Monday, June 18, 2018

Sunny Street Cafe $12.99-14.99

So... After such a long hiatus from my Benny adventures, I'm back! I absolutely chose the right restaurant this morning to jump back into my passion for eggs benedict.
From the outside, Sunny Street Cafe is pretty passby-able: strip mall storefront, nothing too eye catching or exciting. The inside has a delightful amount of sunshine flooding the front couple of tables at 9am and is very clean. The waitress working today was very personable and efficient. She sat me in a booth near the front and offered coffee, which of course I accepted willingly! I sat with the menu for just a few minutes before choosing one of 4 benedicts from the menu: the BLT Benedict. With spinach, tomato, and crisp bacon bits, I was not disappointed! The lovely presentation brought a slight smile to my face... This was gonna be good!

 Now, I'm not sure if it's because I haven't had eggs Benny in a while or what, but wow, the first bite was amazing! The fat sauce was rich but not too thick, definitely made from scratch (as are their bread and cinnamon buns). The eggs were perfectly cooked, soft and runny as I like them... Left me wishing I had ordered hashbrowns instead of the fruit cup! Sunny Street Cafe sources their farm fresh eggs locally, which shows clearly by the bright orange-yellow yolks that spilled out onto my plate.

I wasted no time demolishing my breakfast. Although I had second thoughts about the fruit cup, the first bite of sweet banana confirmed that I had made the right (and healthier) decision. Throughout my dining experience, my server was very attentive, offering coffee refills and checking that everything was to my satisfaction, which it absolutely was!

Now, being a bit older, wiser, and more health conscious, I noticed as I was at the front counter paying my check that they have a vegan menu as well. So I asked my server about it. She said that they created it at their location (the only one in Canada) as they have lots of vegan requests. Sorry Vegans, I didn't take a closer look to see what the options were. I also took the chance to ask if they had gluten-free options, none really and the kitchen is small so cross-contamination is very likely. 

All in all, Sunny Street Cafe was an excellent choice for my Benny re-beginning. The price was reasonable, the atmosphere breakfast-y, and although I lacked pleasant company the overall experience was enjoyable. Best Benny EVER? I would have to say this one is right up there with Mill Creek Cafe... Top 5 for sure.

$13.49 BLT Benedict
$2.79 Coffee

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Coming Soon: More Delicious Bennies!

So, I fell off the map for a few years, but I'm gonna try to make a comeback.

I've made a list of 8 restaurants in my area that serve Eggs Benedict and I'm going to try to get to them, maybe one per week or one every two weeks and post a review! I also have 2 drafts from 2013 that I'd like to revisit, making a total of 10 restaurants on my list that I've never reviewed before! 😮😮

As many (okay all, because let's face it, only my friends, family, and a few strangers really read this!) of my loyal followers know, 2013-2014 held big changes for the single, carefree girl that I was when I started this blog. Five years later, I'm a mother of 4 on a tight budget that doesn't really allow for lazy Sunday brunches and the cost that goes with that lifestyle!

My Little Hatchlings

If you're at all interested in my other, non-Benny related blog, you can find it here ☺️

Otherwise, stay tuned for more Benny reviews as I continue my search for the BEST EGGS BENEDICT EVER!!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Lumber Jacks Pancake & Steakhouse Benny

So I thought I would give another pancake house the benefit of the doubt in their ability to serve delicious food that isn't pancakes. So we decided to go to Lumber Jacks Pancake & Steakhouse (5708 75 St NW) to see if I still thought that pancake houses should stick to pancakes.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is a little dark, but cozy and family friendly. The coffee was decent and the service was good. We had about 3 different people help us during our visit, which is fine, but I hope they pool their tips if this is a regular thing, lol. If memory serves, they only offer one type of benny on their menu, so that made my decision very easy.

I had good thoughts and bad thoughts when my benny arrived. I was happy with the amount of fat sauce although its consistency could have been a bit creamier looking as it looked rather thin. The eggs looked kinda sad. Someone in the kitchen here needs to practice how to poach an egg as the yolks had collapsed on themselves leaving deformed eggs rather than nice rounded yolks. The flavour of the sauce was fine, but again, not as creamy as I like it. There was lots for dipping my potatoes, although the potatoes themselves were nothing exciting as far as potatoes go.

Conclusion: Overall, I'm still going to maintain that pancake restaurants should stick to pancakes. This would not be my choice for the BEST eggs benedict EVER... So I will continue my search....

UPDATE: I have since returned to Lumber Jacks to sample something other than their benny. I had potato pancakes which I was fairly pleased with. They are not the usual shredded potato variety of potato pancakes and they have an interesting flavour that I couldn't quite put a finger on. I went with my friend M, who went to Aunty Sue's with A and I, and she had a plate that had pancakes. Surprisingly, for a pancake house they had run of the mill pancakes that tasted suspiciously like Aunt Jemima was involved... Sad because homemade pancakes are not difficult to make. Or maybe the way my family makes homemade pancakes is much different than the rest of the world? Feel free to leave your favourite pancake recipe in the comments below!

Lumber Jacks (75 St) Pancake & Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 04, 2013

De Dutch DIY Benny

This week I wanted to take A to De Dutch Pannekoeken House because she had never been and hadn't heard of it. There is only one location in Alberta, here in Edmonton (10030 Jasper Ave). All the other locations are in BC, so if you live anywhere else in Canada, be sure to  find De Dutch during your travels to the west coast!
For me, the whole reason to go to De Dutch is for the pannekoeken. What's so great about this "pannekoeken"? Well, it's the size of your plate (approx 12" or 30cm), is kind of like a thick crepe or a thin pancake, and is neutral for either sweet or savoury add-ins or toppings. Although De Dutch offers 6 different traditional eggs benedict dishes on their menu (which I will try at some point), none are made with the pannekoeken. The pannekoeken that is closest to eggs benny is the Amsterkoek, which is what I ordered. Our server informed us that the Amsterkoek is what people order when they want an eggs benny pannekoeken, so I knew I made the right choice. It is topped with poached eggs, edam cheese, ham, tomato, and comes with a bowl of fat sauce. I requested that the chef just put everything on top, but when it came the sauce was in a bowl and so were the eggs (you can see an imprint from one of the bowls in my cheese in the pic). The bowls were fine, because this way the cooking water from the eggs didn't make my pannekoeken soggy. So I assembled it myself to how I thought it should look.. this was the DIY part... and then took a picture.. sorry I didn't take a "before" picture.

Now, I was ready to cut into it and revel in the goodness that is Benny after a week of involuntary abstinence. Because the pannekoeken is so big, I had to spread the sauce and other toppings out well to get some of everything in each bite... I could have used some extra fat sauce!  I really enjoyed the added flavour of the melted edam cheese in this DIY benny. Maybe this was because I don't eat a lot of cheese and usually benny doesn't come with cheese, atleast not traditionally. I managed to stretch the toppings out enough to atleast have each bite contain most of them, but not always all. Hmmm... what can I say? It was exactly what I was hoping it would be. The sauce was creamy and hollandaise-y. I would be surprised if they don't make it from scratch at this chain, if only because I associate "Dutch" with "Holland-aise". I know, not the best reasoning, but that's how I think! The eggs were cooked soft like I prefer. I think if I were to assemble this again, I would spread the ham slices out a bit more because they were all sort of piled in the middle. I liked the addition of fresh tomato and it went well with the cheese and pannekoeken.

Conclusion: Without having tried the 6 variations of eggs benedict that De Dutch has to offer, I think it would be unfair to compare this DIY benny on the same scale. Overall, I really enjoyed this "eggs benny" and while it satisfied my eggs benny craving and was delicious, I will have to continue the search for the BEST eggs benedict EVER!

De Dutch on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Humpty's Benny.. WAFFLE: $9.95

I have been to this Humpty's before I started writing this blog. It is located right across the street from Mill Creek Cafe (9555 82 Ave) and is a popular place, especially on the weekend. A and I decided to go here this time to see what kind of bennies they had. I wanted to try something a little bit different, a little bit out of my benny comfort zone, so I went for the Benedict Waffle. A ordered the Surfside Benedict, which she offered me a bite of when it came, but I was too involved in my benny waffle to try hers too.

I was actually impressed with what I saw when I got my plate. I was definitely in for something a bit unusual as far as bennys go. The first bite confirmed this because mixed with the egg, bacon, and fat sauce was a sweetness from the waffle that was a bit weird at first but also pleasant. If any of you like syrup on your bacon as I sometimes do, you will enjoy the flavour of this dish... without putting syrup on it. The fat sauce itself was regular restaurant quality: Nothing fancy, but certainly not disgusting, at least not by my standards. It could have been a bit more creamy, as you can see in the pictures, it's a little bit transparent... something is missing. I'm pretty sure a restaurant like this doesn't make their sauce from scratch, but that is not something I would expect from a chain restaurant (except Cora's).  I had no problem polishing off the eggs and waffle. It was the perfect size for my breakfast. Usually the addition of potatoes just fills me up a little too much. Because this meal didn't come with any sort of potato side, I felt content and not over-stuffed. As for the restaurant itself, the staff and service here has always been friendly and efficient, I think this was our third time eating here(?) for breakfast. The coffee isn't gourmet, but it is hot and helps get the daily caffeine dose into the bloodstream, which is the most important thing.

Conclusion: The Benedict Waffle at this Humpty's is something I would definitely try again (and again). If you don't like sugar with your eggs, I would advise you proceed with caution, but for me it was excellent. The eggs were poached almost perfectly, not too soft and runny, but the yolks weren't hard which is how I like them. This would be an alternative way to try eggs benny at home for something different and easy to assemble. Don't let the low percentage of "like" on Urbanspoon deter you from eating here. The staff is friendly and our food came fairly quickly. As much as I enjoyed this breakfast, I will continue my search for the BEST eggs benedict EVER...

Humpty's on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 22, 2013

Clareview Cora Benny

Saturday morning I got up at an ungodly hour to cheer on A and K in the MEC 5km run. We were there by 8am.. I rarely get up that early for work, let alone for fun. After freezing my butt off waiting for them to finish the race, we decided to go to Cora up in Clareview (4270 137 avenue). As with every trip to Cora I've ever made, we had a bit of a wait. I think it was shorter this time than it was when A and I went to Cora on Calgary Trail.
Once we were seated with our menus, A and I got our usual coffee as did K. We were seated along the wall in line with the entrance and I guess it was windy outside because a picture on the shelf above the table adjacent to ours blew off the shelf and fell on a customer. Luckily it wasn't a heavy framed picture (it probably wouldn't have fallen if it were). We had a little laugh and then a fat golden ribbon came sailing down off the shelf above me. We had to laugh when one of the staff came over and asked if everyone was alright... the ribbon was akin to those used in rhythmic gymnastics and wouldn't have hurt a small child.
We ordered and of course I got a benny. As I had the mushroom brie Ben et Dictine last time we went to a Cora, I decided to try the Asparagus Swiss Ben et Dictine.

As always, the presentation of the food at Cora is colourful and that alone makes it look delicious! The asparagus was cooked to perfection: not too crispy and not too soggy. The eggs could have been a bit more soft poached for my liking, but the yolks weren't hard and that alone satisfies me. I like the fat sauce at Cora. Because everything there is very fresh, I'm sure the hollandaise is made from scratch. If anyone knows any differently, feel free to correct me on this. The addition of cheese to benny is something that I usually like. This time was no exception, even if swiss cheese is not my favourite. Again, I wasn't impressed with the potatoes here. They are quite bland... not crispy and pretty flavourless. The best thing about them is that there is no mistaking that they are real potatoes and they are cooked. I kinda wonder if they boil them and then just pan fry them to heat them up.

Conclusion: We had a nice breakfast experience at this Cora. The staff here was efficient and the food was warm and comforting on this rainy morning. I wouldn't say this particular benny was my favourite so far, not the BEST eggs benedict EVER, but still worth the trip and the wait in line.

Cora on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Eggs Benedict Day - April 16th

So yesterday was April 16th and National Eggs Benedict Day, evidence of which can be found on many different websites. I first heard about this special day when my childhood friend C posted on my Facebook wall. I knew right then that I had to have eggs benedict for dinner.
Now, I have read some comments here and there on the web that say IHOP has the WORST eggs Benedict ever. So to switch things up I thought I would see if this was true.

A and I had a great IHOP experience just last week... No I don't eat eggs benedict for breakfast every day or every time I go out for breakfast in a restaurant. The staff at IHOP in Edmonton are very friendly and make the service experience alone worth the trip to this restaurant. As most of you probably know, IHOP stands for International House of Pancakes... So don't be surprised that there is only one eggs benny option. 

As soon as the plate was set in front of me I knew exactly what the fat sauce was going to taste like. There was a chain restaurant that I used to go to in Toronto a lot (Golden Griddle I believe) that had the same sauce as IHOP, and this is why I never ordered Eggs Benedict at that restaurant. The sauce is very tangy and leaves a weird taste in your mouth. I'm not sure how exactly to describe it... it sticks to your tongue. I'd be interested to know how this "hollandaise" is made, or at least the ingredients. This is one instance where I am happy that they didn't drown my benny in sauce! One of my eggs had a soft yolk and the other one was completely hard. A said both of hers were runny. The ham and English muffin were the standard eggs benny base, no complaints but nothing special either.

Conclusion: Although the benny is definitely not my favourite at IHOP, the chunky hashbrowns are delicious! Perfect saltiness for me and flavourful enough that they don't need ketchup. The service and friendliness of the staff here will keep us coming back, even if the food doesn't. As for the WORST eggs benedict EVER? I guess it is close and is right up there with our Denny's experience and my experiences at Golden Griddle... Although the sauce at Denny's isn't the same so I would try a different Denny's location someday. My recommendation... When going to a pancake house... stick to the pancakes.

Hope you all enjoyed some eggs benny on National Eggs Benedict Day :)

IHOP on Urbanspoon