Brunch at Briggs Kitchen & Bar
Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome.
As much I love hot brunch spots like OEB and Blue Star Diner, I also love no lineups. That’s why my perennial brunchmate Tiffany and I like to meet at 10 AM (which is when many of these restaurants open for brunch) and whenever we can, places that are a little off the beaten path.
Briggs Kitchen & Bar probably won’t be “off the beaten path” for long – since it opened on 10th Ave earlier this summer, it’s been receiving rave reviews from diners and chefs alike. It’s no wonder – Top Chef Canada alumnus Xavier Lacaze (formerly of Muse and Home Tasting Room) is executive chef here, cooking up simple, classic dishes with a modern, locavore-friendly touch.
Briggs just started offering brunch about a month ago, and we’d hoped to enjoy a lazy Sunday morning on the patio, but it was a little grey and chilly, and I was feeling extra wussy that day. The brunch menu is short – there are only about eight items on the list, and two of them are cocktails. Since Tiffany and I are a little tamer than that, we decided to go for coffee, tea and water instead.
Despite the short menu, it was still tough to decide what we wanted – everything sounded good. Finally we settled on the House-Cured Salmon Tartine (for me) and the Breakfast Potato Gratin (for T.)
I generally envision tartines as tiny open-faced sandwiches on crusty bread, so I was a little overwhelmed when this arrived, but in a good way. The house cured Skuna Bay salmon was perched on top of some dressed greens and capers, loosely sandwiched between two slices of multigrain bread slathered with mayo. There was no way that anyone can elegantly lift the sandwich off the plate, let alone unhinge their jaw and take a bite of it, so I decided to knife-and-fork it.
The tartine was really good. The flavours were well-balanced and the cured salmon was tender and not too salty. I always use going out without B. as an excuse to eat seafood, and I would definitely order this again.
Tiffany declared that she was going “all out” and ordering the potato gratin, expecting a hot, cheesy mess.
It was definitely hot and cheesy, but it looked like there was more kale than potato, which to dietitian me is always a good thing. The potatoes were cooked perfectly and the kale was wilted and soft. Everything was dressed with local, grainy mustard, which added a delicious pop of flavour. Yum.
While the food was delicious, but the service was just a little off. Our server was friendly, but seemed lethargic and a bit awkward. Hungover, maybe? (Tiffany said, “At least she doesn’t smell of booze.”) When we first sat down our server actually said, “You two are up early today…” She was probably just counting down the minutes of her Sunday morning shift.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that everything was $10 for us (and $3 for coffee and tea) as they were doing a introductory promo for August, but the regular prices were still quite reasonable – I believe all items are between $10-15 on the menu. I would definitely go back to Briggs for brunch again or to try their lunch and supper – hopefully our server will be a little more awake
Briggs Kitchen & Bar
100 – 317 10 Ave SW
Calgary AB T2R 0A5
Open daily. Brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM-2 PM.