Tag Archive for rachel zottenberg

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.Brunch Rumpus Room

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

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.

Ants on a Log Rumpus Room

Not your mom’s Ants on a Log: celery, peanut butter, chocolate chips, currants and thin slices of apple.

Deep Fried Pickles Rumpus Room

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.

Toasts Rumpus Room

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.

Grilled Cheese Toad in the Hole Rumpus Room

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

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. 

Vegan Skillet

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.

Happy Hour at The Emerald Supper Club: Deliciously Retro

There’s a debate raging in Vancouver, and it’s been raging a while. Do we make the grade as a world-class food city?

I’ve been to some of the great food cities in the world: New York, Paris, London, Melbourne… and while we may not be quite at that level, I vote yes. Guys, I think we got it going on. And the reason why is because of the amazing, passionate people that run some of our city’s best and most interesting eateries.

Rachel Zottenberg is one of those people. She co-owns and runs several establishments in the city; The Narrow, The Emerald, Uncle Abe’s and the newly re-opened (yay!) Rumpus Room.

Her husband, BTW, is the exec chef at the newly-opened Parq, so it’s a family affair.

The Emerald Cocktails

The Emerald has been around for 5 years, and I’ve been a few times for cocktails. When you hear that Rachel also runs the Rumpus Room, the atmosphere at The Emerald makes a lot of sense. Even though it’s upstairs, it feels a lot like you’re downstairs in your parent’s basment in the 70’s. It’s dark. There’s teak everywhere, and burgundy velvet and that particular shade of orange that we all know and love from that particular decade. The decor is firmly stuck somewhere between 1957 and 1977. Mid-centrury modern rules here.

The food is firmly in this century, though.

Lavender 75 The Emerald

Cocktails are worth mentioning, as it’s the main reason most people go here. I particularly enjoyed the Lavender 75, a mixture of gin, lavender syrup, champers, and lemon. Kind of the perfect summer drink, refreshing and light, a bit floral.

It’s currently negroni week, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sip on one of those. This is a classic version, and it balances the bitter with the orange well.

Negroni The Emerald

And if you like Pina Coladas… yeah, they have one of those. If you need a little spice in your life (and cocktail), there’s The Michelada, featuring Sol beer, tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and lime, served in a glass with a salt & spice rim.

Cauliflower The Emerald

There’s nibbles, too, built for sharing. Cauliflower is having a renaissance right now, and there are two cauliflower “wings” options on the menu: a spicy szechuan, cooled by an accompanying blue cheese dip, and an Asian-inspired version with a peanut sauce. House-made chips, sprinkled with flavoured salts and rosemary-garlic fries are also available for noshing on.

Flatbreads The Emerald

I know I’m the veg blogger, but many of my friends are meat eaters, so it’s always important to me to find a place where we can both be satisfied. There’s a share plate of wings, ribs and cornbread that got picked clean in a big hurry (and the cornbread was grilled, warm and delicious). There are flatbreads, too. Oh–and for you veg-heads, a pretty great veggie slider (the brioche buns were perfection).

Veggie sliders The Emerald


And for dessert? Emerald cake, of course!

Emerald Cake

Happy Hour at The Emerald happens Tuesday through Friday nights, 5-7 pm, with $6 cocktails, $5 wine & beer, and $5 nibbles.

It’s a great place to get social with some friends, and support our local (growing and thriving) food scene. See you there?