Renos: Greasy Spoon Breakfast right out of a page in the Diamond Grill
151 East Broadway, Vancouver
Sometimes nothing quite hits the spot like a good ol’ greasy spoon breakfast. Design Girl and I visited Reno’s just for that. Downstairs from the famous Lee Building, Reno’s is a Chinese Canadian establishment serving all-day breakfast as well as lunch and dinner with some homey Chinese dishes thrown into the mix. The set-up is cafeteria style, diners grab plastic trays and shove them along metal rails, place an order and pay and the food is fried up upon order.
I kind of felt right at home at Reno’s, hearing the sizzle of bacon, smell of fresh brewed coffee and murmur of Cantonese spoken between the line cooks and cashier. Actually, the whole environment and fusion menu made me think of Fred Wah’s Diamond Grill, my favourite book as a student. Diamond Grill captures Fred Wah’s childhood, growing up in his parents’ Chinese Canadian cafe in Nelson, BC.
Design Girl added a side of hamburger steak to her breakfast special alongside the potatoes, sausage and eggs and it totally made me think of the ‘mixed grill’ dish in Diamond Grill, described in the book as a motley crew of fried meats.
My ultimate breakfast craving is always pancakes so naturally, I ordered the pancake breakfast that also comes with other greasy spoon breakfast staples, eggs, bacon and sausage. I ordered my eggs scrambled and they came out nice and fluffy. Not as fluffy as the eggs at The Red Wagon but good enough.
The pancakes were fluffy as well. I’m happy to report that they were the right thickness. I can’t stand paper thin pancakes! The ones at Reno’s are thick enough to soak up butter and syrup and not get overly soggy. They tasted great, slightly sweet with a very small hint of butter. They definitely satisfied my pancake craving!
Now onto the mystery meats. I have no idea what was in the hamburger steak but it was delicious! Nice and greasy, moist and fatty. I realize I wasn’t doing my arteries any favours but something in the hamburger steak just made it so addictive.
The bacon was actually too crispy for my liking. I know everyone loves crispy bacon but I actually like bacon with crispy edges and ends and a slightly limp middle, if that makes any sense. Nonetheless, Reno’s bacon was salty to the max and was equally as addictive as the mystery meat hamburger steak.
The breakfast sausages were the best! I already love breakfast sausages in general but the ones at Reno’s were especially nice and plump, and salty, moist and tender in the middle. Again, I have no idea what parts of the pig have been ground and filled into these little sausages but boy, were they tasty!
You can imagine that after this immense sodium intake, I spent the rest of the day guzzling gallons of water but it was worth it! I love greasy spoon breakfasts! The best part was that this whole breakfast including a cup of coffee was under $10. What a deal!