Bruncheria Cafe: Mixed Feelings
A little while ago, I heard about a newish restaurant in New Westminster called Bruncheria. A whole restaurant dedicated to brunch? I know, I know, it’s getting a lot more common around town… but I was still intrigued. Who wants to wait until the weekend until you can enjoy some great brunch grub?
I decided to try this place out (located right on Columbia Street) around mid-October. The weather was a bit rainy outside and, hence, the windows were kind of fogged up so I couldn’t really see inside. Once I walked in, I immediately noticed the high ceilings and the brick walls on the sides (not to mention the wooden entrance barrier instructing you to wait to be seated).
I decided to try an item that doesn’t normally spring to mind during brunch… grilled cheese. But this wasn’t just any old grilled cheese sandwich. This was their Smoked Pork Belly Grilled Cheese ($16 + $4 for the side of bacon) and I paired it off with a London Fog ($5.50). To be honest, the London Fog mug, although large, was a bit basic.
It reminds me a bit of a croque madame (which is a ham and cheese sandwich topped with a fried egg). But, instead of regular ham, the inside of this sandwich is sliced pork belly (similar to roast pork without the crackling) with provolone, swiss, and cheddar cheese on sourdough bread. What I liked about it was the tender pork, the runny yolks, and the cheesiness of the sandwich. However, I thought that the sourdough could have used more of a grilled texture to the sandwich as I couldn’t really tell that this was supposed to be a grilled cheese sandwich.
On my next visit the following week, I stuck with a classic brunch item… the Smoked Salmon Eggs Benny ($16) with arugula, smoked salmon, and perfectly poached eggs. I also added a Hot Chocolate ($5) which I enjoyed more than the London Fog the previous visit.
Oh dear lord… that crispy outer edge of the muffin was heavenly (I hate a soggy muffin). The eggs weren’t super runny but the yolks were soft and lip-smackingly creamy as they slowly oozed once I cut into them. You know when you wipe your mouth and the napkin is covered in the remnants of a yellow lip-shaped stain from the runny yolk? Yup, this was a good brunch item!
After a couple of good visits, I decided to return at the end of October and ordered the Prosciutto Eggs Benny ($16) and added the Roasted Potatoes ($5) and Hot Chocolate ($5). Unfortunately, this is where things fell apart… first, they forgot my roasted potatoes and I had to flag them down. They said “something happened” (didn’t elaborate but I’m assuming that meant they forgot my order) and that it would take another 3 minutes. In actuality, it took another 13 minutes. Of course, by this time, the rest of my food was cold (I was hoping to sop up some of the runny yolks with my potatoes). As for the potatoes themselves, they weren’t worth the $5 (seems like they weren’t cooked enough because they weren’t the least bit crispy) and I wound up leaving most of it on my plate. Also, the English muffin in the benny wasn’t toasted enough (which was one of the things I had enjoyed previously). The only saving grace was that they took the potatoes off my bill without me having to ask.
It’s a bit of a shame since my first 2 visits were pretty good and service was friendly. However, on my last visit, they didn’t even come by to check up on me despite checking on other diners around me (think they were afraid of what I was going to say to them) and the food was mediocre at best on this visit. As many others have mentioned about this place, the prices are on the high side. There was a different waitress on my last visit so perhaps that was part of the problem and they just had a bad day?
So, overall, I’ve got some mixed feelings about this place… I wanted to like it a lot more than I did but food and service was hit-and-miss. Maybe if they pull things together, it would be worth the prices that they charge.
656 Columbia Street
New Westminster, BC
Posted on January 22, 2020, in Breakfast, Brunch, Restaurant Review and tagged Breakfast, Brunch, Eggs Benedict, Food, Grilled Cheese, New Westminster, restaurant review. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.