by Andrew Morrison | Full disclosure: Elizabeth Bryan and I go back a few years. We both used to write for Vancouver Island’s EAT Magazine, long before Scout was born. I was reminded of this while flipping through back issues while waiting for my meal at Dock Lunch, her little Mount Pleasant hideaway. She had piles of them on the sideboard, along with original copies of Pacific Island Gourmet, the long defunct magazine that she used to own.
Elizabeth’s passion for food is incredibly genuine, and in no small way a consequence of her South Carolinian roots. Her “soul food” style of cooking really satisfies with plates – usually three or four different ones a day (menu posted on her Instagram feed) – deliciously evoking/expressing where she comes from. Think fried chicken, ham and biscuits, shrimp and grits, berry shortcakes, the whole kaboodle. She does just about everything in the 16 seat charmer by herself. And by that I mean she welcomes, cooks, serves, and cleans up as if she’s hosting people in her own home.
The truth of it is that the space actually was her apartment for 15 years, which is exactly why it looks and feels like you’re dining in her living room. She moved out to make the tiny eatery legal, but it’s still not uncommon to see guests bussing their own tables, bringing all their spent plates and glassware back to the kitchen once they’ve finished using them. Good on them.
It would be great if all customers could treat their Dock Lunch experiences similarly, because to treat it like any other restaurant would be a mistake. I don’t mean to say that Dock Lunch transcends or escapes the usual order, eat, pay, and retreat protocols that are the norm. Nor do I mean to suggest that it’s especially precious. It’s just cut from a different cloth, and well worth a visit. Take a look…
Dock Lunch | 152 East 11th Ave (off Main) | Open Mon-Sat, Noon(ish) to Six(ish)