Sherman's Food Adventures: Douce Diner

Douce Diner

Fresh off my road trip in the States over the Summer, it occurred to me that there is a black hole of sorts when it comes to diners in Vancouver.  Driving through big cities and small towns in the Western states yielded a variety of diners.  I guess it has a lot to do with the prevailing culture and food preferences in Vancouver.  We really can't complain that we aren't blessed with Asian restaurants, so for those who do not have access will marvel at our good luck.  Well, I personally love diners and was especially happy I had to drop by the newish Douce Diner in North Van for the Burger Challenge.  Of course I went ahead and ate a full meal there to try the rest of their wares.

I brought the fam and my daughter didn't fail me by ordering the Cookies and Cream Milkshake (because she wanted to...).  Rather than being super thick, it was on the milkier side, but this wasn't necessarily a bad thing.  It was easy to sip and it wasn't crazy sweet.  We definitely got the hits of Oreo, yet it was nicely balanced by the milk.  Okay, the reason we were here was for me to try the Double Douce Burger featuring natural Beretta beef patties, vintage cheddar, house zucchini & red onion pickles, shredded iceberg and special sauce on a toasted brioche bun.  This was super messy and required at least 5 napkins (a good sign).  The meat patties were moist and a bit crumbly (in a good way).  Loved the creamy cheese and the tang from the pickles.  As much as the bun looked weak, it was able to surround the ingredients without falling apart.  Not to be outdone, the side of shoestring fries were super crispy with tender potatoey insides.

My daughter wasn't done with just a milkshake.  Pffttt...  She also had the French Toast sporting thick cut Challah, lemon curd, mascarpone cream, seasonal fruit and real maple syrup.  What set this apart from any other French toast we've had recently was the tangy lemon curd.  It really brightened up the dish and made it incredibly easy to eat.  Rather than being merely sweet, the curd and mascarpone afforded layers of flavour that definitely elevated the dish.  Not deviating from his usual favourite, my son went for the Smoked Salmon Eggs Benny served atop a house buttermilk biscuit.  The fact that they used a crunchy biscuit completely changed the narrative on the dish.  Instead of a chewy English muffin, the crumbly and soft biscuit helped soak up the tangy Hollandaise (which was not too heavy, yet still creamy) and perfectly runny poached egg.  Crispy with soft portions, the shredded hashbrowns were also on point.

Viv decided on the Panko Crust Chicken Sammy with buttermilk brined boneless chicken breast, house zucchini & pickles, shredded iceberg and special sauce on a toasted brioche bun.  With similar ingredients as my burger, it set a good base for the sammy.  Firmly crunchy, the panko coating wasn't greasy while the chicken was juicy and tender.  To really kick the sammy up a notch, we added the house hot sauce which was indeed spicy with an nice tang.  To ensure I tried almost everything, I added the In House Buttermilk Waffle.  It was dressed with whipped butter, seasonal compote and house vanilla crème fraiche.  This may have appeared to be super sweet, yet it really wasn't.  Rather, the fruit was able to shine (even the mild blueberries) while the waffle itself was crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle.  We found it a bit pricey at $13.75.  For all of the items we tried at Douce Diner, nothing made us wanting for more.  Execution was good and the food was just plain tasty.  We'll be back.

*The burger and one beverage was complimentary*

The Good:
- Carefully executed dishes
- On point textures
- Balanced flavours

The Bad:
- On the pricier side
- Kinda cramped seating


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