DINER | Yolks Food Truck To Open Brick & Mortar Eatery Inside An East Hastings Icon

IMG_2786

by Andrew Morrison | When The Brave Bull closed in September of last year, there wasn’t much in the way of weeping. At least not from me. It had been serving steaks out of the corner location of East Hastings and Clark since 1985. I knew it well. The owners were proud and friendly and their sirloins were super cheap, like in the region of $10 per. Nevertheless, the prospect of dirt cheap meat didn’t get me all excited, and neither did the taste. I mean, food costing aside, where does one acquire a $10 sirloin, anyway? Was it a planned loss leader to get people through the door? In any event, folks tend to shy away from restaurants that have the word “brave” in their entreaty, so like all things it came to pass.

When they upped sticks and sold it off to the big bad developers (who’ve put a demolition clause on the place), the founder of the Yolks breakfast food truck, chef Steve Ewing (ex-Raincity Grill, Beachside, French Laundry, Rockwater) picked it up so as to use the back space as a commissary kitchen for his mobile operations. Soon, other food trucks came a-knocking (La Taqueria, Tacofino, Fliptop) to use the space, too. Fast forward to a month or two ago and it was like the back of house was rocking and the front of house was a shuttered wasteland of profitless drag. Using the 44 seats to Ewing’s advantage seemed a no brainer, which leads us to this week, as the new eatery nears opening day.

It’s pretty unrecognisable today from when it was The Brave Bull. The Greco-Roman styling of the exterior has been painted over with light yellow and blue, and the interior is basic and clean (dig the framed photo exhibit from local shooter Norman Fox). The only noticeably original fixtures are the buttoned leather bar fronts. The lamps look old, but that’s because they’ve been salvaged from chicken coops. The kitchen has been cleaned as well as you can imagine that it needed to be in your worst nightmares. They’ve kept the beautiful old gas stove and had it cleaned down its original surface squeakiness, while the adjacent flat top is rocking old school with curled bevelled edges. It would be a fun line to cook on. And big! The kitchen is huge. Are we going to see the fancy food that Ewing cooked during his fine dining years? No. Just eggs and such, and hopefully the Fried Chicken and waffles that you can get from his truck.

IMG_4435

“The desire to cook that way just isn’t there anymore,” he says. “I want to turn out simple, good food.” Yolks sounds like a winner, and if it is one, there are another 45 seats that are currently tucked away in anticipation of the busy day that they’ll be needed. Opening day is slated for this Friday morning. The hours are expected to be 7am to 3pm on weekdays and 9am to 4pm on weekends (closed Monday/Tuesday in the first couple of months). We wish Steve et al the very best. Break a leg, guys, and welcome to the neighbourhood!

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

  • chungbot

    I’m super excited for this. A short bike ride away from my place, hopefully it’ll bring some excitement to a dreary corner of the east side.

  • Bob Dobalina

    Good for them. Their food is fantastic.

  • BA

    i shed some tears for the Brave Bull. It was easily my fav restaurant in the city and it was run by truly awesome people.

  • Greg

    Um, stop the press, Vicky Vale!!! Hot girl with bangs serving friend chicken & waffles makes for swooooooning.

  • http://www.foodists.ca Mark Busse

    Have you actually eaten at Yolk’s yet Andrew? I’d love to know what you think.

  • mike

    Went here the weekend Saturday March 1 around noon. We were craving the duck sandwich and chicken and waffles so we checked out reviews about this place on urbanspoon. Reviews were great and approved our drooling mouths. There was 3 people in line and about 4 couples waiting for food. We were greeted by a woman with cool tattoos on her wrist and a smile. We got the duck sandwich but unfortunately, chicken and waffles were not available so we added the truffle lemon hashbrown skewer. All was going well until I noticed something. After taking everyone`s order and handling money, the cashier haddecided to help out and prep food without washing her hands! I was so disgusted! Through that little take out window, I noticed her handling the english muffins in the toaster and prepping food from the chef that was ready to be handed out. If you order the hashbrown skewer, she will sprinkle the sea salt and chives with her dirty fingers! Gross. I was hesitant to say anything because my wife didn`t want me to cause a scene. I should have. Like who does that? Especially that everyone can see. You also can see a sink that was behind her, which she never used during the whole 15-20 mins we were there. There were a lot of orders during that time frame. The duck was good. The hashbrown skewer, amazing (the truffle oil makes it good). Food was delicious but I don`t like the dirty hands. So I`ll give it a, doesn`t like, thumbs down review. But, I still want to try the chicken and waffles though…who knows, maybe.