The Brunch Files: Coastal Cafe
I’m taking a break from my hamburger pursuit for a while, and focusing on all those other culinary delights I’ve been neglecting. Brunch pretends to be wild and unpredictable, but mainly it is just breakfast for hungover people who sleep in. Brunch is more likely to be fancy and handsome, garnished with fashionable pieces of fruit and accompanied by champagne. Breakfast is more basic, in his lumberjack shirt, stained with meaty grease stains and mediocre coffee. Personally, I’m not as much of a bacon ‘n’ egg kinda girl as I am an eggs benny girl, so brunch is my preference.
If you don’t think my definition of breakfast vs. brunch is accurate, watch this video.
To my knowledge, Halifax has always been a cheap university-style breakfast city centred around Greek diners such as the late Spartan. But I’ve acquired a taste for upscale brunch and I know just where to get it! The Coastal Cafe sits unassumingly on Robie St., and you would never know it was a chef inspired haven of innovative breakfast-like concoctions. Their menu is designated as “Breakfast” and “Not Breakfast”, but it’s all brunch to me, even though you can only get “breakfast” on the weekends which seems counter-intuitive. Besides, THIS is not breakfast: 2 Fried Eggs on Fancy Mushroom and Gruyere Sourdough Croque, Butternut Compote, Truffled Dijon Sauce, and Toasted Walnuts. THAT is brunch.
Anyways, I was encouraged to try the Huevo Rancheros ($9.50), a traditional Mexican breakfast of fried eggs and corn tortillas with some fixings.
The Coastal Cafe uses tostadas instead of tortillas, which are similar in consistency to Old El Paso taco shells, but which soften as they absorb some of the moisture from the melted cheese, refried beans, salsa, guacamole, and runny egg yolksmmmmm.
You can also add mole duck for an additional $3.50 – yes please!
This is one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in a long time. The flavours and textures worked together perfectly, and I found myself feeling a little more optimistic about the day of school work and chores that lay ahead.
I was also tempted by the Breakfast Burrito of Scrambled Eggs Mexi Veg and Cheese, Mole Braised Duck, Salsa Verde, Refritos and Crushed Corn Tortillas ($14), and by the Omelette w/ Dill and Dubliner Cheese, Smoked Salmon New Potato Colcannon ($12.25), which is pictured below:
I had a bite, and it was oozing with delicious cheese, though my friend complained that it was mainly lacking in the cheese department. At least the eggs were cooked perfectly. I really enjoyed the dill, and I’m inspired to start using fresh dill in my own omelettes. I also enjoyed the smoked salmon mashed potato ball, or colcannon, which is traditionally an Irish dish of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage. Here it is fancied up, as the Coastal Cafe takes traditional ideas and reinvents them to delight your eyes and palate.
They also serve Laughing Whale coffee, roasted in Lunenburg, for $2 a cup. There isn’t much seating, so prepare to be patient. They are open 8am-3pm daily, (10am-3pm on Sundays). Lunch is served weekdays after 11am, and weekends are limited to a brunch disguised as a breakfast. Enjoy.
The Coastal Cafe
2731 Robie Street