I think many people consider brunch to be a “big city” kind of activity. The idea is, you’ve been out clubbing late the night before, and you wake up middday on the weekend, needing a big, lazy breakfast full of carbs, fat, and booze. It’s a trifecta of awesomeness.
But brunch is a great family activity, too. There’s less pressure to create a perfect meal than at dinner, and kids always, always, always like waffles.
We recently ventured out of the big city to suburbs for brunch, and hey–whaddya know? They do a really great job, too.
I’d heard about Big Feast from Maple Ridge friends who regularly frequent it, so I decided it was time to find out for myself.
One of the things that I loved the most about Big Feast is the family feel you get when you go there. Family-owned, and with deep roots in the Maple Ridge community, Big Feast aims to source ingredients as locally as possible. It’s quite close to the Haney Farmer’s Market, and it’s not rare to see Chef and owner Mike Mulcahy shopping there.
It’s not a huge space, and it feels a bit unfinished and cobbled together. Kind of like your living room. There are toys in the corner, and communal tables. They are in the middle of doing some renos. There’s a coffee counter and a fridge where you can get items to go.
But the real appeal of Big Feast is the food. It’s fresh, it’s delicious, it’s not complicated. There’s a variety of dishes from different countries, and you can get breakfast, sweet or savory entrees, as your palate pleases. They all have whimsical names, like What’s the Story, Morning Glory, and What did you do with my Tofu? and Tree Hugger.
The sprout ordered the Grown up Grilled Cheese, seeing as he’s eating more like an adult these days. It was a glorious grilled cheese, with double cream brie from golden ears cheesecrafters, aged reggiano, mozzarella and sharp cheddar on thick-cut, organic sourdough. It comes with your choice of sides, my bacon-loving child went for the broccoli and bacon salad.
I could not resist ordering Lennon’s French Toast, a menu item that has been there since Day 1, and Mike can’t take off because the residents of Maple Ridge will riot. There’s a good reason for that: you get two slices of organic sourdough bread, dipped in egg then crusted with corn flakes. This creates a lovely crunchy texture to your french toast. The flavour is then kicked up another notch, topped with sautéed bananas, apples, house-made caramel and vanilla whip cream. Oh, yeah!
On the more savoury side, one of our party ordered the Morrocan-inspired Lamb Sausage Hash: merguez-style lamb sausage, roasted carrots, quinoa, caramelized onions and sweet potatoes, topped with two poached eggs, house-made feta hollandaise and popped chickpeas. Brilliant, right?
Finally, one of our party, more in the mood for lunch than breakfast (we don’t judge at Brunchcouver), ordered the Pulled Pork Sandwich (you can also get the same pulled pork in a more breakfast-like hash with eggs, as well): slow roasted Gelderman’s pork butt, with a house-made apple chutney and a mound of napa cabbage slaw.
Here’s the thing: sometimes it’s good to get out of your brunch rut. Shake it up a little. From great risk comes great reward and all that.
Big Feast is worth the drive. You won’t regret it.
11920 227th Street
Maple Ridge, BC
Monday – Thursday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Friday + Saturday: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday + Holidays: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm