Belgard Kitchen

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Is this thing on?

I know, I know. I don’t call, I don’t write. Sorry for the radio silence breakfast clubbers. A lot has happened in the past three years, and well, somethings had to give, and one of those things was this blog.

Now that things have settled down and with a gentle nudge from one of my favourite breakfast buds James, we are now back in the business of blogging about bacon. First up? Railtown’s Belgard Kitchen.

James’ Brekkie

IMG_20180121_1015005Two food-related phrases spring to mind for this brunch review at Belgard Kitchen, located in the “newest” part of town: does this restaurant have the chops or is it a flash in the pan?

Instant answer: eat here.

I was pretty sure, based on two dinners at BK, that this Railtown restaurant/brew pub would offer the same range of creativity and attention to well-prepared food at brunch. I wasn’t disappointed.

Temporarily virtuous, I quashed my inner Homer Simpson and ordered the Veggie Brunch Burger ($14). The menu describes it as: “house rosemary portobello patty, Village Cheese Works cheddar, caramelized onions, sunflower seed pesto aioli, alfalfa sprouts, tomato, fried egg, ciabatta” with a side of brunch spuds. I omitted the sprouts, and the burger and the potatoes were delicious. Lots of great flavours in every bite, and a very personable server topped off this positive meal.

There was only one oversight: the burger arrived on a small wood board without a paper liner. When I cut the burger in half to make it easier to eat, the egg yolk flowed into a puddle. Hopefully the board enjoyed a long spa session in the dishwasher. Not trying to go all Howie Mandel germ-crazy, but I recently read about restaurants fined for serving food directly on wood boards. It was an oversight, because I saw a similarly served meal with a paper liner.

Rating: 🥚🥚🥚🥚 out of 🥚🥚🥚🥚🥚

Theresa’s Brekkie

IMG_20180121_1014539I was a bit surprised when James pulled up to a plain white building, one that really didn’t stand out from the light industrial and warehouse buildings around it. When I asked where the restaurant was, he announced, this is it. And with that we entered into one of the best appointed restaurants I’ve ever been in. The entrance doors are huge, almost two storeys. Another patron said they were reclaimed from a church in Italy. The inside decor mixed industrial elements with romantic, cosy touches including a gorgeous fireplace. It’s one of those places that’s both perfect for a first date and meeting up with friends after work for beers and appies. Just to prove its versatility, there was a baby shower happening in a private space on the second floor.

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The beautiful fireplace at BK

I mention the decor because sometimes restaurants sacrifice food quality for decor, or sacrifice decor for food quality. And that’s where Belgard Kitchen really excels. It ticks all the boxes. For my inaugural visit, I ordered the Postmark Stout Sausage Skillet ($16). It included crispy potatoes, roasted mushrooms and tomato, poached eggs, smokey onion and parmesan cream and grilled sourdough. The dish was well seasoned and flavourful. I don’t usually order sausages, I find them too bland and greasy. These were peppery and plump-yum. The star of the skillet though, was the smokey onion and parmesan cream. I could have eating a bowl of it with the sourdough and been quite satisfied with that. Minor detail – the poached eggs were rubbery, leading me to believe they pre-poached the eggs and reheated them on order.

Rating: 🥚🥚🥚🥚 out of 🥚🥚🥚🥚🥚

The details:

Belgard Kitchen
55 Dunlevy Ave
Vancouver, BC

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Acme Cafe

I always giggle a bit when I see the word “Acme.” It reminds me of Saturday morning cartoons watching Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner. Acme was the company that made a seemingly endless variety of products – most of which blew up at inopportune moments.Thank goodness nothing blew up during our breakfast at the Acme Cafe in the DTES. It’s located at Hastings and Abbott, in a slowly gentrifying area. The restaurant was spotless, as were the loos-a real plus in my books. We arrived right at the 9:00 am opening and it didn’t take long for the place to be a hoppin’.

The diner has a cool 1950s vibe: big booths, a bar with those awesome swivel seats – the perfect setting for breakfast with pals Chris, Marcus, and Randy.

Randy’s Brekkie

breakfastburritoI liked the decor and feel of the diner, our server was cool and funny. For breakfast I had one of three specials offered: the breakfast burrito. It was good, especially after I added hot sauce and ketchup (I like sauces/dips with my burritos) – I should of added salt but didn’t. The portion size was great and the side salad was exploding with flavour (should of asked the name of that dressing). I will go back and try lunch and purchase a pie/dessert to take home. My Hello Dolly bar was as they say “to die for.” That’s all …. and yes I will mention this place to other peeps.

Theresa’s brekkie

baconandeggsAcme was the perfect setting for this bunch of friends: breakfast, gossip, giggles…what’s not to love? This morning I had the basic: eggs, bacon, toast, hash browns. I don’t think Acme has a grill. They only offer eggs sunny side up so when I asked for scrambled the waitress said sure, but it won’t look like scrambled eggs. And she was right. What arrived was were eggs that had been baked into a flat and rubbery round. The breakfast was redeemed by an ample portion of bacon, toast, hash browns and fresh fruit. I have to give props to our waitress: she was funny, irreverent and attentive. Acme also offers a wonderful array of baked goods: house made cakes, pies, cookies and squares. I grabbed a Hello Dolly bar and chocolate chip cookies – which I promptly devoured once I got home. All good things.

Chris’ Breakfast

chrisbreakfastI liked the general atmosphere if the place and our server was sweet! I had the baked eggs benny which were good but i like more traditional style. The sample of preserves was good!!

 

 

Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe

So the other day James says, are we still doing that blog thingie? You bet we are. It had been a long since we’d broken fast together. Our reunion didn’t come without at hitch…we were hoping to review Burgoo on 4th. Alas, when we arrived at Burgoo we discovered it was closed and wouldn’t open for another hour and half. So what’s a couple of hungry reviewers to do? We walked down a couple of blocks to Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe!

James’ Brekkie

It’s been some time since Theresa and I reviewed a brunch spot, but we’re back on track. We chose Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe to reacquaint ourselves with brunch rules of engagement. Did we want something sweet or savoury? Sophie’s offers a good selection of either, and several hybrid dishes common to brunch spots, e.g., waffles with bacon. I decided to tangle (or tango?) with the Ole! side of the menu, and ordered the Eggs Mexicana ($11.99). Scrambled eggs with bell pepper, onions and ground Italian sausage were surrounded by black beans, deliciously rich homemade salsa, sour cream, and a carb troika of soft tortillas, toast and corn chips. They could leave the latter off the platter – they weren’t large enough for scooping the condiments. But a satisfying meal and pleasant service.

Theresa’s Brekkie

Well folks, I owe you an apology. There are no pictures of breakfast. The second our plates hit the table, we dug in and complete forgot about taking a picture. So I will be as descriptive as possible: two huge pancakes, fluffy, light, perfectly golden; two eggs, scrambled; bacon, two slices, crispy. Real butter. Real maple syrup. Real good.

James’ rating: 3 eggs out of 5
Theresa’s rating: 3 eggs out of 5

 

Catch 122

Catch 122 is a hip spot located in the heart of Gastown. My guest for this breakfast was my friend Kama, whom I don’t get to see nearly enough. We spent our breakfast getting caught up on our news and views, and then walked over to Dressew. You know, girl stuff.

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Theresa’s Brekkie

Vancouver restaurants are really upping their tea game. Usually when I order tea, I have no greater expectation than a Twinings tea bag in a metal pot. Catch 122 was a wonderful surprise: delivered unto me was a carafe of  well blended, properly prepared loose leaf English Breakfast tea. Our waiter, who was also responsible for preparing the tea service mentioned the name of the supplier, and I promptly forgot it. It was as a good English Breakfast should be: slightly smoky, slightly caramelly, a bit astringent, brewed strong. Perfect start to the day. Breakfast was good, it wasn’t spectacular, but I enjoyed the offerings: poached eggs, toast, beans, home fries and bacon. The only drawback was the the beans: they were sweet with maple syrup but a tad undercooked.

 Kama’s Brekkie

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My breakfast was a smoked salmon croissant. My eggs were poached perfectly soft and the croissant was fresh. They said they had their own smoked in house salmon. It was fine, not that much flavour though. The hash browns were good, home style and browned nicely. The coffee was amazing! Our server said that only 2 other places are carrying this brand. It’s from Chicago and I would recommend going just for the coffee if you like it really strong and dark. Our service was friendly and the atmosphere is very comfortable. Would go back….

 

The details

Theresa’s rating: 3 eggs out of 5
Kama’s rating: 3.5 eggs out of 5

 

 

Oakwood Canadian Bistro

In a divine fit of madness, James and I attempted to do brunch on Mother’s Day. Without  mothers. I offered to bring plastic baby doll but I couldn’t find the head. But we braved the crowds and arrived promptly for our reserved seats at Oakwood.

James’ Brekkie

James Brekkie

A workmate tipped me off to Oakwood Canadian Bistro. It didn’t sound like your regular bacon and eggs joint – sounded classy-like, as she swooned on a Monday morning over the asparagus omelette she’d eaten the day before. I passed the intel on to T and we decided to go on Mother’s day – early! I considered buying T a corsage just to creep her out, but didn’t -’cause it would creep her out…. Ah yes, the Oakwood – executive summary: eat here. Space has a cool-cabin vibe, service was prompt and cheery, prices are ridiculously right. My open faced corned beef sandwich (over easy eggs, sauerkraut, dijon hollandaise and home fries) was pure tastiness. Nicely assembled with enough corned beef for two, I savoured every bite as I considered many places would charge 50% more than its $14 pricetag. Also enjoyed a non-alcohol Mai Tai for $4.

Theresa’s brekkie

Theresa's BrekkieOakwood, located in the deeps of Kitsilano is a wonderful bistro. It’s casual but definitely a good enough place to bring your mother, a place that will reassure her that yes, you’re earning enough to get by and have a wee bit extra to take your beloved mom out for brunch. I ordered the breakfast special: scrambled eggs, pork belly confit, hash browns and toast. The room was dim and the picture doesn’t do it justice: the eggs were creamy and moist, the pork belly confit was melt in your mouth, and the hash browns were extra crispy just the way I like em. Now take a good look at the toast – that there folks is a hunk of bread taken from a homemade loaf. Heavenly. Someone’s momma should be very proud. I will definitely go back to Oakwood, just not on a holiday, our table was reserved all day and I felt a bit rushed to eat it and beat it when all I really wanted to was order more tea and toast. Sigh.

 The details:

James’ rating: 4 eggs out of 5
Theresa’s rating: 4 eggs out of 5

 

Yolks

Just before Christmas, my colleague Andrew stuck his head in my cubicle and announced “Yolks!” What? “Yolks!” for your next review! Yes! But of course! Yolks, as Vancouver foodies know, is a breakfast-themed food truck parked in Gastown. They’ve recently hatched a bricks and mortar eating spot (all breakfast! all the time! can I get a Woot Woot?) out in East Hastings. We arrived at 9:30 and sure enough the joint was soon a hoppin’.

James’ Breakkie
 JamesA recent upstart was the scene of our first 2014 foray: Yolks Restaurant. Located in a former steakhouse at Clark Dr. and Hastings St. news about this breakfast eatery is spreading faster than butter on a steaming pancake. Pancakes are on the menu, but I decided to go with the Eggs Benedict. The flowchart-like menu addled my pre-breakfast brain, but our helpful waitress assisted, and the dish that arrived was familiar and flavourful: toasted English muffin, two poached eggs, sliced ham, fresh spinach, Dijon mustard and hollandaise sauce. I also opted for a side of truffle lemon hash browns. These perfectly cooked baby potatoes are a notch above your average B-fast ‘taters, and the order is big enough for two. The price for breakfast: $14.25 (including the side order) + $4 for a small glass of fresh orange juice. Yolk isn’t the cheapest diner in town, eggs only come one way – poached – and if you want toast an English muffin will have to do. Regardless, Yolk is a worthwhile addition to Vancouver’s breakfast offerings.

Theresa’s Brekkie
TheresaI can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to going to Yolks since my conversation with my colleague. I’d never visited the food truck, but I’d heard amazing things about it so my expectations were high, and no, Yolks did not disappoint. The maze like menu was a little to complicated that early in the morning, and I needed the waitress to help me through it. What I landed with was a bed of spinach, atop which was truffle-oiled potatoes (heavenly), atop which was slices of ham, atop which was two poached eggs (the only way they serve them), dots of goat cheese (couldn’t resist) atop which was a drizzle of a dijon based sauce. I also ordered an English muffin. This was an awesome breakfast, they learned their food cart lessons well. What didn’t translate so well was the complicated menu (my breakfast was over $20 with tip. Ouch!) and the diner still feels a 70s steakhouse. Minor stuff. Yolks definitely has something to crow about.

James’ Rating: 3.5 eggs out of 5
Theresa’s Rating: 4 eggs out of 5