Breakfast of Champions in Vancouver

So, a couple years back, I took a Flavourtown Roadtrip to Vancouver for the 102nd Grey Cup. Now, Vancouver’s supposed to be, like, 15 degrees in December, right? Well, I just happened to be there on the coldest day of the year. So I’m stumbling down Davie St. at 2 am in cargo shorts, flip flops and a cowboy hat, and it’s -8 outside. But that’s when I found breakfast salvation in the World Famous Elbow Room Café, where food and service is their name, but abuse is their game. I had to come back a few hours later when they were actually open, though.

Man, this place has everything; big-ass pancakes, 19 different kinds of omelets, a flamboyantly gay waiter who curses you out in French…and no, I’m not even making that up. Of course, I ordered the Mr. Alberta, which was probably named after me, even though they hadn’t even met me yet:


OK, let’s break it down. What you’ve got here is a 5oz top sirloin steak, cooked medium rare and topped with blackened tomaters, camouflaged scrambled eggs hiding behind a big bowl of hash brownies, and four fricken slices of jalapeno toast. Cuz why have white bread when you can get jalapeno toast? Shut both the front and back doors, dude! The only thing that could make this delish dish any better is if they added some beans ‘n cornbread, or nacho chips with gravy!

Patrick, the waiter, was in fine form on this early morn. Seeing my vintage, game-worn “Stormin’” Normie Kwong jersey, he incorrectly stated that no team from Ontario would ever lose to Calgary. (Of course, he was wrong, since that team happened to be from Hamilton.) He then remarked that he used to wear the exact same cowboy hat when he played Patsy Cline in a drag show. So, clearly the man has excellent taste in haberdashery. He instructed me how to pay en français, to which I responded with a hearty “Merci, monsieur.” Seizing the moment, I added “Tsé, yen a des cowboys qui parlent français icitte. Vive l’Alberta libre!”

Y’see, I may have been raised by gypsy wolves on the south side of the Saskatchewan River, but those wolves were fluent in both official languages. And the next time Calgary comes to Vancouver to win a national championship, I know where I’ll be eating on game day. Stampeders 20, Tiger-Cats 16—just win, baby!



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