Sherman's Food Adventures: OEB Breakfast Co.

OEB Breakfast Co.

If you have been paying attention, I've been lamenting the mediocre brunch scene in Vancity for the past decade on this blog.  However, we've seen some improvement on that front with the additions of the Red Wagon, Yolks, Jam Cafe, BLVD, Wooden Spoon, Grey Olive and many others that have stepped up their brunch game.  So the Lower Mainland isn't the brunch wasteland it once was and hopefully will never be again (it can't go backwards right???).  Now we can add popular OEB Breakfast Co out of Calgary to the mix.  They took over the former Hurricane Grill location in Yaletown and are offering farm-to-table brunch that cannot be classified as typical.  

Their menu is diverse and large appealing to many different tastes.  I was originally invited to their opening where I was able to try the Threesome and their crowd favourite, Soul in a Bowl.  We made it a foursome by adding a side of Canadian bacon in addition to the chicken blueberry banger, sunny side free-range eggs and brioche French toast.  Also included was a variety of fresh fruit and a side of duck fat potatoes.  As much as this wasn't complex, the items were executed well.  In particular, the French toast was crispy on the outside with just enough egg while the brioche was soft.  Loved the crispy aromatic potatoes on the side.  Consisting of poached eggs, herb potatoes, Saint Cyrille curds, slow-cooked bacon lardons and brown butter Hollandaise, the Soul in a Bowl could only be described as rich and filling.  The same crispy potatoes held up to the creamy Hollandaise as well as the perfectly poached eggs.  Caramelized and meaty, the bacon added saltiness and yes, the curds were legit and not all melted.

Now 2 dishes doesn't even come close to putting dent into the menu, so we came back with the family for a wider range of items.  One of their more iconic offerings is the Hog & Scallops.  By visuals alone, it wasn't hard to see why either.  Just look at the 2 gigantic Digby scallops!  Beautifully seared and served medium-rare, they were buttery and sweet where the proper respect was given to the delicate ingredient.  Other than the scallops, the rest of the dish was a mirror image of the Soul in a Bowl.  Yep, it wasn't light eating.  On the other hand, Viv had something that appeared to be less heavy in the Tuna Crudo with avocado, sesame, pommes gaufrette, cilantro crema and poached hen eggs.  In reality, once she got past the fresh chunks of soft tuna and fresh buttery avocado, the potatoes were just as filling.  At least there was no Hollandaise where it was replaced by a herbaceous creama.

For myself, I had the Confit Duck and Egg sporting hand pinched pierogies, hardwood smoked bacon, duck confit, green onions, raspberry vinaigrette and a free-run organic duck egg.  This didn't look very big compared to some of the other dishes we've had so far, but it was still plenty filling due to the pierogies.  However, it wasn't due to being dense.  In fact, the outer wrapper was fairly thin and delicate where it reveal a soft and creamy potato filling.  Toss in tender duck confit and meaty bacon as well as a runny duck egg, then things got plenty rich.  One dish we were indifferent about was the GMO Free Canadian Lobster & Shrimp Crepe.  Nothing wrong with the crepe itself as it was thin and delicate, but the filling was rather indistinguishable.  I couldn't tell what was what even though the filling was supposed to be butter poached lobster & shrimp scramble, green onions and French caviar with brown butter Hollandaise on top, I never got the sense any of that was in there.  The whole thing tasted fine though.

For the kids, my daughter had the Upstream Benny while my son had the Canadian Eh!  The upstream featured organic spinach, dill & vermouth cured lox, brown butter Hollandaise and herb potatoes. Pretty straightforward here except for the vermouth, but it wasn't that noticeable. SO far, I haven't commented on the brown butter Hollandaise (which is used in many of the dishes).  Other than being texturally on point, the flavour was a bit nutty, yet not overly strong.  As for the more basic benny, the Canadian Eh! was better in my opinion since it sported a heartier piece of pea meal bacon.  I felt the salmon in the Upstream was rather meager in comparison.  Overall, we enjoyed the brunch at OEB and the large menu appeals to many tastes.  Prices are definitely on the higher side, but if you choose the right dishes, it isn't as outrageous as you might think (considering the waterfront location too).  It is definitely worth checking out, just make sure you get enough intel so you can order the right things.

*First 2 dishes were complimentary, the rest were on my coin*

The Good:
- Interesting and unique offerings
- Awesome location
- Things were generally prepared properly with quality ingredients

The Bad:
- Some dishes are on the smaller side and could use something to occupy the empty space
- Limited reservations, you'll have to lineup

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