The Red Wagon is a diner located in East Vancouver on Hastings. They serve up greasy spoon diner food, but with a modern and more innovative twist.
This is one of my favourite places in the area to get lunch. I came here the other day with my friends Melissa and Jason for a pre school meal. Sometimes there can be a line up out the door waiting for seats, but since we went during the middle of the week we got a table right away.
Melissa ordered the crisp pork belly sandwich ($12). It is like a Vietnamese sub; It has the typical pickled veggies, jalapeño, cilantro, and mayo, but the pork belly is what makes it special.
The pork belly was meaty with a good amount of fat and it melted in your mouth. It makes the sandwich pretty indulgent and greasy, but very delicious.
This sandwich is served with house made chips, which are very tasty. I wonder why more restaurants don’t serve home-made chips.
Jason ordered a burger with pulled pork on it ($13).
I like the pulled pork they make here because it has the perfect amount of tang, with just a hint of sweetness. The burger itself was also good. It was thick cut and retained lots of moisture. If you are a big carnivore I would definitely recommend the burger + pulled pork combination.
I ordered the DLT ($14), which is a sandwich on ciabatta with confit duck, tomato chutney, and iceberg lettuce.
I was worried I would regret not getting the pork belly sandwich, but I was glad I tried something new because this sandwich is now one of my favourites.
The duck confit was amazing. It was so juicy, tender, and flavourful. The tomato chutney was also nice. It was a mild and a little sweet, which was good because it allowed the duck to really be the star of the sandwich.
The sandwich came with fresh, crispy diner fries.
On another occasion I came here and ordered their famous pulled pork pancakes ($12.50). As a disclaimer, I’m not a big fan of pancakes. I find them boring and normally prefer waffles, but I felt the need to try these.
It comes with three large, fluffy, buttermilk pancakes that are layered with pulled pork and drizzled with Jack Daniels maple syrup. For someone who doesn’t like pancakes, I found these pretty enjoyable.
The pulled pork was tangy and flavourful and I loved the incorporation of savoury flavours with the pancakes. I think I would like pancakes more if they were served with savoury toppings more often.
The Jack Daniels maple syrup was sweet, but the boozy flavour offset it a bit, so it’s not as overwhelmingly sweet and regular maple syrup. All of the flavours came together and made for a filling satisfying meal.
My recent visits to the Red Wagon have been great and I can say that I haven’t had a bad experience here yet. Every item I have tried has been well executed and satisfying.
Yes, for modern diner food.