This is not your regular pancake house. Every day they bring a bit of the Dutch culture onto hundreds of breakfast plates. And if you forget, the windmill in their logo reminds you of that fact and their origins. I don’t think I have been to any places that serve Dutch cuisine, other than “De Dutch”.
I have never visited a location with a party less than 10. This is one of those restaurants that you can walk right into without a reservation and be able to find seats within 30 minutes. No gratuity fees and no large party hassles, one of the charms of early morning chain specializing in breakfast and lunch. Something they do so well that for four years now this has become a friend’s birthday tradition. So I save my “De Dutch” cravings for that once a year outing. And it was during this last visit that he finally signed up for their “De Club” rewards program. A loyalty card that rewards you every time you dine with them. After you get pass the application form you pay a one time membership fee of $5 and get in return your own membership card and a $10 certificate for your next visit. So pretty much you have already earned $5 for nothing. You collect a point for every dollar spent. And after $125 you get $10 back. Here is a tip, chances are if you go with a group you will be the only one with said card and can collect points on their meal. At this rate you will get that $10 back in no time.
Yellow walls, black and white checkered trim, blue vinyl table cloths, wooden chairs with red cushions, and fake flowers for every table. Nothing about their decor screamed upscale dining. It was practical and only an after thought when faced with a “pannekoeken”.
“Pannekoeken” is their trademark breakfast item, a Dutch creation that is thin and wide in circumference. It is a cross between a light and airy crepe, with the flatten profile and buttery taste of a pancake. Here it is used as a side to a variety of possible savoury and sweet options. With rotating seasonal specials, they will have you returning to try the new they have come up with. But for those who don’t like the unfamiliar taste and texture of the “pannekoeken” they do regular breakfasts with eggs, bacon, potatoes, and toast too. And for those not wanting breakfast all day, look to lunch instead. Choose from wraps, sandwiches, burgers, soups and salads. With such an extensive menu they may not do it all the best, but you can be sure to find something you like or are willing to try.
As a side note, I found it a cute novelty to have their own table top sugar and sweeteners packaged and renamed with “De” before their description.
Nothing says breakfast fun like milkshakes topped with freshly aresoled whipped cream. In raspberry, chocolate, strawberry, and two blueberry milk shakes. They are just missing sprinkles for that special pop. But the extra portion that comes in the same tin cup that the ice cream, milk, and fruit were mixed up in; more than compensates for that.
“Boer’s (Farmer’s) Breakfast”. Hash browns, ham, Debakon, Bratwurst, eggs, and a helping of hollandaise sauce. Your usual breakfast platter, but subtract the toast and add in a “pannekoeken”. And imagine a more meater and chewer bacon and you have “Debakon”. This plate was much sloppier than I has anticipated. Hardly two sunny side egg as I had requested. And the potatoes were not as bountiful as I have had in the past. A few were even charred along with the half sausage, luckily I like my food slightly singed. I am always disappointed when I forget then realize “Debakon” is not regular bacon, the fried kind, but the slices that look and taste more like ham. The hollandaise sauce was what save the dish. A cool creamy mix that complimented each flavour profile and gave an other wise bland dish some personality.
The “Farmer’s Breakfast” is my usual pick when I visit “De Dutch”. And here is how it has looked in the past. I guess presentation is not set and varies by chef. Went all out during this visit and exchanged the possible bowl of fruit for toast.
Their “Dutch Benedicts” are served on Dutch rusks with basted eggs, hollandaise sauce, hash browns, and garnished with fruit or a garden salad. Everything looks the same and is good under a thick coating of well made hollandaise sauce.“Shrimp Bene”, shrimp sautéed in lemon butter. With a side of breakfast potatoes, and the chosen fruit salad. The shrimp was hardly fresh, but the Benny could have afforded more, to have some of its flavour shine through.
“Cheese Bene” with Edam cheese, a vegetarian Benny made more veggie friendly with a side garden salad. It felt like it was missing something.
“The Hash” is stuffed with hash browns, mushroom, green pepper, onion and cheddar; mixed with your choice of ham, “debakon”, sausage, turkey, bacon, or vegetarian. All this then topped with Hollandaise sauce and served with a side of “pannekoeken”. In this ramekin we have the ham. I feel the presentation is a little off. I don’t like dishes placed over my food, regardless of how dry the food is or how clean the bottom of the plate is. The hash was hearty, a good portion of things you enjoy mixing up together for breakfast. Who can say no to cheese, potatoes, and a buttery sauce?
This is the exact same hash breakfast option as above, but with mushrooms and toast instead of ham and “pannekoeken”. It didn’t look any better. Each of the “Hash-n-Eggs” options come with green pepper, onion, tomato, corn, and hash browns. And is topped with Edam cheese and eggs. You choose your protein, between ham, chicken, sausage, turkey bacon, debakon, mushroom, and smoked wild BC salmon.
“Peach Melba + Whip”, peach and raspberry topping with your “pannekoeken”. It didn’t eat like a meal, but went well as a dessert. I was impressed over how generous they were with the whipped cream.
“Strawberry + Whip”. The same idea as above but strawberry as the sweet fruit component instead of peach.
Having troubles sharing your “pannekoeken”? Then may I suggest rolling the sheet up then easily cutting it in half before coating in your desired sauces.
“Dutch toast”. French toast with cinnamon, icing sugar, and hot cinnamony apples. Its strong cinnamon and apple flavour reminded me of apple pie, especially seeing it cubed up in a dish like this. This is one of those dishes great when hot and best with first bite. Because after getting through a quarter you ache with the need for something salty, and decide to box the rest to go and beg your companion for a bite of their meaty dish instead. This is more a dessert after you have had some bacon and eggs.
“Pear Maple” French toast served with sliced pear and a tiny pitcher of genuine maple syrup. A more gentle flavour compared to the French toast above. Though unfortunately I did not get much of the pear flavour from any of the thinly sliced pieces, that were gently placed over each toasted segment of bread. I would have preferred the pear as a sweetened purée to spread over the toast with as little or as much as I so pleased.
Their lunch options had “Flying Dutchman Burgers”. Each came with a third pound of beef and their special “De Dutch” house made relish. Burgers usually come with kettle chips and dip, salad, or soup. My guest specially requested a side of thick cut fries, with no additional charge. The fries were GFS style, frozen then flash fried when needed. Each burger was given an adjective and name. “Gentle John”, “Meek Myrtle”, or “Humble Helen”. This was “Plain Jane” with Edam cheese and dill pickle slices. We should have been warned off by name alone. This tasted as plain as its name suggested; and was as boring as it looked. A decent patty was not enough to carry this burger.
“Clubhouse Wrap”, served with a special request of hash brown; instead of the proposed kettle chip, salad, or soup. In the wrap was chicken breast, Debakon, lettuce, and tomato. The tomato flavoured wrap roll was a nice touch of taste and colour. But other than that, this was a simple dish that I can and do make myself on the regular at home.
Rest assured, if you take your “De Dutch” to go the integrity of your “pannekoeken” is kept with the use of a pizza box and checkered wax paper to keep it all in place. A great idea, as half the fun of this Dutch pancake is seeing it then eating it in is 12 inch glory.
Would I come back? – Yes. I expect an invitation for my friend’s next birthday celebration.
Would I recommend it? – Yes. This isn’t your upscale breakfast place. Here the food is meant to be simple, fast, and filling. And they do just that, very well with plenty of options. The staff were able to comply with slight variations and special requests, for sides available but not mentioned with the original menu main. I have never felt hungry or disappointed after a visit, and that is all I can ask for at the decent price that I pay. Don’t deny your cravings.