Working late nights may mean grabbing dinner at 1:30am, though at this time of dawn your options are severely limited. Majority of establishments still open involve fried foods under heat lamps at connivence stores , and greasy Chinese meals in small and dingy hole in the walls. After googling 24 hour places in my proximity, I was sold on “Lucy’s”, as it was the only one that did not involve noodles in soup.
This is what you imagine when you think retro diner, it was like we walked back into the 70’s. Walls painted in a faded teal or pink. Black and white checkered floors tiles. Table tops and bar surfaces in vinyl with ribbed metal edges. Each seat was equipped with a napkin dispenser and a glass bottle of Heinz ketchup, which with its peeling label had clearly seen multiple refills. There was no music, the background was the buzzing of well lit bulbs and the humming of machinery kept behind the swinging kitchen doors. The most memorable decor piece was their collection of vintage fans behind the bar. It paired well with all their large black and white photos from other diner’s of the past.
We took a seat in the back to avoid the argument at the front bar between the lone server and, by the sounds of things, a regular customer. Apparently he failed to pay her on his last visit and now was pestering her to sell alcohol past the 12am cut off. He, like 80% of the patrons were drunk, and made this their stumbling ground to sober up in. This, after being ejected from all the near by bars and restaurants. It must be hard to work a job that has you dealing with drunken guests on a regular bases. We figured that this is where all the drunk hipsters of Main Street gather. I was impressed and terrified over the way the server held her ground. She snapped back with a furious authoritative tone. In any other situation you would find her behaviour unacceptable, as this is the service industry. In this case it was necessary, how can you have a reasonable conversation with a belligerent drunk man? I felt bad hearing her repeat herself, but like everyone else, I awkwardly minded my own business. When it came time to take our order, serve, and check in she wasn’t exactly friendly, though it was a lot more pleasant that what I had heard from her earlier. Not that I was going to complain or voice opinion.
The menu was an eye catching, cutesy teal and pink, a similar colour to the walls. This laminated page was filled with simple comfort foods, a listing sure to please any pinky eater. Hot dogs, poutine, sandwiches, burgers, soups and salads, and every platter imaginable from breakfast to dinner. I salivated reading meatloaf, fried chicken, and grilled cheese. This is the type of food I turn to after long day. The type of food that is simple to make and usually tastes good in any variation. The type of food that warrants them designating themselves, “Vancouver’s best hangover eats”. I concur.
“Everyday all day burger combo”. A single burger or any foot long hot dog, with fries and either a milkshake or a can of Vancouver island’s original lucky lager. Seeing as it was after 12pm we selected the milkshake. And sadly were unable to have it spiked for the same reason.
The orange creamsicle was thick, the kind of shake you really have to pucker up and suck hard through a straw. You could definitely make out the vanilla ice cream in the mix.
There was some slight confusion over the burger. For condiments my guest asked for just ketchup and mayo. The server took it to mean no anything else, no lettuce, no tomato; and as a result no flavour. She walked away fast and didn’t clarify what we wanted; and we were too intimated to say anything after the fact. It tasted like a frozen patty and looked like it with its perfect circular shape. Every bite into the bun resulted in the dripping grease.
“Mac N’ Cheese & Pulled Pork Hoagie”. A toasted hoagie filled with hot pulled pork, and top generously with mac n’ cheese. Your sides are a choice between fries or soup. I chose the roasted tomato over the cauliflower purée. There is nothing more homey then a bowl of tomato soup with some cheese on bread. In this case cheese flavoured macaroni over a hot dog bun. Combining two things I like into one, all in a hand held bun is a winning combination. I was genuinely surprised how good this was. The pulled pork was tender and coated lusciously in a rich sweet barbecue sauce. This paired nicely with the saltiness of the cheesy sauce. It was packed full of flavour and enjoyable to eat.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
This is the perfect spot after a late night of drinking and dancing. They covered everything from cocktails to hot dogs. From daily drink specials to hearty breakfast platters, with breakfast available all day and all night. These were great meals, so simple that you can technically prepare yourself, but here don’t have to and can just sit and enjoy, with no clean up afterward. I enjoyed my time eating these comfort foods and being surrounded in its theme. Though the service and the crowd I could have done without though. Don’t deny your cravings.