Sunday, July 29, 2018

Weekend Eight-Six: Fol Epi

It was the proverbial dark and stormy night, except it was a rainy morning, and we once again found ourselves in need of brunch. We had left our secret location early on a mission to cross off errands, and we needed food badly. FOL EPI appeared, and we remembered a recommendation from friends Matt and Angie. Wondering what fol epi could mean, we put our names on the wait list and settled in to wait. Catie said "Hey! They have a bakery!" and we went over to check it out. She ordered a coffee and short bread cookie, while I had a ginger cookie. The baked goods made the short wait feel even shorter, and we soon found ourselves at a table.

I had the Kimchi Pancakes ($17, if I recall), with pork belly. The kimchi pancakes themselves were like a potato latke in texture, with a sweet and spicy taste that was really quite good. The pork belly just fell apart, with a salty taste that complemented the pancakes nicely. The greens were green, and the eggs were eggy. I'd order it again.

Catie, on the other hand, had the classic benny for $18. A creamy Hollandaise, thick-cut bacon reminiscent of Re-Up BBQ, and golden potatoes gave her a big smile. She especially enjoyed the bread, made in house. The hot sauce we requested came in a brown bottle, marked with 'XXX,' and an eyedropper for precision spicy-taste-addition. Thumbs up for the theatricality, and it had a pleasant smoky flavour.

FOL EPI is at 732 Yates, and their website is

Monday, July 23, 2018

Weekend Eighty-Five: Pagliacci's Encore

So. You, dear reader, are surely familiar with our long-lasting love of Pagliacci's lunches and dinners. But did you know that they also serve Sunday Brunch? Neither did we. With our expectations high, we headed out to see what was what.

First off, brunch is only served on Sunday. Secondly, our advice about dinner service wasn't necessary. We arrived at 10:30, walked right in, and were seated without a wait. The place was perhaps half full, but the staff seemed to be run off their feet regardless. We did spot the owner and the manager dressed in street clothes, seemingly just visiting with the staff and some favoured patrons, which may have caused the staff to look busy.

Enough about that. What did we have? I selected the Reefer Madness Hash ($16), with steak, scrambled eggs, red and green peppers, onions, and cheese, while Catie chose the Francis Bacon benny with Whole Beast bacon ($13).

The benny was served on their famous foccacia bread. Awesome! The Hollandaise was smooth, and the potatoes crispy. Catie's bacon was excellent. I know because she shared it with me. However, she did order the eggs poached hard and they were a definite runny medium. Perhaps Pagliacci's knows better than the customer how eggs should be poached.

My steak was cooked medium, and had a lovely rich flavour. It paired nicely with the sharp cheese and the peppers. The potatoes were golden and crispy, but I didn't pay much attention to them. Onions were also present, but I didn't pay much attention to them either. Would I have it again? Yes. Should you have it? I recommend it.

We overheard another table speaking loudly to their server. It sounded like they used to serve bagels or pretzels with the meals, like the bread served at dinner time, and the patrons were quite upset. The server countered with "We didn't serve bread with brunch at all for a while. It was chaos!" We were grateful for the brunch bread, though it was neither as crispy or as hot as the dinner bread.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Weekend Eighty-Four: Beacon Drive In

Victorians and visitors may have differing opinions on many things - the quality of the maple syrup available on Government Street, the suitability of running into traffic to get the perfect photo of the Empress - but we can all agree that the ice cream at the Beacon Drive-In is pretty fantastic. But have you ever eaten their non-ice-cream-based dishes? Catie and I left our secret location, accompanied by our trusty canine companion, and headed out to find a table. The Beacon Drive-In, 126 Douglas, right across from the park.

The menu is a trip back in time. Sundaes, hamburgers, hotdogs, and floats; each of them a diner favourite. However, a corner of the menu caught our respective eyes. Brunch! Catie selected the Egg, Cheese, and Bacon Sandwich ($5.25 + $1.95 for hash browns), and I the Cana-Mex ($9.95). As usual, a coffee and an orange juice too.

So, you may ask, what is the Cana-Mex? The menu explained it as a combination of Canada and Mexico, with potatoes, bacon, chipotle mayo, eggs, lettuce, and pico de gallo. I was excited, and it did look tasty. A sort of a twist on breakfast hash. However, it was missing something. Maybe I'm too fussy, but it was kind of bland. A splash of hot sauce would have livened it up well.

Catie's breakfast sandwich was delicious! A totally cheap, fast, and yummy breakfast solution. The hash browns were a lot like tater-tots, but she enjoyed them anyway. Catie totally recommends the breakfast sandwich, especially if you are on the run.

Charlie enjoyed the pieces of bacon his humans saved for him.