You’ll Want a Front Row Seat for Two Rivers’ Cheeseburger Show

The four unnumbered stools overlooking The Shop’s grill. Photo: Adam Blasberg

Not all restaurant tables are created equal. Some shouldn’t even exist on account of their terrible positioning, while others are so superior in every way that they make the other tables in the dining room jealous. Scout keeps a running account of the very best ones here.

The Shop by Two Rivers is hopping. I feared it would be, which is why I had timed things to arrive at the end of the lunch rush (almost 2pm). Alas, the communal tables are full and the stools along the kitchen bar are taken. So we look around, eyeball the meat selections and select some apple bangers and dry-aged flat-iron to take home. Butcher Pasqual Stufano is busily doing his thing as the cooks behind the open line do theirs. The only people not moving are the customers. But as we order our cheeseburger, ramen (yes, the North Van restaurant/butchers does a ramen, and the pork broth is amazing) and tallow-fried, cinnamon-sugared beignets, a spot opens up in front of the grill. Then two. Perfect.

The view of the grill action from one of the kitchen bar’s perches.

There are four seats in front of the grill and any one of them will do. They don’t have specific table or seat numbers (The Shop operates on a counter-service flag system) and they aren’t reservable, so if one is available when you walk in the door, fight for it. Why? Because from here you’ll get to see your house-ground, ridiculously juicy cheeseburger being made, and if you didn’t order a cheeseburger you get to see the results other peoples’ better decisions. The fellow on the birch wood-fired grill is fun to watch, as he works quickly with an economy of movement and isn’t the least bit shy (his easy affability reminded me of Peter’s at Savio Volpe). Also of note from here is the waft action. I’m not sure if it was from an unseen fan or an overzealous hood vent, but the comforting cooking and wood-burning aromas are gently zephyred in your face via a quiet, cooling, manufactured breeze — a welcome bonus!

  • IMG_7260
  • IMG_7268
  • IMG_7245
  • IMG_7251
  • IMG_7259
  • IMG_7255
  • IMG_7266

There is 1 comment

  1. We have had the pleasure of indulging in Two Rivers jerky/pepperoni/and bacon (some of which is nitrate free)….
    All Absolutely delicious!!!!!……
    We would love to comment on the beautiful looking restaurant, however live in the interior….. Will definately be making a point of visiting on our next trip to North Van….no res 🙂

Where to Eat Your Omelette at Vancouver’s Most Parisian of French Restaurants

Not all restaurant tables are created equal, and this is especially the case at the highly transportive and atmospheric Au Comptoir.

The Awesome Table Everyone Should Cross Their Fingers for at West Pender’s ‘Cinara’

Squeeze yourself and a few friends into this unique corner booth at chef Lucais Syme's European-themed charmer

Breezy, Palapa-Topped Table #31 At Yaletown’s New ‘Fayuca’

Not only is it the only one of its kind in the restaurant but it's also right in the thick of it with sight lines to the patio, lounge and front door.

Seeing Everything From Lucky Taco’s Unique Table 31 In Kitsilano

When it’s not sunny or otherwise gorgeous out the action at Kitsilano’s Lucky Taco is anchored by the bar and the tables closest to it. When it’s nice out, however, it’s all about the patio. And yet neither of those sections of the restaurant – now enjoying its second summer – offers up the best seat in the house.