Nelson the Seagull. I love this restaurant name. Something about having a proper name in there makes me think there is some kind of back-story. Was Nelson a pet bird of the family that saved their Grandmother's life and therefore deserves eternal fame and glory? I tried to get more information from their website, but it is in desperate need of an update. The best background I could find was from a Scout Magazine article from early summer. So, not as dramatic as my idea, but still pretty cool.
Initial impression: if you are a hipster and you need a really tasty sandwich or a place to hang out, drink coffee and ponder your next art installation- Nelson the Seagull is for you.
Cool J from Lez Renovate was my date for this lunch adventure. We rode our bikes down to the restaurant as it is deep in the heart of Gastown. For all the old school rockers in town, you will remember this location as the Brickyard. It was a fun realization for Cool J and I as we had another memorable outing in this location many moons ago.
The space is large with an open concept. The tables look into the prep area where you can watch the kitchen staff bake bread and make your meal. There are some tables and arm chairs near the front of the restaurant to take advantage of the large sunny windows that run along the front. The back has a couple of communal tables. With the amount of laptops going on, I assume they have some sort of wi-fi set up as well. The decoration scheme is all white walls and wooden tables. I like it a lot.
The breakfast menu runs from 7-12 and then the lunch from 12-closing. We arrived at about 11:45 and I was happy that they let us order from the lunch menu. The menu is a chalkboard on the wall and there was a large selection of pastries on the counter.
I was a little surprised as the amount of items that were "sold out" for such a small menu, but we were there pretty early in the day, I guess. Cool J and I both decided to go with the Carnivore Sandwich $9.00. We were told the sandwich came with a side salad.
Everything on the plate was incredibly fresh. The bread was soft and crusty and I think they got the pesto/meat combination correct. The "salad" was tasty but here is where I get really nit-picky. What do you define salad as? How many ingredients do you have to have in spinach before you call it salad? I would call this a side of "spinach with a slice of strawberry on top". It was really well dressed and tasted lovely, but a bit of a stretch to call it salad. This is totally my hang-up though, I am certain other people will have no issues with this. No complaints about the taste of everything, we agreed it was a really good lunch.
We both decided to go with a lemon tart for dessert. Not the most diverse lunch for blogging, but it was the option that appealed to us both the most.
The filling was a bit on the runny side but the pastry was fantastic. A nice amount of sugar without being overly sweet. I really want to go back and eat more of their pastries. They all looked amazing.
Nelson the Seagull was not a cheap lunch, but it was tasty and I loved the atmosphere. I felt cool while I was there. Could have been the company I kept. I want to order a picnic board on a warm late September day to linger in the sun and think about art.