Roundel Cafe is a diner that lovingly serves up delicious and nourishing meals. They prepare from scratch as much as possible and use organic ingredients whenever possible.
Mrs. C and I were on the prowl and we decided to try this place since we both like diner food. The ambiance was clean-ish (including the w/c) but kind of rough looking, and I am sort of sorry I got a glimpse of the kitchen. They have a very extensive menu for breakfast/lunch, but after 4pm the choices are quite limited. I had a Cobb burger, which was basically a chicken, bacon and blue cheese sandwich, accompanied by fried potatoes and a salad. The cheese overpowered the other flavours, and I have to say I was not very impressed. My beloved dining companion had a tuna wrap with salad, which was reported to be good. We also had some R&B beer which was something different, and not too pricey. Service was good, and the server (Sergio) was kind of like what I imagine the son of the character Manuel from Fawlty Towers would be like :). As for value it was no bargain, but nobody gasped when the bill came.
An okay experience, but one I am not anxious to repeat. There was nothing special here.
Went for breakfast at Roundel with my son and his partner. They live locally, and had been raving about this place.
Ambiance....hmmmm. Funky-eclectic, retro-diner....? Sorta.... Early in the morning (they open at 9:00 on weekends, not sure of other days), the fans were keeping the air cool and circulating. It can get quite warm later in the day, I was told.
Food - Son ordered ham and cheese omelette with rye toast, partner ordered the bennie special (involved avocadoes and tomatoes) with pan fried potatoes, I ordered Huevos Rancheros (a personal "test" dish for breakfasts) The omelette and bennie disappeared promptly. Coffee was refilled often. I worked my way through really good black beans and a "home-made" salsa with plain yogurt instead of sour cream (good!), fried eggs and a whole wheat tortilla. My only disappointment was the tortilla - I prefer corn tortillas, and the whole wheat wasn't even warmed through, just folded under the eggs and beans. On the whole, though, it was very good.
Service was friendly and prompt. Bathroom was clean. Total for three huge breakfasts as less than thirty dollars.
Worth looking for in the row of older, smaller stores on the Hastings Rise, just east of Nanaimo.
Went today for the first time, as I live just on the Burnaby side of town and also always try to support local business, instead of big chain restaurants.
It's around 10:15 on Friday morning when I got there, so no probably grabbing a seat. I'm also a big fan of egg bennys, so ordered the bacon one (9:75) with blueberry shake ($5).
Food came quickly. The bennys look good, eggs done perfectly, the sauce tasted great (wish there's more). It came with side of roasted potatoes (actually mix of sweet and regular potatoes, which is great), and a little of green salad. BTW, the bacon is not the Canadian back bacon one, it's 2 strips of long one.
Another 10 mins passed by, and my milkshake never came. I kept eyeing the waitress to get her attention, but she never came by to check on me. Finally she approached my table with a milkshake cup in hand. Then she kept looking at another table before telling me that she gave my order to another customer who ordered vanilla, but was drinking my blueberry shake anyway. She then told me she will just add blueberry into it, and it would only take a minute. I was having a hesitant moment, but she didn't wait for my answer. So I saw her go back to the bar area and started pouring some sort of syrup into it, and stirring it by hand. When she came back, she said if I don't like it, she would cancel it. Hmm, ok. So I took a sip, but the vanilla taste was too overpowering. As much as I wanted to be nice, I don't want to spend $5 and have vanilla icecream in the morning, so I told her it's no good. She said ok and cancelled my order. And then she added a snippy comment "oh, you shouldn't have milkshake with your bennys anyway. It's bad for your digestion".
Anyway, not sure if this middled-aged woman is the owner, but obviously she's not cut out to be a waitress. She was very disorganized through out. I saw people going to the counter to get their own refills. Maybe she can help in the kitchen or just be the cashier.
The food is good, but with the prices they charge, I can easily find something as good, but much better service.
A couple of friends took me this past summer for breakfast and I wasen't too impressed.Had to wait a little while (nothing too bad,15-20 mins.) and took a booth.The old timey style dinner with swivel stools and counters were cool and the waitress was friendly.Had the omlette with brie and veggies.It had very little flavour and wasen't worth the price.Went back recently with my partner for brunch to give it another chance but was even less impressed.Coffee tasted like water!Come on!We both got shakes and instead of using actual fruit in them,they used that nasty colored flavouring.Too sweet.Corn beef hash was alright but overall this place ain't worth the price.Go to Slickity's or Sophie's instead.
I have mixed feelings about the Roundel. The food is great, as is the service. The issues I have with it have to do with how busy it gets. It's a small room, and like anywhere when a place is packed the service inevitably suffers. When they come by they are extremely helpful, but sometimes it's a long wait between visits. My friend asked for a side of bananas (which were apparently ordered and never received) and after a while was told that the request was placed to the kitchen staff, but sorry, no bananas. They were too busy..? I find it uncomfortable when it's busy and I find it lacking ambiance, despite having some great art on the walls.
Went for brunch today with a friend even though I was scared of the middle aged silver haired waitress so often mentioned by other reviewers. (not in a good way) We got a seat in a booth and yes! they are so wobbly that all movements by customers in attached booths feel every time someone gets in or out. Yikes put a few nails in those booths! My friend ordered the feta & tomato omelette and I ordered the mushroom & cheese omelette. We both found that both omelettes had scant fillings and both were BLAND. We also both agreed that our food was barely warm and the potatoes/yams tasted almost cold (and bland) and as if they were from yesterday...yuck. Toast wasn't quite toast but more like bread with barely any butter/margarine on it. Smidge of salad was fine.
I'm not too thrilled with the tiny coffee cups either or should I say they are more thimble sized. Not once were we asked if we liked our meals and never in the 45 minutes we were there were we ever offered a refill on the coffee. I finally had to ask the silver haired lady and she brought it right over. We had no "rude" problems with her but I could totally see her as a bootcamp sargeant barking out orders with a devilish glint in her steeley eyes. Her name on the bottom of the bill was Gilli so I'm assuming it's prob short for Gillian. I don't believe I need a second time visit and would highly recommend you go to Red Wagon instead. It's fab food there and piping hot just the way I like it!
I'm still trying to find a replacement for Slickety Jim's, and the Roundel is a far cry. In fact I won't go back, mostly due to the terrible service. They are disorganized, which I can forgive if you at least are pleasant and maybe smile once in awhile, (didn't happen). The real kicker to our disappointing brunch was when the billing machine broke. We waited patiently, and after a few minutes my girlfriend asked our server if she could just add our bill, as we were paying cash. After eye rolling and loud sighs, she grabbed the calculator, and added our bill, while saying "this is SUCH a pain." It took her about 30 seconds, but made us feel like idiots.
Sorry, the food is good, not amazing, and it's pricey, but reading the other reviews here makes me think this wasn't just a fluke. Like I said, I won't go back.
I went to the Roundel for breakfast. The eggs benny were very good, and I liked the combination of roasted potatoes and yams that came with.
The bad experience started when my friend and I had received the bill. We were talking and eating our fortune cookies (nice touch that comes with the bill), when a waitress (not one who had served us) came up to the table and said to us in an annoyed tone that she was happy that we had come to eat but now we were done and she needed our table so we should pay and leave. She sounded very insincere about being happy that we had come for breakfast: her tone was very sarcastic and was meant to let us know that we had exceeded our welcome and that she thought that we were rude for not having left already. Btw: I should point out, having read an earlier review, that this was NOT the waitress that the other reviewer talked about.
It left me feeling soiled, and all of the good feelings that I had been feeling about the food vanished. I will hesitate to recommend the place to anyone as I feel really bad about how it ended.
I've been to the Roundel Cafe many times as it's perfectly located by my kids school. My kids love the milkshakes that are (unfortunately) sweetened with fake sweet flavors - no real fruit at all. I've enjoyed a burger and like the brown rice instead of potatoes option. They use incredibly small plates that they jam pack with food which makes it seem like you're really getting your monies worth. The quality of food is pretty good so it can be a little pricey. Overall it's not a bad joint. Roundel cafe would be a whole lot better if the middle-aged, white-haired lady would leave. She has terrible manners, she scares me and my children with her obnoxious ways. She's rude and seemingly lazy as she really keeps you waiting, it's as if she's doing it on purpose!? She comes across smiley and nice but then suddenly turns into the devil. Roundel, As much as we love the food, if we see her working we won't go in. in fact, we've gone in thinking she wasn't working and then up and left when we saw her appear. She should not be a waiter - there comes a time when you have to realise this. She should change her profession to a debt collector! or go do some serious anger management.
The title says it all. Everyone there was quite nice, it was busy. I would have given it a Poor rating for service if everyone hadn't been so nice. Took us a while to get some menus and our water glass (holding about 150mL of water) didn't get refilled once. It seemed like a one-off kind of busy, maybe short-handed, day though. The food was good enough - nothing spectacular if not just a touch on the pricey side for some things.
I don't think I'll rush back or take people there on my own, but I won't hesitate to go back if someone else wants to go there.
I had been curious about this place for a while, but whenever I went by, it was closed or I was on my way to some other restaurant. TOTALLY Impressed. (the star rating given is misleading though, and the things they could to to improve are small)
Breakfast was amazing, especially for the price point. I had the curry benedict (which was a daily special, but should be on the permanent menu in my opinion), coffee, and blueberry milkshake. Everything was great, the food came quickly, and there were coffee refills aplenty. One of the HUGE plusses for this place is their extensive list of milkshake flavours.
1) booths backs are wobbly, and it feels like you shouldnt move as any sort of movement would disturb the person sitting at the table behind you. Had I known the booths were this bad, i would have taken one of the stools instead of waiting.
If you want to wait at the bar and have a drink while waiting for a booth to open up, you can't do that, as the bar and booths are different "sections". The waitress tried to explain this to me, but it doesn't didnt make sense as the restaurant is so small. Roundel Cafe -- check out 'the Templeton' in regards to how this process SHOULD work.
REGARDLESS, a classy joint that I am on my way to eat at again right now!
We really enjoyed my breaky here.
We did a drive by and saw the awesome outside exterior and thought hmmm cool lets check out. Great cozy room,locals, friendly, casual vibe, cheerful staff,great layout. Sat at the bar, and was served instantly in a busy room.
I live in the hood of Sophies and been to Slickity's and this a low key homey vibe without the yuppy or young wannabes.
We'll be going again and will bring friends!
From kits to east hastings i rate a ya!
This place is fantastic.
The Roundel thrives because it is a down to earth homey place, not somewhere for people with a sense of entitlement.
The food is local and so are the employees. If you live in the Nanaimo and Hastings area, the Bennies at the Roundel should be a staple of your breakfast diet.
I have taken many of my friends and family to this restaurant and have never had an issue. Just arrive early if you want to beat the rush. This place is small and very popular among the natives... expect a full crowd of people who know one another.
My hubby and I, along with many of our friends, all travel from far and wide to do breakie and sometimes lunch or dinner at this wonderful little joint. Food is always fresh and delicious *love that breakie comes with a bit of salad*, service is friendly and hands-down they make the BEST HOMEMADE VEGGIE BURGERS IN VANCOUVER. Love The Roundel!
I really enjoyed this little piece of diner-heaven, from the mismatched chairs to the extensive 4-scoop milkshake list. The servers were young but very knowledgeable about the menu, and extremely prompt and friendly.
Almost everything on the small menu sounded wonderful, and the 4 guests I went with thoroughly enjoyed their brunch. I had the avocado, tomato & cream cheese benny on an english muffin & found the hollandaise could use a bit more flavour but was otherwise good. All of our dishes came with the same generic pinch of salad as a garnish - I'd say skip it & throw a bit of fresh melon on the side instead.
This place is leading the way on the Hastings Sunrise, nicely done!
I hit the Roundel once in a while but I'd definitely hit it more often if they fixed a few things. First, let me say this. The food is yummy! And once you get a seat, it generally comes pretty fast. The prices aren't a great deal but it feels like the ingredients are quality so I don't mind paying a decent price. I hope the employees are making a decent wage as well though. Now, on to the fixes...
1) The booths are super wobbly and when you move, the people in the booth behind you get disturbed, and vice versa. Surely fixing these can't be that hard. If it is, then they should be replaced with tables. If you have a choice, don't sit at a booth. Which leads me to...
2) The counter seats are REALLY uncomfortable. Not nearly enough leg room. I've come to eat before and if the counter seats were the only ones available, I've gone elsewhere. I don't mind sitting at a counter, I actually like it. But not in those seats. Again, if you have a choice, sit at a table.
3) I don't know how to say this without sounding bitchy, and I'm not trying to sound bitchy, but... There's a middle-aged woman with short salt and pepper hair who works there (45-55 yrs?) and she's just downright scary. Sometimes she can be nice. Sometimes she can be the devil reincarnate, actually snapping and almost yelling at customers. Wowza. Seriously, service is the wrong industry for you. VERY WRONG. If I see she's working, I go elsewhere now. She scares me and I don't need to be scared when I'm just trying to go out for a decent meal.
Also, some of the other wait staff are pretty darn casual. Some of them are also great, and really friendly. I like the casual feel of this diner. And casual is good, but some of them seem to take it a bit too far on the side of casual. It's still the service industry. "Service" being the key term.
It's too bad, because these are all easy, inexpensive fixes and they would kick the overall service and feel of the Roundel up a good couple of notches. And I'd definitely eat there more often. But if you hit it on a good day, avoid the salt and pepper haired server, and get to sit at a table, it's worth the visit!
Had brunch here with two friends. Thought we may be facing a line up at 11:00 but got a booth without issue. Menu had lots of variety but the specials caught our attention. I was so happy to learn they have Gluten-Free menu items, the server was even surprised that I was surprised. Will definitely be going back. Telling all my GF and non-GF friends about this diner. Think there would be something for everyone here.
The service, the staff, the ambience and food, all smells of a typical greasy spoon. It was kinda of cool to sit by facing the window watch all the people walk to the PNE. At one point, some dude walked by with a duck on his shoulder, yes I said 'duck',There is nothing specail but good food for a good price in a clean restaurant. Not much more one can ask for.