Deacon’s Corner, Vancouver

Restaurants are all reporting slowdowns. Reservations are down as people attempt to save money and entertain at home, average bills have diminished and even regulars become less regular. One wonders why on earth you would open yet another restaurant in times like these; even in the best of times, restaurants rarely succeed. However, the newest addition to the Downtown Eastside may just have the right formula for making it through the economic downturn. Deacon’s Corner is relying on the hope that diners will turn, not to the bar to drown their sorrws, but to reasonably priced comfort-food. And this diner serves such delightful dishes with a price tag that’s just right.

Deacon’s corner is named after a diner in Winnipeg that host and owner Tyson Reimer’s grandfather once owned (the owners also have nearby Cobre on Powell). The menu is straight classic diner, as is the minimalist décor. Patchen Gallagher, the chef, is referred to merely as “chief cook,” but he turns out food that is well beyond the quality of any regular diner cook that I’ve sampled.

The bright room has 65 seats including the mandatory diner swivel seats at the counter. The old-school logo is presented on the windows and everything about the diner screams “back in the day.” It’s open from Monday to Friday from 7 am to 3 pm, but I’m sure they’ll be pressured into opening for longer hours. I wanted more of everything after only the first bite.

Shuffle in for an early morning big breakfast. The hungry man steak and eggs comes with a 5-ounce steak and three eggs, hashbrowns and toast. The pancake stack and eggs is stacked five pancakes high and includes a choice of sausage, bacon or ham. You couldn’t possibly leave hungry. For those who may not be heading out to the construction site and require somewhat less sustenance, I’d suggest a scramble or omelette, or perhaps just some oatmeal. The coffee is always fresh and even in the early morning the servers are doing much more than just throwing the plate your way.

Despite the foul weather, the lunch service has been brisk in the first days of opening. The pulled pork sandwich is a huge portion of the moistest pork I’ve ever had. It’s stuffed with homemade coleslaw and comes with house made fries that were difficult not to finish, despite the fact my pants had begun tightening around my waist. The Reuben was too much for my friend to finish (of course she packed it home), and the chicken fried steak was a classic that my other companion barely looked up from once he started eating.

This is the kind of food that beckons you from home. This chief cook makes everything from scratch, including the biscuits, and his chilli, mac and cheese, and house made hot dog are next on my list to tackle, perhaps even as soon as tomorrow.

Deacon’s Corner is certainly a refreshing change from the overpriced and under-portioned food that many a newcomer have been serving. It’s a meal we can all afford and one that is packed with flavour Every bite brings back memories of the good ol’ days. And, in these rather bleak times, reflecting back on those days is essential for survival. So head in for a blast from the past and you’ll be certain to leave knowing you’ll see more of this diner in your future.

Address: 101 Main Street
Contact: 604 684 1555
Cuisine: Diner Fare
Area: Downtown
Venue: Diner
Hours: Mon. – Fri.: 7:00am – 3:00pm
Price Range: $ (budget)
Payment: Visa, MasterCard, Amex

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