Not having time in the morning, and wanting a home cooked meal I came to “9th Avenue Grill”. Where, as the slogan on their menu suggests, “the community comes together”.
This was bistro that looked as homey as they get. Worn in, well used, as thoroughly loved. Overall it left like the kitchen of a suburban soccer mom. There were several very kitschy pieces that appeared to have made it on to the walls, solely because it held a deep sentimental value. Keeps sakes from trips. And photos of animals with construction paper frames. The lights were yellow and green balls that hung from suspended claw-like fixtures. An old school television the width of refrigerator, rested at a slant on top of the drinks cooler. Several oils canvas paintings hung on the eggshell coloured walls. I assumed they were the work of local artists. And a black board highlighting today’s specials was strung up with Christmas tree lights and cut outs of flowers. Here, surround by all this mish mash, I oddly felt as comfortable as I would in my own mother’s kitchen.
Their all day breakfasts are a major lure in; but they also do a decent lunch, with an equally substantial selection. Majority of menu items are on the $10-15 range. With options for add ons to any, at a cost. Breakfast was all the staples; hash, omelets, pancakes, eggs, and oatmeal. Everything came in the original versions, and choices for a different feel. Like the Mediterranean omelet with sun dried tomatoes and feta. And the “Salmon Neptune” a Benny with wild smoke salmon lox and Hollandaise sauce. Lunch was the always common sight of soups and salads, sandwiches, and burgers and fries.
2-2-2. Two eggs in any style with either two pancakes or two slices of cinnamon French toast. Your choice of bacon, country sausage or honey smoked ham. A pretty standard platter with salty meats, runny eggs, crispy toast, and sweet jams.
Grilled veggie panini. This was said to be the most popular one, by my server. In it was grilled egg plant and zucchini, artichoke hearts, sautéed spinach, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, mayo, and harvarti cheese. For an all veggie offering I was surprised that this was as flavorful as it was. Definitely worth the wait to get this, this flat and this crunchy. The vegetables were grilled to perfection with that familiar smokey char. And the bread that sandwiched them was savory with a harmonious blend of herbs. The home fries were crispy at the corners, and chewy and warm in the middle. An absolutely fulfilling dish all the way around.
The cooking was done out of a small kitchen. You could hear the constant noise that came from it. Running water, clanging pans, and frying grease sizzling. The breakfasts came out faster than the sandwiches. I saw a man receive his platter after moments of entering, as I waited a handful more for mine to arrive.
The lone server was constantly up and about. She saw to the 12 guests spread over 5 tables. Making chit chat and checking on everyone’s needs. As soon as you looked up she was ready to speed to you, to serve And as soon as a table cleared she was on it immediately. Clearing cups and plates, wiping down table tops, and re-setting places for the next guests. She was as friendly and as inviting as the restaurant. Here you were made to fell comfortable enough to be content to sit and eat in lone silence.
Would I come back? – No. Not often will you find me dining at a restaurant that serves such home spun dishes. Not that there is anything wrong with the cooking. I just feel my consumer dollars can be better spent on that which I cannot make myself or that which is too complicated to make myself. Mind you I don’t own a panini press, so I would consider revising just for that, as it was delicious.
Would I recommend it? – Afraid not. There are so many other breakfast all day places. “9th Avenue Grill” brought nothing new to the table. However if they invested more in the “your mother’s kitchen” angle, in turns of decor; I could see a greater pull for a return visit and a recommendation. But then again you don’t come for the decor. You come to enjoy and support the hard work of your neighboring stores. Don’t deny your cravings.
9th Avenue Grill
1822 West Broadway, Vancouver BC, V6J 1Y9