Monday, August 20, 2012

Weekend Thirty-Eight: 2 Chefs and a Table

Today was a bright, sunny day, and we wanted a bright, sunny brunch. We headed out from our secret location, soon arriving at 2 Chefs and a Table. Located at 300 Alexander St. in Gastown, this cozy restaurant is tucked into an industrial-ish, highrise-filled area near Main and Hastings. We were seated promptly, and settled in to peruse the menu.

I enjoyed my orange juice, fresh-squeezed, and Catie's coffee came in a giant French press, which she appreciated. The menu has what you'd expect for a casual brunch, but the devil was truly in the details, as each item had something that made it stand out from other brunch spots. Homemade jam, local meats, and eggs from happy chickens, to name but a few.

Catie chose the Classic Benny ($9,) which featured a thick slice of real ham and house-made English muffins, and I selected Big Lou's Breakfast ($12,) consisting of a pancake, breakfast sausage, ham, eggs, toast, and hashbrowns. As we settled in to wait for our food, the restaurant slowly started to fill up, so much so that by 10:00 there was a lineup outside. There was entertainment, though - the server said that the 5 police cars were responding to a report of a stolen car, and that the suspect didn't want to get out of the car, even after the dog unit showed up. 99 problems...

Anyhow, I digress. The wait was short, and our food soon showed up at our table. (While there are actually two chefs, as advertised, there is more than one table. There are actually quite a few.) The plates were well-presented, and the server brought the plate of garnishes first, just to increase our anticipation. The maple syrup, strawberry jam, ketchup, and vanilla butter were all delicious.

My meal was giant. The sausage and ham were really delicious, not fatty as at other places, and there was a blob of grainy mustard beside. The eggs were tasty, but the pancake really stands out in my mind. It was cooked with a thin slice of apple inside! The toast was toast-y, but the hashbrowns were a bit of a letdown. They were perhaps deep-fried, rather than cooked in a pan. After the care that had gone into the rest of the meal, they were a bit of a surprise. Nonetheless, I noshed happily.

Catie's Benny, on the other hand, were perhaps the perfect specimen of Benny. Light English muffins, toasted, with a piece of real ham, not deli meat, topped with poached eggs ("Just the way I like them! Not too runny!" she said) and with a dollop of hollandaise sauce, Catie was very pleased with her selection. Her potatoes, on the other hand, had suffered the same cooking fate as mine - a bit of a blot on an otherwise delightful meal.

A comfy atmosphere, friendly and attentive service, and tasty food makes this an ideal spot for a re-visit. Perhaps this could be the perfect brunch!


  1. That does look like a fantastic Benny! And $9!
    Vanilla butter and French press coffee too? You are spoiled :)

    1. It took me three tries to prove I'm not a robot. Those letters were very jumbled...

  2. It was a heck of a find! I'm sure that robots need brunch too - but would they like vanilla butter? More research is needed.

  3. Yeah, I remember coming across this place a few years ago and thinking it would be a great place for brunch -- and it sounds like it is! I think that area of Vancouver has a lot of potential. I just hope it doesn't turn into a yuppie haven like Yaletown -- it's okay, I can bash my neighborhood!

    Me thinks Masa and I will head over soon for some chow.

    1. Totally! When you go, make sure you arrive as they open or within 10 minutes of opening. It's a pretty small place so they fill up rather quickly and you'll find yourself in a line.