It was one of those mornings, where you roll out of bed and you think, “Damn, I really don’t want to do anything. I’m hungry, but I don’t want to cook.” Not sure about you, but I get those days often – not that I always succumb to them.
So of course, cocoon myself into my blankets like a hot dog for a few more minutes before reaching over to text my friend if she wanted some brunch. On her recommendation, we headed out to Acme Cafe, which is in that sort of shady part between Chinatown/Gastown area.
The outside looks like it’s been remodeled to match the older style streetscape along the block. Dark hunter green wood frames, big glass windows, old fashioned sign hanging above the door – it definitely got an old-school diner vibe going on.
Interior walls were coated in a clean white, like a modern take on that diner look I mentioned. I loved how they had an open kitchen concept, with a semi-circle counter with bar stools that allows for interaction between customers (especially regulars) to chat with cooks and servers. Absolutely love it. Of course, they have booths for bigger groups along the walls as well as stand-alone tables – a definite plus. Also, the tables aren’t all crowded together like many restaurants, where you end up eavesdropping on three different conversations.
Their menu is fairly simple, with a menu for breakfast, lunch, and supper; main features being on sandwiches and paninis. So we ordered a chicken club sandwich and a veggie panini and a strawberry milkshake. They came with a side of broccoli and almond slaw, as well as chips, for my friend’s panini. I got their daily soup (fennel).
I’m not an expert on milkshakes nor do I really like them. I had a sip just for taste; it wasn’t anything extraordinary. My friend made the same comment. But it was presented nicely, in a glass with a tower of whipped cream and topped with a maraschino cherry. They left the mixing cup with us with the remainder of the milkshake – definitely a nice touch.
My chicken club sandwich was good, though the bread was toasted too long for my liking, especially without any kind of condiments other than mustard and a bit of sun dried tomato mayo. There wasn’t quite enough condiments in the sandwich to bind each bite together, making it a bit too dry for me. The overall taste came together though, without the bacon of course (I know, I know, I get a lot of hate for not liking bacon). The fennel soup was a strange green shade and it made me a little nervous as I’ve never had fennel before, but it was actually a very nice surprise. The soup wasn’t creamy, but it was thick and blended enough to still allow a bit of texture to each spoonful. Loved it, would definitely go back for it.
My friend’s veggie panini was awesome, with portobello mushrooms, zucchini, sprouts, a sun-dried tomato basil mayo (again), and goat cheese. The whole panini melded together wonderfully, as all the vegetables seemed grilled already with that crispy outer panini layer, and the sprouts giving it more texture and just enough to dilute the saltiness of the goat cheese. Definite thumbs up from me. The broccoli almond slaw sounded interesting, but was a complete miss for me. Did not like the taste or texture – way too much going on, even for a side. Maybe it could go well in a really boring sandwich?
Overall, the service was fast (there weren’t that many people) and the servers seemed pretty laid back for the most part. It’s a bit of a hipster hangout, but without the attitude. Will definitely return to try some of their other items and maybe a slice of pie.
Apologies for the terrible photo quality and poor lighting – did not have my camera with me that day. Only recently replaced my lost camera with the newer model, so hopefully my future posts will be a bit better.
Happy eating guys!
51 West Hastings Street, Vancouver