Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I hardly ever went for Western food while I was in Hong Kong, let alone a "traditional" Sunday brunch. (Do those sorts of places exist outside of hotels there?) Dim sum is fine and dandy, but after doing that every week I couldn't help but miss home fries, so was elated when my friend Tiffany invited me out to brunch on Sunday at Eat! Eat! in Inglewood, a cute little area just southeast of downtown that I always say I should check out more often, but don't because none of my friends live in the south side of Calgary. Except Tiffany.
Tiffany suggested that we "beat the crowd" by heading over at 10:30 AM, which was smart because as I arrived fashionably late, the 33-seat space looked full, but there was no lineup and Tiffany had already grabbed us a table (which was unfortunately not in the cool-looking couch area.) It wasn't long before I sat down that a waitress came by and asked me if I wanted coffee (Yes.) and I was glad that when a waiter came by later he *asked* before he refilled my coffee cup (I stupidly said yes.) While most diners have 10% creamers and 2% milkers, a dish of 18% creamers (apparently those exist) sat on our table. I didn't want to be a snob and ask for milk, so I tipped less than half of one into my coffee.
The breakfast menu was simple and inexpensive—you can get a one- or two-egg breakfast with toast and home fries, an two- or three-egg omelette with four toppings with toast and home fries, French toast, Eggs Benedict, or steak and eggs, to name a few. I contemplated getting a poached egg—I recently realized that I hate Hollandaise sauce, so no eggs benny for me—with a separate side order of sausages, but then settled on a two-egg omelette with mushrooms, spinach, red pepper, and cheese.
And then we waited.
I have no idea why the food took so long, but at one point during our 20-30 minute wait I looked around and noticed that no one around us was eating. The waitress almost gave our food to the wrong table too, but fortunately the old lady sitting at the table next to us seemed as averse to Tiffany's bacon as I was (ha!)
My omelette was really good and stuffed full of well-cooked vegetables that weren't overwhelmed by the cheese. It was so filling that in the end I had to force myself to finish it and my homefries—my favourite part of brunch, really—and I also had a piece of nicely buttered toast. I feel bad now that I forgot to eat the orange, but I'm not a huge fan of oranges anyway.
Tiffany had a half-order of French toast that came with maple butter (!!!) and runny maple syrup with a side of bacon. That filled her right up too (it looked like there was a thick egg coating on that French toast), despite only being a half-order.
By the time we were finished—and the old ladies beside us still hadn't gotten their food—there was such a huge lineup at the door that we couldn't really sit and chat. Good call on getting us there earlier, Tiff!
Was the food worth the wait? Although I really enjoyed my omelette, there wasn't any special breakfast fare so I don't think I'll go back to Eat! Eat! anytime soon, especially if it means waking up "earlier" (10:30 isn't that bad) on a Sunday. It's a pity, because Inglewood is so cool.
1325 9 Ave SE