Red Wagon

Originally planning to go back to Deacon’s Corner this weekend, we actually ended up at The Red Wagon on Hastings in the Nanaimo region.  We’d driven past it a couple of times, and thought it was high time we grab brunch there!

On Hasting, just east of Nanaimo

As we waited inside, we got to appreciate some of the neat retro decor – from rusty Coca-Cola signs as art to old safety lamps over the diner counter.

We had a bit of a wait but got seated at a nice 4-top table within 10 minutes.  I did notice that other folks who had longer waits were offered coffee or water – a nice touch.

We were quite intrigued by the Pulled Pork Pancakes, which were featured during our visit (though not special priced, so I’m not sure what the “special” on the outdoor sign referred to) – because these seemed to be a more-sane version of the pulled pork pancakes from Deacon’s Corner, Chris ordered this dish.

Pulled Pork Pancakes ($12)

Stacked three-high, the 4-inch cakes layered with house-smoked pulled pork did not make quite the visual impact we were expecting (in fact, we did see several other folks who ordered this dish do a double take).  After being surprised at the smallish size of this dish, the next thing you notice is the distinctively bourbon-y Jack Daniels maple syrup that is served warm on the dish.  The flavours were excellent – they clearly know how to do pulled pork, but it was hard to get over the presentation/size.  Serving this dish in a large oval plate made it look smaller than it was – perhaps not layering might be a better option; or serving a small side of baked beans, grilled peppers or tomatoes, or even an apple slaw would help fill out the dish and add some contrasting flavours, textures and colours.

Crisp Pork Belly ($11)

I definitely picked a bigger meal with the Crisp Pork Belly (which, notably, was $1 less than Chris’ dish).  The confit pork belly was melt-in-your-mouth perfect, with just enough meat to not be scary.  My over-medium eggs were done perfectly, though I was surprised by how spicy the salsa verde was that came drizzled on them.  The chunky hashbrowns were great, with potato skins left on, just as I like them, and while this dish was good enough on its own, the extra hollandaise was a luxurious inclusion.  I did end up sharing my toast with Chris, and I liked that jam was served in dollops in side dishes (rather than in plastic packets).

The bill (featuring Swedish Berries)

I enjoyed our brunch there, and I think we’d return for lunch sometime.  I hope that my comments re: the pulled pork pancakes are taken into consideration, especially since this is clearly an item they pride themselves on at this neat little restaurant – I would hate for customers to leave disappointed.

Service was good throughout the meal, though I think we may have given off signals that we were ready to leave before we really were – table clearing occurred before Chris had finished his last cup of coffee.  Debit (and probably credit) accepted.

The Red Wagon on Urbanspoon

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This entry was posted in Breakfast & Brunch, Diner, Food, Food styles, Restaurants. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Red Wagon

  1. dkzody says:

    I think restaurants should serve smaller serving sizes. We have really gone overboard in the amount of food we think we need to have, especially when dining out. Smaller plates, smaller servings–good ideas.

    • Elaine says:

      I am happy getting smaller portions when no one is being mislead into that choice.
      For instance, I love Bandida’s Taqueria or other places where you can choose a much smaller meal (say, 2 tacos) and are charged an accordingly smaller price.
      There’s definitely something about presenting a mostly-empty plate that makes me feel weird about spending my $$

  2. munchkie says:

    How quirky that they serve retro candy with the bill! Yes, that pulled pork pancake dish does look small but the little pancakes look thick! I hate skinny flap jacks. What a creative concept tho… to mix pulled pork with pancakes and with syrup…. tasty.

  3. Pingback: The Red Wagon: Blueberry bottomed pancakes « munchkie's munchies

  4. Pingback: food punk » The Red Wagon: Blueberry bottomed pancakes

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