Pop Up Paris! Dogtown Coffee in Okanagan Falls, by Tarynn Liv Parker

Invited for dinner last Sunday by local Okanagan Falls winery friends, I wondered where we might end up - a homestyle diner? The Pub? Tickleberries (local "famous" ice cream shop)?  The choices in town are few. To illustrate the briefness of this cute towns resource list, when I arrived fresh off the highway from Penticton I needed gas desperately. The only gas station in town was shut down for "renos". A local told me to drive to the neighbouring town of Kaleden for the nearest fuel-up.  I ran on fumes out of town to Kaleden and returned back to meet my local friends. It's a magical place but nothing's convenient. 
At six we arrived at Dogtown Coffee on the main drag, the highway running through town. Dogtown is an excellent café by day whose kitchen I have observed in the past as "quaint" or just plain small. Like the size of a shoe box, or a linen closet to be more realistic. I had no thought on the matter because I didn't assume the culinary aspirations of Chef Karl Mancheron or owner Corrie Corfield. 
We were seated at a communal style table, and offered our set 4 course wine paired menu. I sat beside a kids' toy version of a kitchen and joked with friends that this "Little Tikes brand" kitchen may be more equipped. I think the proprietor even jokes about this, said my local friend who frequents Dogtown.
The menu was a stunner, never mind the kitchen size, or the moderated expectation. Here it is… truffles and lobster were obvious highlights:
Dogtown Signature Series: A Day in Paris
First Course "Breakfast"
Black Truffle Poached Egg
over Sourdough Crostini and Creamed Spinach
See Ya Later Ranch
2012 Chardonnay
Second Course "Lunch"
Butter Poached Lobster & Lobster Bisque
See Ya Later Ranch
2012 Nelly
Third Course "Dinner"
Roasted Rack of Lamb with Maple, Rosemary & Garlic Jus 
Seasonal Vegetables & Okanagan Falls Roasted Blue Potatoes
See Ya Later Ranch
2011 Rover
Trilogy of Vanilla Slice, Maple Bread Pudding & Chocolate Truffle
Lone Tree Coffee Co
Iron Horse Espresso
or Tea
… I am sure you get the idea that I was surprised. NOT because I underestimated their talents or their kitchen, but because I underestimated their gumption to MAKE THIS HAPPEN. A full room of diners, the madness of so many courses done by a kitchen most definitely not even equipped with the plating or flatwear to accommodate a packed house of multi-course diners. I was instantly moved from the first course elegantly plated for us, and on through each consecutive "success" on a plate.  
You will only ever see this kind of ingenuity and muster from someone who really does love what they do - against all odds, creating what they are moved to create. This is the kind of thing that gets me up in the morning, and keeps me up at night as the editor for The Field Guide. 
The previous night I happened to be rereading the story of Mission Street Food by Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz where owners tell the tale of their struggle from rented food truck to national restaurant stardom. I suggest giving it a read. If you appreciate the art of food and restaurant culture, you will be inspired. And you will love Dogtown Coffee all the more when you attend their next pop-up feast. We will let you know when to buy your tickets. 
Thanks Dogtown. 
By Tarynn Liv Parker
Photos: I didn't take a lot of photos this evening because I was booked "off"- I don't when I am sitting down with friends. Although,  this evening inspired me and my friends understood - so here are a few I captured :)

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