Park Royal has undergone so much construction in the last year. I hardly recognized it with its new areas: north, south, the village. It has transformed the area to Vancouver’s newest shopping Mecca, with exclusive stores like “Free People” and “Kate Spade”, and a number of new boutiques and restaurants. Today we visited the recently relocated “White Spot”. The sun was out and we were here for brunch. Passing by the gated patio we settled comfortably into a booth indoors.
The hostess left as we entered. She dismissed herself with a plea for us to wait. Minutes elapsed and staff members passed without notice. Eventually a server stopped to inquire about our status. With a grumble over the hostess’ absence and her need to seat us she lead us to her section. Of course.
The decor is pretty generic. Floral patterned booths, wooden tables, tiled floors, large windows allowing light to filter in, and flat screen televisions built into the spacious bar. What you would expect from a restaurant that focuses on country style home cooking and early bird specials.
We were in time for a late brunch so ordered off the breakfast menu, but with milkshakes. Chocolate and vanilla milkshakes, shaken and served with a refills in a metal cup.
“The Spot’s Omelette”. Crispy bacon, back bacon, sautéed mushrooms, bell peppers, green onions, and tomatoes with cheddar, mozzarella and jack cheese. Served with mashed hash and multigrain toast. The omelette was lack lustre. The vegetables folded in were overcooked and soggy, more ham was in need to add flavour that was missing. Sadly my guest deemed the toast to be the best part and he only ate one piece. He choose the smashed potatoes as his potato side. They were as expected, boiled nugget potatoes, smooshed with a fork and then deep fried.
“Chorizo and goat cheese omelette”. Chorizo sausage, sautéed zucchini, bell peppers, arugula, BC goat cheese, and their special blend of cheeses. Other than being topped with Arrabbiata sauce, it looked similar to the omelette above on the outside. My guest deemed this passable, it too lacking in flavour. With a one note texture she found it boring to eat. And when she specifically asked for peanut butter with her toast, it was forgotten. This despite her emphasis for it over jam and checking with our party for any peanut allergies. Still still got a package of strawberry jam.
“Steelhead Benedict Benny”. Two poached eggs and cured BC steelhead on an English muffin with hollandaise and fresh dill. Served with a side of black bean salsa. I don’t know why but I expected the salmon smoked, like that which I have only ever had. Instead it was cooked well and served crumbly, an unappealing puff of pink. With a soften texture similar to that of the soft poached egg and the thick hollandaise sauce, I too found this boring to eat. The zesty salsa was helpful in renewing interest, layer in a new exciting flavour at my discretion. Though I didn’t necessarily find it complimentary to the hollandaise and salmon. As my side I chose the cubes of potato hash over the potato mashed. They were good, but nothing special, and ketchup helped.
The original order of “buttermilk pancakes” comes four pancakes piled high and served with blueberry or fresh strawberry topping with whipped cream. My guest opted for a half order, two pieces and no fruit. She deemed it normal as she generously coated each portion she cut off with grocery store maple syrup.
Would I come back? – No.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this for someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I always expect more from a chain restaurant. This from the belief that such an organization is regulated and therefore should be consistent on delivery and higher in their standards. Instead I find such places sloppy, they ride on their names and their established brands, and slack off when and where they can. The hiring process is less critical, staff are not as caring, and food not as good. This was disappointing and is further ammunition in my belief to stay away from chains. I would recommend this as a quick and average stop, for food you settle on and service that gives you space. Not my first choice, but hardly my last. Don’t deny your cravings.