Barb & Ernie’s – Edmonton, AB


Barb & Ernie’s old country inn
9906 – 72 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
Phone: (780) 433-3242

The unique German inspired exterior of this establishment has always caught my eye, but as it is not on a usual travel route for me, my mind rarely thinks to this part of the city when deciding where to go for my morning meal.

The sign out front reads “Best Eggs Benedict”, which made my choice easy – leaving me ample time to read the summary of 30+ years of history on the menu cover.

We arrived just past 11am on warm Sunday morning, and every table inside and out – were FULL.  The interior was decorated just like its exterior with German knick-nacks on the walls. This also includes Ernie – dressed in lederhosen and a Bavarian hat.

b_e

As a group got up to leave, Ernie exclaimed “thank-you, come again! I need the money!” to which he had many restaurant patrons laughing.  He seated us with his exuberant charm, passing a menu to my wife with a pleasant “here you are beautiful”, and passes me mine with a simple nod of the hat.

I know many people who would find his boisterous personality annoying – but I personally find characters like Ernie entertaining, especially as this is his establishment.  (Had this been a patron, I would have a target to fling the mustard spoon).

With no obvious formality of assigned servers, Barb scanned the floor and came over to take our order.  ‘Barb’s Special Omelette’ for my wife, and the Eggs Benedict for myself.  They have a full array of options for the bene – (ham, bacon, seafood, bratworst, schnitzel) so I asked Barb what she recommends.  “Have bratworst today, and come next week for schnitzel”!

Portions are huge, shredded hash is seasoned well, and fruit was ripe and fresh.   Now, I know there are lots of opinions on how an omelette should be made (milk, water, carbonated water / whipped, stirred, forked / high heat, low heat / butter, oil, non-stick / fluffy, thin / etc).  So I will just report that this particular omelette was of a thin variety, and the filling was plentiful and tasted good.

b_e_omellete

The Eggs Benedict was good – the bratworst was fantastic!  Two large bratworst sausages, shredded hash and a side of various fruit – I have nothing to complain about here.   Now, to address their claim of being the ‘best’ — I think you put yourself up for unnecessary scrutiny when you make claims like this; however, it scores above average for me and worthy of another visit.

My only complaint – is due to my personal requirement for a big glass of OJ in the morning.  Unfortunately for me – I received a small glass, luke-warm, and tasted like it came from a low-grade brand tetrapack.  Overall – a fun atmosphere, decent food, plentiful portions, and charismatic service.   See you next week for the schnitzel, Barb!

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Culina Mill Creek – Edmonton, AB


Culina Mill Creek
9914 – 89 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
(780) 437-5588

Weekend brunch: 10am – 2pm

Set in a small cozy dining room just off 99th Street, this little cafe is a great spot to enjoy a nice weekend brunch.  Weather permitting – they also have a small outdoor patio.  I have visited this restaurant for their Sunday family-style dinners in the past (doesn’t appear as they do this anymore), and we decided to give the brunch a try.

I  love cornbread, and Culina has great cornbread.  Served with a sweet blueberry butter, I want some now…   please?

Cornbread with blueberry butter

Cornbread with blueberry butter

Lots of great sounding choices on their menu, but we decided to try the basics on this go-around.   The Eggs Benedict, is stacked with prosciutto, truffle hollandaise, and garnished with basil.  Side of diced potatoes rounds off this dish.   The server didn’t give any warning of the SPICY ketchup, which unfortunately was an unwelcome surprise – but as-is, everything tasted great!

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict

Culina’s ‘Famous Bacon & Eggs’ is described on the menu as:  slow braised bacon, mushroom frittata, potato hash and toast.  When it arrived – the “bacon” was actually a good sized mound of slow-roasted pulled pork-shoulder,  the “hash” was more of a pan-fried mash, and the “mushroom frittata” was really a simple frittata – topped with a mushroom sauce.

Regardless of the description – everything on the plate tasted great – again, minus the lack of warning for the tongue scorching ketchup.

Famous Bacon & Eggs

Famous Bacon & Eggs

At $4 for a glass of OJ,  $5 for cornbread,  and $15 each for the entrees, this may be slightly more of a special-occasion destination – although, you may see me there every morning with a cup of their organic coffee and cornbread…  Mmmmm  cornbread.

Culina Mill Creek on Urbanspoon

New York Bagel Cafe – Edmonton, AB


New York Bagel Cafe
8430 Gateway Blvd NW
Edmonton, AB  T6E 4B4
(780) 432-2003
Open Sun, Mon 9:00am-4:30pm, Tue-Sat 9am-9:30pm

September 2008 re-visit post here

Original post below:

Brunch is one of those love/hate relationships for me. On the one hand, I would generally prefer to eat lunch and dinner foods at any time of day. Give me a nice bowl of Pho, a slice of cold pizza, or a great big burrito instead of bacon, eggs and toast any day.  On the other hand, im a real sucker for Eggs Benedict, and hash browns. What this means for me is the occasional foray out for Brunch. And it typically means im ordering the Eggs Benny.

New York Bagel Cafe existed in Edmonton at the corner of Whyte Avenue and Calgary Trail for many years. That was, until a tragic fire took out the Alberts, Pet store, and other establishments it shared a building with. They had a small but loyal following, and yet, were now homeless.

Down the street, a few blocks down, was a small mother-daughter sandwich shop that served up organic, sustainable foods, fresh local ingredients in the forms of sandwiches, salads and soups. Twig N Berries was an idea that was too early – before its time. It’s neighbour, the venerable Edmonton institution “Club Malibu”, did not attract the same kinds of crowds they were looking to target. Sadly, they closed their doors as well. This space, once vacated, became the new home to New York Bagel Cafe. The new space was twice as large, and some concern about their ability to reproduce their success from their previous location existed. Maybe the positive vibes that TNB started would be passed onto the NY Bagel Cafe.

Like a Phoenix fresh from the fire, New York Bagel Cafe came back as good as ever. First off, they have the best eggs benedict in town. Period. Start with a great selection of fixed benedicts – utilizing creative flavour combinations, combined with some seasonal variations. The base for the benedict is your choice of toasted bagel – a more hearty, and solid choice over the traditional english muffin. The eggs are perfectly poached. The hollandaise? Freshly made, stable and no where close to breaking. These large portions are served with the best hash browns, broiled, pan fried, seasoned potatoes that have the perfect combination of toothy and crunch. They are salty, but i like them that way. Lastly, comes an array of exotic fruits. Seasonal berries. Kiwi. Orange. Melon. Dragonfruit. Starfruit. The varieties are endless. And they are always fresh.

What else do they have? Omelettes and frittatas. Eggs and Bacon. Platters. The Montreal Smoked Meat platter is a particular favorite among many patrons. Eggs. Bagel. Smoked meat. Hash Browns. Fruit. Hard to go wrong with that, especially when you wake up two advil short of a lesser hangover.

The new location is not without issues however. Food of this quality is made fresh to order. Resulting in painfully long waiting times – typically 60-70 minutes from the moment you order, to the moment you get your food. NY Bagel Cafe is also not much of a secret among the brunch crowd – there can be hour long lineups on weekends, just to get a table. Especially if you show up during the prime hours of 10:30am-1:00pm. They also do not have refillable coffee – making a European latte their “house coffee”. Lastly, they are not cheap. But these days, what is? If these are my biggest concerns regarding a breakfast establishment, I believe we have a winner.

At the end of the day, in most cases, I’d still prefer lunch and dinner foods over breakfast foods. But at any time before dinner, I will take an order of Eggs Benedict from New York Bagel Cafe. They are that good. And for those who know me, that is saying quite a lot.

New York Bagel Cafe on Urbanspoon