10 great spots to eat brunch

 Brunch means different things to different people. It may mean sunny Sunday mornings with the family, or a post-drinking meal with buddies.

For me, brunch reminds me of waking up early for a road trip and having that meal that will sit in your tummy for hours, while cruising down the highway.

What makes a good brunch also varies from person to person. It may be a buffet where they can be the masters of their own meal and fall into a food coma after they’re done. For others, it can be the tried and true hashbrowns, eggs, toast and bacon; or simply yogurt, granola and fruits.

And for every brunch eater, there’s a place to eat. Here are the 10 brunch places I’ve enjoyed the most in our city.

Comfort brunch:

Belmont Diner

2008 33 Ave. SW

(403) 242-6782

When I went to the Belmont it was near closing time. However, that didn’t stop the server from being warm and welcoming. The atmosphere feels like one of those neighbourhood diners you see in the movies, where everyone knows each other.

I asked for the standard breakfast of eggs, toast, and hashbrowns. It was not an overly greasy or fancy breakfast, and because of that, it tasted like home.

Back to the future:

1886 Buffalo Cafe

187 Barclay Parade SW. Beside Eau Claire Market.

(403) 269-9255

Part of the charm of eating here is the historic building and its eclectic decoration. Being inside the building is like being in a time machine.

I brought two more mouths to join me and between the three of us we had a breakfast burrito, a Baxley sandwich and a cheese omelet. But according to one of my companions, it wasn’t the food that was the best– “the coffee is amazing,” she said.

French gourmet:

A Ladybug bakery and cafe

2132 10 Aspen Stone Blvd SW

(403) 249-5530

When customers arrive they go directly to the till where food can be ordered and they’re given a number; find a seat and a server brings their food.

I had a chocolate, strawberry and banana crepe, while my friend had a maple waffle. The only comment I could make out between bites from her was “it’s the best [expletive] breakfast I’ve ever had in my life.” Meanwhile, I had a hard time keeping myself from licking the plate in a most unladylike manner.

European-style pancake:

Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus

2439 54th Ave SW

(403) 243-7757

The Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus is, according to their website, the only restaurant in Canada where their initial training was done at an authentic pannenkoek restaurant in the Netherlands.

It’s a family restaurant, so I invited my parents to enjoy breakfast with me. They both ordered a ham, cheese and mushroom pancake, while I had one with apples and cinnamon.

My parents liked that “they’re not cheap with the ingredients” because they put plenty of ham, cheddar and mushrooms on their pancakes. And after seeing the countless news articles by the door, my father commented, “I can see why people like it.”

Bottomless stomach buffet:

Glenmore Inn brunch buffet

2720 Glenmore Trail SE

(403)279-8611

Though the food is not the most incredible brunch in the world, the atmosphere, along with the endless amount of food makes this a great place to go with the entire family.

Once again, since it’s a family place, my parents decided to join me for Sunday brunch. We came out feeling like giant human timbits. Not so much from the breakfast food, but because we went a little overboard at the dessert table.

Special mention goes to the service. My mom liked this the most because they made us feel welcome. The server always invited us to go and eat more. And how can we refuse more food?

On-the-go:

White Spot

http://www.whitespot.com/

If you want some good brunch food but don’t have time to go to a restaurant, they let you order it online. Then you tell them the time you want to pick it up, and you’re done.

Their breakfast take-out menu is regrettably short, the prices may be a little steep, and the restaurants may be a little far for some, but the food, like the stuffed breakfast burrito I had, is worth every penny.

Unexpected venue:

Broken City Social Club

613 11 Avenue SW

(403) 262-9976

When I was looking through places to have brunch in Calgary, I was surprised to see that Broken City does weekend brunch. I mean, a bar that serves breakfast?

I picked the French toast with a side of sweet potato fries. It also came with their house made strawberry jam and cashew butter, both of which should be sold in jars because they tasted better than anything store-bought I’ve had.

The two mouths that tagged along ordered the usual toast, eggs, potatoes, bacon affair, and the roasted pear pancakes and both said that they never expected that it would be so good.

Bang for your buck:

Grey Eagle Casino

3777 Grey Eagle Drive (Corner of 37th St. and Glenmore Tr. SW)

(403) 385-3777

For those who like brunch without the high prices, Grey Eagle Casino has a full breakfast on Monday to Saturday for $2, but it’s only from 9:30 until 11 a.m. There isn’t a menu either; breakfast just consists of eggs, bacon, toast, hashbrowns, and coffee or juice.

The food isn’t mind-blowingly good, but who expects a gourmet mean for $2? The service is great, though.

Cozy café:

Wake Bistro

207 10th Street NW (403) 264-4425

A friend recommended Wake Bistro because he said their breakfast bagel was really good. So, following his advice, I went to Wake Bistro and tried their bagel.

I’m so glad he told me about it.

It was stacked with cheese, an egg, and bacon, and it tasted like breakfast heaven. It was a little on the greasy side. They served it with chunky potatoes, which were perfectly salted like McDonald’s fries usually are, minus the extra grease.

Indie getaway:

Vendome Cafe

940 2 Avenue NW. Behind the Sunnyside LRT station.

(403) 453-1140

Like a Ladybug bakery and cafe, Vendome Cafe has an order first, then sit down kind of set up.

When I went, it was towards the end of the lunch rush, but the place was still packed. Despite the busyness, it still had that cozy corner café feel to it.

I ordered the French toast with caramelized bananas. They served it cut up in chunks instead of the full piece of bread. As for the taste, let’s just say I wish I could eat their French toast for breakfast for the rest of my life. It was sweet but not too sweet; chewy but still crunchy; hot but not overly so. In one word: delicious