Sunday, July 26, 2009

Calvin’s Café (West Vancouver) (CLOSED)

UPDATE (07/31/11): Calvin’s has moved to a new North Vancouver location on Mount Seymour Parkway. New post here.
We were headed for a hike up the Stawamus Chief today. This meant a quick stop, or so we hoped, at Calvin’s in West Van. Realizing this casual spot is a 2-man show – 1 cook, 1 server – our dreams of a brief interlude were dashed. However, our spirits were kept high as our server had a great sense of humour. And in her words, “if I lose my sense of humour, you’re all in trouble!” Calvin’s runs a traditional breakfast menu Monday to Saturday. Today, Sunday, they offered a brunch menu. To be perfectly honest, I think we needed the breakfast menu as we were seeking hearty food to prepare us for our journey. Lucky for us we also packed fruit and nuts for the trip.

Did I mention that after about 20% of the way up the hike (vertical climb!) in 30°C heat, I decided my energies would be much better spent oohing and aahing over the kiteboarding action seaside at Squamish Spit? Yup, a day well spent.

2452 Marine Drive, West Vancouver
Breakfast hours: Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to Noon
Brunch hours: Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hilary’s Café (CLOSED)

Update (05/11/10): Hilary's is closed.
In a previous decade, I worked as a graphic designer. And in that biz, I worked with numerous print shops, which ranged from high-end fine printers, to the one’s which we termed the “cheap and cheerfuls”. Meaning that we got what we paid for and did not have any expectations outside of having the job be quick, easy, and pleasant. This is Hilary’s to me – “cheap and cheerful”. On offer are selections of omelettes served up with a side of home fries, sausage or bacon, and your choice of bagel and cream cheese for just under $8.

Also in a previous decade, I lived in the West End and have been witness to the many incarnations of ownership of this little spot. Over the years it has kept it’s small coffee shop look and feel. The best part is the small street-side patio with the view of English Bay. Today, the patio served us well – some traffic to drown out the noise of our chatter. Girls gotta gab, right?

1184 Denman Street
Breakfast hours:

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Campagnolo means “country” or “rustic” food. If this is country, I’m there. Whilst seemingly simplistic, our food was simply savoury.

Starting with prime ingredients such as free-range heritage pork, cured in-house, and specially-grown local raspberries demonstrates that the menu is ingredient-driven. The Braised Pork Belly Crespelle with Mushroom Cream were melt-in-my-mouth and the Pancetta, Goat Cheese and Spinach Frittata was dance-in-my-chair yummy. Each of our side dishes were also perfectly prepared, especially the Cotechino Sausage. [Hint – go for the pork!] And go for dessert. The Panna Cotta with Raspberries and Hazelnut Crumble and Lemon Rhubarb Cake were both seasonally scrumptious.

Recently opening for brunch service, Vancouverites should embrace the country in their city. Other opportunities are Wednesdays, which are now farmer market menu days thanks to the newly opened nearby market at Main Street Station.

1020 Main Street
Brunch hours: Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.