We did not pay for the food in this restaurant as Anton was expecting us.
“Difficult to find. Hard to forget.”
That is how I would sum up this place.
It is the character behind the Fraser Park Restaurant that I find very interesting. It is this interesting character of this place that the a popular TV show from the Food Network is going to feature this nondescript restaurant in the coming spring.
I just don’t know where to begin telling you about Anton and the Fraser Park Restaurant. LOL!
I wish there is a way you could meet Anton … get to know him and see what goes on inside his head and you will know what I mean.
I met Anton in his restaurant over a year ago. He first contacted me because he saw that I had been planning dinners (the 8GTCC dinners) and he thought that it was fun and wanted to talk about doing something like that. At one point, he was thinking of getting people to come together to cook together in a afternoon and the sitting down to enjoy the fruit of the labour. At another time, he was thinking of getting his chef friends together for a cook off and then invite people to come and pay-what-they-want. All for the love of food!
I like Anton. He did not come across to me as someone who would want to do this just for publicity for his restaurant. As a matter of fact, he told me way up front that he did not want me to write about his little restaurant because he has way enough customers already than he can handle.
That was then … one year ago. All that initial brainstorming was not carried through. He got busy and I got busy with other things in life. And I did not blog about the restaurant.
Out of the blue, Anton wrote to me again. He was telling me that the TV show had identified his restaurant and planned to shoot in his restaurant over two days. I can’t tell you what the TV show is but I think some of you can guess which show it is. Don’t ask me because my lips are sealed.
Anton asked me if I could meet him so that he could pick my brains on what he needs to do to prepare for the TV shoot. It is not that I am an expert in this sort of things but I would love to go and catch up with Anton again and bring Suanne along to try his food.
So where is Anton’s restaurant? The Fraser Park Restaurant is not exactly unknown. Many people knows him and loves his simple authentic German food. It is located in an area you will least expect. As a matter of fact, it is one restaurant you will not go into if you saw it by chance.
And that is the beauty of it. Sometimes one should not judge a book by its cover. As I mentioned up front … it is the character that makes this restaurant that I think many people should experience. You might hate it … or you might just love it. I love it.
It is “difficult to find” as I said. Fraser Park is located way down the southern most part of Byrne Road in Burnaby. There is virtually nothing here except for lots of industrial buildings. Oh, I think there is also a correctional facility nearby too! There is also a nice park that I used to walk along after lunch when I was working in the area.
Outside the restaurant and in the general area, don’t be shocked with rusted cars and vans parked haphazardly around.
Anton’s specialty is his German lunches. He is after all a master butcher and a master sausage maker. He studied food science in microbiology. So he knows his stuff. You can see his credentials on the walls inside the restaurant.
He changes his menu every week and serves different things everyday. However, there are days that he will feature something standard because people loves that:
- On Wednesday it is his famous German lunch
- On Thursday it is lamb based
- On Friday it is salmon day
We picked Wednesday to visit Anton because we wanted to eat his German lunch.
See the menu above. Don’t you just love him putting in a smattering of German words on his weekly menu? You can click on it to make it more readable. He emails the menu of the week out to his customers so that they can plan to come in for the specials of the week. It is hard to get bored with his food when he tries to vary it every day, every week.
Anton is a crazy nut if you ask me. He is a perfectionist and he insists on making his food from … scratch on his own rather than taking the easy way out and getting it from suppliers. Nope, he is not one of those people and it’s a rarity to see people like him.
He showed me the list of items he makes from scratch above from one year ago. Anton told me he started experimenting in his mother’s kitchen since he was 12 years old. Ask him to show you his work from eons ago. You gotta to see his neat handwritten recipes and homework done 50 years ago. It is all in German but I had great respect for the man for the kind of work and dedication he had shown even at a young age. If you go to this restaurant, ask him to show you his kiddie work. I am sure you too will be impressed.
Not only that he makes his food from scratch where he can, he also has a garden of his own where he grows his own kitchen herbs!
I told Anton my observation which he did not thought. I said by looking at his food, I can see how much pride he had placed on his food … he tagged the word “Anton’s” to almost every label. Yes, to Anton’s customer it is important for them to know it is hand created by Anton, not someone else.
Anton is also a story teller. You ask him about each of the items and he will have a story for them.For instance, the Anton’s Homemade Sausage you see at the bottom right above. Those sausages are different from those you normally come across. You see, they are skinless.
Anton said that when he was about to open the restaurant way back in 1977, he ordered some casings for his sausages. The casings did not arrive in time and he thought he absolutely need it. So out of a desperate situation, he went ahead to find a way to make the sausages without the casing to hold in the fat. Guess what … it was well received by his customers and so today you find that Anton’s Homemade Sausages are skinless ones.
I’ll let you ask him about the his ham … his cured cured bacon …
Anton’s restaurant is a busy place during lunch time. We walked into the restaurant at 12:30 PM and there were a lot of people already lining up to order lunch at the counter.
I can see what he means when he said he does not want more customers. He said he is happy with the current place where he could talk to his customers and do what he does best. That shows me what kind of a man he is because I am sure he can make this restaurant bigger than he wants to but he is just not interested.
That is also why his restaurant opens early at 6:30 AM to serve breakfast and then promptly closes at 2:00 PM after lunch hours. He wants time on his own to do his own stuff.
Yeah, I know. I am doing a disservice to him by writing about Fraser Park … but I just want to share this restaurant with you.
Anton did not have to do that but he had a table set aside for us with some food ready on the table. Anton’s lovely daughter told us “he’s waiting for you” the moment we walked in.
Anton’s appetizers were marvelous to say the least. I’ll do this clockwise from the top left.
The house made mayonnaise with paprika is our favourite. It has an amazing color to it that you just want to start with that first. Anton is very proud of this item. As a matter of fact, he even showed us how it is made … it was so simple!
The Red Beet Salad was done well. It’s just that I am not a great fan of red beet myself.
Anton told us that he made the ham just in the morning and the taste was really good. It was not salty which I do not like in hams.
Lastly the sweet and sour cucumbers with onions had a nice taste to it.
Yeah, it was a good started. We could barely wait to see what else he had in store for us after these.
Anton was a bit concerned about this dish. He half brought us this and ask “you want to try this?” I think he was concerned that this would look too ghastly, too fatty to us.
You kidding me? This is absolutely gorgeous, we told him.
Anton said it is not on his menu and he made this specially for us (thanks Anton!). It is his hometown specialty in Germany. It is a pork foot which is brined and cured like ham.
The fat skin is very tender and simply melts in our mouth. Yeah, I think maybe the Chinese chefs can learn a few things from Anton.
Anton ran this restaurant together with his wife, Sylvia. Sylvia is an accomplished cook of her own too. She does a lot of the Asian stuff and this Asian Hot Sauce she made above is really good.
There is a slight twist to the taste of this that is very similar and yet different from the same type of sauce you see in the Chinese restaurants. I just can’t make out what it is. Sylvia said that some of the ingredients she used are sesame oil, chili flakes, ginger and garlic. She said she had to slow cook this the whole day to make it.
It went very well with the German Pork Foot for sure.
Anton also let us try the “Anton’s Potato Pancake”. If you happen to try this and you get to speak with Anton, go ahead and ask him about the story of the recipe. When you ask him, look closely into his eyes. You will know what I mean when you hear from him. I won’t tell you now.
This is Anton’s mom recipe. He serves this for breakfast everyday to honour his mom. It is made with zucchini, carrot and oat. The potatoes are blanched first and then freeze for easy grating. Taste wise it is peppery and crispy.
This is unlike anything we had tasted and the taste is complex. I think you will enjoy eating this as much as we did. Dab some of his mayo-paprika. It’s good.
The main meal!
This is called the Deluxe German Lunch: “Kesselfleisch”.
In Anton’s menu, there are the words “Quality Homemade Food Served in Generous Portions” … and this is what it is.
This is from southern Germany and the name means meatball in a pot. We asked for half order each which is still a lot of food to us. Anton served this with more of his amazing sauerkraut and mashed potatoes.
Since this is a ” smaller” serving, we did not have the house made bacon and schnitzel which is tender breaded pan fry pork which came with the Deluxe version.
The boneless/skinless pork hock was amazingly tender. It is topped with caramelized onions. Anton said that originally, it should be bone in with skin on but his customers preferred boneless and skinless, so Anton adapted the recipe. I thought he should have kept it the way it is meant to be.
The above is the skinless sausages I talked about earlier. Made in-house, Anton uses different spices at different times. He likes changing it every now and then just for fun. So his homemade sausages will taste one way one day and yet different on another.
This particular batch we tried has a nice star anise flavour. It is not at all salty like store bought ones. These I can eat many in one sitting. Oh yeah … dab some mayo-paprika on this too … nice!
The desserts were Sylvia’s specialty. We tried her warm cassava cake and banana bread. Serving the cassava cake warm makes a big difference. We like it a lot because it is softer.
The Fraser Park Restaurant is opened Monday to Friday from 6:30 AM to 2:00 PM. He is opened on Saturdays too but closes 30 minutes earlier. On Saturdays when it is slower he sometimes will get people together and they have a live band to entertain his customer! He himself plays the drum.
If you want to receive emails of the weekly menu from Anton, send him an email at email@example.com.
Go with an open mind. Don’t be put off by the location. Look beyond the outside and look inside of Anton’s mind and of him as a person. I think this is where the beauty of this restaurant lies. I think this is why a food TV show is featuring this little place.
“Difficult to find. Hard to forget.”