Sunday, October 30, 2011
Back Lane Cafe is superb......
A cafe so new that the web site isn't up yet, there is no Facebook page but they do have a twitter feed to follow (@backlanecafe). The Back Lane Cafe is in Hintonburg where the Ethiopian Cafe was next to Giant Tiger. We've had it in our periphery vision recently so it was time to try it out as the Ottawa Breakfast Club.
We walked into a revamped cafe with interesting art on the walls hung from old knob and tube fixtures. It was busy but not full and we asked for a table for 6. The (I think) owner initially refused to put two tables together and insisted on having us dine at two side-by-side '4 tops' - really not ideal but we had little choice. Then the waiter came over and saw the dilemma and suggested we move the tables together! The first guy relented and we were allowed to move together. Not a great start to brunch!
The menu is interesting and not your usual brunch fair. The 'benny' is on a 'biscuit' with a homemade sausage patty and served with a bulgar pilaff and some fruit. There was a duck pastrami hash served with a couple of eggs. The scramble came with bacon, beans and the pilaff.
Coffee was served (very good coffee and only $2 for endless refills), water was poured and orders taken by a very pleasant young man (the one who saw fit to allow us to eat together).
A range of food was soon winging it's way out of the kitchen served on rectangular platters rather than normal round plates. The presentation was excellent. One of us wanted ketchup and had to do without; this isn't a 'ketchup type' place!
Most agreed that the food was very good. My 'benny' was superb; the sausage had a hint of fennel, the biscuit was delightful and the poached eggs cooked perfectly. Together with the bulgar pilaff this all made for one very tasty breakfast. If I had been super hungry you could argue that it wasn't a great deal of food but this isn't a greasy spoon, pile it high place. This is brunch fine dining and at $16 and $14 for most of the plates it should be.
The coffee flowed, the eggs were eaten and the homemade bread was slathered with the in-house raspberry jam. Wonderful food.
I also tasted the duck pastrami hash and that was lovely and spicy and I'm definitely having that when we go back (maybe next week).
Apart from the lack of ketchup it's hard to say anything bad about this place. I didn't need it but, come on, if you have a brunch menu at least have it available for those who want it. Presented in a small dish perhaps rather than spoiling the table with plastic squeeze bottles. I understand the reasoning behind not having it out but not as to why it's not available if requested.
One of the best brunch places ever!
Looking forward to next week and the plate of duck pastrami all to myself.