moon, make it this one.
Anna’s Steveston Platter came with bacon, sausage, grilled tomatoes, sourdough toast, eggs, baked beans, and hashbrowns. All it needed was some fried mushrooms and black pudding, and she’d have had a full-on English fry. The hashbrowns were tossed in a salty, ranch-like seasoning, of which I thoroughly approved.
Chris’s Florentine Eggs Benedict with spinach and tomato were good – not the best I’ve had – but still tasty. Portion-wise, the plates were filling but not gluttonous; just about right for the average appetite. Chris finished off his plate and the rest of my pancake, but he’s a 6’7” guy with more stomach to feed than most of us.
We finished off with carrot cake, which came from their mix & match lunch menu (there’s one section in which you can choose 3 items for $10, or they’re $4 each). It was good cake and icing, though they’d heated it up and it was a little too hot to eat at first.
And finally, because we couldn’t resist, we ordered a boozy milkshake – the “Grandma’s L’il Secret,” to be specific. It had Butterscotch Schnapps, Maker’s Mark bourbon, caramel sauce, milk, and ice cream.
It was GOOD, and on Mondays, they’re on for $7!
You can also get them the old-fashioned way (i.e., Maker’s Mark and Schnapps free), as well as sundaes and desserts like apple pie. This restaurant does tasty, classic diner food; they’re not trying to be earth-shatteringly creative, just provide satisfying dishes at reasonable prices in a friendly atmosphere. If I lived in Steveston, I’d definitely wander over here on a lazy Sunday, sink into a booth with friends, and spend hours sipping coffee, sharing plates of salty/sweet food, and reminiscing over our weekend adventures. To me, this is the definition of a good brunch, and exactly what Chris, Anna, and I enjoyed.
During weekdays they serve breakfast until 11:30am, and brunch until 4pm on weekends. They also have a lunch and dinner menu with burgers, sandwiches, and “comfort classics” like Mac n’ Cheese and the Roast Beef Yorkie. Maybe I’ll have to make it 366 meals in 365 days, because how will I be able to pass those up in the middle of winter? Apparently they’re also on the verge of a menu shake-up, so watch for new items to appear soon. There are rumours of pulled pork pancakes……
And now, question period – what are your ALL-TIME FAVOURITE breakfast dishes??
Cash and cards accepted
Vegetarian options available