Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cafe Medina

Warning: this post is shockingly free of waffles!

Cafe Medina is a local hot spot that is known for it's waffles and huge brunch lineups. Medina has been on my lunch list for a long time but I was always worried about fitting it into my one hour lunch break. I jumped at the chance to go when Meredith, Cristina and Adele offered.

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Cafe Medina is located beside family members Chambar and the Dirty Apron. The tables are packed tight together and the atmosphere is cozy. I love that it smells like waffles when you walk in. Smart to put the waffles and waffle maker in the window as who doesn't find waffles attractive?

Happily we were seated with a few minutes of arriving. The host was very friendly and all the waitstaff seemed interested in having us there. I am not a fan of blase service, especially when my lunch is going to cost $20.00...

Cafe Medina offers a selection of in house special drinks to go with their food. I ordered a Lavender Latte.

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Lovely. I really wasn't sure what to expect. It was light and flowery instead of being sugary like flavoured drinks can be. I asked the waiter how it was made and he said that they get flowers from the lavender plant and steep them in water. They then turn that water into a simple syrup and use it for the flavouring. I suppose that I could have figured that out myself, but I like that he made it feel like he was letting us in on a secret recipe.

The girls have all been out for blog lunches with me before so we all ordered different menu items. Meredith went with (from the Lunch menu):

$9 La Soupe du Jour (Tomato Kale soup)
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This soup smelled fantastic. It was chunkier than I expected with fresh ingredients. She said that it was fantastic. Served with some bread in a square bowl that I loved.

Cristina went with what I had originally wanted (shakes fist!):

$15 Les Merguez Flat bread wrapped roasted merguez sausage, baba ganoush, halloumi cheese, grilled eggplant, tabbouleh.
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I am going to try this one for sure. I loved how colourful the plate was. She really enjoyed it. There were quite a few Mediterranean items on the menu for a Belgian restaurant...

Adele, who is the daintiest eater of all of us, ordered:

$14 Les Boulettes Spicy Moroccan lamb and beef meatballs, roasted vegetables. Houmus, raita. Grilled foccacia.

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She really enjoyed the dish. It also smelled really good. I love a good meatball.

I went out on a limb and ordered from the all day breakfast menu:
$16 Fricassé (served all day) 2 fried eggs, braised short ribs, roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, arugula, applewood cheddar. Grilled foccacia.
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This was a scary dish for me as I find runny eggs quite unsettling. I braved it out and mixed the eggs into the dish quickly. (Some of the whites were too runny for me and I pushed them to the side). The braised short ribs were worth pushing my comfort zone. So tender and tasty. I also really liked the addition of the cheddar. A really big breakfast.

A very lovely lunch but I was right about the time crunch, I did end up being a little late. The food was really tasty and our waiter was fantastic, even if he can't run two debit machines at the same time. That party trick almost made my $22.22 lunch into a $222.22 lunch. It was good, but not that good!

It is no wonder there is a line up for this place. I can't wait to go back to the line up for waffles!

Cafe Medina on Urbanspoon

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