Sometimes you don’t want mimosas and oeufs cocottes for breakfast. You just want hearty food, full flavours and lots and lots of coffee. If that’s the case, you want to go to the Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe. Started by the DeDutch people it is the same idea but more casual, more interesting and frankly just better.
Their specialty is still pannekoeken,large pancakes with sweet or savoury filler or toppings and at the Wooden Shoe they have 34 kinds of specialty pannekoeks ranging from Indonesian-inspired Nasi Goreng to traditional Dutch Boeren (farmer’s) or chocolate and fruit, plus any variety of DIY.
My favorites seem to be the savoury ones. Curry has been repeated many times, as well as speck and anything with Hollandaise.
It’s a homey place. Coffee comes in endless rounds, served in familiar Far Side and Christmas mugs. The walls are decorated with all kinds of ephemera collected over the years – wooden shoes, beer mugs, reminders that diners over 80 get free pannekoeks on Saturdays and many photos of happy customers. It’s a good way to start the day.
Wooden Shoe Cafe
3292 Cambie Street Vancouver
Around Vancouver in 52 Restaurants > Americas > El Salvador
Skipping down the coast to El Salvador, I swap tacos for pupusas. Like a pocket full of love, it’s a tortilla (of sorts) stuffed with refried beans, cheese, chicharrón (pork), or a mixed bag of ingredients, then fried. In Vancouver the place to get them is at El Rinconcito Salvadoreno on Commercial Drive. After 4 PM, they start making them en masse and you just tell them how many you want. That’s all there is to it. They come stacked like pancakes and served with a vinegary coleslaw and hot sauce. If you’re smart you order a cerveza to wash it down too. For years my standby has been two bean and cheese and two pork pupusas (and a beer, of course) but there’s a full menu of Mexican-style dishes. The fish tacos are good and the carne asada is nothing to shake a stick at either.
Travelling through Central America, you’re not going to find a lot of gourmet dishes. What appears so often as to become tiresome is beans and rice, rice and beans, beans and cheese, etc… Always something carby and comforting and inexpensive to make and served up simply. Pupusas feel like that kind of fare to me – deliciously uncomplicated.