On the days I have to start work at 5am I don’t get a chance to pack breakfast. So am always relying on places like”Tim Horton’s”, for their 24 hour hours. But they grow redundant fast. First thing in the morning I don’t want to have to deal with someone else’s grumpy, I-just-woke-up attitude. That is why I am so thankful that the Vancouver School Board recently opened up their cafeteria to the public. For them it is a great way to use existing resources to produce some extra income.
I came promptly when they opened at 7:30am, but the main doors were not unlocked until 7:47am; when a staff members unlocks it, along with the rest of the building. Peering in at other bodies inside, I figured there must be another way in and walked through the main school’s doors.
The cafeteria is exactly like any other lunch you remember having in community colleague or high school. Humming stainless steal equipment. Dull flurence lights. A sea of maroon and wooded tables with burgundy chairs. The service counter has buffet style trays and hot plates. But as this was morning only half of them were filled with muffins, biscuits and scones.
I ordered their breakfast special. A plate of bacon, eggs, and hash browns with toast. Adding ketchup and piling them up this became a breakfast sandwich. The special is your most expensive option, but at $7.50 with your choice of tea or coffee, I say this beats a doughnut any day.
Thinking it wouldn’t be enough I also got their vegetable omelette. I was disappointed that it was just tomato, and cheddar cheese in your egg. I would call this a tomato omelet to not confuse your diner. This also came with two slices of toast.
The food was nothing special, but it being available at 7:30am when nothing else is, made all the difference. “Central Cafe” gives you a taste of home cooking, that you didn’t get a chance to create for yourself in the morning.
Both dishes took time as a lone older woman was the only one working at this time. She was friendly and great at making early AM small talk. She was the one making my dishes from scratch. Home cooking in an industrial setting.
They also have a list of daily lunch specials updated weekly. Every Friday they come up with the one for the following week. Each day a different soup, salad, sandwich, and entree to choose from. I was half tempted to come back for lunch, but if their lunch flavours are as everyday mundane as their breakfast, I wasn’t interested.
This week’s list had some pretty delicious sounding home cooked classics though. Comfort foods like garlic butter shrimp on rice with steam vegetables and French onion soup. Exotic flavours like Thai chicken curry and chipotle chicken taco salad. And all American artery cloggers like cheese burger and fries or an old fashion potato salad with plenty of mayo. The menu did its best to accommodate a wide variety of tastes and preference. And it is able to keep it fresh for the VSB staff, that enjoy their meals here daily.
Would I come back? – Yes. But you don’t come here for the cuisine. You are here for the convenience. There is nothing great or different about the food. It is cafeteria food. You think microwave cooking and mass production with little training.
Would I recommend it? – No. No one ever eats at a cafeteria by choice. Either you are in school, a detention centre, or a hospital. So cafeterias get a bad rap. But the warm lone food service worker was here making things a bit more pleasant. Still nothing within these walls were really worth talking about. Saying its cafeteria food should paint a clear enough picture of the quality and taste of what is coming out of the kitchen. And they inconveniently only accept cash.