Saturday, May 31, 2008

Caffé Artigiano

Caffé Artigiano is a Vancouver mini-chain famous for their coffee art. This morning, I visited the Hornby location and found it to be hustling and bustling. Lineups to order were long, but moved quickly. You can choose to sit either inside in casual surroundings or outside to enjoy their East-facing (morning sun) patio looking onto the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The breakfast options consist of a couple of breakfast burritos, fruit cups, yogurt and granola or a good selection of muffins and pastries. I believe the Hastings location actually does a brunch menu. For the second time in my breakfast adventure, I was delivered NOT what I ordered. However, when this happens now, I just trust that the breakfast angels have intervened on my behalf and brought me something even better. What I ordered was the vegetarian burrito, but what I received was the Vegetarian Panini, and it was very nice, slightly spicy. I also had the Fruit Cup to up my vitamin intake for the day.

763 Hornby Street plus other locations
Breakfast hours:
Monday to Friday: 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Sundays: 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Trafalgars Bistro

The miracle known as sunshine was unveiling itself today, so my friend and I chose a spot where we could enjoy the warmth. Trafalgars has a lovely street-side patio enshrouded with planters, enough to shield you from the traffic, but still expose you to the elements. It is a neighbourhood spot full of ladies lunching, which suited me just fine as we, too, were ladies lunching. And what do ladies do when they lunch? They talk. Our server was perfect – very attentive and charming, but did not intrude on the conversation.

Trafalgars doesn’t so much as do breakfast as what they call their “Daytime Menu” which is a combo of brunch and lunch items. The breakfast offerings are few, but what they do, they do well. I had the Huevos Rancheros a la Trafalgars – chorizo sausage, poached eggs, avocado crème fraîche, salsa, beans and corn bread – and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My friend had the more classic Eggs and Hollandaise on Potato Latke. Also tasty, but the latke was really more like a potato cake. I also appreciated the Fresh-squeezed Lemonade.

Dessert menu of almost 30 items – I kid you not. Obviously coming from their sister spot, Sweet Obsession Cakes & Pastries, who are just two doors down. But we were too full to indulge. Sad face.

2603 West 16th Avenue
Breakfast hours:
Monday to Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Naam

I’m assuming most everyone knows about The Naam. It’s been a veggie-only institution since the 60s. And while it is open 24 hours and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, I believe that breakfast is their best meal of the day. The breakfast menu is quite comprehensive, something for everyone (well, except die-hard carnivores).

The Naam is usually packed with birds of all feathers – old hippies, baby hippies, still hippies, gen-Xers, gen-Yers, tourists, and just plain hungry folk. And everyone is nose to the table, noshing down on generous portions of eggs, pancakes and mystery meat-substitutes.

The decor is eclectic with mismatched tables and chairs (read: wobbly), well-worn wood floors (also read: wobbly), and curious artwork. However, the sum is greater than its parts and adds up to a comfortable place for breakfast.

2724 West 4th Avenue
Breakfast hours:
Monday to Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Saturday: 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Sunday: 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Subeez Café

For some reason it surprises me that Subeez does breakfast. Dimmed lights, wax-draped candelabra, throbbing house music, excited chatter late into the evening is how I envision Subeez Café. But in the bright light of day, the cavernous space somehow still seems welcoming, if somewhat more subdued. On the weekend, they offer a brunch menu. During the week, a slightly shorter version for breakfast. Prices are very reasonable for breakfast items, all $10 or less.

My dining partner had the Classic Breakfast, which included what they call ‘Tomato Beans’, which suspiciously looked like canned, regardless, they were just what the doctor ordered. I had the Chorizo Frittata with jalapeño, salsa and cheddar. My meal was definitely satisfying, however, what I truly craved were the pancakes. And when I saw a big pile of fluffy flapjacks being delivered to the next table, I wished I had honoured my desire - they looked yum-may!

891 Homer Street
Breakfast hours: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Brunch hours: Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.