The last few breakfasts have been downright lousy so I was ready for an exceptional breakfast. And Pronto, bless their sweet hearts, did not disappoint. I want to complain about how cold it was inside, but let’s face it, no Vancouver restaurant has a decent heating/cooling system. It’s not really necessary 80% of the year. Joining me today was my pal Kris, who suggested this little gem of a spot. And I have to apologize, the picture of Kris’s breakfast didn’t turn out, so you’ll have to trust me that it looked amazing.
This was my second breakfast at Pronto in as many weeks. The first visit I chose the delectable and very pork heavy Benny. So good, it comes on polenta and is oh so good.
For my second venture into the land of Pronto I ordered up the fritatta special. Once again I went with the pork, this time sausage. Their version was very good and they did not hold back on the sausage. With a nice amount of cheese and accompanied by very fresh mesclun greens and nicely roasted rosemary potatoes, this made for a great brunch. I would add an order of toast next time to round it off nicely. So far, I am very pleased with Pronto and will return.
Oh Pronto, Pronto! The selections for breakfast were few, but what they do do, they do exceptionally well. This morning, I had the breakfast pizza which consisted of a homemade crust, cheese, pancetta and very thin slices of potato and an egg right in the middle. Was it good? Darn tootin’ it was. Very good. So good, I am going back to have it again. And again. About once a year, I have coffee, and today was my day. I ordered the paint stripping Macchiato. I’m now good for the next two years or so.
Theresa’s rating: 4 eggs out of 5
Kris’ rating: 4 eggs out of 5
Forage is fairly new to Robson Street, it’s located where O’Doul’s used to be. It prides itself on serving locally sourced food items. It’s a serene spot, decorated with a 1970s West Coast vibe. James joined me today, and we were commenting on how much we both liked the cutlery and the china that they used. Functional, sturdy, understated. Nice touches all around. And the food? Well, Forage is off to a yummy start.
Don’t worry – despite the name, this restaurant isn’t set up like some apocalyptic exercise, where you scramble to put together a plate of vittles before someone knocks you off, a la The Hunger Games. I didn’t lift a finger until they brought me my breakfast, the Two Rivers Turkey Sausage Hash ($13). Slices of pepperoni-size turkey sausage, diced onions, potatoes and yams suspended two poached eggs drizzled with Hollandaise sauce. Served in a small skillet atop a wooden board, with just enough room for four slices of perfectly toasted sourdough bread. A delicious meal, made only better by friendly, thoughtful service, and set in a smart, understated room with a cool west coast vibe.
Pork is the new black in Vancouver’s restaurants. If you’re a carnivore, this breakfast is a dream come true. I had the double-fried pork cutlet with shredded cabbage and a soft-poached egg. Yes I did. And I ate every bit of too. And I ordered a side of sour dough toast. The pork cutlet was pounded, breaded, and fried. It was crispy on the outside, tender and juicy and flavourful and worth every minute I’ll have to spend at the gym to work this off. It came topped with shredded cabbage and slivers of beet-pickled onions and a balsamic vinaigrette. Sublime.
James’ rating: 4 eggs of 5
Theresa’s rating: 4 eggs out 5
When James suggested a Mexican themed brekkie I had visions of yummy stuffed enchiladas or spicy egg tacos like I had in Mexico while on vacation years ago. Well okay, that didn’t happen. Didn’t even come close. Sigh.
This spot adds some Ole! to a historic corner of Vancouver. During the 20s and early 30s Hogan’s Alley, a slip of space wedged between Main St. and Chinatown, was jumpin’ with speakeasies, brothels and music joints. The population of Chinese, Japanese, Italian and black families was as diverse as any neighbourhood in the city today. The cafe with the same name builds on the area’s cultural mix with Mexican food cooked by expats. I ordered the Divorced Eggs ($8.50), a traditional breakfast dish. Two eggs over easy, one topped with green chile sauce, the other with red chile sauce, layered on two small tortillas and accompanied with black beans and cheese. The food was over-sauced but with just-right spiciness. However, an unfortunate case of thermal dynamics put a damper on things. The breakfast’s temperature – only moderately hot to begin with – quickly cooled off because it arrived on a large, and very cold, plate. This is the second time I’ve had cold food at Hogan’s Alley. Maybe the server wearing earmuffs should have been a hint. But is it really that hard to warm a plate?
This breakfast made me grumpy. Seriously grumpy. It was cool, sunny Vancouver day, yet the restaurant inside was actually colder than it was outside. I can’t remember the name of the dish I had but it was similar to James’ except I got the married version of the dish served with red chile sauce. It was cold. The plate was cold, the food was tepid and the server was wearing earmuffs. Sheesh. I was still hungry after picking through the ice, so I ordered a blueberry scone. It was stale, and the butter, you guessed it, was rock hard. This was James’ second visit to this spot, it will be my last.
James’ rating: 2 eggs out of 5.
Theresa’s rating: yeah, no, no eggs.