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Archive for the ‘Brunch’ Category

For those of you who follow me on social media, you would know that we took a trip to Vancouver Island. It was a pretty epic trip — travelled from Nanaimo to Port Hardy and San Josef Bay in the northwest corner, and everywhere in between — 2,300km in 9 days.

First stop, Nanaimo. It was brunch time when we arrived in Nanaimo. Downtown Nanaimo has no shortage of brunch options, and Gabriel’s Cafe caught my eyes. Gabriel’s is about eat local, farm to table.

Gabriel's Cafe, Nanaimo

Food

Ordering wasn’t an easy task for me, because I was just recovering from a bad stomach flu. I had to pick something light so I avoided pulled pork, braised beef, or anything rich and heavy. I opted for the Breakfast #11 — Coconut Milk Pancakes with Roasted Apples, Seasonal Fruit and Yogurt. I thought coconut milk pancakes wouldn’t be too heavy and there would be a good dose of fruit on the plate. Haha the portion size was not for the faint of heart. (more…)

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As you all can figure from my posts, I love meat. Even my coworkers are fully aware of it (and sometimes make fun of me for that). So when our beloved, vegetarian friends JG and BD visited Vancouver from Toronto, it pained me a little that DV and DH chose a vegetarian restaurant — The Acorn — for our brunch together, instead of a regular restaurant with good vegetarian options. But hey, how else would I get to try The Acorn?! I’m game!

Food

The brunch menu at The Acorn isn’t big, but there are some interesting items that even a carnivore like me was intrigued. For beverage, I ordered a non-alcoholic Citrus + Spiced Iced Tea. It has grapefruit, Vermouth reduction sherbet, and mandarin spiced tea. It’s refreshing, herbaceous yet borderline medicinal. It’s quite light in the spiced flavours, but it would make a good summer drink.

Citrus + Spice Iced Tea

As for my main, I opted for the Fried Egg. What caught my eye? The fried poached egg. Yes, a poached egg battered with cornmeal then fried. You would think that the egg would be over-cooked. Impressively, my egg was cooked perfectly — I cut it open and the yolk just oozed out. The smoked chanterelles were in the place of meat; they were earthy, hearty, and they tasted so good. I wished there were more! Overall the plate was well composed. The soft polenta and parsnip puree were creamy, and the fried poached egg and roasted parsnip added some texture. Everything tasted very good, but it wasn’t very filling for me.

Fried Egg

Mr., DV and BD all ordered the Skillet, and this was a hearty dish! (more…)

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[Editor’s Note: Sorry we took a writing break, but it’s good to be back!]

When I was contacted by our friends at Ford Canada that I’d have a Ford Focus for a week, the hopeful boy racer in Mr. asked, “is it an ST? Is it a hatchback?”

As it turns out, it was neither. It was a fully loaded (Titanium) sedan with a pretty blue paint job.

Ford Focus Titanium 2017

It also happened to be the same week as we threw a surprise birthday weekend in Whistler for CL, one of Mr.‘s close friends. So we gave the Focus a thorough test on a 36-hour trip.

Ford Focus Titanium 2017

36 Hours in Whistler

We kicked off the weekend at Stonesedge Kitchen, where we surprised CL with a birthday brunch.

Stonesedge Kitchen Whistler

There were 6 of us – and there were 5 orders of Breakfast Poutine. Except for me, the adventurous one. I ordered the Woodsman’s Bowl, with pulled venison and roasted butternut squash. Let me just say, I was happy with my choice. There was a good combination of flavours and texture. The slightly gamey venison made the dish more interesting than the maple sausage in the Breakfast Poutine.

Breakfast Poutine, Stonesedge Kitchen WhistlerWoodsman's Bowl, Stonesedge Kitchen Whistler

Then, a stopover at Whistler Brewing.

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One Saturday afternoon I was going to take Mama Lam to a restaurant on Fraser Street for lunch, but that place was opening much later on that particular day than its usual hours so we were greeted with a “Closed” sign. We decided to go somewhere else for lunch. And we stopped at the doorstep of Jethro’s Fine Grub.

This is the second location of Jethro’s and the lesser known one, so the line up was not as crazy as the Dunbar location, where the “You Gotta Eat Here” episode was filmed. In fact, we were able to get a table as soon as we arrived.

Food

Jethro’s serves breakfast all day long. There is a wide selection of savoury and sweet items to choose from. Mama Lam and I chose one of each. The Crab Cake Benedict was smothered with a lot of hollandaise sauce. The crab cakes had a good crust and didn’t feel like having a lot of filler. The eggs were poached just right to medium softness. I wish the crab cakes were slightly thicker so it could hold up to the eggs. It’s also a carb-loaded plate, with lots of hashbrowns and four pieces of toasts on the side.

Crab Cake Benedict

For the sweet item, we opted for the Apple Cobbler French Toast. (more…)

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This past weekend, we were invited to go to the Brunch Crawls as part of the Dine Out Vancouver festivities. Put on by Richard the Vancouver Foodster. The first of the brunch crawl series was in Gastown.

Gastown Brunch Crawl

In 4 hours, Mr. and I checked out 7 different spots in Gastown:

  • Prado Cafe
  • Zero Zero Pizzeria
  • The Capilano
  • The Birds & The Beets / Grain
  • Rodney’s Oyster House
  • Bao Down
  • Smallflower Cafe & Bakeshop

The crawl started with a cup of hand-crafted coffee at Prado Cafe. There were a few choices and we ordered an Americano and Flat White.

Prado Cafe

Almost right next door was Zero Zero Pizzeria. The portion was quite generous here. We had two options, including the pizzetta flatbread, but also a new topping combination that wasn’t even available on the regular menu yet!

Zero Zero Pizzeria

A couple of streets over we got to the new Capilano Tea House. They will officially open their door on February 1, so we basically got a sneak preview.

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As part of our trip to Victoria, we decided to discover some brunch places. Remember seeing the stack of red velvet pancakes on You Gotta Eat Here, we got to the door of Jam Cafe in the old town area.

Food

After a 40-minute wait, we were finally presented with the menu and my eyes were no longer on the red velvet pancakes. Instead, I got myself the Chicken French Toast. Oh my, it was a huge, pretty plate!

The whole chicken breast was nicely fried, crispy, crunchy, with just the right amount of breading. The meat was still juicy. As you know I’m a sucker for brioche so the brioche French toasts were really enjoyable for me; perhaps they could be soaked in the egg mixture just a bit longer. The highlight for me was the Tabasco honey, in place of a syrup, which was sweet with a hint of heat. The dish was a very well executed combination of sweet and savoury/spicy. Will order that again.

Chicken French Toast

Mr. ordered himself a messy burger. The Union Beast sandwich looked irresistible and sure enough, it tasted very good.

The Union Beast

The tangy cola BBQ sauce was a bit sweeter than regular BBQ sauce, but not overly sweet. (more…)

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During Dine Out time, there are a number of culinary events happening in the same two-week period, including the Brunch Crawl series put on by Vancouver Foodster. It’s similar to his series of Tasting Plates, except it happens on a weekend morning, perfect timing for brunch.

We were invited to check out the Kitsilano edition this past weekend. In 4 hours, we visited 6 restaurants in the neighbourhood:

  • Darby’s Public House
  • Krokodile Pear
  • Linh Cafe
  • Momento Coffee
  • Novo Pizzeria
  • Rain or Shine Ice Cream

Food

The event started at Novo Pizzeria where we were served a trio including Arugula and Blood Orange Salad, Novo Breakfast Pizza & a Sicilian Canoli. Pizzas at Novo have always been great – this one was no exception, especially with the use of a sous vide quail egg on each slice. The canoli was light and flaky, with nutty flavour from the pistachios and citrus fragrant note from the orange blossom water and citrus essence.

Novo Breakfast Pizza, Arugula & Blood Orange Salad and Canoli

Next, we beat the football fans and made our way to Darby’s Public House, a popular pub in the neighbourhood. They served a generous portion of their brunch items: Half an Eggs Benedict, Hangover Hash and Mini Huevos Rancheros. The poached eggs were perfectly cooked, with runny yolks bringing everything together. Although I’m not particularly interested in Mexican food, I found myself enjoying the Huevos Rancheros with the subtle heat in the jalapeno ginger sauce. A fried egg would have worked well but poached egg was just fine.

Eggs Benedict, Hangover Hash & Huevos Rancheros

Then, a coffee stop at Momento Coffee. (more…)

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