Thursday, July 12, 2012
Fray Brunch: A charming brunch
This was my second meal at Fray. This restaurant is literally right around the corner from my home.
My first visit was okay- but nothing amazing. See blog post here.
My list of places that "to eat in vancouver" list is pretty huge and keeps growing, so unfortunately I don't usually end up eating the same place and usually always try somewhere new. But there is a definite charm and allure to this place as I've watched it grow (it's location and awesome online presence) so I have kept wanting to go back and try it again. They've built up some great positive buzz, switched up the menu, set up a small patio, started offering brunch (and even more recently lunch) and running weekly Weds trivia nights.
One of my best buddy's Ashley and I made plans to go for a Saturday morning run followed by brunch. I threw out a few suggestions and was pleased when she selected Fray.
It wasn't too busy when we arrived at 10am-ish but the place definitely was starting to get busier throughout our meal. It's a fun, retro-cool-hipster atmosphere and it was definitely warm and inviting with the sun streaming inside. I love the quote on their website from Vancouver Beer Blog,
“If Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer from Seinfeld lived in East Vancouver, Fray would be their hang out spot for sure.” We sat in a comfy booth and perused through their brunch menu. This menu has two salads, two omelettes, a traditional breakfast, a meat-centric breakfast, cornflake crusted french toast, five bennies, a BLT, two burger options, mac and cheese, their popular appies: bacon wrapped figs and portobello fries, and a kids menu.
I was really tempted by the Cornflake-Crusted French Toast (menu description is mouth-watering).....but I was definitely feeling savoury that morning, not sweet. Ashley and I picked two options to share.
Traditional Breakfast ($7.95) Two eggs, two double-smoked slices of Fraser Valley bacon, two slices of toasted focaccia and Cajun roasted potatoes. Eggs sunny side up.
They nailed this brekkie standard, everything was done really well- from the eggs with thick, oozing, bright yellow yolks, to the fresh cut crispy roasted potatoes (not too greasy with nice flavour), the thin wedges of crispy artisan focaccia. Not all bacon is created equal. You can taste the quality of this meat. This was a simple, slightly classier version of the greasy spoon standard.
Mountainview Burger ($10.95) House-made falafel chickpea patty, grilled eggplant, roasted red pepper sauce and goat cheese spread on a whole wheat bun.
The chickpea patty was tasty and had a nice thick consistency that was a slightly crispy on the outside. The goat cheese added some richness and creaminess.
Unfortunately, I didn't really notice the grilled eggplant or roasted red pepper sauce, if they were on there, the flavours were pretty muted and didn't really add much. I doused mine with mustard and hot sauce to give this dish a bit of a needed flavour kick. This veggie burger option could benefit from the addition of some flavour power ingredients- sliced jalapenos, fresh beets, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, etc. I loved the side salad and it's zingy balsamic vinaigrette.
Our server was fantastic. She was so nice, so on top of coffee refills, and I loved her enthusiasm for the food. She was knowledgable and great with suggestions. Her shift was ending as we were settling up our bill- I asked her what her other favourite dishes were and she took the extra time to walk us through the new summer menu and point out her favourites and answer more questions. I love fellow food nerds. I'll definitely come back for a Trivia night and looking forward to trying something new from their new summer menu.