Growing up in Vancouver, a fairly large metropolis; small town life always beguiled me. So when I spent a week in the Okanagan and was forced to slow down, it was a bit of a struggle. I learned to reassess things differently, as the country lifestyle is so different. This truly was the example of city mouse visiting county mouse.
Here you don’t have the same emphasis on time, and restaurants don’t have the same emphasis on customer service. So naturally a review of a restaurant in Penticton would look a lot different from one in Vancouver. And it goes something like this…
When living in a small city, your dining out options are severely limited. You have one restaurant and it becomes the go to for several things. As is the case for “Terry’s”. What would be a hole in the wall in Vancouver, is not only the best family restaurant, but the restaurant known for the best breakfast, lunch, and French fries.
Either way our local hosts strongly recommended it. So this is where we, along with half the locals and tourists in Penticton, were going to have breakfast today. The line was out the door and patrons turned away to avoid a lengthy wait. One such guest, who was clearly a tourist complained about the 1 hour long wait. Asking in frustration where should she and her family go instead. She was making a scene and all others around had places for her in mind. The owner was patient and offered to whip out the phone book to suggest her, her favourites. This is something unseen in Vancouver, an act of genuine kindness. Something you often miss out as you get swallowed up by the go go go of a big city.
While loitering were reminded several times that we were next. To only get a table and have to wait some more. During the wait in hunger, our 4 man group concluded this restaurant was a refurbished old McDonald’s. It had trademark tiled floors, tell tale multicoloured table tops, and an uniquely shaped exterior that was classic 80’s McDonald’s.
The restaurant felt cluttered with a lot of knick knacks that were neither here or there. A desk sized gum ball machine by the cash register, local hockey team posters signed and strung up, and an old timey tricycle propped up against the wall. I did like the tricycle, it had an extremely large front wheels. Which as a result, forces the driver to be situated high up.
Each table came with the usual breakfast condiments, with a side of fake flowers in the vase. It got so hot in the summer that mini cool packs were needed to keep the tiny cups of milk that accompanied their free coffee, from spoiling.
On this 35 degree Saturday it seemed like the whole city was in here waiting for food. The restaurant turned over all at once. And even though we got our table we still had to wait for our food. The wait became so long that we were to the point of ravenous by the time our plates landed. Everything was shovelled in without a word. Though I am sure the staff and kitchen were doing all that they could. With limited space, it was three cooks shoulder to shoulder churning out order after order. All their employees were probably working today too, so they were already performing at maximum productivity. And as hungry as we were and as long as we waited, we couldn’t complain.
Bennies were available in both large and regular, with the doubling of poached eggs on English muffin for the large. Each came with a generous heap of potatoes in you choice of hash or Texas.
Maple cinnamon French toast made with the thickest cuts of toast I have seen. As good as this was on first bite, it was one note and you eventually got bored of the taste. There was a need to rejuvenate the dish by adding strawberry jam and peanut butter, out of the available packets.
A classic breakfast with sausages, over easy eggs, potatoes, and toast. Juicy sausage that popped with flavour when you bite down. The potatoes were done half cooked so you got a bit of the raw starchy taste, the way I like them.
The dishes were nothing really special. Home cooked classics done in big portions. Looking around no one else finished their plate.
Would I come back? – No. Driving all the way to Penticton to have a breakfast that is considered average by Vancouver standards seems silly. However I would recommend trying it when you are in the area. There is a reason why “Terry’s” has won these awards in the past year and will keep winning in the years to come. If the locals line up to eat, you know you has a gem here. Don’t deny your cravings.
2156 Main St, Penticton BC