Since its founding in 1940 by an entrepreneurial father-and-son team in Joliet, Illinois, Dairy Queen franchises have serenaded the palates of generations of customers across North America with frosty confections and savoury grilled fare. The company’s dedication to celebrating life events large and small is evidenced as staffers concoct their signature cakes that sandwich chocolate and vanilla soft serve between layers of fudge and a crunchy mantle, serving hungry partygoers. While treat architects specialize in the creation of sweet indulgences such as thick Blizzards and sundaes, a host of grill masters bustles about the kitchen forging flame-licked eats including burgers, chicken strips, and hot dogs.
The life of a table is often sedentary and thankless, but the tables at L.A. Grill find meaning in their existence by propping up bountiful plates of diverse bistro fare. Sizzling morsels of steak, chicken souvlaki, and salmon don international flavours via cool tzatziki and zesty Cajun spices, and toasted slices of whole-wheat bread swaddle seafood sandwiches and 6-ounce burgers. On the patio, outdoorsy tables bask in the elements beneath ample umbrellas, miming escape routes to their brethren indoors.
The Pantry Restaurant serves home-style meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Comforting classics such as cinnamon french toast or egg skillets share menu space with steel-cut oatmeal, fresh fruit, and granola pancakes. For lunch and dinner, soup-and-salad combos, burgers, and old-fashioned favourites such as meatloaf and lasagna please everyone, even the family nihilist.
Vera's Burger Shack handcrafts its meaty morsels using 6-ounce beef patties and any combination of 35 flavourful condiments, a recipe that has earned the title of Vancouver's Best Hamburger eight times. Diners can opt for the menu's classic Vera burger, topped with the usual fixings ($5.99), or adorn buns with more adventurous accessories such as fried salami ($1.79), feta cheese ($1.29), or a rakish porkpie hat. Burgers in lamb ($9.99) and veggie ($5.99) varietals offer alternatives to beef, and The Doug Special presents a double-decker, open-faced affair topped with cheese, fried onions, and chili ($10.99). A basket of frings, twice-fried fries and onion rings ($5.99), yearns for a dip in a bona fide ice-cream milkshake, which comes in varieties including strawberry, blackberry, and the most elusive berry of all, chocolate ($4.99).
With Chef Ken Iaci at the helm, Mondo Eatery & Burger Bar makes memories out of burgers, steaks, seafood, and other hearty eats. From the eatery menu, choose shareable plates of varying sizes, including a beet and orange salad ($9), Kobe beef Salisbury steak ($17), or clams San Francisco ($16). Select a brew, adult milkshake, or martini and pair with one of 12 burgers ranging from the traditional to the exotic, with such pattifed specimens as the kangaroo burger ($8.95), the bison burger ($8.95), and the crispy snapper burger ($6.95). Pair with a pile of crispy yam fries ($4) and a glass of wine, and you have a meal fit for a king or a king's peasant-doppelganger.
The Point sources fresh, local ingredients to craft a menu of tapas and pastas and seats diners on a patio tickled by fresh air from neighbouring Garry Point Park. The tapas dinner for two lets couples, friends, or reconciled comedy duos choose 6 of the 14 small-plate selections, such as baby dungeness-crab cakes, yam fries served with garlic aioli, and chorizo sliders topped with caramelized onions, Okanagan goat cheese, and a sweet balsamic reduction. A pitcher of sangria adds to the evening's Spanish sheen, cleansing palates between bites and debates about whether the running of the bulls is really a run or more of a power walk.