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The Hungry Nomad: Brunch at Cafe Medina (Vancouver, Canada)

March 29, 2011

Brunch at Cafe Medina (Vancouver, Canada)

Medina is a new hot spot in town (I don't know just how new but I know it wasn't there last time I was in town). And so as a self proclaimed food blogger, I planned a brunch there with a good friend. We drove by and saw a large crowd of people standing outside. It was quite the scene. So we too joined the crowd and waited for what seemed like an hour (it was actually 45 minutes) for a table for two. The inside of the restaurant is really tastefully done with its brick walls, wooden floors, exposed light bulb fixtures and simplistic furniture. It looks a lot like Chambar with its small and cozy tables all lined up very closely.  There is a wonderful display of freshly made waffles and waffle maker in the window which is torture for those waiting on the outside. The waffles are the talk of town but unfortunately I did not have room for waffles and was in the mood for a savory rather than a sweet dish. 

So we finally got a seat and treated ourselves to a well-deserved Ceasar. Another 45 minutes went by before we got our meals. At this point, I was already slightly tipsy from the pre-breakfast Ceasar...but I was not to blame since the service was verrrrrrrrrry slow. I understand they had a brunch/lunch time rush but seeing that most of their business is through their breakfast and lunch you would think that they would be a bit more efficient. Anyway-I am not one to complain but I will say this I was not overly impressed. In my view there are better places to spend your money and time for brunch. I get the concept or at least I think I get it...the cross between east and west, offering Belgian waffles along with Moroccan infused dishes... but I was just not that big of a fan. Perhaps I just got the wrong dish and so I won't be quick to judge. But the dish I ordered (the paella) was just a whole lot of orzo and probably two very almost invisible pieces of  chorizo. Now I have had some good paella in my days and this was nothing like a paella even when you consider the whole infusion concept. (see Menu)

However, since this is one of the most popular restaurants around town these days perhaps other dishes are better... and I may be just wrong (but when it comes to food I'm pretty much always right). If you do want the ambiance then I would recommend a trip to Medina. But do expect long line ups and even a longer wait for service. 

Belgian Waffles, photo by Rick Poon

The Paella- I know it looks colorful and delicious now that I look at it but somehow it was a disappointment
The best part of my meal

Cafe Medina on Urbanspoon

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