Rumpus Room 2.0: Nostalgia on Tap
When I was a kid growing up in Kits, we didn’t really have a rumpus room. We had a basement, yes, but my brothers lived down there. Our living room was where we hung out. Wood panelling?? For sure. Shag carpets: yup. Avocado appliances?? Ooooh yeah.
A few years back, when I still ate meat, I heard a rumour that a local eatery was serving up Chicken and Waffles. I sought them out on Main Street, and was delighted to discover every shade of goldenrod that decorated the interior of The Rumpus Room. There wasn’t really anywhere else in town (at the time) that you could get chicken and waffles, or where nostalgia was so blatantly celebrated. I was sad when they closed their doors.
I was just as elated when they opened their doors again earlier this year in the old Foundation space on Main and 7th. Deep fried pickles for all!
Rachel Zottenberg, who also runs The Emerald, is the owner here. She’s a tattooed badass dynamo with a soft spot for comfort food, and the mission to make it accessible to everyone, even those with dietary restrictions.
Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are all de rigueur on the menu, which celebrates the best of the past. Thankfully, there’s no green quivery jello salads in Tupperware ring molds with canned fruit salad and mini marshmallows trapped inside. Thanks for that less-than-stellar memory, mom. *shudder*
I recently brunched at The Rumpus Room, and of what’s on the brunch menu is available on the regular menu as well.
Root Beer float?? Yes, please! This one is non-alcoholic, but it’s worthwhile to mention that there are lots of boozy nostalgia options on the menu. They make their own infused vodka-infused gummy bears in-house. That’s right. You heard me. Vodka-infused gummy bears.
Not your mom’s Ants on a Log: celery, peanut butter, chocolate chips, currants and thin slices of apple.
Deep-fried pickles and sesame fries. Guys, I really cannot put into words how tasty these two items are. The fries are done right; double-fried, and the pickle batter is so light and crunchy…. It’s the ultimate bar food.
Rachel says if anyone ever stays over at her house, she’ll likely offer them loaded toasts for breakfast. Here, you don’t have to choose between sweet or savoury. There’s avo toast with sprouts and a poached egg, but I was all about the peanut butter/ banana/ chocolate chip combo. If you want to kick your peanut butter up to the next level, order the Fat Elvis: a fried peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich, topped with Frosted Flakes.
Another epic brunch sandwich: this one combines grilled cheese with a toad-in-the-hole. So, they make a grilled cheese on yummy sourdough, but then cut out the centre and cook an egg inside. This one is show with a side of chili, but there are 6 different sides you can choose from.
Beets the Kale Benny: I get veggie bennies quite a lot, and they tend to often be the same. This one was refreshingly different. First off, it comes on waffles (from Damien’s in Steveston), not on an english muffin. These are herby cheddar chive waffles, topped with roasted balsamic beet rounds, sauteed kale, poached eggs, beet infused hollandaise and chevre. The beet-infused hollandaise is so pretty, and the beets are lovely with the chevre.
For the vegans! Hash browns topped with chilli, sautéed veggies and a tofu scramble garnished with green onions and black sesame. Hearty!
What I love about this place is that it feels so communal. There are board games everywhere and barrels of monkeys (I got mine for my 6th Christmas) on every table. There are comfy chairs (okay, they’re a hideous shade of gold, but there ya go), and a chill atmosphere.
All in all, it adds up to a great place to hang with some friends, play some cards, have a drink or two, and a leisurely meal.