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.
I 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.
Acme 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.
I 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!!
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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….
Theresa’s rating: 3 eggs out of 5
Kama’s rating: 3.5 eggs out of 5
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.
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.
Oakwood, 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.
James’ rating: 4 eggs out of 5
Theresa’s rating: 4 eggs out of 5
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’.
A 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.
I 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
Abode is located on the street level of the Blue Horizon Hotel smack dab in the middle of Robson Street. The space was recently renovated and renamed (it used to be called Inlets). The decor is understated and elegant with a casual vibe if you get what I mean. Normally I don’t comment on bathrooms, but the loos at Abode are top notch. Private stalls, nice lighting, interesting sinks. A suggestion – get a window seat – it’s a great people watching spot too. V. impressive.
Tired of the whole “BFF” concept? Let me suggest a more satisfying alternative: “BBSF” – “Best Breakfast Sandwich Forever.” A recent stop at Abode on Robson St. revealed a contenda’! Abode (previously Inlets Bistro) is the street-front anchor for the Blue Horizon Hotel. The joint has a fresh decor to go with its new name, and the menu appears to be a mix of old and new dishes for the tourists and locals who loyally (and with good reason) eat here. I went for the Good Start Sandwich (a priced-right $8 even with the optional $2 bacon). Two pieces of hearty seed-and-nut strewn toasted bread are the edible framework for delicately folded omelet-style egg, bacon, smoked cheddar, tomato, avocado and apple chive mayo. The menu said the sandwich included fresh basil but someone forgot to cue it for this ‘wich. That was okay, because everything else created a wallop of flavour. Service was prompt and pleasant.
I can kick myself sometimes. Abode is located on a part of Robson that I pass by just about every day and never go into. My loss because the Abode is a wonderful spot and definitely worth going back to for many reasons. Our waitress was friendly and efficient (she’s a long time employee and worked there before the rename and reno). The tea was loose leaf, and served in a lovely pot. It was an English Breakfast, and I am curious as to where they source their tea. This blend tasted of honey and molasses with a bit of smokiness – heavenly first thing in the morning. For breakfast, I had the Kitchen Sink Benny. It included sauteed avocado, spinach, leeks, red pepper, parsley topped with the traditional poached egg – soft and perfectly done as ordered – eggsellent (sorry couldn’t resist!). It was topped with one of the best Hollandaise sauces I’ve ever had. Rounding out the meal were very crispy potato chunks. All in all, a champion brekkie.
James’ Rating: 4 eggs out 5
Theresa’s Rating: 4 eggs out of 5
I had some confusion about Score. There’s a spot across the street called the Speakeasy and for some reason, I thought that was the Score. I stood there, befuddled. But luckily, James was waiting patiently across the street and we were able to determine, for certain, that this was the place we’d agreed to review. So restaurant confirmed, bottoms comfortably seated outside and now for the big question….does the Score score?
I think this was a first for Theresa and I – an alfresco breakfast, at Score in the West End. Cloud-filtered sunbeams and a table in the sidewalk-adjacent courtyard set the scene. The Score’s breakfast menu is varied and affordable. I selected the turkey hash, a nicely presented concoction of hashbrowns and roast turkey, both diced, mixed with cranberries and topped by two poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce. Tasty all-round, and accompanied by a “Good-moring-here’s-a-kick-in-the-pants” jalapeno cornbread muffin. Friendly, attentive servers. Minor note: the potatoes and turkey would benefit from a more rustic (i.e, less finely diced) presentation.
I pass by the Score just about every day, but in the 8-odd years I’ve lived in the West End, I’ve never eaten there. I decided to order the most outrageous thing on the breakfast menu: scrambled eggs with bacon, sausage, pierogies (yes you read that correctly), hash browns, and sourdough toast. Yes, it was good. And yes, I ate every bit of it (except for the sausage, I am not really a big sausage fan, these were meh). The Score was packed within fifteen minutes of our seating and for may good reasons-good service, great food, awesome patio. I will definitely have to come back when I need a hangover breakfast, especially when I saw the waitress passing our table with a trayful of Bloody Marys garnished with onion rings. Does the Score score? Oh yeah, baby!
James’s rating: 4 eggs out 5
Theresa’s rating: 4 eggs out of 5