On the weekend there was something that I was really craving, and that was the lavendar latte and Fricasse at Cafe Medina, on Beatty Street in the Crosstown area of downtown Vancouver. So on Sunday afternoon, after waking up super late with the day already half over, we managed to make our way over there by 2 pm for brunch. Yes, that’s right. 2 pm.
Cafe Medina is usually quite busy, but I was hoping that at this time of day there wouldn’t still be a line up. Last time we went by fairly late as well, and I remembered that we managed to walk right in to an empty table.
Well, my assumption didn’t hold true this time. While Mike was having a low blood sugar breakdown from not yet eating, we had to wait for about 20 minutes to get a seat. What’s worse? Another couple walked in after about 15 minutes, and got seated at a table that was just getting prepped for us (or so I thought) while we were outside in the cold and rain. The server seemed to be trying to explain that we were next, but somehow they still got seated and their orders taken first. We were then seated a few minutes later after I gave a few glares through the window. It was kind of ironic when they couldn’t figure out what to get and ended up leaving because there were only breakfast items on the menu, since it was the weekend, and they wanted lunch food.
Right away, we ordered ourselves some decaf lavendar lattes (I don’t do well with caffeine), which had some fun art for us in the froth. The lavendar undertones make these warm drinks extra delicious – if I lived nearby, I would often stop by just for those.
We started off with a few of the Belgian waffles, as they’re so delicious and ready-made, so I figured in a matter of minutes we would at least be a little less cranky. This time, we tried them with the mixed berry compote, the pistachio white chocolate rosewater topping, and the raspberry caramel. I wasn’t big on the pistachio one this time – it was an interesting flavour (and I love pistachio gelato), but with the white chocolate, it didn’t quite give me the satisfaction I was expecting. The caramel though? Sooo sickly sweet, but in a good way. I couldn’t stop eating this one – just be warned that it is very, very sweet. The mixed berry was probably the best one – not so much like having candy to start off your day. I did find this time that the waffles did seem almost a little bit more doughy than usual. I’m hoping that it was just a case of timing, and the fact that we had ordered right before the kitchen was about to close (and not that they are going downhill).
Following this, I waited in great anticipation for our meals to come. We both had the Fricasse and I tried La Sante for the first time, upon recommendation from a friend. The Fricasse is just amazing. The combination of the braised short ribs with the eggs, caramelized onions, and smoked applewood cheddar cheese is something that I think of in my dreams at night. (Okay, maybe more of a daydream – just try it.) It’s all served with a hearty slice of grilled foccacia bread that’s perfect for dipping in the yolk.
As for La Santé, or the healthy menu option, this was a lot of fun for me to eat. It comes with a soft boiled egg, ripe avocado drizzled with a vinaigrette of some sort, some prosciutto, grilled ciabatta, and some tomato slices with an olive tapenade. There was also some olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. I savoured each and every bite, and made my own creations with all of the ingredients.
I’ll definitely be coming back for the food again, although the service wasn’t very good this time. From not seating us properly, to having someone ask if we want the bill and then completely forget followed by someone else bringing us the wrong bill, it was just so rushed and busy that it seemed like there wasn’t any focus on whether or not that part of the experience was just as good as the dishes themselves.
Have you had a recent similar experience?
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