The Templeton, Downtown

One thing I love about Americana is the whole diner aesthetic. The puffy bench chairs, jukebox, old posters of soda for 15c, all that crap, I love it! So imagine how excited I was the first time I walked past The Templeton in Downtown Vancouver? Upon looking in, it’s the dinerest looking diner I’ve ever seen, with pictures of old stuff embedded in the tables and individual jukeboxes in each booth. Slice of 50’s and all that.

Our trip to The Templeton was quite a fateful one, in that we were kind of just..in the area, and were hungry. I’m sure a lot of you out there have similar stories where you’re just randomly happen upon a place and end up having a great meal, this is one of those stories.

The Templeton has a pretty wide ranging menu of burgers, sandwiches and bowls etc. but I’m a “breakfast for all meals all day” kind of guy so I went straight for the all day breakfast menu!

Note to other cafes: Everyone loves all day breakfast, so please do it.

Way back when, I was pretty obsessed with the show Man vs Food, and there was this one episode where he goes to a place called Juan in a Million in Texas and eats like, 5 serves of breakfast tacos. Those tacos looked bloody amazing to me, and ever since then, I’ve always ordered the breakfast taco if it’s on the menu, and lovingly, The Templeton has provided where many places have not.

 

 

I went straight for the Huevos Rancheros ($11.50) with a side of bacon for $3 extra and I was pretty impressed with it. The eggs were scrambled but had all those omelette fillings mixed into it. This was topped with a nice serve of beans and some delightful salsa for flavour.

The one thing that sort of gets me with breakfast tacos is that I never seem to get enough tortillas. What do I do in that situation? Do I ask for more? Are they going to charge me? I don’t really want them if they’re like $1 a tortilla, but at the same time, I really want them if they’re free.

It’s so awkward.

In any case, I liked this dish.

 

 

Next up was the Vegetarian Benny ($12.50). This comes with cream cheese, spinach and avocado. I’ve always been a huge fan of eating animals with a benedict, either salmon or ham but this dish made me realise with all the egg and hollandaise going on, you don’t really need it. There’s more than enough flavour here to compensate for the lack of animal. The big hitter for this dish was the avocado, which was really creamy and just worked with the egg incredibly well.

Next up we have another segment in our award(ish) winning series: poached or pwned! If you’re new, it’s when we check a poached egg and see whether it’s poached well, or cooked to crap. Here at The Templeton we got…

 

 

Poached! Ish! I know it looks really pwnish but we had a lot of good yolk here. It wasn’t completely runny, more like a slightly more cooked soft boiled egg.

 

 

Lily kind of struggles when it comes to refusing ice cream, and when you have something as cute as the Lil Sundae for as little as $4.50 you really need to ask yourself if it really is that weird to have ice cream at 10 in the morning.

It isn’t. Ice cream is glorious at all times of the day.

For the price, I thought this was fantastic, strawberry ice cream, crushed nuts, drizzled in choco syrup with a helping of whipped cream on top. I’m going to assume you’ve all had ice cream before, and this, this is pretty similar to those experiences I’d imagine.

 

 

And here we are, saving the best til last!

“But Ouk” you all exclaim, “It’s a drink! How could a drink be the best thing?!” Well. It was.

This is the Boozy Shake: Sunny Daze ($8.50). It’s a strawberry ice cream shake with Malibu rum. Wow. Reading back over the simplicity of the ingredients I don’t really know how this is possible, but this milkshake was absolutely incredible. The slight coconut tang, the overwhelming strawberry deliciousness, and of course, the booziness. I’m not a huge alcohol guy really, especially not at 10am, so really, the booziness isn’t a huge plus point for me, but somehow this all connected into something amazing, something that would surely turn me into an alcoholic if I somehow had $8.50 to blow on a drink every single day.

The Templeton

Address: 1087 Granville Street, Vancouver

The Templeton Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Meat & Bread, Gastown

 

There’s one thing that, no matter how much fancy stuff goes down my gullet I will always have time for, and that’s an amazing sandwich. Ever since I experienced my first Subway whilst working at Woolies supermarket as a teen, I’ve been in love with sandwiches. You might be wondering a few things:

  1. How did I go that long before experiencing the joys of a sandwich?
    • I didn’t mind sandwiches, but…that first meatball sub really did it for me. The idea that a sandwich could be hot and not just filled with cold cuts! This was something that I experienced purely by chance. Delicious chance.
  2. Subway is terrible! You’re terrible!
    • You either have never had the meatball sub, or have some sort of disdain for microwaved meat covered in sour tomato sauce. I personally don’t know how you all live with yourselves.

In any case! Imagine my excitement when I found out Vancouver is home to Meat & Bread, a premier sandwich house! So as soon as I could, I persuaded the anti-sandwich half of Lily & Ouk out for a bread date.

 

 

And then I failed. So the first time I tried going to Meat & Bread, I double checked their opening hours and confirmed that they close at 4pm. It was 2:30 and I figured, yeah I can make that. So off I go and I get there at around 3:20 only to be presented with a shopfront with all its chairs packed away. So pro-tip: Meat & Bread will close as soon as they run out of bread for the day. I have no idea when that happened on this particular day, but what I DO know is that it happened before 3:20/

So…no sandwich that day. I am persistent though, and on the second try was greeted with a shop that was open! The decor is cool, shooting for a classic deli approach with a modern twist. Imagine a giant board on the wall with menu items, except it’s not dirty.

 

 

So the first sandwich we got was the Buffalo chicken ($9.50) sandwich. This sandwich was a bit ehh to be honest. Firstly, I was expecting deep fried chicken, so there was that miscommunication but other than that, it just…didn’t wow me. The chicken seems to be a shredded breast meat that is coated in a mild buffalo wing like sauce with a bit of spice to it. It’s a nice sauce, but it covers absolutely everything and I couldn’t tell the difference between the ranch, the slaw or the chicken.

Out of all the bird meats in the world, I’d say that chicken breast is my least favourite. It’s excessively dry and doesn’t have that fatty flavour that its leggy counterparts have in abundance. The inclusion of breast meat here is something my waist is probably thankful for, but my mouth wasn’t thrilled about. I wished that there was thigh meat, or as mentioned before, deep fried chicken.

Upon reading that, it’s hard to hide how fat I sound, but hey! Flavour is flavour.

In positive news, the bread is fantastic! Crusty, dense, just a great sandwich bread – freshly cooked too, I believe.

 

 

The second sandwich we ordered was the Meatball ($9.50). You might have noticed that I have a weakness for meatball subs and this was no different, this was a dam fine meatball sub. Everything about this sub showed why Meat & Bread are considered top tier sandwich makers. The meatballs themselves were springy and moist, the marinara sauce was just a tad sour to balance the meat, and the cheese added that creaminess to tie it all together.

One thing in particular to point out was the inclusion of kale. Lily and I are not big kale fans. In fact, I’d probably describe us almost as kale haters. It’s just sharp lettuce! You can imagine how upset we are with the current kale craze, where it is found on literally everything. Somehow though, the kale in this sandwich didn’t seem to affect the taste at all!

 

My biggest regret here was not ordering one of the porchetta sandwiches – Meat & Bread’s classic. Once we had ordered our sandwiches and sat down, we saw someone else grab one of the porcehttas. The crew pull this big hunka pork love and it was all hot and fresh and man, did it look good.

Next time though.

Next time.

 

Meat & Bread

Address: 370 Cambie Street, Vancouver

Meat & Bread also have a store at 1033 Pender Street, Vancouver. Their menus are slightly different, so check out their website before heading out! Also, I think Cambie opens later.

Meat & Bread Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Lee’s Donuts, Granville Island

 

So Lily and I had recently moved to Vancouver and were looking for some fun stuff to do. We love markets and found out that Granville Island host a permeant market that is on every day, so we schlepped out onto the tiny ferry (it was awesome) and made our way to the market!

What we found was honestly one of the cooler markets that we have ever been to. It felt like the entire island was dedicated to this market and inside there was a fantastic selection of every hipster market item you could ever dream of! In any case, we were feeling a bit peckish and saw the very unassuming Lee’s Donuts over in the corner and being in a position where we sorely missed Krispy Kreme (the best donuts ever in our opinion) we decided to give it a try.

 

 

Lee’s are famed for their honey dipped donuts ($1.90 each, $13.75 for a dozen), which we honestly weren’t very excited about. We weren’t looking for a matcha infused raspberry topped maple kale donut or anything, but honey just seemed so pedestrian.

Oh how terribly wrong we were.

Honey dipped donuts are amazing! The one thing that I rate a donut on is how fluffy it is inside and these are lighter and airier than any donut I’ve ever had. In contrast, the crust is lovingly crispy and when biting into it, there’s a slight crunch, with bits of hardened honey dropping off.

The best thing about these is that they aren’t too rich, the honey flavour is sweet, but not sweet enough where I can’t eat 6 of them at once. In hindsight, maybe that’s a negative point.

 

 

You can see how excited I was about these things! I didn’t expect these donuts to be as good as they were and I definitely didn’t expect to have a new favourite donut ever. Look at me! That’s the face of a guy who’s had probably a bit too many donuts, excited about eating yet another donut! This could be you! Imagine the possibilities!

Lee’s Donuts

Address: 1689 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9

Lee's Donuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato