As much as I love taking my time in the mornings and lazily making my way downstairs and cooking breakfast, there’s something to be said about going out for breakfast and having someone else serve you. As my hubby says, “it’s nice to have someone else serve you coffee once in a while.” We don’t go out for breakfast very often compared to lunch or dinner. Simply because on the weekends the waits to get into some of the breakfast places around Calgary can be downright frightful. With two kids, the last thing I want to do is wait 45 minutes to an hour for a table. I often wished more places took reservations just to make things easier on families.
The only time I really get a chance to hit up a breakfast place around town is when hubby and I both happen to be off during the weekday. Our go-to place is usually OEB on Edmonton Trail. However, we wanted to try something different this time and after browsing through various menus I settled on Blue Star Diner. We’ve been here before for dinner and tried their burgers, which are fantastic but we’ve never tried their breakfast. We walked in around 10:30am on a weekday and easily got a table. No wait!
I usually veer towards eggs benedicts cause let’s face it. If I’m going out to eat I might as well go all out and get some hollandaise sauce in me. However, this time their was a corned lamb dish that caught my eye. The Corned Lamb Hash with cornbread sounded amazing! Slow cooked lamb, red potato hash browns, zucchini, roasted peppers, mushrooms, kale, caramelized onions, chilis, 2 poached eggs, goat feta and hollandaise. How can you say no to that? So I didn’t. And, wow! Was it ever satisfying! The lamb paired perfectly with all those vegetables and the chilis provided a nice kick to the dish.
Their eggs Benedict didn’t disappoint either. The Brisket and Caramelized Onion Benny with red potato hash was filling and another great choice. The slow cooked brisket was tender and flavorful with the caramelized onions adding a hint of sweetness to cut through the richness.
We had a fantastic breakfast here and I would love to return. We were pleasantly surprised and impressed with both dishes. Perhaps this will be our new go-to breakfast place from now on. It’s always nice to take a stroll around Bridgeland after and burn off some calories too.
Hubby’s friend C was recently in town from London, UK and we had brunch with him to catch up. It is not easy looking for a kid friendly place to dine at on a Sunday afternoon. A lot of the places that we go to are either not open for lunch or they don’t take reservations for brunch. And, doesn’t it seem like everyone in Calgary is out for brunch on Sundays? It sure seems that way when we’re left waiting for table. That’s when Big Fish came to mind – one of the bonuses is that they take reservations and the food is good.
I went with the Wild mushroom, truffle, basil and white cheddar scramble on Noble duck confit hash ($15). I’ve had it before, really enjoyed it and wanted to have it again. It was still as good as I remember although I found the portion to be a bit smaller than before – not as much duck I think. I still enjoyed it though and love the flavor combination of mushrooms and duck together.
Homemade jam and ketchup
I tried some of their homemade strawberry jam with my slice of bread and really enjoyed the intense strawberry flavor. I love their homemade jams because they’re always packed full of fruit and not cloyingly sweet.
The Citizen Sidewalk brioche French toast with orange curd and maple syrup ($13) was my toddler’s order since they don’t have a kids menu. Although on the pricier side, the French toast was indeed really good. The toast was crispy yet soft, buttery and custardy. The orange curd was to die for…I could seriously smear that on everything and eat it!
Hubby had the Arugula, oven dried tomato and Sheppards Dairy sheep feta omelette ($12) with a side of bison chorizo ($4). He really enjoyed the omelette and sausage but was super stuffed after. The chorizo was huge and he couldn’t believe the portion size. I didn’t try his dish so can’t comment on the flavors but he polished off the entire thing so that must be a good sign.
C decided to try the Soft shell crab club sandwich with wild boar bacon and organic tomatoes with a side salad ($17). The server was kind enough to explain what it the crab was like so he wouldn’t be surprised. He enjoyed the soft shell crab but got tired of eating the bread with it halfway through. I suspect because it was too hard and crunchy overall – in other words too much jaw work. The buttery crusty bread with the deep fried crab can give your jaw a bit of a workout. I think this sandwich would almost pair better with a soft bun instead.
Service was pretty average – the server got us what we needed and refilled our waters when they ran low. We really liked the laid back atmosphere of the place and didn’t feel rushed to finish our meal and leave so that waiting patrons could get their table. I would definitely return for brunch and try their other offerings. I have my eyes set on their Maple Fried Oatmeal next time.
1112 Edmonton Trail NE
Calgary, AB T2E 0Z2
Hubby wanted to head out for breakfast one Saturday and originally wanted to go to OEB Breakfast Co. I warned him about the ridiculously long wait times and suggested Cucina instead since I’ve been dying to try their brunch menu ever since I had dinner here. He insisted on swinging by OEB first to see what the wait was and was told an hour so we headed down to Cucina. We were seated immediately upon arriving and quickly decided what we wanted to order.
Hubby ordered coffee and the server dropped off this pretty little sugar bowl. He’s a fan of Phil and Sebastian’s Coffee so he quite enjoyed the brew.
We started with the Ricotta Fritters ($6). These were deep fried to order and served with an apricot jam. I took one bite and immediately fell in love with them. They were light, fluffy and had that melt-in-your mouth quality to it. They are seriously the best fritters I’ve ever had and I could’ve easily polished off the entire serving. Very dangerous! Continue reading