There’s only a few places in Vancouver that makes me crave to go back and try every single item on the menu: Red Wagon is on that list. This old school, no fuss, friendly diner is backed by a chef with quite the local pedigree. His name is Chef Brad Miller and he was worked at notable local kitchens like Bistro Pastis, West, and Au Petit Chavignol. He had a stint in serving food goodness in Paris and you could tell that experience influenced his menu. Red Wagon is simple French cooking with a simple approachable comfortable dining experience.
When you step in, it really feels like your neighborhood diner that has stayed around since the 1950s. But when you take a closer look at the menu, it tells a different story. You can see the French influence with dishes like confit pork belly and croque madame. And pretty much the whole menu shouts gourmet.
I ordered the very fancy sounding country pate sandwich with celery root slaw, apple mustard
cornichon on baguette with side of fries.
Country pate is, in short, a fancy meatloaf of mostly ground pork mixed with lots of spices and sometimes there’s liver in it. A country pate can be quite dense and heavy to eat but the celery root slaw and apple mustard gave it a nice tang and freshness that cut into that density. I was pleasantly surprised that it’s not as heavy as it looked and easily inhaled the whole thing.
My friend ordered the very gut filling The Croque Madame with a side salad
It’s a grilled ham and swiss sandwich, béchamel with a sunny side egg on top. If you ever want a decent breakfast sandwich, this would be it. You got your protein, dairy, and more all in one gooey bite.
The prices here are of course more than your greasy spoon diner. But if you want simple inspired high-quality food, then this Food Network gem is definitely worth checking out.
The Red Wagon
2296 East Hastings Street