Sunday, December 30, 2012

Weekend Fifty-Six: Bruncho Pronto

This morning we waited and waited and waited. We waited until Pronto opens for brunch at 10 am, then we walked over from our secret location. The waiting was hard but we hoped the brunch would be worth it.

We've been to Pronto before and can say that this adorable little cafe bistro serves up a mean lunch and dinner. There isn't a tonne of selection but everything is good. Brunch is similar. Pronto offers a small menu featuring: two bennys, a meat and a veggie, a fritatta, a breakfast pizza and a breakfast sandwich. Even though the menu is small it doesn't make choosing one dish easy.
Eventually Dave picked the fritatta ($9.5) and I selected the meat benny ($9.5). They were out of orange juice so Dave had to have a blood orange San Pellegrino soda. Given the lateness of our brunch I had already had a coffee so I stuck with water. 

The atmosphere is fun, especially when filled with people. The servers tried hard and the majority were excellent, but one guy behind the bar was quite surly. The food was good and simple, though I would have been quite happy for the benny to come without a mountain of polenta. A big plus for the food at Pronto is that it is all very affordable, the most expensive item on the brunch menu is $11.

Would we go back for brunch? Maybe, but you'll definitely see me there with the charcuterie plate and a glass of wine.

Note to reader: The menu items on the website may differ in content and price from the menu items at the restaurant.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Weekend Fifty-Five: Back in Time at Lucy's Diner

We left our secret location, eager for a brunch that would make us excited. Soon we spotted Lucy's Eastside Diner (So retro, it doesn't have a website!) from the bus windows and leapt out, tummies rumbling. It's at 2708 Main, phone 604-568-1550. We chose seats in a booth and settled in to read the menu.

Coffee? Yes. Hot, with cream and sugar? Yes. OJ? Yes. Cold, and not from a can? Yes.

Catie chose the Three Little Pigs for $13. This, true to the name, is three bennies. One has chorizo, one bacon, and one pulled pork. Served with hashbrowns and Hollandaise, this looks to be filled with taste and goodness. Sadly, though, the pulled pork had been replaced with a slice of ham. Not terrible, but not the pulled pork we had been expecting. I stole some of the chorizo, and can report that it was delicious.

I chose an omelet with chorizo, feta, and peppers, also for $13. Diner-fresh white toast and crispy-fried hashbrowns made my brunch quite large, but I'm not complaining. The omelet was quite large indeed, and I felt quite full afterwards. I'd recommend it if you're looking mainly for food quantity.

I like the retro decor, but I do have to say that it was pretty cold inside. There was a heater on the floor in the back hallway, but I did regret my choice to wear short sleeves. Catie was bundled up in her sweater and stayed warm. The bathroom doors were white... emphasis on the were. Now, particularly near the handles, they are greyish. I'm not expecting spotless marble floors, but still.

So, after all of this, would we go back? Yes, I think so. Just go when it is warm out!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Weekend Fifty-Four: Milestones, not just for marking distance

Saturday found us tired and one of us slightly hungover from Catie's Work Christmas Party. In the state that we were in we didn't want to venture too far from home. Combining the desire to stay within walking distance of our secret location with a few Christmas errands and a desire to try something new equals Milestones on Cambie.

It has been years since either of us have been to Milestones and neither of us have been there for brunch. Walking into the lobby and up the stairs of the beautifully decorated restaurant, I couldn't figure out why we don't eat here more often. The hostess and waitress were similarly dressed and equally friendly. Dave got a large orange juice and I asked for a coffee. Coffee at Milestones can mean drip, americano, mocha, latte, and I'm sure a lot more... I chose a latte. Dave's orange juice was fresh-squeezed.

The menu is short but includes something for everyone. I ordered the Eggs Milestone with tomato on the side and bacon ($10.49 + 2) while Dave ordered Prime Rib Hash ($12.99). The avacado salsa on my benny was delicious and the hollandaise sauce was outstanding! The hash was sweeter than Dave expected and the prime rib was thin sliced instead of chunks which he enjoyed.

 Milestones is a great place for everyone... I think it was designed that way, which kind of bothers me. As an upscale White Spot it's pretty good, maybe better than Cactus Club, though I'm not an expert on them either. We might come back with Grandma, but we might look for something different in the meantime.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Weekend Fifty-Three: Tangent Café

Our adventure today took us far from our secret location and deep into the heart of Commercial Drive. After experiencing the excitement that is Translink, we wandered into the Tangent Café. We have been to this space several times before, as it does seem to change owners rather often. As Me & Julio's, it was a delicious Mexican restaurant. I fondly remember their three-salsa appetizer and lime chicken burrito. Those days passed, however, and it was next styled as a diner named Sorry Babushka. Sorry Customer might have been a better name - at least it was cheap.

Now, however, the goodness has returned. Gone is the roofed bar and tropical bric-a-brac, replaced with wood paneling and a consistent design ethic. Catie, Kim, and I enjoyed the oldies soundtrack, thinking it matched well with the laid-back atmosphere of the place.

I ordered my ubiquitous OJ and Catie her coffee, while Kim couldn't pick and ordered both OJ and coffee. As far as breakfasts go, the menu had a good variety. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but enough choice that we had to decide carefully.

My selection was the Meaty Boy's Breakie for $13. Three kinds of meat (sausage, bacon, Montreal-style smoked meat) with eggs, toast, and hashbrowns made for a full stomach. I did like the Montreal meat (which animal? I don't know, the smoke and spice flavours were overpowering!) and the peppers in the eggs were tasty too. Only order this if you are very hungry!

Catie decided that she'd like the Avocado and Bacon Benny for $13. Her avocado was delivered in guacamole form, which was a bit of a surprise. Guac tastes awesome, but really, it looks like green goop. Considering how appealing the rest of her plate looked, it was a bit of a disappointment. Adding real avocado would have helped in both the appearance and taste departments. The hollandaise was reported to be 'delicious,' which is always a relief. If it tastes good, the psychological risks are worth it.

Kim asked for the Classic Breakfast with added bacon for $8. With three scrambled eggs, hashbrowns and toast, it did what it said on the tin. Nothing too special, but a good solid start to the culinary day. Excellent price, too.

So, Tangent Café, how did you measure up? Quite well, in fact. Easily the best breakfast we've had at that address! I hope they can stick around for a long time to come. They're open early, too - 7am weekdays, 8am weekends.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Weekend Fifty-Two: Nothing But the Hits!

We've taken the time to sift through thousands of lines of data, count the uncountable, and measure the immeasurable. With no further ado, we present the Late For Breakfast, Early for Lunch Greatest Hits!

Our go to brunch spot, even though it's not reviewed every time: Solly's Bagels or Crave both on Main

Catie's Preferred Coffee: Two Chefs and a Table 

Best OJ Value: the Nice Café. $2.95 for a large glass! Citrus-o-licious.

Institutional Award: Shaughnessy Cafeteria

Best Benny: anything from the Benny Bar at Hyde

Masterfully Cooked Potato: the Buttery Potatoes at Crave

Best Toast: Sourdough!

Farthest Afield: the Silver Legacy Casino, in Reno, Nevada

Grooviest Background Music: Habit 

Strangest collision between worlds at brunch: Dancing and food, with the Benny Goodman Benny at Cup of Joe during the Victoria Lindy Exchange.

Meat that might not have been tasty but actually was: Pork Belly at Red Wagon

Just Too Much Food (but that's not really a problem): Big Lou's Breakfast at Two Chefs and a Table

Carnivore's Favourite: Steak and Eggs at Helen's Grill

Herbivore's Favourite: Bandidas, because everything is meat-free, most are vegan, and it's all delicious.

Watch For It Next Year Award: Main Street Sausage Cookout

Most Comical Guest Food Critic: Kyle "Back Bacon" Murray as seen in Cafe Barney and Return to Crave

Guest in the most Blog Entries: Kim "did you say Bacon" Fissel, as seen in, too many to mention

Most Popular Blog Entry: Spoon's with Kevin and Christabel

Least Popular Blog Entry: Relaxing at the Reef

Most Commented Article: 2 Chefs and a Table

Most Enthusiastic Commenter: Doug Heather

Farthest Away Commenters: Jen at Renaissance Ma'am and Julia G

Now it's brunch time!

Thanks for reading. We'll see you next week for another year of brunch!