Brunch for Seven at Pier 7
They say that friends are the family that we choose and although I am fortunate to have a wonderful family, we don’t all live in the same city, so brunching with them can be a challenge. Luckily, I have no shortage of brunch-loving buddies with whom to break bread. Or bagels.
One of my favourite people to share a meal with is my BFF, Effin Jay. Over the 20 years of our friendship, we have shared literally hundreds of meals: we have celebrated milestones with decadent dinners and champagne, shed tears of sadness and loss over sushi, and mainlined mimosa during stressful-but-happy brunches with our boys. Between us single mamas we have 5 boys under the age of 15; 5 devilishly handsome and unique tweens and teens that try our patience, fill us with joy and break our hearts as they grow into manhood.
We recently had the opportunity to try the brunch fare at the picture perfect PIER 7 restaurant + bar in North Vancouver. Located in the trendy waterfront neighbourhood of Lower Lonsdale, PIER 7 is built on the boardwalk of the historic Victory Shipyards. Although PIER 7 boasts an incredible patio, we requested an indoor table on this slightly overcast day. Our party of 7 was seated at a table that showcased the incredible view of Vancouver, from the Port to Stanley Park.
Effin Jay & I started with a Caesar and a glass of the Stellar Jay Brut, respectively, and the boys with juice or soft drinks. Our server was young but friendly and knowledgeable and seemed to sense that we needed to get our hungry boys fed quickly before chaos ensued. The menu offers traditional brunch fare as well as shared plates, lunch items and boat-to-table seafood; a nice touch if you’re not feeling like eggs.
Although the Two Eggs Your Way with hash browns, bacon and grilled tomato was the hands down favourite at our table, we did encourage the boys to try something new. A couple of our boys complied and one tried Eggs Benedict for the first time (hollandaise on the side). His eggs were perfectly poached and the Canadian bacon was grilled and not greasy. He wasn’t a fan of hollandaise but I can assure you that it was through no fault of the kitchen’s; it was creamy, lemony and buttery. I ordered the Egg White Frittata with fresh vegetables and arugula + frisee salad and split a beet salad with Effin Jay, who ordered the Pulled Pork Hash. The frittata was well presented but a little dry (the side of hollandaise came in handy) but Effin Jay’s hash was decadent and delicious. I had Brunch Envy, but luckily she shared. The beet salad was also fantastic, with fresh pear, buckwheat and goat cheese.
Another stand-out brunch item were the Belgian Waffles with fruit compote, maple syrup & Chantilly cream. I had to bribe them for a bite but it was worth it – crispy on the outside, moist and hot on the inside – the waffles were perforated perfection. The compote was sweet and delicious and the clotted cream was infinitely superior to the usual whipped cream served with waffles. The lone wolf of our brunch bunch ordered the chicken sandwich, which was a Vietnamese-style Banh Mi with cilantro and garlic marinated vegetables and grilled chicken breast on a toasted baguette. Generous in portion and exotic in taste, it rounded out our meal perfectly and gave a nice zing to our tastebuds.
As the boys had activities to get to, ours was not a leisurely brunch of bottomless coffee and conversation. We paid the bill and chatted with our server about the restaurant’s other offerings, including a private room and patio upstairs. She also mentioned their Happy Hour, a favourite of commuters returning to the North Shore on the Seabus. We walked out into the Square where a Green Party rally was taking place and then over to funky local store Unity Clothing in the bottom of The Pinnacle Hotel. The boys may have protested, but Effin Jay and I both know that they perfect way to cap off a delicious brunch is with a little shopping.
25 Wallace Mews
North Vancouver, BC
Monday–Friday 11:30a.m. til late
Saturday & Sunday 10:30 a.m. til late
A publicist and blogger, Pamela Smith lives in West Vancouver with her dog, Dug, and her two sons (whom she is co-parenting with the world’s greatest ex-husband). You can find her on twitter at @DivorceDoula604.