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Cafe Medina

Continuing on with our giftcard game, (where we only dine at restaurants where we have gift cards for), I had another $25 for Cafe Medina, taking up space in my wallet, so decided to use it. As one of the more well know spots for weekend brunch downtown, there was a long wait and no option for reservations on this Sunday, with a week’s notice. So we decided to take our food to go, which turned out to be a bad idea.

The following is what we had. Having it in a cardboard box and foil take out container, just didn’t didn’t do the food justice, nor did we find it fitting the bill.

The Fricassée Champignon is two Sunny side up Eggs, Cremini & Blue Oyster Mushrooms, King Oyster Mushrooms, Roasted Potatoes, Mushroom Demi Glace, Chèvre, Arugula, and Grilled Focaccia. It would have looked a lot more impressive served in their cast iron skillet, instead of a mound of potatoes and mushrooms with greens atop. The mushrooms were at least plentiful and tasty, and the potatoes perfectly prepared. Not a memorable dish as is.

Sandwich au Porc is one Sunny Egg, Confit Pork Belly, Heirloom Tomato, Grainy Mustard, Spiced Honey, and Pickles; in a Grilled Ciabatta bun. Any time you add a fried egg on it, it immediately becomes breakfast appropriate. It read like a really sophisticated sandwich, but by the time we got to it, everything was deflated. The condensation from hot food being sealed and left to sweat made the bun soggy. We ended up eating it with knife and fork, and the bread was tough. The bun’s dryness would have been passable is the pork had some sort of gravy or jus drenching it. Or maybe this was all evaporated.

Their Paella is 1 Sunny Egg, Orzo, Chorizo Sausage, Roasted Vegetables, Grano Padano, Avocado, and a Spicy Charred Tomato Salsa. It can be made vegetarian, but I found the saltiness of the sausage a nice focal point in a dish that was otherwise salsa over rice. The orzo was on the firmer side, whereas I would have liked it more gummier to match with the overall soften feel of the dish. Not bad, but not the elevation you’d expect from this well known cafe and the prestige their branding and restaurant interior solicits.

And for those familiar with Medina, they know their waffles are the only way to end your meal. Premade and warmed to order, they aren’t the freshest or the fluffiest waffles on the market. However, their selection of sauces is what sets them apart. My go-to is always the Milk Chocolate Lavender dip

In short, I definitely recommend that you not order for take out. At these prices, you want to dine in and enjoy, taking the food as it was intended: dressed for the eyes and prepared the best way possible.

Cafe Medina
780 Richards St, Vancouver, BC V6B 3A4
(604) 879-3114

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