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Posts tagged ‘eggs benny’

Restaurant Review: Monki Breakfastclub & Bistro

Location: 1301 10 Avenue SW (Beltline Location)

Monki has been on my list of restaurants to try for at least the last two years and this past weekend I finally got to try it.

After throwing several ideas on the table, Monki was the one that we finally settled on. Monki does not take reservations, but they do utilize a waitlisting system. However, one of our friends’, Sarah, sister works here, so she was able to add us to the waitlist without us having to go through the app, which was extremely convenient.

I’m usually an early riser, but I respect that not everyone is an early bird. Actually, in the last few months, I’ve noticed that I’ve begun transitioning the other way – becoming a night owl. Had I proposed I time, I probably would’ve suggested something “ridiculous” like 8:30 a.m. for brunch, but the group consensus was for 11 a.m. Given how busy my weekend was, I actually really appreciated being able to sleep in. We met up at 10 a.m. and commuted to the restaurant together, arriving at about 10:30 a.m., which was the requested time for people on the waitlist. We were promptly seated outside on the patio as we requested and discovered that we were the first to arrive on a three hour waitlist. Things were pretty quiet when we arrived, but it didn’t take long for it to pick up.

The weekend we chose to go coincided with weekend of the Calgary Pride Parade, so Monki was offering Pride Pancake Tacos on their menu. Sarah and Alex both went with this, while I decided on a more savoury option: the Brisket Bene. Monki is actually known for their fondue, so of course we had to give that a try.

Drink wise, we all ordered coffees because starting the day without caffeine sounded like a bad idea…even if it had no effect on my body, it was an amazing full bodied flavour. Sarah got the Classic Mimosa with orange juice and Alex got the Showstopper Mimosa. Both were topped with a rainbow ribbon candy (I forgot the actual name of the candy…) in honour of pride. The Classic was delicious (I like my orange juice with pulp in it), but the alcohol was much more apparent than the Showstopper which featured their housemade strawberry lemonade. If I knew I wasn’t going to tip over, I would’ve ordered one of the Showstoppers myself.

We started with the fondue which was a variety of fruits: strawberries, blackberries, and banana, waffles and three shots of flavoured/coloured white chocolate: earl grey, matcha, and white chocolate coloured with beet juice. The problem that has already been identified by the restaurant is that shot glasses are not the best vessel to serve the chocolate in because it gets to a point where you can’t dip the fruit and especially not the waffle in anymore. I thought that the white chocolates all tasted pretty much the same; there were subtle differences if you knew what you were looking for, but otherwise, it was just the sweet of white chocolate, which is my least favourite chocolate…I don’t even consider it to be real chocolate. My suggestion would be to offer the dish with a choice of chocolate. That way, the one flavour could be fully enjoyed and the restaurant could use a larger vessel to serve it in.

The Pride Pancake Tacos consisted of banana, peanut butter, cinnamon, and strawberry jam in a banana pancake topped with whipped cream, sprinkles and white chocolate drizzle in the colour of the trans flag. (sorry if I missed anything that was in here as I forgot to note down everything and since it was a specialty item, it is no longer on their menu for me to cross check). A portion of the proceeds goes towards supporting Calgary Pride (if I’m remembering correctly). The only reason I shied away from this dish was because I will only eat bananas at a particular ripeness. Between that and how many bananas we ended up with at our table, I’m glad I didn’t go for it.

I was torn between ordering a Benny, the Monki Perogies, Pancake Breakfast Tacos, and the Not-So-Classic Huevos Rancheros, but since the Benny was one of the first things I was drawn to, I went with my heart. The Brisket Bene consisted of braised brisket, mushrooms and truffle ricotta. The eggs are served on a crostini/slice of baguette. While this is new and I haven’t ever seen it done this way, it was so small that there wasn’t much space to fit on the brisket, mushrooms, and egg and left me wanting more. I didn’t realize that there was a choice between the classic hollandaise and a pink prosecco hollandaise. Next time, if I have the chance, I will definitely try the prosecco hollandaise. The hashbrowns were well seasoned and though they’re better than a lot of hashbrowns I’ve had elsewhere, they weren’t mind-blowingly delicious. The hot sauce, Monki tears, on the other hand might’ve possibly blow up my tastebuds. I typically am good with spicy…unless it’s habanero…which it was. That said, I purchased a bottle because I really need some hot sauce at home and even though this is quite spicy, it was delicious. Next time I’m going to also get a bottle of the Monki Vampire Slayer Hot Sauce because garlic is always a good idea.

I’m glad we chose to sit outside as inside the restaurant is quite small and cramped and now I can better understand how the waitlist can get up to a 3 hour wait so quickly. If you intend on coming, either come early or add yourself to the waitlist as soon as you possibly can.

I was worried since someone else who had been here had been sorely disappointed and having waiting to come here for so long I didn’t want to be met with disappointment either. I’m pleased to report that both food and service here were amazing. I would definitely come back for the perogies, breakfast tacos, and huevos rancheros. I would rate this place 3.75/5.

Monki Logo
Monki Exterior
Patio Seating
Classic Mimosa – Orange
Showstopper Mimosa
Chocolate Fondue
Pride Pancake Tacos
Brisket Bene

Cafe Review: Wise and Wright

Location: 163-317 7 Ave SW

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a cafe. I’ll admit, since I’ve been in this relationship, I’ve been a bit spoiled. Typically, we’re more of the take out and enjoy the food at home kind of people and since he has a car, I’ve gotten accustomed to being driven everywhere.

At my cousin, Yulin’s suggestion, we decided to try this place out. Based on her recommendations and experiences, I’d have to say she’s my cafe consultant. Like most of Calgary, the brunch craze is starting to hit and this cafe is no exception. My first impression based on the menu was that everything was very healthy and promoted a healthy lifestyle via food (like post- or pre-workout foods).

We arrived at around 10:30/10:45 and found the place to be relatively empty. It was clean and welcoming and although I had previously perused the menu, I still had no idea what I wanted. With most restaurants and cafes I’ve been to, they have a brunch menu on weekends in addition to their regular menu. However, this is not how Wise and Wright chose to do it. On the weekend, they only allow patrons to order off of the brunch menu. I was slightly disappointed because I wanted to try their mushroom flatbread and sweet potato and roasted garlic soup, but was told I couldn’t order those things. So I went for my go to dish: an eggs benny. Originally I was going to get a Rancheros Bowl -Wise Style, but as Yulin was getting it, I didn’t want to get the same thing. I got the house oven ham eggs benny, which comes with two soft poached eggs atop a toasted sprouted bun, topped with a yogurt hollandaise and a side of wise sweet potato hash and salad. Yulin’s Rancheros Bowl -Wise Style consisted of refried beans, brown rice, stone bread, crushed avocado, poached egg, cilantro, spicy salsa, arugula, and rancheros sauce. In terms of drinks, I decided to try the philosopher’s brew and Yulin had an Americano. As the waitress brought the Americano, I was removing my jacket and bumped her, spilling coffee everywhere on the floor. I felt terrible as she said she was going to make a new one. I felt as though she was saying that it was okay, but it was a situation where that’s what you say, but not how you feel. Even after I helped to clean it up, I still felt bad. The philosopher’s brew was fairly light, but because of the ginger, it really warms you up from the inside out. I probably wouldn’t order it again unless I was sick or really cold.

The eggs benny was the biggest disappointment. The ham and sprouted bun were dry, the hollandaise was essentially non-existant, the salad incredibly under-dressed, and the temperature on one of my eggs was wrong. The Rancheros Bowl on the other hand was the complete opposite, a complete delight. If you had not expected it, the heat of the salsa hits you like a ton of bricks. I wouldn’t exactly call it a salsa as much as a thick sauce, but it was amazing. As I sit here and write this, remembering the depth of flavour, I am salivating. I appreciated that it wasn’t spicy for spicy’s sake. That bowl was just perfection, it wasn’t over-salted, and next time I visit, if I can’t get the flatbread, I will definitely have this one.

Overall, the staff were really friendly and accommodating given the aforementioned incident. I would return to give this place a second chance with brunch and would return to try out the regular menu. However, based on today’s experience and judging it based on the dish I did order, I’d have to give it a 2/5.


Background: Rancheros Bowl and Americano  Foreground: Oven


Restaurant Review: Vero Bistro Moderne

Location: 209 10th street NW

When my cousin first broached the subject of having brunch, Vero was not the first place I had thought of. We decided on this place primarily because they were willing to take reservations, unlike many other brunch places (OEB, Diner Deluxe, Monki, to name a few). I had passed it on several occasions, but this was just one of the places that always slipped my mind. When I arrived, my first impression was how cute the place was. Like almost everything in Kensington, there was a small town feel to it, but this one was a little different from a place like Vendome. Since it’s renovation, Vendome has definitely become more modernized, but still retains it’s uniquely antique feel, where as Vero maintains an air of sophistication in its modernity. And this sophistication is reflected in its menu, both in the fare available as well as the prices.

I’ll admit,  I always take a quick look through their menu to see what they offer before trying the place out. The menu was small, but everything on it looked delicious. Though I’m tempted to try out everything, I’m not sure my wallet would be able to handle it in the long run. When I have a meal, I tend to have more of a savoury inclination. so I stay away from the French Toasts though in actuality, I’d really love to try some…just not the whole thing. After some deliberation, I decided to go with the Forest Mushroom Fricassee Organic Egg Benny while my cousin went for the Vero’s Traditional.

When the dishes came out, they certainly lived up to the classiness of the restaurant. The arrangement of the Egg Benny was unlike any other I had seen, it was so well put together I had to take a few moments just to admire it. The Vero’s Traditional was a little more rustic in its appearance and a little less put together. Too many times I’ve been to restaurants that have dressed up their entrees to compensate for their lack of taste. The same cannot be said of Vero. Besides the portion sizes being perfect, the salinity levels in the dishes were perfectly balanced: no need to reach for the salt shaker or gulp down a gallon of water. The eggs being organic were the most vibrant shade of yellow-orange and the decision to serve them on a warm, buttery, crisped croissant was absolutely brilliant. My initial reaction to having the egg, hollandaise, and mushrooms on the croissant would make it soggy, but it wasn’t and I’ll admit, how they managed that I have no idea, but I’m impressed. I had a taste of the bison sausage from the Vero’s Traditional, bracing myself for the gamy taste that I’ve often associated with bison, elk, and the like, but no such taste ever hit me. It was lean, but not dry, well seasoned, and overall very delicious. The salad looked fresh and appetizing, a good pairing to the buttery warmth of the croissant.

This restaurant clearly caters to people who are a little more affluent, however, the price matches the quality of the ingredients used, the quality of the dishes themselves, and the quality of service. There were times when the staff were a bit harried because of the sheer volume of customers (seeing as the brunch craze has finally hit Calgary). The menu options are very healthy and don’t feel heavy, which is a huge problem for me. I’m glad that such a place with these considerations exist. I would certainly return here again and based on this experience would rate it 4.25/5.

Forest Mushroom Fricassee Organic Egg Benny

Forest Mushroom Fricassee Organic Egg Benny

Vero's Traditional

Vero’s Traditional

Restaurant Review: Locus Restaurant and Lounge

Location: 4121 Main St

Our original intention when we went to Main street to type up some letters and poetry at the Regional Assembly of Text was to go for some Vietnamese food, but as most of our repetoire for the last few days has consisted of Asian food we decided to switch things up a bit. A preliminary perusal of their menu yielded a good variety of items and we thought, “why not give this place a try?”

Online, the restaurant was described as Gothic. We wondered if it meant Gothic as in the archetecture or the other one. It was the other one. The place was more a place for drinks rather than a restaurant, hence lounge, but we were still up for giving it a try.

We started with drinks: freshly squeezed pineapple and grapefruit juices. They then gave us unlimited complementary bread. Two types: a cinnamon bread (they ran out of their signature apricot bread) and a Russian potato bread. Each came with their own specially made whipped butter. There was a nutmeg vanilla butter for the cinnamon bread and a red pepper butter for the potato bread. As a savoury person, I preferred the latter of the two especially since there was some heat in it. For our mains we ordered the Baja Tilapia, the Grass-fed Lamb burger, and the wild boar eggs benny. The Tilapia was pan-seared and rubbed with a key lime-chili, served atop a black bean and bell pepper rice pilaf and garnished with guacamole, salsa fresca, red pepper aioli and corn tortilla hay. I found that the portion size was just right. When I was finished, I didn’t feel bloated, nor did I still feel hungry. The seasoning was spot on and incredibly refreshing. There were no flavours that overpowered any other and everything was perfectly balanced. My friend ordered the Grass-fed lamb burger. Personally, I dislike lamb, bison, elk, and the like primarily because of their gamey flavour. This burger was no exception. The gaminess was very strong and even in the one bite I took, I was overpowered. However, as per her regular experience, the portion size was huge. Even as she tried to take large bites out, she barely made a dent in the burger. It ended up being that she had to deconstruct the burger and even then, she couldn’t finish it all. The burger came with a side of roasted potatoes, onions, and carrots and a salad. The salad had a very light, almost undetectable amount of dressing. All I could gather from it was that it was some sort of oil based dressing. The roasted potato side was a natural pairing for the hearty richness of the lamb. The duck sandwich was the one I was most excited for. My sister and I have an affinity for duck, her more than I, so I wondered if it’d be anything like the duck confit from Vendome. The duck sandwich consisted of pulled duck leg confit, mizuna greens, and brie, brushed with honey-whiskey bbq sauce and served on a toasted ciabatta bun and a side of roasted house potatoes and organic mixed greens. The duck sandwich lived up to my expectations and I was very pleased with the one bite I got of it before it was devoured by my sister. The eggs on the bennie were cooked to perfection. When sliced open, the golden egg yolk spilled forth. From my vantage point the wild boar looked to be well cooked, not too dry or anything, but have no clue what it tasted like.

This place was very quaint but they don’t have an extensive menu. The service was good, but some word choices seemed odd to me (ex. instead of saying I’ll be there in a minute, or I’ll just be right there, the guy said, please standby.) The decor in the place was one of a kind, not sure if it really works though. I would recommend trying this place out once, but there may not be much for you try on a return trip back. Based on my experience, I’d rate this place 2.75/5.


Bathroom interior 1


Bathroom interior 2


Giant bug above our table


Painting over our table


Paintings behind us


Cinnamon Bread and Russian Potato Bread with Nutmeg Vanilla Whipped Butter and Red Pepper Whipped Butter


Grass-fed Lamb Burger


Wild Boar Eggs Benny


Baja Tilapia


Duck Sandwich


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