“Where do the locals eat?” It’s a question we road trippers often ask at small-town gas stations, campgrounds/motels and coffee shops. We’re not after cutting-edge, chef-driven cuisine, where the server announces in a knowing voice what $10-a-glass wine “we’re pouring tonight.” No, good, basic fare at reasonable prices will do, along with a generous helping of local ambience.
In Enderby, B.C., a small town in the North Okanagan Valley, Hungry Jack’s Cafe, a laid-back, family-run spot on the downtown drag, is the go-to place. With good reason. My three-egg omelette, with melted cheddar and big chunks of bacon, arrives smoking hot in five minutes, accompanied by some fine marbled rye toast. The real revelation is the hash browns, actually thick slices of sautéed new potatoes—my favourite.
It’s a fine, filling breakfast for only $7.50, the small talk at neighbouring tables thrown in for free. Bonus points for the menu warning about substitutions: “We have only one guy in the kitchen. If it really upsets his flow, it just ain’t going to happen.”
Hungry Jack’s Cafe
602A Cliff Avenue, Enderby, B.C.
Weekdays 7 am-2 pm, Saturday 7:30 am-1:30 pm. Closed Sunday
Just up the street, Mimi’s Teahouse & Cafe offers more than 80 loose-leaf black and green teas in a bright setting with colourful art on the walls and chairs. I go for a nice little pot of cream English breakfast tea, but resist the temptation of adding a scone with Devonshire cream. For a town this size, it’s unusual to have a place like this that also serves tea sandwiches (on house-made bread with a strawberry side salad) and Bento box lunches.
Mimi’s is owned by a lovely Korean couple. If you’re in luck, you might hear the wife breaking into an opera aria in the kitchen.
Mimi’s Teahouse & Cafe
610 Cliff Avenue, Enderby, B.C.
Weekdays 10:30 am-5 pm, Saturday 11 am-3 pm. Closed Sunday