It is one of life’s greatest pleasures to find fun where we don’t expect it. Diners often offer colouring books to kids (although these seem less about fun and more about quiet), but how many places cater to your inner child? Spoons Diner remembers.
Parking within the lot of the Super-8 Hotel on Douglas is ample and free. The diner is through the hotel lobby at the end of a short hall at the far end of the front desk. Diners’ can choose outdoor seating in a garden setting under umbrellas or comfortable and quite private booths inside. Or, choose to sit at the small lunch counter and take your social chances with whomever sits beside you. Oh, by the way, the stools swivel!
We are a group of four, so we opt for a booth. The ambience is downscale, reminiscent of a Mom and Pop diner of yore, warmed with age. There is plenty of worn wood and retro styling. The walls are richly adorned with mid 20th century pop art, including movie posters and old comic book covers. The setting hints at the food. A small sign by the host station reads “Bacon makes everything better.” It appears to be Spoons’ motto, seen also on the staff T-shirts. It means this is not health food, it’s just good fun food, and there is plenty of it.
We go for a late breakfast, and I have Mr. Jones’ Omelet, which is filled with chicken, tomato, mushrooms, green onion, roasted garlic and cheddar. That’s adult fun. The garlic is left in whole cloves that offer unexpected explosions of goodness in the mouth. I happen to like garlic — a lot — so each explosion sends me to the moon.
My only complaint is that the sliced avocado is placed on top rather than within the omelet. It’s prettier on top, but I would have preferred to experience the rich creaminess pervading every bite. Omelets are served with toast and breakfast potatoes, or, for a small surcharge, you can substitute the potatoes with grilled tomato, as I did, or fresh fruit, or a bowl of candy. You probably had to read that again. Yes, I wrote “a bowl of candy.” I said this place was fun.
If you want some serious good times, check out the Prusa. Nobody in our group is brave enough to try it, though I’m sorely tempted. I guess I’m a bit too wary about unleashing my pent up teenage self. The Prusa is a mystery breakfast or lunch created just for you. You may specify that you are vegetarian or list your various allergies and intolerances, and these will be accommodated, but you cannot ban any ingredient. Are you up for this gastronomical challenge?
Of course, if all this seems like humbug to you, don’t worry. Spoons prepares all the standards as you like them. After all, we all have our own idea of fun.
Allan Reid is a top rated reviewer for TripAdvisor, an accomplished writer and resident of Victoria.