I’ve never been to a restaurant that’s flamboyantly gay (and I mean it in the best way) until I visited the Elbow Room Cafe today. It shouldn’t be a surprise though, since the restaurant is located in Davie Village (aka the gay neighbourhood in Vancouver. The decor is gay (rainbows and various innuendoes everywhere), the waiter (I think his name is Peter, but I could be wrong, but I’m going to refer to him as Peter from now on) is gay, and even the menu is gay (plenty of cultural references and various innuendoes).
I had a bit of a debate between the pancake and the banana bread French toast. In the end however, I went with the pancake, partly because I was looking for redemption following the embarrassing incident at Jethro’s a few weeks ago, and partly because of the description in the menu:
There’s the choice between the 6″ and the 12″. Of course, I went with the 12″ (Tutti-Fruity, with Chocolate Chip and Banana). Peter was quite dubious however of whether I could “handle a 12 inch”. He warned me that it was going to be large, but I insisted (If I had more courage, I would have told him the truth: that I’m a big hairy bear trapped inside the body of a chubby, short Asian woman). He continued on expressing his doubt however, and when the pancake arrived, I heard him scoff at me saying something along the lines of “you can’t handle the 12 inch”. EXCUSE ME?!? I’m seriously offended now. I don’t mind hearing you dropping the F-bomb every other sentence. I don’t mind you calling me a “stripper” or “slut” (he actually didn’t, probably because I’m an unattractive, asexual Asian, but he did make some lewd jokes/remarks towards a few other female partrons). BUT DO NOT TELL ME THAT I CAN’T HANDLE A 12 INCH PENI- I mean pancake. Yes, pancake. Seriously, this is on!
12″ Tutti-Fruity (Banana, Chocolate Chip, $15):
Even though I didn’t really care for the pancakes at Jethro’s, I’m very glad to have ordered them, because they’ve primed me now for this giant. Ths pancake is definitely very large. I think that it is even bigger than the enormous pancakes from Jethro’s (although it only comes in a stack of one while Jethro’s offer two). There is a smaller, 6″ version available that people with “normal” appetites can order. The pancake was soft, fluffy and chewy. I was very relieved to find that it did not suffer from an overload of baking soda (which was a major problem that I had with Jethro’s): although there was a slight bit of odour, there was no bad aftertaste. I really enjoyed the chocolate chips, which were gooey and slightly melted; I do wish that there were more bananas present. Although I got the sweet version, I found the pancake to be actually quite savoury in places that did not contain chocolate chips/bananas.
I kind of hit a wall at about 3/4 of the way through. To be honest, I did give some serious consideration to stuffing some of the remaining pancake into my pockets and pretend that I had eaten it all. BUT I have morals, and I have to maintain my integrity. I persisted onwards, like the champ I am, forcing down the last few bites.
I had done it! I’ve proven that I can handle the 12″. I have to say, Peter was quite surprised and impressed. He called me a “unicorn”, which I took as a compliment. Seriously, I don’t think that I’ve been prouder since passing my comprehensive exam several months ago (yes, I’m pretty pathetic).
The coffee is bottomless. The first cup they bring to you. The remaining cups you’ll have to go and fill yourself, which I don’t mind at all (I actually prefer to do that than have to flag down the waiter and request for more coffee).
This restaurant is definitely not for everyone. If you want high-end, professional service, then you’re not going to like this place. If you’re an ultra-conservative homophobe, you’re probably going to walk out within 5 minutes. BUT if you don’t mind being teased or (if you’re a man) flirted with by a flamboyant, sassy, foul-mouthed, openly gay waiter, then you’re going to have a blast. Seriously, this is probably the most fun experience that I’ve ever had at a restaurant. I really look forward to returning, both to try some of their other items (in particular their banana bread French toast), and to watch more of the show.