Sunday, March 22, 2009

Roundel Café

We were greeted by a “please wait to be seated” sign – outside! I love this concept. Nothing makes me feel less at ease than when I am trying to enjoy my breakfast and people are hovering nearby eyeing my table. So, the solution, make people wait outside. And really, we had to wait all of 30 seconds as a few tables were just being cleared.

Inside the vibe was great – buzzy, happy. Although it could be the shining sun that had us all in such a good mood today. Even our pretending-to-be-surly, young waitresses were only smiles. The decor is 1960s kitchen chic – almost as though June Cleaver would be serving up breakfast herself.

The menu holds traditional breakfast offerings with a promise of fresh ingredients. As said by my friend, our meals “tasted like real food”. My Tomato, Avocado & Brie Omelette came with awesome roasted potatoes and yams, and a fresh salad - beautiful colours on a plate. My friend’s Smoked Salmon Benny came with the same accoutrements and also looked (and tasted) gorgeous. And while they may not be the cheapest breakfasts in town, I thought they were great value (e.g. $8.75 for my omelette).

2465 East Hastings Street
Breakfast hours: til 4:00 p.m., Daily

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Paul’s Place Restaurant & Omelettery

Some days, like today, I just want breakfast, ya know? Eggs, toast, hashbrowns – simple. I thought it peculiar when I realized that most places offering this no-fuss feedin’ were named after persons – Bert’s, Teresa’s, Helen’s, Hilary’s, Juliet’s. Today I decided on Paul’s.

Having undergone renovations in recent months, gone are the faded, flowery fabrics and frayed, frilly curtains. They’ve been replaced by new hardwood floors, photographic art, modern light fixtures and a colour palette of grey, black and white. And while we thoroughly enjoyed our diner-style meals, somehow they were slightly dissonant with the updated setting. I was kind of nostalgic for the old school decor. Regardless, I loved the multigrain toast, thought my eggs were done just perfect, the potatoes were real potatoes, and the pancakes were awesome!

At least they kept the fake plants and low prices, those were enough to quench my thirst for kitsch.

2211 Granville Street
Breakfast hours: 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Daily

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hell’s Kitchen (CLOSED)

Update (01/26/13): Hell is now closed.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Well, I wasn’t scorned, but scorched. OK, I exaggerate, not scorched, but enjoyed a pleasant heat. My breakfast sandwich – The B.E.A.T.C.H. – was spiced just right. The acronym stands for Basil, Egg, Avocado, Tomato, Capicolla Ham, and Hot Sriracha Sauce. Also on board my multigrain were cheddar and tarragon aioli. Seemingly a lot of flavours on one ’wich, but it came together nicely. There was a nice selection of bennys on the menu that I was tempted by, as well.

By night, I’m sure Hell’s Kitchen exudes a cozy, emberous glow, by day, it’s well suited for those enduring a light-sensitive hangover.

2041 West 4th Avenue
Brunch hours: Saturday/Sunday/Holidays: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Twisted Fork Bistro

What a pleasant surprise! I had heard only a little about the months-old Twisted Fork Bistro, so I went in without many preconceived notions. This place shone in all the right ways – creative and concise menu, well-executed food, delightful staff, cozy ambiance and great value. Really, what more would I want?

The food is a riff on french bistro comfort food. My Asparagus Scrambled Eggs, while straight-forward, were executed to perfection. The accompaniments – sautéed spinach, slow-roasted tomatoes and potato rosti – were just right. My friends enjoyed their Banana-stuffed Brioche French Toast and Gruyère Baked Eggs.

The space had great energy, full by 11:30, just the right amount of hub-bub to have an engaged conversation with your friends without feeling like you have to shout or that people are overhearing your conversation. While we didn’t interact with the owners, they were there and it seemed that the place was infused with their personalities. Nice job.

1147 Granville Street
Brunch hours: Friday/Saturday/Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.