Having brunch became a popular thing to do in this part of the world in the 1930’s, but back then in was primarily done buffet style. The next incarnation may just be in the form of a brunch crawl, which is what I did last weekend thanks to Vancouver Foodster‘s latest initiative as part of the Tourism Vancouver Dine Out Festival. The concept is simple (and the same as their previous Tasting Plates events): you get a map with 5 or 6 places in the area (a different neighbourhood is featured each time) and you have a 4 hours to spend visiting each place and sampling items they’ve chosen to feature from their menu.
The one I went to was located in Olympic Village and featured a variety of food and drink samples from 5 venues that were all within about a 6 block radius.
We started at the Whole Foods on Cambie where we picked up our menu (to find out what we’d be sampling) and tasting map cards (so we knew where to go and could only sample each place once). Here we were treated to West coast smoked salmon mousse with candied salmon bacon on a potato tuile and Asian braised hoisin beef on a Bellini.
Next we headed over to Solly’s Bagelry where we were treated to a great little assortment of Jewish treats including mini latkes with apple sauce and sour cream, a mini potato knish, and a mini cottage muffin. They made everything fresh so there was a wait at this location, but it was definitely worth it – and we bought some chewy spelt bagels while we were waiting to take home!
After that we got a bit of an energy boost (much needed on this rainy Sunday morning) by stopping in at Milano Coffee where we got Cognac Macchiatos, locally made granola made by Granola Girl (served with house made almond milk), and some Nectar cold press juice. They even gave us a cup of Cognac Stovetop to take away so we were sufficiently buzzed!
The next location was actually one of the newest restaurants in the area. This is Bao Down Gastropub‘s second location and they gave us the choice of either their Morning Glory Bao with sausage, bacon, chive omelette, cheese, banana ketchup, mayo, hashbrowns and scallions – or beignets (we each chose a different one so we could sample both)
And finally, we ended the crawl at Glory Juice Co (this being one of three locations they have in Vancouver) where we got to finish off with their healthy house-made seed bar and a couple samples of their juices. It was a nice, light way to end off the morning (well, now afternoon at this point) before we went off for the rest of our rainy Sunday activities!
Everything we had on this crawl was honestly so delicious. I enjoyed everything we had – my only complaint would be the size of the portions. My friends had been on the brunch crawl in Gastown the previous day and weren’t even able to finish everything whereas myself and my date weren’t exactly hungry, but we weren’t stuffed either. Bigger samples or one more location would have certainly done that for us. What the restaurants provide though is up to them so you just never know what you’ll get, other than really tasty food and drink – that’s always on the menu regardless of the portion size. And often there are 6 spots to visit so even if the samples aren’t huge, there’s more of them. Regardless, it’s a great way to sample a vast variety of brunch items from all kinds of venues in a popular neighbourhood, so check out what’s still available for the rest of the month and enjoy your brunch!