Sunday, September 15, 2019

Weekend One Hundred and Fourteen: Angelina's at the Quay

This week’s blog is a crossover post with and was written by our best brunchmates, Julie and Michel from the blog Dancing in Irreverence. This long weekend they are in town for some swing dancing-related activities, and we felt it was important to get a brunch in, so we’re back at Angelina’s, our go-to breakfast spot.

As mentioned in my previous post about Angelina’s, they are in a new, much larger location than they used to be. This is very helpful in situations where you want to meet friends at a specific time and don’t want to wait around for ages to get seated.

We had a new waitress today who I had never seen before. She was cheerful and prompt and she checked in with us enough, but not too much. We had coffees ($3.25) or in Dave’s case, orange juice ($5) within minutes of sitting down, and our breakfasts followed shortly thereafter. We had lots of time to eat and chat, but when we were ready to leave, we were taken care of and on our way without a lot of arm waving or waiting around.

I ordered my usual breakfast of French Toast with Raspberries and Whipped Cream ($13). When it arrived it seemed like maybe there were slightly fewer raspberries than usual, but I did manage to make them last until the final bite, so it could have been my imagination. I do have photo evidence and will compare next time we go there to keep an eye out for any downward trend in raspberries.

Catie also ordered Raspberries and Whipped Cream, but on a waffle instead of French toast. I know from experience that this was an excellent choice on her part. She also added crispy bacon ($4) on the side, which arrived as round bacon, not strips – it looked good, but I wasn’t thinking of this blog post as we were eating so I didn’t ask if she has a preference for a particular shape.

Dave and Michel each ordered the Big Pannekoeken ($18), which comes with eggs, baby potatoes and various fried meats. Again, not thinking ahead to this post, I didn’t follow up on their experiences, but they both ate every last bite so I’m thinking they were pleased.

Over breakfast we discussed our plans for next weekend’s getaway to the Pentastic Hot Jazz Festival in Penticton, which is guaranteed to be the topic of next week’s blog post. We’ll be spending the weekend dancing and listening to jazz with many elderly people. For me and Michel, this will be our second year attending, and likely not our last.

This morning’s breakfast was a fun change of pace, and a nice chance to catch up with friends over good food, but I do have one regret: It just occurred to me now that I have an Entertainment Book coupon for Angelina’s in my purse and I didn’t use it. Fingers crossed, I will remember next time.

Angelina's Dutch Corner, 810 Quayside Dr #122, New Westminster

Weekend One Hundred and Thirteen: Fable Diner at the Lee

We left our secret location in Victoria for the weekend to attend the Rhythm City Mess Around in Vancouver and found ourselves wanting to brunch. Vancouver has undergone a lot of changes, especially around Main and Broadway, and Fable Diner at the Lee is one of them. This spot used to be a greasy spoon of the most traditional sort, but now it has been transformed.

We arrived early, looking for dance class fuel, and were not disappointed. We didn't need to wait, and were seated with a scenic view of the bar and kitchen. Really - it was neat to see how the seemingly well-oiled kitchen machine created plate after plate of brunches.

True to form, Catie and I both had our favourites. Huevos Rancheros ($14) for me and a Benny with bacon ($16) for C. Our helpful server recommended we have a Rosti potato cake ($5) each, and he wasn't wrong. Kind of like a latke, but deep-fried and crispy, with sour cream as an accompaniment. We'd recommend them to you too.

My huevos were tasty. I liked the mountain of cabbage concealing the guac, sour cream, salsa - spicy for real - and eggs. I'd recommend adding a meat next time - perhaps pork belly? - just for a bit more.

C enjoyed her Benny. The hollandaise was superb and creamy. The bacon was judged to be crispy, thick-cut, and delicious, and the cheese-and-onion scones were a nice change from the traditional English muffins. But the best part of the brunch for Catie was being able to see straight into the kitchen and watch the 4 cooks efficiently put together dishes for the awaiting brunchers. If you can, get the two top that looks into the kitchen, it's quite the show.

Breakfast in our bellies, we scampered off to dance class. We were well-fuelled, and would recommend a stop at the Fable Diner for friends at RCMA, ardent shoppers, students, or workers of all kinds. Check it out!

Fable Diner, 151 East Broadway at Main. Open at 7:30!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Weekend One Hundred and Twelve: Paul's Diner by Fol Epi

Of course, we have our ears to the ground for new brunch spots. While we were at Fol Epi, we found out about their new venture at Paul's Motor Inn. While Paul's had mainly been connected with university karaoke in our minds, we were pleased to hear that it had had a facelift and transformation. As I write this, their website says that it is coming soon, but rest assured, dear reader - it is already here.

We left our secret location and headed out of downtown. Arriving at about 8:30, there were many seats available, both at the booths and at the cute bar. We selected a booth for two, and settled in to read the menu. Looks like more than brunch, but, of course, we selected brunch favourites. Classic Benny for Catie, (sub strip bacon for back bacon, eggs poached medium please,) and Ham Hock Hash for me. Catie's coffee was good, but my orange juice was fantastic. Fresh squeezed, nicely chilled, and just what the doctor ordered.

I really enjoyed the ham hock hash. I think I ate three whole potatoes in total, along with most of an onion, a plethora of peppers, and perhaps a fist-sized piece of pork. The waitress said that the ham had maybe been cooked with a maple sauce, but it tasted almost sweet and sour to me - in a good way. Nicely contrasting with the crunchy potatoes, it was. I'd eat it again.

Catie, on the other hand, wasn't so enthusiastic about her benny. Not that it was bad, mind you, but that it was not really a stand-out meal. The Hollandaise was creamy, her potatoes were also crunchy/delicious, and the eggs were poached medium, as requested, but there wasn't anything that made it special. Would she eat it again? Probably, but there are others breakfast items on the menu that she'd like to try.

Pro-Tip from our server: Come early on the weekend. There will always be a lineup by 11am, she says.

Pro-Tip from Catie: The ketchup is probably made in-house, as it isn't the sugary tomato stuff that comes from a bottle. This ketchup has an almost chunky texture, with a more vinegary taste. Delish!

Paul's Diner by Fol Epi, 1900 Douglas St. at Chatham.