When we first moved to Vancouver, I bought one of the magazines that lists all the best restaurants in the city – from cheap eats to 4-start fine dining. One of the restaurants that was featured in this magazine was Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe. Not only were the rave reviews in the magazine appealing, but the funky decore you could spot through the windows (and through the lineup of people waiting to get in) made it look like a cool place to get brunch or a burger.
I had a day off in late November, and was in the UBC area running some errands when hunger striked (strooked?) – a great opportunity to try this diner-like place without having to wait in line!
I was seated at a tiny table and left with a menu for a while – I enjoyed looking around the restaurant at all the crazy flea market finds from the 70′s and 80′s that were tacked to the walls and ceiling. I am not sure if there were a bunch of onions being sweated in the kitchen, or if it was the stank of the old platform shoes and Fraggle Rock lunch boxes, but there was a funky BO smell that hit me when I first walked it to the dinning room (or maybe it was the dude behind me who kept shifting around and bumping my tiny booth?). In any case, it didn’t linger.
On to more important things – the food!
It had just turned 11 AM so I had my choice of either breakfast or lunch. Seeing that the placemat proudly featured a child’s drawing of the Deluxe Burger, I decided that was the best bet. It arrived quickly, and I was impressed by the size and look of it. With a toasted bun, and a well-grilled patty, I was impressed that the big burger was still very juicy (the meat was almost “loose”). I was happy that the slice of tomato was ripe despite the very un-summery time of year, and that there was a big slice of pickle to go on the burger. I would have liked a bit more condiments I think – perhaps one of those old diner-style mustard/ketchup/relish trays would have been nice to offer to customers.
The fries were pretty good, fluffy inside and crisp outside – they definitely needed salt though. They were kind of generic, which I though was a bit disappointing.
I decided to get a milkshake – it seemed like the right thing to do in a diner like this (and on “vacation”) I didn’t even hear the blender thing going, but I got this smaller glass and milkshake tin with at least as much leftover in the tin as there was in the glass itself. The Chocolate Milkshake was very thick, and despite stiring it with a spoon, it took about 10 minutes before I could really enjoy any substantial amounts of it! It tasted great, but I didn’t realize that the shake was going to cost SIX FREAKIN’ DOLLARS! I’ve had martinis that were cheaper than this! I was especially mad that I was so stuffed and didn’t even finish it!
So – final verdict? Too expensive. I enjoyed my food a lot, but I cannot get over the price that they charged for pretty straight-forward food. I can see why some people like this place, but I’d rather be able to treat Chris to lunch too instead of spending $20 on just myself for a burger, fries and shake.