Big M and I decided to celebrate Canada Day by bike riding around the city. Our first stop was to be the celebrations down at Canada Place and then over to Granville Island. All this bike riding would require some sustenance and we decided to take the opportunity to check out the newly reopened Save On Meats Coffee shop.
I will admit that I had never eaten at, or been to, Save On during it's first incantation. I didn't even see the No Reservations Vancouver episode where Anthony Bourdain ate there until after the restaurant closed. I will also admit that I love me a good bandwagon so I was excited to go to the new shop.
I like the old style diner look that they have given the coffee shop. The shop is long and narrow with booth seating on one side and a really long bar with stool seating along the other side. This bar, while attractive, does pose some design/flow issues that I will get to in a moment.
When we came in there was a line up and this sign:
That seems straight forward except there were no numbers, just a white board with name. It was unclear if we were to add our names to the list or wait for a "host" to give our information to. There was a fella who, after being there a while, seemed to be seating people but he was behind the really long bar and did not glance up at all when we came in. Big M took his indifference to mean that we wrote our names on the board ourselves. Turns out this was the right procedure. A hello or explanation of the system would have been appreciated.
This is also where the design flaw comes in. When he noticed there were empty seats, he would have to walk all the way to the end of the restaurant to go around the bar and then back down to the front where we all were waiting and then back around the bar to get back to what he was working on. Along the way he would be asked for service by the people sitting along the bar. That part doesn't seem well thought out.
As it was a holiday we were hoping for a late brunch. Turns out that breakfast service is from 7am to 11am except for an "All Day Breakfast" option.
I have been suffering through a rash of bad hashbrown experiences lately so to save myself some heartache I went with a sandwich.
"Toasted Cucumber Sandwich $5.00. Thin Sliced Cucumbers and Mayo on Toasted White. A proper afternoon Sandwich." All sandwiches come with your choice of coleslaw or fries. Since this was a holiday and I hate coleslaw, I went with fries.
I am nothing if I am not proper, so this was right up my alley. First off, I want to swim in a vat of this bread. Holey camoley it was good. Fresh, fluffy and flavourful. The crust was crisp but not too hard as to cut the top of your mouth. The bread is made in house. I would like to suggest giving the baker a well deserved raise. The cucumbers would have been better if they were dried and seasoned before being put in the sandwich. It ended up being a bit soggy by the end- which is a crime to do to the amazing bread. The fries were the kind that I like, not too thick, crispy and seasoned well. I enjoyed this lunch.
Big M did choose the "All Day Breakfast $4.00. 2 Eggs any Style, Hashbrowns. Add Sausage, Bacon or Ham $2.00." "All breakfasts are served with White, Wheat, Rye Toast or Biscuit". Our waitress said the sausages were house made so Big M went with sausage and biscuit.
The biscuit and the sausage were the definite stars on the plate. Kudos, again, to the baker. The sausages were pork and really flavourful. I liked that they weren't super greasy like breakfast sausages can be. I was right to be weary of the "hashbrowns" as they are indeed deep fried potatoes. Big M said the eggs were cooked perfectly.
We both ordered a coffee which I will say was "Damn good coffee". I am not normally a drip fan but theirs deserved a Twin Peaks quote. Their pie looks good too, but I didn't try it.
I am very intrigued by this menu section and would like to give it a try one night.
From reading their website, I am really excited about the direction that Save on is taking- "Job creation and affordable healthy food were two key goals that the team wanted to achieve. Additional sustainability efforts such as a self-powered organic rooftop green house, in house composting and bike delivery are also some of the exciting features added to the business."
They have also opened the take out lunch counter for an economical lunch on the go.
We both enjoyed our meals. Some parts were big time standouts- the breads and sausages- and the rest was fine. The portion sizes, which others have talked about being inconsistent, were perfect for us.
I have stopped by the butcher shop side as well a couple of times on my way home from work. All the meats I have purchase have been fresh and really well priced. I love, love, love the lamb burgers and the butchers are really nice and helpful.