FOOD FIGHT: The Wallflower wilts under pressure

The wonderful ambiance gets lost in the restaurant’s short comings.

By reviewing restaurants in Metro-Vancouver, Food Fight is dedicated to highlighting the differences between vegan and omnivorous cuisines. Columnists  Yelin and Bartosz show that you can have the best of both worlds.

The Wallflower is a cozy nook on Main Street that has been open since January 2009, boasting comfort food and nostalgia for carnivores and vegans alike. They offer a delectable breakfast until 4 p.m. every day, as well as an extensive lunch and dinner that is accessible through late hours.

I would say the menu was 40 percent vegan friendly and 60 percent carnivore-oriented, a pretty up-and-coming change developed thanks to customer feedback. Although most of the food offered at The Wallflower is quite simple and recognizable, they have put their own spin on traditional dishes and introduced new creative choices as well.

Two of these more innovative dishes include a “vegan Thai tofu wrap” that consists of tofu, lettuce, sprouts, cilantro, carrots, peppers, vermicelli, and coconut curry sauce; and the Zomato famous “lightning fries” made from fries, chilli, jalapenos, tomato, olives, vegan cheesy sauce, and salsa.

As they were still serving breakfast food when my friends and I got there, I was able to order bumbleberry waffles at 2 p.m. in the afternoon. That’s right, friends — if a chewy waffle with warm mixed berries in syrup and the whipped cream on top in the middle of the afternoon sounds good to you, this is your spot. My two friends both ordered burgers (porto burger and canuck burger) and were more than satisfied with these, but they found the dryness and blandness of the fries they chose for their sides disappointing.

I regret to say that our first dining experience at The Wallflower was not very pleasant in terms of customer service. We walked in during Saturday brunch hours where every table was taken up and we had to wait a few minutes for a table to be cleaned and set for us. During this wait, we got kicked out of the store and into the rain because there ‘wasn’t enough room’ for us to stand indoors for 10 minutes. This is understandable in a way, because there isn’t enough walking room in the place to start off with, but it was still an unpleasant feeling to be kicked outside as a customer.

Our waiter was curt and did not come by enough to fill up our empty water glasses or ask if the food was alright. I also ordered a tea which I didn’t receive; I stayed quiet about it until they brought over the bill, showing they had charged me for the tea I never got.

The Wallflower has an innovative yet traditional menu, mediocre customer service, and an ambiance that is comfy and homey, but doesn’t meet the statement on their website: “A place where you can relax in the corner with a good book, catch up with friends, or meet new people in the neighbourhood.”

Maybe I simply came at the wrong time, but the ambiance was overshadowed by the busy-ness and I would not have stayed to read a book nor meet new people.