Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Weekend Forty-Eight: A Nice Cafe

It was a rainy morning when we left our secret location in search of the best  greasy spoon in Vancouver. Some say the Nice Cafe (no website, you can find them at 154 East 8th Ave, 604-874-4024) off of Main Street is this mystical unicorn. The perfect combination of excellent, non pretentious food, low low prices, and an exceptionally relaxed atmosphere.

The atmosphere is right. Servers are friendly but so relaxed that they seem sedated. Given the ativan-filled staff, service is pretty slow but if you’re going to wait anywhere for food, the Nice Cafe is a pretty nice place to wait.

The prices are also pretty close to dead on. Dave ordered a small orange juice for $2.50 but reconsidered and asked for a large, priced at $2.95. For the extra $0.45 you will recieve twice as much! Get the large.

I calculated my chances of getting bad hollandaise in a greasy spoon. Life is about taking risks. My Blackstone Benny ($9) with the tomatoes on the side was delicious. I suspect the hollandaise was powdered which is okay by me in a place like this.

Dave chose the Super Omelette ($9). It came with, what seemed like, 2 very large onions in it. These two onions were chopped into bite sized pieces for a giant. The hash browns were crispy bits of potato heaven!

We would return to Nice Cafe! It’s definitely a contender for the best greasy spoon in Vancouver, unless you want pancakes on the weekend, then you should go somewhere else.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Weekend Forty-Seven: Yellow Point Lodge

In a break from our usual brunching grounds, we have a special report from our holiday. Read on!

Today was not like other Sundays. Instead of brunching in Vancouver or Victoria, we found ourselves relaxing the weekend away at Yellow Point Lodge, just south of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. In between our beach-walking, wood-stove-tending, cribbage games and reading, we managed to find time to enjoy a whole lot of tasty home-style cooking.

Catie chose the Eggs Mornay, which are eggs Benny with cheese sauce instead of the Hollandaise. She wasn't totally sure that the coffee was caffeinated, but she was certain that the English muffins were made in-house. Despite not knowing who Mornay was, Catie thought he was a genius and his eggs were exceptional.

I chose scrambled eggs with cheese, tomatoes, and toast. As usual, I also chose OJ, but unfortunately it wasn't fresh-squeezed. All sins forgiven, though - the eggs were fluffy, the cheese tangy, and the toast crispy. Even the tomato was fresh!

The thing is, though - you can ask for just about anything. The cooks will whip it up for you after you order! We saw huge strips of bacon, plate-size pancakes, and tons of fresh fruit!

We'll be back at YPL next October, so we're looking forward to more delicious food and relaxing surroundings.

We are coming up to Weekend Fifty-Two very quickly. After a year of blogging brunches we want to do a Best Of post and we need your help!
To our silent and not so silent readers, please email us the answers to these questions:
Which is your favourite post?
What is your favourite brunch location that we haven't blogged about?
Where would you like us to go next?
What should Dave order instead of orange juice?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Weekend Forty-Six: The Edge Café

This day was all about productivity. We left our secret location and headed to the world of MEC, the Canada Line, and City Hall. After finishing our errands, we came over all hungry. Prowling around, we remembered that we had wanted to go to The Edge Café for some time. They used to be located downtown, but moved to their new digs in 2007. After a brief consultation of the menu outside, we headed in.

Our server appeared from seemingly nowhere and sat us at a corner table. We were later than normal (no, seriously! We arrived at about 12:30!) and were pleased to see that the restaurant was largely deserted. I had my OJ, fresh squeezed with a strawberry on the side, and Catie, in a fit of luxury, lashed out and ordered one of her favourite beers, a Granville Island Raspberry Ale.

Owing to the lateness of our visit, Catie decided to order the butter chicken and rice ($11,) which came with toasted naan. She determined that it was delicious, and that the portion was quite large! We took home some chicken and sauce leftovers, but there was no naan left. It was "Great!" Light and fresh-tasting."

I, the traditionalist, ordered the West Coast Scramble ($11,) which is scrambled eggs with capers, smoked salmon, and onions inside. My toast was made from whole wheat bread which had dried cranberries in - a combination that seems to be popping up at several brunch spots around town. (Perhaps this is the new brunch-toast trend? Remember, you heard it here first!) I also had hashbrowns on the side. I liked the West Coast Scramble, but would have enjoyed it more with less onions. I have a weak spot for capers, and this recipe delivered them in spades. I had no leftovers.

We spent our time at The Edge in a relaxed fashion, commenting on the stories that were shown on the flatscreen TV in the corner. The service was relaxed too, as our server seemed as likely to top up our water as she was to disappear completely from the restaurant. Would we go back? Yes, we would, but not if we had a deadline to make.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Weekend Forty-Five: Rosie's Country Café

This weekend was one filled with excitement. We had been able to get some of the last tickets for the Vancouver Dixieland Jazz Society's Jazz Band Ball and were headed out to the wilds of Surrey. With dance shoes in our bags, we went searching for something to eat before the gospel set started at 11. Catie's skills in the ancient art of Google-Fu found us Rosie's Country Café (3303 King George Highway, 604-538-4195, no website.)

It took a few reconnaissance passes before we got permission to land (not really. Dave just couldn't find the address! -c.) When we saw that it was a storefront in a strip mall, our hearts fell. Surely this would be limpid eggs, swimming forlornly in pools of grease... But we went inside anyway. Fortunately, our first impressions were wrong.

The inside was astonishingly clean, with some very nice chalk artwork on the walls. An assortment of people were tucking in to their breakfasts with plates piled high. A family, a few old friends, and another couple were all chattering and munching happily. A waitress appeared and sat us down with the menus. Coffee arrived for Catie and OJ came for me, and we made our selections. My OJ was delivered in a can, with a frosty glass. No pretensions here, which I like.

I chose an omelette with cheddar, peppers, bacon, and onions for $9.50. It was big! I'm really on an omelette-with-bacon kick right now, and this was an excellent example of the genre. Thick-sliced toast and crispy hashbrowns (with green onions on the top - who would have expected that from a diner in a strip mall?) rounded out the plate, and I have to say that I've never been more pleased to be wrong about my first impressions!

Catie's Benny (with ham, also $9.50) made her smile hugely. She reported that the hollandaise was delicious and that her hashbrowns came with many crispy bits, which she enjoys. There were too many hashbrowns for her, which is a rare and pleasant situation.

So, even after many restaurants, we can still be wrong with first impressions. We'll be back to Rosie's Country Cafe on our way to next September's Jazz Band Ball!