Matt and I got to talking about the similarity of menus in some of the chain restaurants around Vancouver, namely the Cactus Club, Earl’s, Joey’s and Milestones, which led him to make this post, which had me ROFLMAO.(If you don’t know that acronym, it means I was amused).
Not to be outdone, I think there are other chains around here that have similar menus, but these are the Coffee Houses. With the exception of a few independent coffee houses sprinkled here and there in the city (the Wicked Café being one of my all-time favourites) most of the coffee that is served in Vancouver comes from the chains: Blenz, Seattle’s Best, JJ Bean, the higher-end Caffe Artigiano, and of course, Starbucks. The menu I’m talking about here is not the coffee drinks, but instead the cakes, pastries and other items served along with the coffee. I could include that most Canadian of Institutions, Tim Hortons, but for now I’m going to assume that although they do serve a lot of coffee there, it’s mainly to accompany their donuts. The same goes for Bread Garden, Bojangles and the countless smaller chains that I can’t think of at the moment: the coffee is to accompany the other items on their menu, not the other way around. However, if you could create a menu for the typical Vancouver Chain Café, let’s say Best JJ Blenziano-Bucks, it would look something like this:
Best JJ Blenziano-Bucks
Oat cake that is probably also good as a building material
Fudgie Brownie thing
Dry as a bone Scone
Date Bar (just like Blueberry bar but drier and ‘healthier’)
Chewy Marshmallow Treats Square (for the 4‑year old in all of us)
Pumpkin or Banana Bread or Lemon Pound Cake (sometimes available in Reduced-fat versions)
Very Dry Blueberry muffin
Get the feeling the menu is mainly about sugar? I wish one could get ‘savory’ items at one of these cafes, like a plain croissant, ham and cheese croissant or a spinach croissant (like they had in Boston’s Starbucks but apparently not on this coast). I also wouldn’t mind a Cornish Pasty, a soft pretzel or maybe even poutines. (All right, maybe not those). Did someone decide that coffee needed something sweet with it, or are these other items beyond the storage capabilities of a Best JJ Blenziano-Bucks Café.