The Elbow Room Cafe – Breakfast for Ladies Only…

On the corner of Davie and Richards, near the trendy Yaletown area of Downtown Vancouver, there’s a little breakfast joint hidden away amongst a million coffee shops and boutique stores. Stores that range from places that sell mens only skin care products, to places that only wash and blow dry your hair…no cutting. You’ll also find tons of women wearing Lululemon and men that didn’t get the memo about dudes being forbidden from wearing it (Hi Tyler!).

The Elbow Room Cafe is a well worn local eatery that specializes in breakfast all day and is home to clientelle ranging from your typical Yuppies to Movie Stars, and of course everyone in between. Strangely, it’s the product of an insurance adjuster and an ex-teacher. However, no matter who you are, you are not exempt from their unique style of abuse. Everyone is greeted at the door as a couple of ladies, though I’m pretty sure they mean it more when they are talking about Ed Lau, connoisseur of such things as the said mens skin care products in the previous paragraph. Want coffee? Get it yourself. Need service? They’ll be right with you…when they are done talking. If this offends you, Denny’s is on the other side of Burrard. I guess after all those years of abuse in insurance and teaching, this is pay back.

After partially recovering from a coma induced by Cleaning and Jerking for four hours, the previous day, I was in need of sustanance and ordered up the comforts of something called “The New Yorker” which consisted of two large poached eggs served over a mixture of mushrooms, onion, tomato, bacon and pepperoni in a spicy tomato-BBQ sauce. All of this is tossed on top of a couple of toasted croissants, with a nice ladel of hollandaise sauce to finish it off. Not only is it messy and sloppy, but it’s also a great cure for a hangover and wonderfully delicious in the most non-nutritious way.

Kelly had the “Hillary Swank” Omelet aka the “Don’t Make Me Cry”. I have no clue why but if you had to finish it, you’d cry because it’s absolutely enormous. Made of cream cheese, avocado, sauteed spinach and tomato, it destroys anything health beneficial by being absolutely gargantuan. This is followed by a side of generously buttered toast. If you toss in a few chocolate chip pancakes and three fried egg sandwhiches and they could call this the “Michael Phelps Breakfast“. There was enough stuff inside this one omelet to make two regular ones. Stingy on the service but not stingy on the food.

If you don’t finish your dish, not only do you get called a lady again and verbally abused, but you’ll also get charged a couple of extra dollars on your bill that goes directly to feeding the less fortunate that are afflicted with AIDS. Mean to you. Good to the people that need it.

If you’re looking for someone to suck ass for a tip, then turn around and leave. This ain’t no IHOP. But if you’re looking for a place that’s different, that has some great comfort food plus some very charismatic servers, and you don’t mind getting your own coffee, then check out the Elbow Room Cafe next time you’re in the Vancouver area.