Monday, February 10, 2014

Saturday brunch at Ethical Kitchen

Ethical Kitchen on Urbanspoon
Ethical Kitchen is a smallish diner that looks a bit shabby on the outside, but is cozy-looking on the inside. There's not a lot of seating because they haven't tried to cram as many chairs as possible into the dining area, and about half the floor space is the kitchen area. There are tables for two and four, as well as larger communal tables with benches that could probably seat 8-10.

If you're going during the winter, you might want to sit away from the doors: There is the main entrance, as well as a side door near the counter where you pay. Brunch-time on Saturday didn't see the place so packed that there was a lineup, but it was steady -- which means the doors can be counted on to be opened and closed frequently.
Reservations are not accepted for weekend brunch, but our small party of three had no trouble dropping in for an almost-Noon brunch last Saturday.

It's run diner style: You order and pay at the counter, and the food is brought to your table. On Saturday, there were just two staff persons, who ran the kitchen, the counter, and cleared the tables. Don't expect to be waited on hand and foot like a "regular" restaurant. This also means you can get away with not tipping, but the food is reasonably priced to begin with so an extra dollar or two isn't going to break the bank.

The website seems quite outdated, and in any case has only a fraction of what's available in the restaurant. There's a fairly extensive menu, lots of drinks (mostly teas and coffees, including hard-to-find things like Golden Milk), and a counter with baked goods and pastries. There's good support for gluten free diets, but not that much for vegetarians and vegans.

I normally don't go for brunches because many brunch places tend to serve up the same sort of breakfasty thing, but I was definitely not sorry to go to Ethical Kitchen for brunch. The pancakes with pork belly ($10.50 after tax before tip) I got weren't particularly fancy, but were really tasty with just a simple twist.
Pancakes are pancakes of course. However, instead of syrup you got a generous amount of sweet, delicious, jus from their pork belly. There was just the one chunk of pork belly (just over a cubic inch of it), which was admittedly a bit disappointing, but pork belly being what it is, I didn't want that much fat with my breakfast anyway.

Teas ($3.50) come in a coffee press, which is good for several cups. I opted for the smoked BC Forest Blend, which really did have a pleasant smoky aroma.

Ethical Kitchen supports MealShare.ca, which donates a meal to charity if diners purchase a qualifying menu item. The Mealshare icon isn't exactly convenient to throw on menus, so you will probably have to ask them which item is marked as the Mealshare item.


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