Friday, November 7, 2014

Lily Mae's Comfort Café


Lily Mae's Comfort Cafe is located in Gastown and the interior looks very cute, resembling a french bistro with a homestyle atmosphere. The comfort cafe has been on my list since the beginning of the year, but my interest to visit has been delayed since there are some negative comments regarding the service. However, Lily Mae's was still my first choice when looking for a cute breakfast date with a friend. My friend actually suggested going to Cafe Medina's new location for an Instagram worthy photo, but I gave her a dirty look because she agrees that the food is only average.

When I walked in to meet my friend, our server provided us with menus within minutes. I was a bit sad she did not say hello to me or one word in fact, considering the restaurant appears to be a family operated business. In addition, as she poured water in our drinking glasses, I could not help but notice the red pigment at the bottom of the jug inside. She also spilled some water on the table which was left alone, so my first thoughts were that the little things are overlooked here.

My friend mentioned she was greeted and offered any table in the restaurant upon arriving however, and the server was friendly throughout our breakfast.

Every table is set up with white cloth napkins, cutlery, water glasses and a mini vase. We seated near the window and of course me being OCD, took a look at the window sill and was very pleased to not see one speck of dust! Doing the "finger swipe" is actually more accurate… lol. Dining at "historic" or old places are not really my thing, but I certainly do not mind clean restaurants such as Lily Mae's. I could not help but think back to how the The Pie Shoppe looked too, which I visited the day before here. Both restaurants have a homey atmosphere but one looks clean.


ICED COFFEE ($2.50).
Served in a mason jar with a black straw, is my friend's iced coffee. She mentioned the black coffee has a "medium body and is not too strong or watery".

BLTA BENEDICT, "Maple black peppercorn bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado, house Hollandaise on English muffin" ($13.00).
The breakfast/brunch selection includes a choice of salad or hashbrowns, and we chose both to sample the available sides. The arugula salad has that natural bitterness and a light tangy dressing, with loads of black pepper which I like. As for the eggs benedict, the English muffin is lightly toasted and the hollandaise sauce does not overwhelm. The sauce has a light butteriness and tastes creamy.

I have never had tomato or avocado on an eggs benedict before, so there was a bit of a hesitation because I prefer only meat or smoked salmon. The avocado provides some creaminess while the tomato tastes juicy, but I did not like how the avocado started browning. Although it is not a big deal, but I do prefer fresh and green avocados like what I eat at home.

As for the more important portions of the eggs benedict, the poached egg is perfect. There is a nice crust and a gooey yolk. The maple black peppercorn bacon also tastes very soft and tender, with a touch of sweetness. We agreed there is not much of a maple flavour but I personally prefer the bacon like this. The bacon is actually cooked to my preference too, neither crunchy, limp nor chewy.

QUICHE DU JOUR, "Chef's creating. Deep dish quiche, chorizo and onion" ($13.00).
Before ordering the quiche, I asked if the pastry crust was hard and am happy to hear it is (the last one I had was not very good). In fact, the crust tastes great - very flaky, buttery and tasty. However, the custard tastes fridge cold. If we were not extremely hungry, I would have definitely asked if the kitchen could heat up the quiche. I think there was an attempt to warm the quiche though because the crust was not fridge cold, only the custard.

Asides from the cold temperature, the custard has a smooth filling and does not taste salty or bland. There is a fair amount of chorizo which does not taste chewy but the flavour from the onion is lost (most likely because it is not warm or room temperature). This is such a shame because perhaps the custard could have tasted rich and flavourful. As for the hashbrowns, these are the highlight! The potatoes are freshly fried, have a perfect crisp exterior on every piece as well as a soft filling, sprinkles of seasoning salt and most importantly… is served hot(!), which makes it a favourite of ours.

TOTAL: $29.95 + $5.05 = $35.00.

Lily Mae's offers breakfast/brunch from 10:00am - 3:00pm excluding Mondays, making the restaurant one of the few places that offers breakfast food until the middle of the afternoon. With regards to the service, our server could have been friendly when I walked in but she did check up on us, say goodbye, and was genuine throughout the meal. Furthermore, the restaurant provides a handwritten note thanking guests for their visit! This is a first for me and is much appreciated. As for the food, the eggs benedict is properly prepared and the crust on the quiche was great. The food is very simple and homey which I personally prefer, but some may find it too simple and can replicate at home.

POSITIVES
- Average prices
- Healthy tasting food
- Well executed eggs

NEGATIVES
- Quiche could have been heated longer

LITTLE THINGS
- The ladies' room looks old, but is very clean

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 2.5/5

Lily Mae's Comfort Café on Urbanspoon

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