10522 124 Street NW, Edmonton, AB
Last week, I went to Canteen for Brunch for the first time. My friends, Amanda (from HungryinCalgary.com and Matt, were in town and this is where we opted to go. We also went with our two friends, Jamie and Alyssa! More people = more things to try which is always the best. Canteen is a small restaurant, seating around 50 people. It is also the sister restaurant of the Red Ox Inn. I’ve been to dinner here a couple of times, but I found that it was just okay, so I was hoping that brunch would be a better experience.
Since we were a relatively large group, we got an order of the corn fritters to share. This comes with a side of smokey maple syrup. These were just okay. The fritters themselves were, in my opinion, a bit oily; The dough had absorbed a lot of the frying oil, which suggests that the frying temperature may have been too low. Or at least that’s how I felt about my piece. It was tasty, but a bit too much for me. I couldn’t imagine finishing a whole order of this, or even two people sharing an order of 6-7 fritters. Just way too much.
For our mains, we got a fairly good mix of food, the crispy pork belly, chicken and waffles, braised short ribs, huevos canteenos, and the salmon tartine.
My main was the braised short ribs. It comes with balsamic braised short ribs, potato rossi, butternut apple hash, fried eggs. This was not bad, but I found it to be a bit on the bland side, and lacked a bit of a wow-factor. It had a decent portion, but the flavours of the sides did not go well with the short ribs. Overall, a bit disappointing.
The buttermilk fried chicken comes with a big belgian waffle, and the toppings change frequently. Today’s feature was served korean-style, with a pear kimchi. This was not bad, and again, a very sizeable portion, but I found the waffle itself to be a bit on the soggy side. The chicken was crispy and tasty though.
The crispy pork belly was probably my favourite dish. It comes with the pork belly, fried eggs, polenta, brussels sprouts, and caramelized onions. The pork belly was very tender, and had a nice crunch to it. It went well with the polenta, eggs and overall, this dish was pretty good. The egg was a bit over done, but this was a pretty good dish in comparison to everything else.
The Huevos Canteenos comes with corn tortillas, pulled pork, avocado, poached eggs, herb ricotta, and pico de gallo. Again, everything was okay, and relatively enjoyable. The poached eggs were a bit overdone, and were not very runny. The pulled pork was not too bad, but again, lacked some wow-factor for me.
Lastly, the salmon tartine. This was one of the specials for that day. Portion-wise, this was the smallest of all of our mains. It was not bad but the tartine was described to us as flakey, but it was quite tough and chewey. It was actually very difficult to cut and eat. Everything else in this dish was pretty good though.
Overall, I had an okay time at Canteen. The theme of the brunch was similar the the dinners that I’ve experienced here. In terms of value, I would say that this restaurant actually serves quite generous portions compared to other establishments that I’ve been to and is still a fair price. For food, I’d probably stick with their crispy pork belly, and the chicken and waffles. There are still a few other brunch items that I haven’t tried yet, but out of the ones we got, those two were my favourite. Not my favourite brunch place, and like I said in my dinner post, I’d probably only go back if my friends wanted to go, but there are better brunch options out there, in my opinion.