When it comes to brunch, Gastown is lousy with choices, most of which I’m pretty familiar with. Which is why I was surprised that I’d never been to Clough Club before.
It’s one of Gastown’s smaller, and more hidden restaurants, perhaps a bit overshadowed by its next-door neighbor, the much larger Lamplighter.
This gal loves history and vintage, and I immediately fell in love with the space. The Dominion Hotel was build in 1899, and much has been done here to preserve that sense of history. The ceilings are high, and original beaten tin, and there are vintage touches everywhere you look, from the floors to the paneling to the marble bar. There is deep, buttery leather and swish red velvet.
Clough Club also has a hidden past; there’s a back bar, tucked away in the back, complete with a secret passageway to… ?? who knows where. Perhaps some illicit underground rum-running took place here during prohibition.
The menu has dual personalities. The first is tres, tres Francais, and the other is quite North American.
There is a variety of crepes here, to satisfy your French tooth, both sweet and savory. The Brisket Crepe comes with caramelized onions, kale, and cheese, whereas the fried chicken crepe comes with onions, spinach, and bourbon maple syrup. Both are topped with a sunny-side-up egg, which melts into crepe and forms the most glorious, rich sauce.
On the sweet side, you’ve got your choice of cannoli (with a hit of cannoli stuffing and ricotta) and the Banana-Nutella, which was my absolute fave.
On the more local menu, hangover cures abound. There are breakfast burgers (messy, delicious, knife-and-fork affairs), breakfast hot dogs (made with kosher Coney Island Hot wieners) and fried chicken with waffles. There’s also an eggs benny.
Brunch entrees come with a side of tater tots, and special mention must be made of said tots. We talk a lot about potatoes on this blog. Yeah, we realize the humble potato is not a big deal, most of the time. But for us, for brunch, the potato is a major thing. It may not seem like much, but when it’s done well, it really can turn a supporting role into a starring one.
The tater tots here are pure carby happiness. Crispy and hot on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside, they are equal parts yummy and nostalgic. I would have been happy with just a mound of those for brunch, alone.
There’s one “healthy” option; The Breakfast Bowl. There are berries, yogurt, granola. We didn’t order that.
Coffee comes in an individual french press, but if you’re eating a burger for breakfast, you might as well have a beer, don’t you think? You can choose from mimosas, Caesars or a grapefruit radler.
For the summer months, Clough Club has a very cute patio on the street. It’s semi-private due to some carefully-placed shrubbery. On sunny Sunday morning, it’s quite pleasant and quiet.
Oh! And one last thing; if you want to be one of the cool kids, pronounce it “Clue” not “Cluff.”
212 Abbot St
Open for brunch on the weekends from 11 am