Cafe Medina – Vancouver, BC

Another trip to Vancouver, meant another visit to Cafe Medina since this is Cuz C’s favourite spot for coffee and/or brunch. It was a gloomy Saturday at noon ish and there was a hour wait for a table!

Seated in the back room, which had empty tables for long periods of time (causing me to conclude that the servers needed to be more efficient and getting people in and out of the restaurant, which would help reduce the wait time!)

Menu

We ordered:

3 orders Waffle @ $3.15 each; Mixed Berry Compote $1, Maple Syrup $1.50, Dark Chocolate $1

The waffles are good! I honestly don’t know if they are $3.15 good but they are good enough that I can’t help but order them each time I visit Medina. The best topping was the dark chocolate, so rich and silky and perfect with the waffle. Second favourite was the mixed berry, fresh and sweet with a bit of tang. I didn’t care much for the overpriced maple syrup but I have never been a fan of maple syrup.

2 orders Tagine $14 each

2 poached eggs, spicy tomato stew, red pepper, merguez sausage, moroccan olives, cilantro, hummus & raita with grilled focaccia.

I could not help but order this because of the sausage and tomato stew description. The sausage was actually quite spicy and a tad dry. I was hoping for a more juicy bite but it was just spicy and dry. The stew was pretty good, I do like tomato based anything but felt it got pretty one note halfway through the dish because all I had in my dish was mushed up tomatoes, olives and peppers because the sausage didn’t add anything to the dish and the eggs got lost.

The best part of the dish and actually our whole meal was the hummus and grilled focaccia! The hummus was not the typical garlicky, dense hummus – instead it was more light and airy, almost whipped version of  hummus with a more subtle garlic flavour. I could have had a whole bowl of this. It was so good, we ordered more focaccia! The focaccia was nicely grilled, buttery and so soft in the centre.
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Cassoulet $15

2 fried eggs on baked beans, saucisson de Paris, double smoked bacon, andouille with grilled focaccia.

I should have ordered the tagine with sunny side up eggs. The eggs were so delicious this way with perfect yolk and soft white. Seasoned nicely with simple salt and pepper and a great creamy compliment to the delicious salty andouille and bacon. The baked beans were really good and definitely a nice filler and great with the bread.

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Fricasse $15

2 fried eggs, braised short ribs, roasted potatoes, pickled pearl onions, watercress, applewood cheddar with grilled focaccia.

As much as I enjoyed this dish, it did not feel like a brunch dish – very heavy and rich and I almost pictured a bowl of rice or mashed potatoes to bring it all together. The short ribs were packful of flavour and cooked down till it was really tender. I felt like the cut of meat would have been nicer if it had more fat because it was pretty stringy for the most part.  Again the focaccia was perfect for sopping up the sweet savoury sauce that was brought to another level with the delicious yolk.

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Saumon Fume $12

Toasted ciabatta, fried egg, smoked salmon caper cream cheese, sliced avocado, arugula, peppadew and artichoke salad.

This was the perfect “brunch” item for me. The salmon was creamy and salty on top of a nicely toasted crusty ciabatta – The egg was a nice touch and the salad definitely necessary to cut through all the rich salmon. It was a challenge to eat though, the perfect bite with a bit of egg, salad and salmon was pretty challenging to put together but delicious!

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Extras:
Side Foccaccia $3
2 Americano $2.45 each
2 Orange Juice $4

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Total Damage: $135 (including tax & tip)

Personal Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (very good)

Service was decent, our server managed to get in our brunch order at 2 mins before the switch over the lunch menu. She was pretty absent and it took a while to order, our extra bread was forgotten for a good 20 mins or so and even getting the bill took over 15 minutes. I think being seated in the separate “room” that is down a creepy hallway kinda kept us in the more private but forgotten dining area. Food on the other hand came flying out really soon after we ordered and the drinks were nice and piping hot!

I never understood the insane line of with waiting over an hour for brunch here. Mind you, I realise it is one of the best brunch places in Vancouver with amazing coffee but an hour? I guess I have waited that long in the Bay Area for brunch but I just was not blown away by the food enough to wait that long. I would definitely go back for the Matcha Latte or Americano (probably to go).

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Cafe Medina

556 Beatty Street
Vancouver, BC
V6B 2N7

(604) 879 3114

Cafe Medina on Urbanspoon

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