Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Belgard Kitchen

It’s been a new era in restaurant culture since craft breweries hit the scene in Vancouver. The Belgard Kitchen shares space in The Settlement Building with Postmark Brewing. Open up the imposing set of front doors, and inside the vestibule you will find a brewery filling station. I was amused by the fellow who rode up on his bike with a huge basket in front carrying both his young daughter and his empty growlers. Enter through a second set of impressive 20-foot-high doors, and you will find yourself in the restaurant. It has been designed in such a way that the cavernous, industrial space feels warm and inviting.

All of the menus here – food, beer, and wine – are diverse, modern, and sure to contain something to please everyone. I was certainly pleased by my Meatball Brunch Skillet. Is 10:30 a.m. too early for beer? I think not. My Awesome Ale was just as advertised and paired very well with my meatballs. My friend was slightly surprised to find that her Salmon Gravlax Hash was served as a salad, but grilled toast and housemade hot sauce heated her up and saved the day.

Good brews, tasty food, great service – keep ’em coming.

55 Dunlevy Avenue
Brunch hours: Saturday/Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Bestie serves up a minimal menu featuring a rotating selection of wurst – German for sausage. Their main plate of sausage, sauerkraut, and fries makes a fine breakfast any day of the week, and they also offer a brunch special on weekends. My friend went with today’s special Ham & Swiss Waffle, while I stayed with the traditional Sausage & Sauerkraut and a side of the Beet Salad.

The space is well-designed, in a minimal hipster, modern German kind of way (which I mean as a compliment). This spot has been popular ever since it opened, so be prepared to show up early or wait upon arrival. The service is speedy, so turnover happens quickly, unless you are jerks like us and spend hours catching up over the fine coffee. To their credit, they never hurried us, or asked us to leave. We stayed so long, we almost ordered dinner. I could’ve easily had another plate.

105 East Pender
Brunch hours: Saturday/Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


I can sum up my brunch at L’Abbatoir in one word – rich. I met up with my long-time friend who was surprised to learn I had arrived slightly hungover, if one can be “slightly” hungover. It had been many years (over 20) since I had imbibed, so her marvel was founded. I found I craved fat and sugar to offset the deleterious effects of the alcohol.

In an unusual ordering process for me, I chose from the sides to compose my own calorific meal – a jelly-filled, sugar-coated doughnut, potato rosti, pork belly and beans. It was definitely not a brunch for someone watching their figure. It did achieve it’s intended effect, however, it grounded my spinning head. Then I ordered a coffee. My friend did a double-take as she also knew I had not been drinking coffee for over a decade. “What’s gotten into you?” she asked. “Fun,” I winked. “Next you’ll be telling me you are getting a tattoo,” she joked. “Well, actually...” I replied.

L’Abbatoir was the perfect place to include in my indulgent weekend.

217 Carrall Street
Brunch hours: Saturday/Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Au Comptoir

As I strolled through the quiet streets early on a Sunday morning, I was blanketed by a light dusting of snow, the first snowfall of this winter. It set up the perfect feel for cozying up with brunch. I arrived before my friends, and hungry, so I ordered the Assiette de Fromages to quell my rumbling stomach.

This modern French bistro does a good job of transporting one right to the neighbourhoods of Paris. The ambience is authentic, as is the service. Well, une minute, maybe the service was not totally authentic as our French server was quite cheery and enthusiastic. The dishes were stylishly presented and well executed. The Duck Confit with Poached Eggs, Almond Waffle, and Eggs Cocotte all satiated our desire to be transported out of the cold.

Can’t afford that plane ticket to Paris at the moment? Au Comptoir can do well to feed your appetite.

2278 West 4th Avenue
Breakfast hours: Monday, Wednesday to Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Saturday/Sunday: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Brunch hours: Saturday/Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.