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dine at Rods Kitchen and Grill

A Casual Repast at Rod’s Kitchen & Grill

Quietly tucked away amid some warehouse-like office complexes near the Production Way SkyTrain Station lies Rod’s Kitchen & Grill – an assuming gem of a diner.

Having driven past this establishment countless times over the past eight years, my family and I finally trekked ourselves over there for lunch during the Easter long weekend. As we entered this cozy eatery, I wondered what in the world had taken us so very long to visit?

Rod’s Kitchen & Grill is the quintessential Chinese-Canadian diner. The regular menu boasts hearty breakfasts (served until 11am), along with western fare (think salads, burgers, sandwiches, fish & chips) as well as fajita wraps, chicken fingers, poutine and more. Though the main menu is all western, the rotating daily specials do include some Asian dishes. While my discerning (read: picky) five-year-old stuck with the tried, tested and trusty grilled cheese sandwich, my foodie-in-training 10-year-old chose the classic BLTC. My husband opted for the clubhouse, and – after hearing about some great things about their burgers – I ordered the Cajun chicken burger. Side options include fries, the house salad or soup – but we all went with the fries because we all love them equally and would rather not share them.

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Rod’s is the kind of place where you place your order at the counter, take a number, seat yourself amid the charming wooden tables and wait. It’s a throwback to casual diners of the past, though there is nothing stale here. The décor is simple yet eclectic, including a print of the EiffelTower, an inspirational poster and a rack of colourful magazines to peruse while waiting for your meal. Ours came only a short while later. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my chicken burger came on a brioche bun. (A nice French connection to the EiffelTower print, don’t you think?) All of the sandwiches were substantial and homemade – and the same could be said about the fries. The bacon in the clubhouse and BLTC sandwiches remained perfectly crispy, despite being surrounded by vegetables and other fillings (an unusual feat, I believe). The grilled cheese was creamy and buttery, while my burger comprised an honest-to-goodness chicken filet (not the processed stuff). Everything was tasty and filling and reasonably priced. In fact, when you get right down to it, between the cheery service and the generous portions, Rod’s Kitchen & Grill offers incredible value – which is especially important when you have the lure of a Costco just down the street. (We ended up taking an overflowing box of fries at home. I really should have opted for the salad.) Our long-awaited visit to Rod’s Kitchen & Grill was worth the wait, though we needn’t have waited so long. After having finally eaten here, I can assure you it certainly won’t be another eight years before we come back. I’ve got my eye on the Denver omelette sandwich for next time… or maybe I’ll try the corned beef on rye. Rod’s Kitchen & Grill is located near the Production Way SkyTrain Station at 3290 Production Way, and is open most days for breakfast and lunch. To confirm days and hours, phone 604-421-3354. For more dining options in Burnaby, visit the Tourism Burnaby restaurant listings. Sheliza Mitha is a freelance writer and editor based in Burnaby, BC. Image Credit: Budding photographer Asina M.

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