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Breakfast in Vancouver/Western Canada


sasskitty
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I may be off base with this one, but the lobby has never led me to believe the rest of the hotel could be that nice. I have enjoyed a great dinner in Bacchus, drank often in the bar. Everytime I go to the head through the lobby I just get bad memories of my grandparent's house. Perhaps if I forged on past and into a room I would have a different opinion. No offense to your friends at The Wedgewood though, just my own opinion.

On the other hand We had a great stay at Le Soliel, the staff was great and the rooms were new, clean and well decorated (kitchy).

Edited by Coop (log)

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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We've had several "morning after" breakfasts at Diva. Though the food has been quite good, I've found their service at breakfast to be below their usual standards. Takes far too long for me to get my first cup of coffee, and I have to ask, actually flag someone down, to get a refill.

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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Daddy-A; I am like Deborah, I likes the classic breakfast places, breakfast is a time for eating in a casual manor, looking up at your coffee cup at a white table cloth is not my idea of casual, brunch in some fancy restaurant; a night cook doing "time", like he is in sing sing, the brunch shift, probably so hung over, the only thing going down is water, struggling to put out some eggs, bitching the whole time: "I did not go to cooking school to do breakfast"

There are a lot of fine dinning places in Vancouver to spend money but breakfast should not be one of them, if I want a so very fancy breakfast I would go home and do some eggs Benny, or frittata with homemade jams and Creole, but I am lazy so I look for a consistent place to eat my fav meal of the day.

The granddaddy of them all is the The Elbow Room, it has been around since 1982, it predates so many breakfast places in Vancouver and set a certain style that has been attempted to copy many times. The South Side Deli in Whistler was one of the closest places to capture that essence in a long time (RIP).

The Elbow room is more then just breakfast it is a experience, it used to be by the Westin in that corner building where the two streets angle like a triangle, on the corner of that triangle there was a old building, in that building was the Elbow room, the old place was one of the first breakfast places I went to back in 1990, I just moved to Vancouver and it was still at its old location, 1996 it moved to its present location, not as quant as the old place but they uphold that great style and service that they been doing for years.

If you want breakfast go to places that do breakfast, like when you want your rad fixed, you do not go to a tire specialist, the same goes for food. Hi end places do dinner not brunch, remember who is working that shift???

Breakfast places do breakfast that is what they do, if they do not, do it well they get run out of town, very fast! Something I have learned is it is hard to fake breakfast and get away with it. Dinner it is a little more forgiving, but breakfast has no room to maneuver, if you do not get it right you will hear from your customer right here and now: “Buddy my coffee sucks and I ordered over easy and white toast".

Like life Breakfast is the here and now, it is about just five things, Great coffee, fresh eggs, good and fresh bread, good potatoes ( hopefully not deep-fried), and at tasty meat ( sausage, bacon, or for the people who do not eat meat, roast tomato and fried mushroom)

When you do theses things right you will be a successful breakfast joint and Vancouver does breakfast well; when I lived in Toronto, it was hard to find a breakfast place, Vancouver eats breakfast all day.

I like this best about the West Coast; it shows how we have little different priorities, we move a little different then Central Canada.

steve

Edited by stovetop (log)
Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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I may be off base with this one, but the lobby has never led me to believe the rest of the hotel could be that nice. I have enjoyed a great dinner in Bacchus, drank often in the bar. Everytime I go to the head through the lobby I just get bad memories of my grandparent's house. Perhaps if I forged on past and into a room I would have a different opinion. No offense to your friends at The Wedgewood though, just my own opinion.

On the other hand We had a great stay at Le Soliel, the staff was great and the rooms were new, clean and well decorated (kitchy).

Food and travel writing has taken me to many strange beds, Coop. Thousands? I can't be sure. But here are several small lessons I've learnt about hotels over time:

1. Travellers crave not startling decor but comfort and intimacy. That's why Ian Shrager hotels, designed by Philippe Stark, are struggling so badly. They're cold, brittle and, well, stark. And very 1999. In London, Firmdale Hotels, which are small and laden with chintz and honesty bars easily outperform their edgy brethren while the Sanderson and St. Martin's Lane (both Shrager-Starck collaborations) teeter on banckruptcy. Why--because like Adam Tihany designed dining rooms, they don't necessarily foster return guests. Same holds true in Vancouver--the most successful hotels are intimate.

2. Vancouver, for the most part, has very bland hotels. Sort of like our newspapers--instantly forgettable.

3. For good cause, many Vancouverites don't frequent hotel rooms but rather judge the book by its cover.

3. Our father taught us that we should 'never buy anything more expensive than a newspaper in a hotel lobby.' Very good advice.

An equal opprtunity friend, I'm off to have breakfast with chef Letendre at Elixir.

-J.

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Don't get me wrong I like Intamacy in a hotel. My favorite chain is the Kinmpton hotel line. The one thing I need most in a hotel is cleanliness. I can't stand the thought of other people using the same bed or bathroom as me. So I need to know that it has been throughly cleaned prior to my arrival. A lot of times I connect old and musty to dirty. I anticipate growing old and mad in a Howard Hughesish obcession with cleanliness.

I do plan on dropping into The Wedgewood for lunch or drinks during the holiday and I will check out the lobby and back hall to see if it was just a bad series of nights I was there.

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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I had a terrific breakfast at the newish Caffe Artigiano on Hastings near Howe Street the other day. Food is such an afterthought at the coffee chains, and this was not--it was a proper foreword to the day.

I ordered the Uoava Napolitana, which loosely translated means "Sophia Loren's Ovaries," I believe. Two eggs were poached in a tomato sauce with lots of onions. Sort of like cooking your eggs in last night's osso buco braise--delicious. The Italian sausage that accompanied was slightly overcooked but tasty. The accompanying potatoes were a highlight--shallow-fried in oil, garlic and a toss of herbs. $7.95 and the usual great cup of creamy latte. Lots of other choices under ten bucks and here's a deal--you can order a whopper coffee--32 oz. French press--for $6.25. I believe that compares favourably to Timmy Ho's although they're not doing their portabello soup in a bread bowl just yet.

Vince Piccolo and his brothers are opening in Kerrisdale (the old Torrefazione store; Torrefazione was taken over by Starbucks a while back) in a couple of months. Then no precinct of the city will be immune from their charms. They're also getting their roasting operation up and operative in the new year--no more Intelligentsia coffee (from Chicago) but rather their own brand.

Lots of lunch items--a platter of Cobb salad for $9.95; chicken cannelloni for $10.95.

Worth a detour.

J.

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Don't get me wrong I like Intamacy in a hotel. My favorite chain is the Kinmpton hotel line. The one thing I need most in a hotel is cleanliness. I can't stand the thought of other people using the same bed or bathroom as me. So I need to know that it has been throughly cleaned prior to my arrival. A lot of times I connect old and musty to dirty. I anticipate growing old and mad in a Howard Hughesish obcession with cleanliness.

I do plan on dropping into The Wedgewood for lunch or drinks during the holiday and I will check out the lobby and back hall to see if it was just a bad series of nights I was there.

Even better, ask to see a room--so many of us don't in our own city.

Interesting that most Kimpton hotels, certainly in San Francisco, are better known for their restaurants than their rooms--Postrio et al.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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I ordered the Uoava Napolitana, which loosely translated means "Sophia Loren's Ovaries," I believe. Two eggs were poached in a tomato sauce with lots of onions

:biggrin::raz: " As I clean the monitor of coffee that I spit out in uncontrollable laughter from this discretion of Uoava Napolitana"

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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I haven't stayed at The Wedgewood in a long time (junior suite five or six years ago?) but I liked it fine, and wouldn't hesitate to stay again. IIRC, they had chocolate chip cookies at turndown :)

When I lived on Bowen Island, and needed to stay in hotels here more often, I had two mainstays, though: the Hotel Van, which you could get a great room or a crappy room, but everything else about it was consistent, and the Metropolitan, which I used to get a rate on and you could get room service from Diva. The Metropolitan ended up beating our the Hotel Van largely for the room service :laugh:

As far as breakfast, I have nothing against a fancy-dan one (one of my all-time favourites is the brunch at Brennan's several years back; I don't usually have dessert after Benny, but, hey; Pastis also puts on a great breakfast) but if I'm seriously hungover, I usually want lots of grease, and pretty quick, so a diner-type place fits the bill. I also like the resident dogs at The Templeton.

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Dearest Arnie and J

My heart bleeds for you, truly! :laugh:

A great party to attend, excellent hotel accomadations and then the dilemma of trying to decide on a restaurant for breakfast!

Just another one of lifes many hurdles and I'm sure that you'll come through this stressful time with flying colours.

Meant of course, in the kindest possible jesting of ways! :biggrin:

....so, where did you end up going?

CM

Edited by Chef Metcalf (log)
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We've had several "morning after" breakfasts at Diva.  Though the food has been quite good, I've found their service at breakfast to be below their usual standards.  Takes far too long for me to get my first cup of coffee, and I have to ask, actually flag someone down, to get a refill.

They used to do a splendid black cod hash with scallion oil. With a good newsaper, very restorative.

J.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Oh! don't get me wrong; I can get into high end breakfast, it is just that for half the price I will get a breakfast cook who loves doing eggs, not some hotshot wana be who is in prison on the morning shift, doing his or her time in purgatory while a shift opens up at night.

Yes; high end places can do an amazing job and will have all the resources that a breakfast joint will not have, like great fresh seafood, awesome bread cause so many high ends do make their own bread and usually they will not deep-fry there potatoes, this alone will aid me in spending extra money to not get French fried for breakfast, wishing they understand after eating all that bacon and two eggs and all that butter I love. You would think that they would have my hearts best interest in mind and roast those potatoes instead of going that straight line and deep-frying the hell out of my best friend the simple and lonely potato, stay in cook’s hell.

If they get sysco type of macains hash brown potato then you know for sure their heart is not into creating anything that resembles breakfast that people want and you definitely are not thinking of anybody’s heart.

Just make you quick 2000 bucks and get ready for dinner.

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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Le Soleil is a great hotel! This is the second Christmas party where we've stayed there, and I'm sure we'll be back next year.

Besides, it's nice and close to Baccus, where we had breakfast ... or I should say brunch since it was 11:30 when we ate.

As much as I like the greasy-spoons, this morning was a linen-table-cloth kinda morning. Baccus nicely fit the bill.

I find stovetop's comments about the chefs not wanting to work breakfast somewhat prophetic. However, it was the service staff who didn't seem too interested in say, oh, I don't know ... re-filling my freakin' coffee!! I realize this is not Denny's, but jeeeeez It wasn't until we spoke with Farouq (the dining room manager I believe - Jamie??) that cup number 2 showed up.

Farouq actually came and spoke with us because J had ordered one of Chef Parsons new creations: a salmon and sun choke hash, topped with a poached egg and a nice grainy mustard sauce. He was interested in her impressions of the new dish ... which were favorable.

I had the wild boar sausage with churizo & corn rosti. It was served with two fried eggs. I add the emphasis because I really wanted them poached. True, the menu said fried, but one thing I have learned from this group is that you can at least ask to have things altered. I never got the chance to ask. The fried eggs were excellent. Perfectly done. But they weren't poached.

We finished the morning buy ordering some new furniture from the Bay (Merry Christmas to us!) and picking up some Sparkle Cookies from sen5es.

Thanks eveyone for your input!

A. & J.

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it was the service staff who didn't seem too interested in say, oh, I don't know ... re-filling my freakin' coffee!!  I realize this is not Denny's, but jeeeeez

That's the one thing I love about having breakfast at IHOP. You order coffee, you get your own thermal carafe!

Another pet peeve I have is places that serve coffee in mugs where you can only get one finger through the handle. I can tolerate it at dinner, but not at breakfast. I need leverage!

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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.....aaaah Stovetop, good man to remember the all time B.C. best breakfast joint "the South Side Deli" in Whistler - where you could get a coffee, a beltch sandwhich and a joint for $10.

Ah; Paul the cats out of the bag.

When franko, lisa, Mary and Mary worked at the Deli in about 90 something it rocked, Dana Reinhardt had the Opppsom Cafe there in 96.

The deli closed at three every day. There were a few restaurants in that space in the 90"s.

I loved working at the deli in the 00's and especialy being a customer in the 90'S, it was a fun place, sat mornings was a circus; Customers coming in not knowing that you have to order from the till, sitting down, time going bye and there still is no server, finaly someone in the restaurant screams out: " Give your order at the till".

Seeing customers fight for food; See at the deli the kitchen is totaly open no seperation to the customer except for a counter but you can look right at the cook, you see everything!

Your order, would come up on this open pass, the cook would belly out someones name: "JACK"!!

Then you would go pick it up at the counter, eager beaver waiting for a late pick up; "your food is gone pal!!

Do not go to the can, till you get your food.

steve

Edited by stovetop (log)
Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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  • 10 months later...

Hi folks.

I'm new around here and in need of some help.

In the last 6 months I have returned to Vancouver after several years away in the San Francisco Bay area.

One of the many many things I missed that I missed about home was breakfast on the weekend. It's something that we in BC have a particular fondness for, and something we do particularly well here (maybe because we enjoy it so much).

I think I first got really serious about weekend breakfasts when I was going to school at UVic many years ago. Every Sunday morning was brunch at pagliacci's. We'd spend hours after our meals drinking coffee, reading the paper, and catching up with friends (everyone showed up there, sooner or later, on Sunday mornings. It was just what people did). But the food was the real attraction... Bagels from Mount Royal bagel factory with home made jam, a stellar menu of breakfast classics and eclectic creations. Great coffee, fried potatoes to die for, welcoming personal service, and a fun room to hang out in.

When I finished school and moved back to Vancouver, I struggled to find something that compared to Sundays at Pag's. Sophie's was always the fan favourite, and I gave it my best effort, standing in line week after week, It was always fine but never outstanding. The service hit and miss, and about 30% of the time they'd be out of something or other I wanted.

I tried other places (the Zen, Cafe Deux Soleils, The original Slick's down on cordova, and a host of others) but nothing quite made the cut. Nothing, that is, until I found a neat little place on 4th (which had apparently been there forever), on the south side of the street, which I think was called Gladys'.

This place was killer. They had a terrific menu that, like pag's spanned from the basics to some way out-there experimental things (particularly in the omelette and benny departments, if my memory serves). I ate there every single week (which makes it all the more embarrassing that I don't remember the name of the place) and tried pretty much everything on the breakfast menu, and it was all excellent. The service was great too. All really good people, fairly eccentric with wry senses of humour, all willing to expound at length on whatever was on their mind if you prodded a little. I couldn't believe my good luck, and celebrated every week that I spent there.

And then I moved to California. I'd go back there whenever I was in town on a weekend, and it was always the same, never disappointing. I'm not sure what happened exactly. I know they moved across the street to, I believe, the location that eventually became Pastis. And I guess they over-extended themselves with the costs of the move and the reno on the new space. Anyway, they weren’t in the new spot very long before they closed.

So the spot was gone, and I was gone, and breakfast in california just isn't in the same league as here. I didn't think much about the whole problem any more, except to reflect fondly as I cursed the breakfast scene in the bay area where you have to drive 45 minutes to get to somewhere that's half as good as you can find on just about any corner here.

But now I'm back, and more determined than ever to pick up my weekend mornings from where I left off years ago. So I thought I'd appeal to you good people for help.

I've been looking high and low. And I've even read as much of the breakfast discussions as I could find here in the forum. I've tried a lot of the recommendations that I've found here, and stuff I've heard from other folks, but all to no avail. Most recently I tried Seb's over on east Broadway. It was good, but it just wasn't quite up to the extremely high quality benchmark set by two old favourites.

Any ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions? Nostalgia to help tide me over until I find something new? Think I’m delusional? Anything? I leave myself in your collective capable hands...

-Eleven

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Hi and welcome back.

I *hope* the place you're thinking of that closed isn't the

Sunshine Diner (Kitsilano)

2756 W. Broadway, Vancouver

Phone: (604)733-7717 - Fax: (604)737-7240

sunshinediner@shaw.ca

Just East of Macdonald, on the South side of the street.

The decor is genuine (not faux retro) Diner (I not only stuck to the naugahyde booth seats but also to the electrical and gaffer tape covering the rips on said seats), the prices are reasonable, and IMO it's worth a try. In particular they have about eight different bennies with genuine (not microwaved, cornstarch thickened) Hollandaise.

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Hi back, and thanks, Anchoress!

Nope, I'm pretty sure the place I went to was called Gladys'. It was on the south side of 4th, west of Arbutus a little ways, and then moved to the north side of 4th.

Funny though, because the Sunshine used to be on the south side of broadway, and then recently (at least I think it was recently, but I have been away, so) moved to the south side of broadway.

The sunshine has been around forever (I think it opened in the early 80s?), and I've eaten there a bunch. I agree that they do all the basics well and do have decent benny list. Seems to me the food is better since they moved too, but YMMV. Still, I find them good, and will keep them on my list, but for me they don't make it to that top tier.

Could be just me, though. :wink:

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In around Main and broadway there are some Gems :biggrin:

- The Whip Cafe (Main and 6th Ave)

- Slickety Jim's (Main and broadway (next to the sushi place called Kishu)

- The Hatch (Broadway between main and kingsway (looks like a garage)

And of course if you just want some Congee...

- Congee noodle house (broadway, west of main on the north side)

I love breakfast, I used to go to a place called "Blue Fox" in Victoria. Always a line, and good valued food. The closest thing to blue fox here I think is Hatch.

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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I love breakfast, I used to go to a place called "Blue Fox" in Victoria.  Always a line, and good valued food.  The closest thing to blue fox here I think is Hatch.

Oh yeah, Blue Fox is awesome. Mr Cat and I took the HeliJet over to Victoria two winters ago as part of his Xmas pressie. I searched online for Victoria's best breakfasts and the Blue Fox came up. The HeliJet shuttle guy was nice enough to veer off his regular route and drop us there. Thanks to the ungodly hour at which the helicopter flies, we beat the line-up and enjoyed an amazing breakfast, including the "very fat French toast", and some really great coffee.

As far as non-Sebs Vancouver places, people I know swear by Joe's Grill (one on 4th, one on Davie). I, personally, hate the place. The breakfast potatoes make me all grumbly and dopey.

Jenn

"She's not that kind of a girl, Booger!"

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As far as non-Sebs Vancouver places, people I know swear by Joe's Grill (one on 4th, one on Davie). I, personally, hate the place. The breakfast potatoes make me all grumbly and dopey.

I thought you were gonna jump all over the Hatch rec!

For me, best breakfast is Helen's Grill at Main & 25th. Best "fancy" breakfast goes to Provence Marinaside.

A.

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