On Tuesday, Jeremy and I are going to the Elbow Room for breakfast. I really dig bringing out-of-towners there, as it’s a particularly Vancouver experience. It’s a small breakfast diner in downtown Vancouver. When you enter, the first thing you’re struck by is the walls that are papered with 8 x 10 photos of celebrities.
The next thing you’re struck by is the rudeness of the wait staff. Led by the owner, a tiny, flamingly-gay Quebecois man, they specialize in vulgar abuse. It’s not a restaurant for the faint-hearted. My Irish friends who visited last year went back a couple times. I think it reminded them of their upbringing.
Matt is a new Vancouverite who recently visited the Elbow Room for the first time:
Interestingly, the effect is endearing, however. Unlike other establishments who harass their customers for fun (cf. Dick’s Last Resort), the mood here is less a formulaic kitschy stream of insults, and more like the kind of treatment you’d get eating breakfast with a sibling or a close friend. “What do you mean bring you some coffee? You can see I’ve got my hands full. You’ve got legs. . . .” Within minutes, strangers at tables next to each other were conversing, and having friendly honest discussions with the staff as well.
Good times. I hope we get Miss Alberta as our waitress. Maybe she’ll insult my manhood again.