It is the day before Halloween and I feel like someone is playing dirty trick on me. In my ongoing search for Vancouver’s best breakfast, I visited the De Dutch Pannekoek House at 1725 Robson Street. I thought the typical Halloween decorations were charming, but that is about all this cafe had to offer. The interior was small, with only a dozen or so tables draped in cheap looking plastic covers. However the two seat window bar seemed like a great place to sit, eat and watch the morning passerby's onRobson Street.
Eventually a glum, very unhappy looking waitress wandered over to my table. I explained my breakfast routine – a coffee or two while I caught up with the morning news, and then breakfast. Three or four minutes later she returned, bringing some attitude along with a cup of lifeless, weak half-brewed tasting coffee. “HERE,” she said, plopping down the cup and walking away. Five minutes after emptying my cup, the same girl brought a second cup of the same boring coffee.
On a positive note, the lighting was good, allowing even my old eyes to easily read my paper from almost any location. The washrooms were also neat and clean. However the food prices were outrageously expensive and the cook showed little skill in preparation or presentation.
To keep an even playing field from week to week, I planned to order the same breakfast each time. But the De Dutch offered no poached eggs, even though they did feature Eggs Benedict on the menu, which is basically made using poached eggs topped with Hollandaise sauce. I ordered eggs over easy rather than pointing out this discrepancy. Despite the high prices, the sausage was cut very thin, about an 1/8 of an inch thick, and you got six little pieces. in total you ended up with less than an inch of sausage. The rye toast was also cut thin, and was hard with almost no butter. There was an accompanying green salad on my breakfast plate, what's up with that? The garlic tasting dressing did not mix well with the eggs and sausage. The potatoes reminded me of the ones my mother would make me when I was a child – little cubes that you poured from a plastic bag and heated in the oven. Good when Mom made them but not here.
While I wasn’t happy with my overpriced fare, the rest of the menu offered no better choices. A basic omelette would set you back $11, and a Farmer’s omelette was $17. Farmers I know would be smart enough to find a place that offers omelets for a lot less. Eggs Benedict ranged in price from $9.50 to $14.50 for the Seafood version.
As I listened to the chit-chat of the other customers, it was obvious that they came from the nearby hotels. There were no regulars here. (I wonder why?)
My bill for sausage, eggs, potatoes and toast came to $12.44 including taxes and coffee. Crazy! With a begrudged 15% tip my bill came to $14.30.... OUTRAGEOUS! Think about it folks my breakfast budget is $10.00 including everything and tip.
I will not be returning to the De Dutch. The service and the coffee were bad, the food was disappointing and over-priced and the atmosphere - non-existent.
Let's rate the De Dutch Pannekoek House on Robson!
Over all Score = 3.3 out of 10... I recommend you stay far, far away from the De Dutch on Robson Street.
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