Sherman's Food Adventures: Commercial Drive Brunch Crawl (presented by Vanfoodster)

Commercial Drive Brunch Crawl (presented by Vanfoodster)

After surviving a seemingly endless supply of food at the previous 2 brunch crawls as part of the Dine Out Vancouver Festival, I made it to the last one on Commercial.  The skies decided to open up resulting in an endless supply of rain for the day as well.  But that didn't damper our spirits as Miss Y and I attempted to gobble up everything that was thrown our way.  Well, at least we tried to.  After all, we are not in the same league as Mijune...  We can only aspire to be such proficient eaters...

Anyways, we began at the registration location which was Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria.  We were given an option to choose 2 of 3 half personal-sized pizzas.  Miss Y opted for the Margherita (campania tomato sauce, fior di latte, fresh basil and EVOO) and Cavoletti (oven-roasted brussel sprouts, proscuitto crisps, fior di latte, gorgonzola cheese, dates, walnuts, drizzle of honey).  Unlike my previous visits to this particular location, the crust was appreciably more crispy.  However, I would've still liked to see more leoparding.  We liked the Cavoletti as it offered up a variety of flavours such as the saltiness of the proscuitto, sweetness of the dates and sharpness of the gorgonzola.  In addition to the Cavoletti, I decided to revisit the Korean BBQ Pork Pizza (I had it at the Morgan Crossing location).  Consisting of slow roasted spiced pork, Korean BBQ sauce, fior di latte, green onion, cheddar cheese and hoisin sauce.  As much as the flavour profile was quite sweet, there was considerable impact.

After Famoso, we decided to hit up Turks Coffee Lounge which was only a block away.  Upon entering, we were greeted by a sample Lemon Square from The Lemon Square (ain't that a coincidence...) .  This little bite was quite the surprise as it had a purposeful amount of sweetness tempered by just enough lemon tartness without being too sour.  Texturally, it was smooth, including the ample crust.  This was accompanied by a choice of a Butter Espresso or Velvet Cortado.  We had one each and thought they were smooth and aromatic without any sharpness. From this point, we decided to drive all the way down to the Southern terminus of the Drive to Bakery Sate.  Hey, one must have a game-plan to keep ahead of the crowd.  Here we were treated to a box consisting of a Macaroon, Cheddar Scone and Butter Croissant.  Although appealingly chewy, the macaroon was a bit too sweet for our tastes.  The scone was cheesy while a little dry.  Our favourite was the croissant as it was flaky and crispy with a moist butter centre.

Heading back North on The Drive, we hit up 2 neighbouring restaurants starting with Lear Faye.  In addition to coffee, we had the East Van Benny and Smok'n Benny.  With the first one, it was made up of a poached egg, wilted greens, pico de gallo and avocado Hollandaise on rosti.  I found this to be quite rich due to the Hollandaise as it was extra creamy due to the fatty avocado.  What it lacked in acidity was made up by the pico de gallo.  As for the second benny, it was a combination of poached egg, pulled pork, wilted greens and chipotle Hollandaise on rosti.  Naturally, this one had more of a spicy kick as well as a rich meatiness from the tender pulled pork.  After this, we walked next door to the Jamjar where we were presented with a plate consisting of Mint Labneh, Foole, Manoushet Zaatar and Hummus.  Of the items on the plate, my favourite was the manoushet zaatar since it almost ate like a dessert with a mild sweetness accented by thyme, oregano & sesame.  The hummus was smooth, yet I would've liked to see some acidity.  

We then dragged out much heavier bodies over to Stateside Craft from some heavy eats in the Corn Bread Waffles (with fresh blueberries, whipped cream and one strip of bacon) and Braised Brisket Corn Hash (with slow beer braised brisket sauteed with corn, onions and roasted red potatoes topped with applewood smoked cheddar, peppercorn sauce and poached egg.  We found the waffle to be crunchy and a bit heavy.  The side of bourbon maple syrup was a nice compliment as well as the perfectly crisp strip of smoky bacon.  As for the hash, we thought the brisket was sufficiently moist except for a few end pieces.  With a nicely poached egg, this was a mild-tasting hash the could've benefited from even more kick.  Our last stop was at Federico's Supper Club where we were served a plate that included Terrina di Cioccolato, Rigatoni alla Gricia and Fritelle di Baccala.  The best item on the plate by far was the chocolate terrine with berry compote.  It was silky, slightly bitter and only semi-sweet.  We found the cod fritter on mint pesto and roasted red pepper to be mealy and dry while the rigatoni with smoked pork cheeks, pancetta, pecorino romano and black pepper to be toothsome and full of flavour from the salty ingredients. The pasta was nicely toothsome as well.  At this point, we actually had to pack one of the servings to go as we were stuff.  Definitely far too much food for a 4-hour window.  Not that we were complaining...