Breakfast! Last time I wrote about the Canoe Club in 2009 I was marginally happy with it as a place to meet a lot of people. It appears to have slightly rebranded to the "Canoe Brewpub". Recent trips to the Canoe of an evening have not changed my mind. The beer is average (and in some cases, unsettled and yeasty), the service varies, but it's good enough to meet a random large group of people.
But this time it was going to check out the Brunch service. A previous trip had hit all the right notes, and with the parents in town, I decided it was a good place to take them, and meet another half-dozen of my closest friends. And subject my parents to them (I'm joking, the two of you who may read this...)
We got there at midday, just before another large group, so we grabbed the big carvery table upstairs and spread out. Coffee and tea was served, though the speciality coffee took a bit longer to turn up, the rest was fast, and it's a decent mug of warm brown stuff.
I went for the special Cheddar and Ham benny, which promised to be served on cornbread. And I love good corn bread. Dad went for the big breakfast (and an oath he'd not need to eat again that day), while Mum was proud to ask for the Bambino breakfast - "only available to under 12's and over 65's". I think she was slightly disappointed that the waitress didn't demand proof of age (having just turned sixty-five, she's keen to get all the respect and discounts afforded to her).
The meals took longer than you'd have to wait at a one of Victoria's many Breakfast-only places, but you'd not be complaining about the wait at a normal dinner restaurant. And that gave plenty of time for everyone to ask my parents about all the embarrassing things I must have done while growing up, and my parents to check up I was behaving myself in Victoria. Or at least this is how I heard the conversation, but I'm told it was much less about me, and much more about the Scottish borders, going to University of England and Wales, printing presses, living on the island, the local history and whether I was behaving myself in Victoria (I joke, again).
So food arrived. Two perfectly poached benny eggs, cheese with just enough bite, small pile of breakfast potatoes and nicely cooked cornbread. It didn't crumble as you looked at it, but soaked up the Hollandaise sauce and egg yolks perfectly. Fantastic breakfast, probably my favourite Eggs Benedict I've had. I'm not a great fan of the Eggs in Eggs sauce, but this, this was good. The herbed breakfast potatoes rode that line between fluffy/mushy insides and crispy outsides very well. The rosemary just adds a nice hint in there to round the flavour out.
Dad's Big Breakfast was indeed big. 2 eggs, bacon, sausage, a small pile of breakfast potatoes, a toasted baguette, roasted potatoes and some fruit. Dad felt his oath of fasting would be easy enough to keep. Mum's Bambino was scrambled eggs, bacon and a baguette. It also promised fruit juice, but we had to ask for this. The waitress then checked the menu, and to her surprise, yes this was part of the meal. Apologies all around, and some fresh OJ rounded out the meal. Just the right size for brunch, declared mum.
We got in just in time to avoid two big parties, but they seemed about half a waitress under staffed upstairs Our waitress was great, just had slightly too many covers. I'm glad there wasn't actually half a waitress though. I leave that sort of thing to the gothic horror movies, not brunch with my parents.
So brunch was had, and my secrets were kept safe. That's success in my book. I'll probably be back there again with larger groups.
Coffee x 2 : $6.00
Tea : $3.25
Benny with Cheddar and Ham : $13.50
Big Breakfast : $13.50
Bambino Breakfast : $8.50
Total : $65.00 with tip and taxes.
Address : 450 Swift Street,Victoria,
Telephone : (250) 361-1940
Website : http://www.canoebrewpub.com/