Thursday, July 2, 2009

Anny's Dairy Bar (New Westminster, BC) + a Total Tangent...

One sunny weekend brought me to New Westminster for some antiquing. We had decided beforehand that we were going to pay a visit to The Orange Room as well, but they closed early on Sundays and so we just meandered on.

I remembered Anny's Dairy Bar from when I did work in New West, and was also hankering for their deliciously rich Maple Twist cone. M was hungry, so we ordered a cheeseburger combo (substituted a milkshake for the drink), an extra burger, and a Maple Twist Cone.

The cashier was clever enough to suggest we order the cone "for later" to avoid melting while the burgers were prepared to order. There was a little bit of a wait as we encountered an annoying occurrence on this strip of Sixth Street: a lack of washrooms. No, I do not mean that the washrooms were busy, I mean literally, there were no customer washrooms in either Anny's Dairy Bar or in KFC next door. There wasn't even a hand sink for us to wash our hands!

Since we had finished looking at antiques nearby, we felt the need to wash (what we felt was) 50-year-old grime off our hands before eating food that needed to be handled. We wound up using the washroom across the street at Wendy's.

If I may digress, people often ask me why, after going through the training for Public Health Inspection, that I never followed through with it. Partly, it was laziness. Mostly, it was the work experience that allowed me to see what a fallacy it could all be. The Food Service Establishment Guidelines (which are not readily available to the public, might I add) states that there must be washrooms for customers if there are more than a certain number of customer seats available (ie mostly take out orders = less or no need for washrooms). This is, at most, a lenient guideline and this is evident in smaller, older establishments which seem to have been "grandfathered" for this clause.

What isn't taken into effect is that establishment operators change and/or the restaurant is changed and modified to accommodate more seats and yet, no adjustment is made in terms of the number or the availability of washrooms for customers to use.

The way I see it, establishments should be reviewed on an annual basis (currently they are, but they aren't) before their health license (and subsequently the business licence, even!) may be renewed. For major (and much-needed) changes like washrooms, a grace period could be given - I'd even say three to five years if it would help! But as far as I know, places remain "grandfathered", and as far as Anny's Dairy Bar / KFC on Sixth Street / Dairy Queen on Sixth Avenue go, they haven't had (what I feel is) a mandatory washroom / hand sink installed for customer use.

The problem is that, with so much variability and inspector discrepancy, combined with lenient guidelines and regulations, you could have something allowed in one jurisdiction and fervently frowned upon in another.

And that's just one of the issues. Let's not get started on the others.

Ahem. Let's get back to the food. I'd visited Anny's before - I remembered their creamy Island Farms soft serve, and that yummy ribbon of maple butter that swirled around with each twist of ice cream.

The burgers were not good, and not bad. The meat was fresh like they claimed, but a touch on the small side. If I can finish the burger, it's small! Look, the tomato is almost bigger than the burger!

It was a really simple burger with clean flavours. I would order it again, although for size it was a little pricey. The fries had only been fried once, so they were cooked through, but varied in texture. M liked them, while I had a mixed reaction. They were different, and slightly crispy in one bite, to slightly soggy the next.

The maple twist cone? Tasty and excellently rich as always. In fact, after the burger and some fries, it was almost *too* rich, if there is such a thing. Still, I enjoyed it - buttery texture and all. The twists of maple butter were a nice touch.

For a cheeseburger combo, extra burger, substituted milkshake and a maple twist cone (I think she gave us a large cone, but we only paid for a regular cone) we paid about $16. Not bad in the scheme of things, but I would have anticipated a larger burger.

There were a lot of poutine fries being made and consumed while we were at Anny's Dairy Bar - they also sold fresh cheese curds by the bag. I'll have to make another trip out there to try the poutine!

Anny's Dairy Bar

722 Sixth Street [map]

New Westminster BC

Phone: 604-515-1410

Anny's Dairy Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. Man, I hate places with no washrooms or places that decide to turn off the hot water (another violation). I have this clean hands fetish when I eat food with my hands.

  2. I know! The thing is, there was a hand sink (for employees) right behind the counter. Could we use it? (We asked.) No.

    I understand that at that point it is a security issue, but really what it comes down to is the restaurant owner and really, the public health unit / authority to do something about it. No, a moist towelette (KFCs attempt) will not do. Neither will a wet towel (Anny's Dairy Bar). I'm tempted to say that any future visits to Anny's would be to simply order their ice cream, or to eat poutine with a fork.

  3. I might be digressing here but... Would you have gone to Burger Burger a couple of blocks away? ^_^

    Now, back to the topic. It is odd as well that a lot of these places (notably some fast food locations) where the restroom is locked and you have to request the key. Sure, you want to ensure it does not suddenly turn into a public restroom but, still, you are not making it easy for us anyway.

  4. Hi Kim, not to mention the key is usally attached to a dirty ol' piece of wood that has probably passed through one too many dirty hands.... Bleck...

  5. Kim, I've never been to Burger Burger for food or otherwise, so I can`t comment.

    Sherman, Kim: lol - I thought I was the only one paranoid about the nasty metal spoon / splintered wood key chain. I'm usually the one who gives it back to the cashier via pinched fingers and paper towel (because I'm planning on enjoying my meal / day with clean fingers).

    What's with that anyways - the cashier / bartender / waitress shouldn't be handling that craptastic washroom key chain either - they're handling food!!

  6. Hi Jessica,
    Perhaps it's a good thing you never followed through with that health inspector gig. I freak out whenever I watch that Gordon Ramsey show 'kitchen nightmares' - makes me never want to eat in restaurants again! But that maple twist cone does look yummy - I'm a sucker for soft serve!

    And speaking of poutine, my hubby and I were in Vancouver in May and we managed to eat 12 poutines in 12 days. I documented the entire poutine 'showdown' in my blog:


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