There are some places I write about that no tourist will ever seek out. They’re rather lackluster and unglamorous. The food is average, and the atmosphere is quiet. But that doesn’t mean I can’t like them, at least a little.
Take Blue Flame Grill, for example, which is located on Bridgeport Road; I noticed it during my first Bykle-Upon, when I cycled eastward into a nearly restaurant-less landscape. This area is all industrial, so I couldn’t help but narrow in on the few restaurants that had assembled themselves at Bridgeport and No. 5 Road. Blue Flame Grill was among them, so I took a photo and decided to return on a day I needed a fast food fix.
Blue Flame Grill sort of feels like a truck stop; there are a few chalkboard menus advertising hearty egg-and-bacon breakfasts, a small TV playing the news, and a few well-worn tables and chairs. There might be more staff, but when I was there it was a one man show. He took orders and cooked the food, multi-tasking (for the most part) like a pro. It’s fast food, but you have to be willing to wait a little.
I could relate to his ‘I only have two arms but could use eight’ plight. I spent three summers working at a small diner on a lake outside of Prince George, and that job provided training like no other. On some mornings, before a second staff member came in, I opened the cafe, served, cooked, cleaned, checked people in to the campsite, and occasionally ran outside to pump gas.
I became a multi-tasking wonder woman, and more than anything else, came to truly appreciate other hard workers (especially other hard workers in the service industry). In small places with one or two staff, you may not get your food as quick as you’d like, but waiting a few minutes never hurt anyone.
Judging by the man’s rapport with some of the customers, it seemed like he has a lot of regulars, and many of them men (I was the only lady to be seen). I chose the bacon cheeseburger with fries ($8.25), because that seemed like a classic option.
The burger arrived, and was diner-style and decent. I say ‘diner-style’ because the burger had processed cheese, mayo, shredded iceberg, and a slice of tomato. It was nothing fancy, but satisfying enough because I was hungry. The fries were good, but I really didn’t like the bacon; it was thick cut, which I appreciated, but it was tough and chewy.
In addition to burgers, it offers sandwiches, beef dips, and reubens, as well as grilled cheese sandwiches. There’s soup and salad options (though I imagine they’re quite basic) and it also does catering.
Blue Flame isn’t necessarily a place I’d recommend, but it’s a place I can appreciate. It won’t win awards, but neither will the Wendy’s just up the road, so at least you’ll be supporting local business!
Meals aside, today is a very important day in Canada – it’s Remembrance Day. This is a time to remember, reflect, and acknowledge the endless sacrifices made by both Canadian men and women for their country and the world. Nationally, the CBC will provide all-day TV and radio coverage, including the ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The City of Richmond’s annual Remembrance Day Ceremony begins today around 10am, with two minutes of silence observed at 11am. Matthew Hoekstra also wrote this beautiful piece for the Richmond Review.
Today, more than ever, I will try and appreciate the peace and stability that characterize my life; I’ll remember my two Great Great Uncles who died in WWI, all that my grandfathers and grandmothers contributed during WWII, and all people affected by the hardship and tragedy of war. It’s impossible for me to understand what it’s like, and I can be nothing but grateful for that ignorance. Today I will join the country in remembering. Lest We Forget.
Cash and cards accepted
Vegetarian options available