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Patty Osborne's Blog

Tomahawk Revisited: gold pans, totem poles and weiners

Patty Osborne

When your 85-year-old mother says recalls a restaurant called "The Tomahawk" and you're about to drive by it, you just have to stop for lunch. Of course, it's not where it used to be when your Dad would take you there (on the main drag in North Vancouver), but your Iphone helps you find it where it's tucked away in a quiet neighbourhood of one-storey houses.

The decor is a mixture of Klondike memorabilia and West Coast Native artifacts and art (some of which is pretty bad) and on the menu is a "Potlatch Deluxe: golden grilled weiner slices, lettuce, tomato and Tomahawk special sauce." They've also got Salisbury steak and a Dagwood Super Burger.

On the back of the menu you read that the original Tomahawk was founded by Chick Chamberlain in 1926 and that it was the first drive-in restaurant in Vancouver. On the paper placemat is a map of BC that's full of funny drawings and placenames and the motto: "It's BC for me!"

The place reminds your mom of the Salisbury House in Winnipeg where she and her university friends hung out and drank vanilla cokes. Your mom took Sciences because she was good at math and Science was the only program her father would pay for but after her second year her uncle got her a job at the Wheat Board and since she could earn real money there, she never went back to school.

You and your mom share a burger (organic beef, mushrooms and bacon), a Caesar salad, and some fries (hot and crispy). The food is good and so is the service, in that old-fashioned way that makes your mother very happy. Four days later she's still talking about what a good time she had, and so are you.

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