It’s just so pretty.
For many of us, brunch is often a casual affair. We roll in, maybe a little late after being out too late the night before, still sweating out the beer. We maybe don’t feel or look our best. But brunch is also about indulgence–it’s about eating bacon, drinking mimosas, things we wouldn’t do on a day that wasn’t the weekend.
Glowbal‘s new space, recently opened just last year in the new Telus Garden building on Georgia, is indulgent, but with a casual, laid-back vibe.
The space is gorgeous. It’s beautifully designed, with soaring ceilings and a mezzanine that allows you to people-watch while you eat your eggs. The walls are warm wood, with a coppery, textured treatment that reflects back the warmth of the fireplaces.
Chairs are big and masculine and leather, in dark contrast to the crisp white tablecloths. It’s elegant and upscale.
In the summer, the patio is one of the nicest in the city, with its birdcage tables, and seating for 125.
Service is anything but snobby, however. Our server was a lovely Aussie, and we were there early before the place filled up. While she did give us a lot of personal attention, I saw her do the same to the other tables, including one regular who came in every week, and got a very warm reception. You gotta love that.
You also have to love the complimentary, piping hot, light-as-a-cloud mini donuts that get delivered to your table when you sit down. They keep coming, too. It really is worth it to go here for brunch, for the mini donuts alone.
Chef Pedro Gonzalez runs the open kitchen. He’s a recent “poach” from Vegas, and you’ll find his menu to be diverse and a little different. Different is good.
But first, let’s talk brunch bevvies. Everyone loves a mimosa, and here, they’re done with a bit of theatre–tableside. There’s also a couple of different caesars to choose from, one made, interestingly, with gin.
Now, when it comes to the menu, you can go in a more lunch-y direction with pastas and salads. We chose not go to go in that direction, with the exception of ordering the brunch burger. Now, it’s a regular burger, but when you put an egg on it, it becomes a brunch burger, right? This one also comes with sauteed onions and jack cheese. It’s a big, two-handed mess, just what you need to absorb the booze from last night’s over indulgence.
We wanted to get a sense of the more breakfast-y options on the brunch menu, so we ordered a couple of the bennys to try. The Smoked Salmon Rosti is a benny served atop a hash brown. These things: eggs, latkes, and smoked salmon, all work really well together, although I would have liked for the potatoes to be a little crispier on this occasion. The Crispy Pancetta Benny is served, more traditionally, on an english muffin, but instead of bacon or ham, uses a circle of crispy fried pancetta. It’s topped with super light and fluffy scrambled eggs, and then a dollop of hollandaise. This shows Chef Pedro’s bias–he says he sometimes likes his bennys with scrambled instead of poached, and you really can’t complain when the eggs are cooked so perfectly. Finally, and this one was my favourite, was the Avocado Benny. Avocado toast is all the rage these days, and this one is made with a thick layer of guacamole. The sharpness of the lemon juice played really well against the creaminess of the avocado. It was a mouth party.
Other brunch options include the incredibly indulgent Lobster Omelet or a Truffled Brie Omelet, or straight-up bacon-and-eggs (done the Glowbal way, of course). I was highly tempted by the Duck Confit Poutine that comes with a sunny-side egg on top, but decided to come back for that one later.
I was very intrigued by the Spanish Tortilla. I’m a big fan of Tortillas, which are not, and have nothing to do with the flat bread that you’re served a taco in in Mexican cuisine. A Spanish tortilla consists of thinly-sliced potatoes, cooked in olive oil, often with some nice chorizo sausage. Then eggs are poured overtop, and the whole thing is cooked together. It’s similar to a fritatta, and can be eaten hot or cold. This one is made with manchego cheese, and comes with a big slice of crispy fried pancetta on top, and a hunk of garlic cheese bread (which I could have done without). At first, when I tasted it, I thought it might have been underseasoned, but when you took a bite with a bit of the cheese, a bit of the eggs, a bit of the potato and a bit of the meat, it was perfectly salty. And again, the eggs were heavenly fluffy.
Finally, to wrap up our feast with something sweet, we tried the Brioche French Toast. This was my favourite dish. It was beautiful, and had a wonderful play of flavours and textures. Ours featured roasted apples, and a caramel maple syrup. It also had a cool chantilly cream, and then crunchy bits of honeycomb candy. This dish was a knockout all around.
Glowbal would be a great place to to take your parents for brunch when they are in town. But don’t let its elegance fool you into not checking it out yourself with your friends. Yes, it’s probably more upscale than the brunch places you normally go to, but it’s also very laid-back and come-as-you-are. Plus, did we mention the donuts?
590 W Georgia
Open for brunch from 11 am