Finding somewhere to have a super-late supper was impossible in Edmonton – you had the option of Denny’s or fast food (or, a slightly better option of Tim Hortons). Here in Vancouver, there seem to be dozens of options – from Gold Train’s 24-hour pho, to House of Dosas for anytime Indian food, or even Knight & Day (which I enjoy, unlike some people! 🙂 ) On this particular late night, Chris suggested Tops. I was surprised, since, the previous time we tried it, we were underwhelmed by their breakfast offerings.
I normally count breakfast as a solid case study of the restaurant’s ability to do other meals – Do they know how to cook the basics (like eggs)? Do they time things right so everything is on the plate & hot at the same time? How big are their portions? Do they have creative items, or is everything just unpacked from a Sysco box?
As mentioned above, breakfast was pretty mediocre, with perhaps a bit too much grill-spray being used that previous time. But this time, at 11 PM, we were in for more dinner-type fare.
Ah – the Monte Cristo sandwich – such a brilliant invention! How amazing is it to get both turkey and ham, plus usually 2 kinds of cheese (melty cheese!) in french toast form? And, the fact that this sandwich usually prevents the dreaded meat-slide is a big bonus for spill-prone me. Tops’ version was pretty nice, with dark-meat from a clearly in-house roasted turkey. The bread was perfect, with little frazzled bits of egg just off the edges. The only suggestion I’d have to improve it would be to more evenly layer the meats as the ham and turkey were piled high in the centre, but not so much along the edges. Knowing that the Monte Cristo is a gut-bustin’ calorie-heavy sandwich, I chose the salad with creamy basil & garlic dressing as my side. I was quite impressed by the size of the side salad, and enjoyed the garlicky dressing quite a bit (the waitress claimed they made this dressing in-house too).
Chris also sandwiched it up – choosing the Delux Burger and adding cheddar to it. He found the burger to be nice an juicy and noted their use of thousand-island-type dressing as a good addition to the burger. I didn’t taste it, but I have to say that is a mighty fine looking toasted bun! The fries were plentiful, and dipped nicely into my leftover salad dressing!
The waitress that was serving us primarily was really nice, and the secondary waitress that helped clear plates was friendly too (though a bit forceful on pushing deserts). In all, I was happily surprised that Tops’ dinner options were substantially better than their breakfast. I don’t think I’d go there specifically for some of their (crazy!) pricier items (we spied a chalkboard-advertised special of surf & turf for $40!!!), but it is a solid option for regular, diner-style, late-night eats.