I used to go to Provence Marinaside (the Yaletown location – the Mediterranean Grill is in Kits) at least once every other week for brunch, but for whatever reason, I haven’t made it there for the past few months. It’s strange how that happened, so I was extra excited this past Sunday when I finally met up with a girlfriend there.
When we were scheduling the location and time, I knew it would be closer to noon until I could make it out since I had a birthday dinner and drinks the night before, so we decided on a place where we could either get breakfast or lunch. It ended up working quite well.
Although Provence is usually incredibly busy on weekends, we managed to get there with what we were told would be a twenty minute waiting time (it probably took closer to ten minutes), and we were seated in the dining area to the right after walking through the doors. While waiting for our table, we looked in glee at the showcase of pastries and Italian dishes and treats, saying that we would definitely drop by on the way out to order some stuff to take home with us. I was absolutely starving by that point, seeing as we were chatting about food and staring at some delicious-looking items right and hadn’t had a bite to eat all day.
Once seated, we ordered our drinks – I had a basic decaf latte, some orange juice and water. I love fresh-squeezed orange juice – it reminds me of growing up and being spoiled by my mother, who was always trying to get us our daily dose of Vitamin C before walking out to take the school bus in the mornings. The latte wasn’t anything special (it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t spectacular), but I was happy to have a warm drink to start off the chilly day.
My girlfriend ordered the fish soup to start, and she said she liked it, although the presentation looked a bit oily. I don’t have too many details, but I know that when it came to the crostini with spicy saffron mayonnaise and gruyère cheese, she said she wished there was more of it!
The merguez panini wasn’t mine, but I managed to snag a bite from it. Both of us were actually expecting the sausage to be spicier than it was, so I would’ve preferred it if it had a little more kick to it. The caramelized onions were good, and the sweetness was nice as well, but it was almost too sweet versus anything else (ie. spice). I didn’t try the salad, but my girlfriend said that she liked the lightness of the vinaigrette on it – it wasn’t overwhelming.
Next, the Croques Monsieur Eggs Benedict came for me. It was even more delicious this time around than I can recall from my frequent visits in the past! The focaccia bread was crispy and flavourful with a hint of tomato. The classic hollandaise over the soft eggs on top of the ham blended really well together, and for all the bennys that I’ve eaten recently, I’d have to say this one is the best. The potatoes were crispy, and what’s even better is that the pineapple, orange and honeydew that finished off this meal were actually really sweet!
Other brunch items that I’ve had and really enjoyed are the Belgian Waffles, the Two Eggs Any Style (with bacon or smoked salmon or sausage), and the Grilled Chicken Crepes. Here’s a link to their brunch menu, should you want to look further.
Provence is a great choice for brunch on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays – just keep in mind that although it can seat quite a few people, they are often busy and thus there will frequently be a bit of a wait. Their service is good, and the patio is excellent during the summers (for people-watching and and getting some sunshine while overlooking the beautiful waterfront at False Creek).
Please leave me a comment if you have any other recommendations for an excellent eggs benny that could beat the one served at Provence!