Sunday, December 22, 2013

Burdock & Co

Sometimes an address has bad restaurant karma. You know those ones, restaurant after restaurant opens and closes without much fanfare, never seeming to catch on. The spot where Burdock & Co resides is the opposite. I’ve enjoyed every restaurant that’s occupied this location in the last several years – Ping’s, Cafeteria, and now Burdock & Co. Sure, they have come and gone, but I appreciated them while they were here. I quote Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

This morning, I was the first customer to cross the threshold into the welcoming space. This modern rustic/industrial decor seems to be my thing lately. I also liked the attention to small details such as the purse hooks on the bar tables. This buoyed my hope that the same care will be given to the food. While waiting for my often-ever-so-slightly-less-than-on-time friends, I glanced through the menu. Even though it is a relatively short list – only 8 items – it covered the entire gamut of appetites from vegan to vegetarian to chicken to pork to beef. I was impressed by its versatility. I thought this would suit my party well as one friend is a decided carnivore, the other leans to vegetarian, and I fall somewhere in the middle. And as I predicted, we all ordered accordingly. One friend ordered the Beef Brisket Ramen, the other the Fried Eggs on Toast with Humous and Wild Mushrooms, and I the Fried Chicken with Pickled Vegetables. We also ordered “for the table” the Grilled Maple Fennel Bacon and Gluten-Free Scone with Preserves. Just as I had presumed, the specialness of these dishes were in the subtle details. Delicately roasted baby mushrooms, beautifully presented beet pickles, and perfectly cooked eggs were some of the highlights.

Speaking of minding the details, our server, who was great overall attending to our various finicky requests, also divvied up the bill correctly without even needing to ask. It’s the little things that add up to a bountiful experience.

2702 Main Street
Brunch hours:
Weekends: 10:30 a.m to 2:00 p.m.
burdockandco.com
Photos

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Catch 122

Over the past couple of months, I have been completely remiss in my breakfast adventures. My delinquency was not from lack of desire, it was due to lack of priority. My schedule recently changed so that I am temporarily working weekend mornings, and my business takes precedence over breakfast – happily (I’m one of those oddballs who loves their work).

But two months was my limit, I needed a breakfast outing so I invited friends to join me for a late meal. It was a bit challenging to source a restaurant serving brunch after 2:30 p.m. Hooray for Catch 122! When I arrived, I thought it would be fairly empty due to the time, but apparently we were not the only ones who wanted to enjoy an afternoon feast. My friends opted for lunch selections, but I was happy with the brunch menu. I was debating between the Short Rib Eggs Benedict and the Pumpkin Bread French Toast, until one of my companions piped up voicing her desire to try the french toast. I suggested we all share it for breakfast dessert, that way I got to have both of my choices, and they concurred. Good friends.

After my steaming mulled apple cider arrived, I had a moment to sit back and take in the scene. Catch 122 has great ambience, a juxtaposition of historical industrial with modern comfort. The energy was lively, but not loud. The service was on top of everything, I felt well taken care of. Overall, a pleasing experience – interesting menu, good vibe, good hours, and the icing on the cake was the incredible pumpkin french toast stuffed with apple chutney and topped with vanilla sour cream cheese. Actually, it would have been better if we had each ordered our own dessert. Go on, breakfast dessert is perfectly reasonable, especially if your belated repast ends up being breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

122 West Hastings Street
Breakfast hours: Weekdays, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Brunch hours: Weekends and holidays, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
www.catch122.ca
Photos