Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dunlevy Snackbar (UPDATED)

UPDATE (07/23/13): After receiving the aforementioned liquor licence, the owner has decided to focus on bevvies and snacks for evening service only. No more brunch.
Dunlevy Snackbar epitomizes the latest entrepreneurial movement towards everything handmade. It has the feel of an artists studio – a commercial space in an under-utilized area, filled with particle-board counters, assorted vintage dishware, hand-stamped paper art, and repurposed light fixtures. From what I understand, this 22-seater started with the owner building the space and running the show himself, yet continues to evolve over time (just got their liquor licence this month). Our server seemed so delighted that she could offer us Caesars or Mimosas.

Their 4-item breakfast menu changes randomly, I assume according to whimsey and/or supplies, and usually there is a special available. We had the Baked Eggs and the Euro Breakfast. Love the idea of the Euro breakfast, curious that it’s not offered at more places. The experience was low key, like a buddy was making us breakfast over at his place.

433 Dunlevy Avenue
Breakfast hours (according to menu):
Saturday/Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Lucky’s Doughnuts by 49th Parallel Coffee

For a moment the thought crossed my mind, “Coffee and doughnuts? That’s not really breakfast.“ Then that thought passed. What’s more breakfasty than a Peanut Butter and Jelly Doughnut or a Apple Bacon Fritter with Maple Glaze? I loved these doughnuts. The PB&J had strong peanut butter flavour and the jelly filling was perfect, a liberal amount, not to sweet, not to tart. The fritter tasted like eating pancakes with maple syrup and bacon. Smoky salty sweet.

And my Americano coffee was also alarmingly delicious. I quit drinking coffee over 10 years ago, and this drink just might start my habit again. Now I know why people have been raving about 49th Parallel Coffee for years.

Coffee and doughnuts. Mmmm, breakfast.

2902 Main Street
Breakfast hours (as long as they don’t sell out):
Monday to Saturday: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


As many people know, the restaurant’s name was born on Top Chef Canada and comes from the concept of “farm to table”. Because of Fable’s origins, I realize that I went in today with uncharacteristically high expectations. As a result, I found myself being finicky and vocal about it, “this table’s too small”, “it’s cold in here”. Our server took it all in stride, solved every grievance calmly and effectively, without a single ounce of resistance, “let’s change out this table”, “I'll check on the heat”. I was so impressed with her. She also keenly navigated my non-pork eating friend through the pork-riddled menu.

To me, what makes the food at Fable stand out is its execution. I had the scrambled eggs, hash browns, toast, and a side of bacon. It sounds like every day fare, but each element was uniquely crafted and brought together to tell an original tale. Thoughtfulness could be found in every detail on the plate such as velvety creamy parmesan eggs, a brick-shaped rosti lending many sides for tasty caramelization, delicate house-made brioche, and the perfect thick slice of bacon served with seasonally-spiced apple jam.

True to their name, they are becoming a legendary story.

1944 West 4th Avenue
Brunch hours: Saturday/Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Yummy Sushi

I agree with comments I’ve read from others about this place – this restaurant is misnamed. More appropriate would be “bare-bones, hole-in-the-wall that serves straight-up $2.99 breakfast from enthusiastic husband/wife team”.

Being a business owner myself, I know the challenges of surviving in the business world. To be honest, I don’t know how they do it – serving large portion breakfasts for such a little price in such a small place. It was empty when we arrived, but soon filled with regulars who were greeted with a similar statement, “You don’t need menu, right Bob?” Obviously, they are meeting the needs of their loyal customers who keep coming back for more. Aha! The secret to business success.

1980 Pine Street
Breakfast hours:
Monday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday/Sunday/Holidays: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.