The Elbow Room was started in 1983 by Patrick Savoie and Brian Searle. It's original location, at 720 Jervis Street, was located in the first mayor of Vancouver's house and was declared a heritage building. In 1996, we moved to our present location and also acquired a new partner, Soheil Sadri. After almost 20 years, we are still going strong. Come and check out our World Famous Breakfasts or our Fabulous Lunches.
Food: Fritata and the Boss Burger were ordered and they were both delicious with big pieces of pepperoni in my omelette and greasy-goodness in the burger. Hash browns were a bit on the limp side - definitely have had better pretty much everywhere else. Saw the cook take beans out of the can to serve... I guess not everything can be homemade. Wipe the canned soft drinks before you drink as mine had a lot of debris on the top.
Service: Didn't experience any of the insults, and it wouldn't have bothered us if we did however, our server had to be new as she forgot to get us our drinks, couldn't get our orders straight and was generally quite lost.
Value: Food was great as the portions were quite big but charging 2.75 for a can of pop and 5.75 for a root beer float (basically two scoops of ice cream with a can of root beer) is pretty ridiculous. Just get your own water next time and skip out on their beverages.
Ambiance: lots of history and stories on the wall with many conversation pieces. Great to see a small spot like this have so much history behind it. They also support A Loving Spoonful, a great organization that provides meals to HIV/AIDS patients - and they make it easy to donate which is nice.
Overall, would return if I were ever in the area and wanted a nice big breakfast but I wouldn't drive a distance for it either. Try at your own peril!
I walked into the Elbow Room for breakfast, fully aware of it's reputation for surly and/or abusive servers. So I was actually a bit surprised.
The service was not nearly as bad as I might have expected. But I was also surprised by the food. I guess I had higher expectations, given their reputation for service, I expected better fare.
The coffee was good, by the eggs benny and the side of hashbrowns were just okay, granted the portions were fairly generous.
For that reason, I'm thinking that the Elbow Room is more a place for a dining experience than a great meal.
I haven't been in the Elbow Room for about a year, and wanted to have breakfast. I was well aware this is the place that's well known for their teasing and fun insults. I had amazing server who was fun, friendly and he was very quick witted. I was told I could sit anywhere, as he joked with me and took my ordered for eggs, hashbrown, toast and coffee. I thought the coffee was great, and if you want seconds or thirds, you have to get it yourself. My server arrived with my food, and the taste of everything was excellent and loved their hashbrowns. I had to go back for my second cup of coffee and finished off my meal. I was totally happy, what great service, the breakfast are allways good and will have to return for their coffee.
Will be back for enjoyable experience.
Yes, we know what this place is supposedly famous for, and I concur with the previous reviews. That sort of "edge" just didn't quite seem to be there in the quantities we were expecting. However, that's not a selling point for me anyways and I imagine it would start to wear thin after doing it day in, day out for so many years.
So let's get right down to the food. Portions large? Yes. The 6" pancake was for sure larger than 6" and it was pretty good. Menu is loaded with all sorts of standard breakfast goodies, eggs benedict, omelettes, pancakes, etc. Based on what we've read on their menu and how it tasted and how we felt post-meal, they used good quality, healthy (relatively, I mean how healthy are slabs of bacon?) ingredients.
Would I go back? Not sure. I go to dine out for the food. This was food done well, but on the other hand, it wasn't amazing and it wasn't something I couldn't whip up in our own kitchen. And when it came down to pricing? Well, you got large, large portions, but the prices also reflect that.
If you're hungry and need some great energy to start a long day and you're too lazy to cook, I could recommend this place, but otherwise, I probably wouldn't go back. You can't run on just attitude and reputation.
I love this place. Took some cross burning Prince Georgians there today for the treatment. They loved it. Nothing like getting a tongue lashing from the gayest man on earth to get the tears of laughter rolling. I've seen some people get right choked in here but, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the damned kitchen! The Trucker Burger with fried egg, advocado, shrimp and pineapple clogged my arteries but for $11 I won't have to eat for the rest of the week. Fun for the whole family.
I must begin by saying that the pancakes here are incredible! Packed with fresh fruit and huge, I loved every bite! I totally get the concept of the café and what they are trying to pull off, but I must say I was expecting a little more attitude and fun from our server. Too scripted and our serve seemed a little awkward with the entire situation...that or she was just tired of “performing.” Other than that it was well-worth the experience and food.
My boyfriend and I have been going to the Elbow Room for the past 5 years. After a year's hiatus, we decided to take his friend out for some post-Grind brekky. Their so-called "abuse" is tame - if you want to call being addressed as "Princess" an abuse...
Food is so-so, but was forgivable as it was once rather affordable. My last experience was anything but.
Our order included two breakfasts with eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, toast, with sides of baked beans, and one with eggs, hashbrowns, and toast. We all had tea, and one had orange juice. Our bill was $57.00. Yes, FIFTY SEVEN DOLLARS.
We looked at the gibberish on the bill, looked at the menu and discovered they charge $2.75 for a bag of leaves in hot water and $5 for orange juice. We swallowed the hard pill and left $64 lighter in the wallet.
I couldn't give up the fact that something was wrong, so I went back. The guy admitted he overcharged me for my breakfast by $4. When I got home, I told my boyfriend what a rip off that they charge $2.75 for beans when he said on the menu it said $1 to add beans.
So, the moral of the story boys and girls, is that you should question what's on the bill because the guy purposely writes in chicken scratch and overcharge you. They just hope we're too full and stupid to question it.
They lost a customer in me.
A friend wanted to go to someplace different for breakfast and as we drove past The Elbow Room I saw that there was a parking space out front. Call it fate, but we stopped and went in. I had not been here for a couple of years. I am afraid I just don't get the allure of rude waiters being a drawing card, but hey, to each their own, and much to my surpise, the server we had was actually quite nice. I had no complaints about the service (on this occassion), the ambiance is okay for breakfast, the breakfast menu is vast, but for breakfast the prices are fairly high. The food, however, was very disappointing. I ordered poached eggs and sausages. The eggs came in a little cup, the top one was fine, but the bottom was broken and the yolk had opened up into a soupy, watery mess at the bottom, with a vinegar taste from the water it was poached in. The sausages were overcooked, almost burned on the oustide and the toast was barely toasted. It was as if the cook could not have cared less. But the potatoes! Where do I begin. I cannot believe a place that calls themselves a breakfast spot would serve such poor quality hash browns. If they are not bought frozen, maybe they should give the frozen ones a try. It might be an improvement. The hash browns were tiny, little uniform cubes that tended to be overcooked on one part and undercooked on the other. Except for the off putting flavour of grease they had no taste whatsoever. My companion did not even eat his, he thought them so horrible tasting. To me, a good hash brown is a sign of a good breakfast joint, and this one failed miserably. And sorry, but for the prices they charge, having to get your own refills of coffee is just ridiculous. I am also in a quandry about a note on the menu that says if you order pancakes at a busy time, you should expect to wait up to 20 minutes. I hope they are not serious that it takes 20 minutes to get pancakes out of a "breakfast" kitchen. We not talking French souffles here, we're talking batter on a grill!. Still, the public returns, as did I after a couple of years hiatus. But, I doubt I will ever return again. Still they have been in business for years and the people still come. With so many other quality places to choose from, really, I just don't get it.
If the bad service was supposed to be funny, I guess I didn't get the joke. I tried - I really did - but nothing about it was funny. Maybe I got the wrong guy, or maybe he was legitimately pissed off for some reason, but in any case it wasn't enjoyable on any level. There is the "we're just buddies joking around" type of rude, and then there's the "someone pissed in my Corn Flakes and I'm taking it out on you" rude. This place is the latter. Not cool.
As for the food, it's typical diner fare, and not any better than the competition. I had a Monte Cristo with green salad (which arrived with the wrong dressing btw), and though the salad was fresh and the Monte satisfying, I at no point thought to myself: "Damn, this is good food!" The only redeeming feature here is the huge menu, but if anything it was overwhelming, especially when the staff are trying to get you out the door ASAP.
The Sunshine Diner in Kits is comparably priced, makes great food, and won't treat you like turd. Hell, spend a bit more money and order from the brunch menu at Milestones down the street - it's worth the extra coin and then some.
But hey, if being verbally shit on while eating a boring meal is your cup of tea, be sure to stop by!
If you don't know about the Elbow Room on Davie (near Richards -- Yaletown) then you are definitely missing out. This is one of my favorite places to take out of town visitors without warning them first of the abuse they will recieve. The servers will harrass you and/or your guests, make fun of your hair and question your sexuallity.
My personal favorite was when the waitress asked me (after leaving some of my breakfast on my plate,) "what's wrong sugar, not used to shoving THAT much meat into your mouth AT ONE TIME?!?" Yes, it's that kind of place. But it's also not a restauraunt which hangs it's laurels on the hilarious service gimmick. The food itself is always outstanding. Only open until around 4 pm, expect a bit of a wait after 11:00 am for breakfast.
Didnt like it. Had the worst poached eggs there. Didnt even want to eat it infact. The cranberry muffin was gross too. Wouldn't go back ... If you want good breakfast with a reasonable price plus good view I suggest going to a golf place in Richmond somewhere.. $6.95 gets you two eggs, two sausages (huge), two bacon, really good bread, watermelon, & hashbrowns.
Went to this Restaurant for breakfast quite some time ago. I haven't been back since. The reason is mainly because of the hashbrowns. To me hashbrowns are a very important part of the meal. Thses came in a little bowl and looked like frozen/canned corn. The tasted not-so-good.
The ambiance is kinda odd. There are autographed pictures of people who might have or might have not been slightly famous at some point in the last 50 years. I think I saw Richard Grieco...or maybe not.
What is cool is that they have many different kinds of bread to choose from.
But honestly the prices are pretty high for what you get. I guess they are on the edge of Yaletown and maybe most people don't care. There are few places, if any, to get a good reasonably priced breakfast in Yaletown.
After hearing all the rave about this joint. My friends and I hopped on over to the place for some attitude with food on the side. The menu was incredible. It had all the things a person with a huge morning appetite can dream of. The waitress came and took our order, she was a bit fussy about not getting us some aqua. We joked and that was it...we expected more fun than was served.
Anyhoo, we ordered the Thelma, Hilary Swank, and a Cindy Williams. The dishes were wholesome, Elbow Room doesn't skimp on ingredients. The portions were decent and the plates were polished off easy.
Did the pricing reflect the amount and quality of food? Not really...it was an expensive breakfast. Walk around the corner for The Templeton to get equally delicious food for a bit less.
Was I served with the 'fun' that Elbow Room is famous for? Not really...I finished the whole dish and still managed to stomach the quips. Head on over to 10th Ave for The Diner if you really want some fun with words. Stella, the owner of the Diner, will set you straight...British style!!!
Any time I end up being downtown during the morning hours, I go here for breakfast. If you get there early enough, you can park on Davie right in front of Elbow Room. And why do I go there? Because I don’t like bullshit, and neither do the people who work there. You want coffee, you know where the cups and your hands aren’t broken, so go get it yourself. You want water? Ditto.
The food is solid breakfast food. Its not dirt cheap, but its greasy, filling, wholesome, and good. Just like mom used to make. Leave your attitude at the door and enjoy the gay atmosphere. It’s the most fun you’re going to have on Davie (well ok, maybe not the MOST). Make sure to finish what you ordered, or you going to donate money to the Loving Spoonful. And that’s always a good incentive to eat at the Elbow Room.
Met up with a few coworkers for breakfast at the Elbow Room. It was everyone's first time and we all had a good time. Food was surprisingly delicious and fresh, my benny was much better than expected.
We did get some degree of abuse from our server, who was very talkative. He didn't say anything too offensive and overall was efficient and helpful. Other patrons in the restaurant seemed okay with the strange style of service; however, a couple didn't seem too pleased and the server politely left them alone.
I did have get up to get my own coffee refill - you can say it's part of the unique experience they offer but I am not sure if I like it.
I have always wanted to visit the Elbow Room after hearing about the unique dining experience, but I was pretty disappointed. When I heard that they insult you, I was expecting something more… maybe actors/servers with certain lines that they dish out constantly. I was told to get my own water and other than that, I wasn’t as entertained as I hoped. The flamboyant man that served us was fun though, especially when it would be hard to constantly joke with everyone. Okay, now about the food. We ordered one coffee and two eggs benny: four eggs total, two English muffins, veg, meat and some hollandaise. The bill was $40 after the tip- and I’m talking a 15% tip. Maybe we are paying for the Yaletown location? The visit was fun, but I don’t think I will be back.
Even though it's been 10 years, one never forgets the Elbow Room experience.
A bunch of us used to come up for Pride from Everett, WA and stay at the
Chateau Granville. Abuse and wonderful food was within walking distance.
When we met Patrick, holding court on the floor as usual, the love affair
was in motion. They referred to us as Border Trash. We loved it all. There
was a note we recall on the chalkboard over the kitchen area to the effect
that if you ordered pancakes and did not eat them all, you'd best rub them
on your thighs as that's where they are going anyway. If you did not finish all your meal, you were assuredly asked to leave a donation in the Loving Spoonful box next to the register. At Pride we heard the
fantastic $$$ amount contributed via Loving Spoonfulls to help ensure meals for AIDS clients. We were so proud of the Elbow Room. Though we are further away now, we still brag about all of you to anyone who will listen! Blessings Abundant are
wished for you. Nile and Jim
After reading the mixed reviews I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I have to say I enjoyed my experience here. Let's start with the infamous service. Our server was an older woman who was very casual and relaxed, with just enough of an edge to make it fun and unique. No sign of the abuse I've read so much about, though I did overhear somebody at a nearby table say to our waitress "You're so much nicer than that other guy, the short french guy" so maybe we just lucked out (or didn't, depending on what you want).
Food was hearty and flavourful, definitely don't come here if you're on a diet or watching your calories. I had the New Yorker eggs benny and it was delicious, I'd definitely recommend it. Not sure if I'd have it again though because there's so many other things to choose from (the menu is expansive).
In terms of value, it was pretty much what I expected. I suppose a few dollars cheaper would have been nice but you get generous portions and I think the price was fair. Ambience, the decor is nothing to write home about and there's lots of pictures of "famous" people who I've never heard of on the walls, but it suits the laid back theme of the place.
All in all I'd recommend it and will probably go back.
I was but a few short years ago when cafeteria's banished crappy food: cold hashbrowns made from frozen, powdered hot chocolate, overcooked scrambled eggs, but the Elbow Room gave me a nostalgic experience! Brought guests from out of town, paid $9.00 for bacon and eggs which were cold! A little brown cup of cold diced hashbrowns get real! The waitress discouraged us from ordering hot chocolate because it was the 'cheap' stuff from an envelope. Wake up Elbow Room! You are surrounding by exceptional restaurants with quality fresh ingredients. The fruit omelette arrived with canned pineapple; if you are going to be so gusty as to create a menu item like this, hit it out of the park or don't bother. My scrambled eggs were overcooked and kind of spread all over the plate, without care. Your food, and schitk are about as old as the photos on the wall. You are a candidate for Kitchen Nightmares, I can here Gordon Ramsey yelling at you already - out of your best selling bread at 10am?! cold food?! Cheap hot chocolate?! Watery, crappy cheap coffee?! Canned, unfresh food/!
Some good things don't last, or do they just fail to keep up with all the progress surrounding them?
The Elbow room on Davie is a Vancouver institution. If you are like so many of us and enjoy the post party breakfast then you know this place. For the un-initiated, i highly recommend going if you appreciate a good breakfast and can put up with a whole lot of attitude. Although the rude service is apart of the Elbow rooms kitsch, honestly you need to provoke the servers if your looking to see fireworks. Otherwise they are simply short with you, and could be mistaken for a server at any other diner in the city. Please note, currently the Elbow Room serve my favorite hash browns, and if your not up for re-filling your own coffee don't bother going. ;-)