GOOD TO KNOW: http://www.acmecafe.ca/
Specialties: Diner food. - breakfast, sandwiches, main plates, pies
Gluten-free: Menu items not marked but bread substitution is available.
Reservations: No but wait is rarely more than 20 minutes
Other: Eggs are range-free and sausage is all natural and gluten-free
Note: Acme Café does not have a grill so all eggs are baked in the ove
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you use them to make a purchase, I'll earn a bit of money from the sale to save for my next gluten-free adventure.
Keep It Simple (and gluten-free) Stupid.
There is something magical about waking up in a hotel bed knowing there is nothing scheduled and no work to be done. Meals will be prepared by someone else and enjoying the scenery on a ferry ride will by my biggest hardship. Gawd, I love vacation.
After lazing about basking in responsibility-free bliss and scrolling through Facebook, it became obvious that breakfast was not going to be served in bed. With that cruel reality, I threw my hair in a messy bun and headed out in search of a life altering gluten-free breakfast. The Victorian Hotel provides a European breakfast - artisan breads (not gluten-free), jam and coffee - for hotel guests. Shawn and I skipped the packed eating area and headed straight for Acme Café located a short walk away in the Paris block. Thanks to Yelp and the hotel's free wifi we were able to map out suitable breakfast spots prior to setting out on foot.
In my experience, urban cafes and bars have a certain vibe, funky, trendy, eclectic and often echoing the culture of the surrounding neighborhood . Acme Café is quirky with its hissing espresso machine, retro feel, and window counter. Breakfast is served all day and as stated by our server, nearly all the breakfasts can be prepared gluten-free with a bread substitution. On this damp Saturday morning I was in the mood for something hearty (as noted by my husband, I eat like a trucker) so I ordered the roast beef benedict (gluten-free, minus cheese) from the list of daily specials. Removing the cheese from a dish will reduce the deliciousness by at least 50% but for me, the consequences of eating dairy is far worse than the downgrade in flavor. The first couple bites of my breakfast were fan-freaking-tastic thanks to the oozing pile of melted cheese lurking under the generous drench of smooth-as-silk hollandaise sauce. Ugh. I quickly popped a dairy digest pill to hopefully avoid/lessen a reaction and tried unsuccessfully to get our servers attention. In the end, I scraped the cheese off as best I could and picked around the plate looking for safe bites to eat.
Long story short, once the food was delivered, our server went MIA and we had to flag down a hostess to settle up the check. The benny was rich and full of interesting flavors but ultimately, I am a product of my childhood and the catchy "Don't Drown Your Food" jingle from Saturday morning nutrition PSAs was a stronger influence than the sauce-laden eggs benedict I ordered. My plate of food presented more risk than I was willing to accept for the first meal of the day. In hindsight I should have kept it simple with a breakfast sandwich or sausage and eggs - safer and cleaner burning. Shawn's open-faced smoked salmon sandwich was everything he loves for breakfast with the exception of a generous portion. Unfortunately, we left Acme Café feeling hungry and 30 bucks poorer.
Acme Café wasn't our best dining experience and I know that serving diners with food restrictions is a challenge. I appreciate their effort even if the follow through was lacking. On the bright side, we tried new food and left with enough appetite to sample more Vancouver eats before catching the ferry to Victoria.
Looking for lunch in Vancouver? Read about Mediterranean Grill.
A note to readers:
I am gluten sensitive/intolerant so I am not overly concerned with possible cross contamination. If you have severe reactions, I recommend taking additional precautions.