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Kitchen Craft Eatery, #GrilledCheeseChallengeYVR

This year I have been given the honour of judging The Vancouver Foodster’s Grilled Cheese challenge. A challenge where restaurants concoct their ultimate grilled cheese sandwich, vying for the top spot as voted on by 3 media judges. My task was to travel around the lower mainland, discovering new restaurants and food trucks, whilst indulging in a childhood favourite: all grown up, 5 different ways.

For those who aren’t judges, but would like to dawn the mantle: you too can try all the grilled cheese contenders, then vote for your favourite as the people’s choice winner.

One such restaurant in the running is Kitchen Craft Eatery in North Vancouver. And truth be told, if it weren’t for this challenge, I would have completely missed out on discovering this great mom and pop brunch spot!

Dining in offers limited seating indoors, only a couple of tables; with a fully stocked unit of baked goods and pastries taking up most of the real estate. Just as well, as outside on their covered and heated patio is where you want to be anyways. Situated by the shore, with a view of the Quay in the distance, this is definitely the place to be for a mimosas or two.

We would begin by trying their grilled cheese challenger, but I won’t be going too much into details here as to not dilute your experience or give away my judge’s scorecard too soon.

This is the Unlawful Waffle Sandwich. Instead of bread they have used a savoury green onion waffle to sandwich house roasted ham, marbled cheddar cheese, and sharp white cheddar. It is finished with a brushing of maple butter, and served with their mustard dip. The waffles come fluffy and warm with the fragrance of the green onion coming through. The ham isn’t too salty and the cheese not too sharp. The description reads maple, but I didn’t get any of its supposed sweetness. Not that it mattered much as the real star of this assembly was the honey mustard dip, it pulled all the flavours together and added new life to the sandwich when used generously.

And seeing as we were already here, we decided to try more of their regular brunch menu. Although we didn’t stick to traditional brunch items. Their menu is a listing of classic favourites: soup, salads, sandwich, and baked goods. It was definitely hard to choose, especially if they tasted anything like what we had above.

The Greek Chicken Gyro was a warm pita wrapped around grilled chicken marinated in lemon, garlic and oregano; alongside tomato, onion, and tzatziki. Soften textures are given zest by way of the freshness and zest of thein house made tzatziki. At this point, with two for two I knew Craft Kitchen had their sauces on point.

For our side we choose fries so that we could add some into the gyro, as is it is done traditionally in Greece. Crispy and chewy thick cut fries served with ketchup.

The Pulled Porkwich is braised pork shoulder, crisp pickled vegetables, House made BBQ sauce, and pickles; all between a buttery brioche bun. The sweet and smokey hickory notes of the bbq sauce was the standout. Saucy enough to saturate the tender strands of pork, but not too much that it caused the bread to go soggy prematurely. I could have used more creamy tang from the slaw, but our soup of the day side did a better job in that respect.

The daily soup special was either a house made potato and leak or a creamy tomato soup. We went with the latter, because I believe sandwiches are best paired with a sharp and tangy, almost sour tomato soup. The soup was smooth, yet it drank chunky and thick. The cheesy croutons were a nice finish, adding an enjoyable crunch to munch through.

Given how much we liked everything and how much more they have on menu, this one bears repeating. A great brunch spot for the next time you are out in North Vancouver.

Kitchen Craft Eatery
150 Esplanade W Suite 210, North Vancouver, BC V7M 1A3
(604) 990-1121

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