Wildernest Dream Café
Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome.
Remember when just over a year ago I went to Jacqueline Suzanne’s in Inglewood for brunch? Tiffany and I had just waltzed right in at our usual time of 10 AM and we had the place all to ourselves. B. and I have tried to go for brunch recently and were twice (!) turned away because they’d been booked solid, with no availability until after 1 PM. Good for them – Jacqueline Suzanne’s did put out a Groupon earlier in the year that has proven to be quite popular – but not so good for us. The first time we had called ahead, but the second time we had gone down in person, so it meant wandering around Inglewood trying to find a place to eat.
Located just down the block, the house that is home to Wildernest Dream Café sticks out amongst the brownstone buildings along 9 Ave. It seemed like many people were coming in and out, so we decided to give it a try.
I’d been to Wildernest’s previous incarnation – Buffalo Café – before. Wildernest painted the house a bright salmon orange, but has retained much of the layout and original architecture, giving it a cozy, homey vibe (save for the counter and industrial kitchen!) We were off in a room towards the back, so I was worried that we would be forgotten, but the service was friendly and attentive.
Despite being a small café, the menu offered quite a bit of variety – for breakfast/brunch there were the traditional egg breakfasts, Eggs Benedicts, French toast, pancakes, yogurt & granola and breakfast paninis and wraps. There were many different sandwich and soup choices for lunch as well.
B. just went for the traditional Café Breakfast with eggs over-easy, hash browns and toast.
We were both quite impressed by the hash browns, which were studded with carrots and tomato – very umami (it almost tasted like they were flavoured with soy sauce) with a hint of spice. They are not the crispy type of hashbrowns, but definitely very hearty. They were a bit too salty for my taste, which was fine because it helped to stop me eating off of B.’s plate! The rest of B.’s brunch was good – he really liked the jam for the toast.
I had the Vegetarian Eggs Benedict, which were served on potato pancakes instead of English muffins, with a side of fruit.
The eggs were poached nicely – not too runny, not hard – and the Hollandaise sauce was buttery. I was less impressed by the potato pancakes though; they didn’t seem homemade and were hard and gritty. I would trade some nice, fluffy toasted English muffins for these any day. I loved the variety of fruit that came with my meal – melons, pineapples, kiwi, strawberries and orange. I greedily ate all the good stuff before remembering that I should probably share some with B. Oops.
What I was most impressed with was that both of our breakfasts came with a little spoonful of yogurt and granola topped with a few berries and a sprinkling of parsley. I was debating whether to get the yogurt and granola or fruit as the side for my meal, and was pleasantly surprised that in a way I got a bit of both.
Not too sure what was up with the parsley though.
All in all, it was a very pleasant brunch, though I must admit I wasn’t blown away. There was lots to choose from though, so maybe I’ll be back to check out some of the other items on the menu.
Wildernest Dream Café
1309 9 Ave SE
Calgary AB T2G 0T3