I really love my neighbourhood. It’s all about walkability in the West End; many people who live here don’t have cars, and don’t feel need to own one. Everything you need is within a relatively short walking distance–the seawall, Stanley Park, the Farmer’s Market, awesome shopping and restaurants.
Preston’s in the Coast Hotel on Pender is one of those places I’d walked past a thousand times, but hadn’t really tried until a few months ago.
Preston’s is attached to the Coast Hotel, so there is a certain clientele that you’ll often see there: primarily tourists and business folks. But for us locals, they also have a great Happy Hour, and I love how the huge booths give a sense of privacy.
The room is beautifully appointed, it’s clearly been designed to incorporate sleek, modern design elements along with warmer ones. There are two seating areas, one on the main floor, and another just a few steps up. Both feature huge, semi-circular booths, which, if you can nab, are the way to go.
The fare here is West Coast-inspired. There’s lots of fresh and seasonal ingredients, but there is definitely an upscale flare to Chef Justin’s creations.
One of my favorite things to eat here are the avocado fritters, light and crispy, deep-fried, and served with a bacon mayo. Are they breakfast? Probably not, but they are tasty any time of the day.
The brunch menu here runs the gamut of traditional breakfast fare to set you up for your day. There’s lots that familiar. You can DIY your own Benny or Omelette, and the list of options to have with/in them is immense, including house-smoked pork belly. The standard breakfast here is called The Coast 2 Coast, and it reads a bit like a proper English fry-up: 2 free-range eggs, bacon, beans, smashed potatoes, toast and your choice of meats, including a few different (and interesting) types of sausage, or honey ham.
For those with a sweet tooth, options include a brioche french toast or buttermilk pancakes served with blueberries and a white chocolate sauce.
There are healthier options, too: granola, oatmeal, even smoothies.
My brunch companion and I went for the more non-traditional breakfast options. He opted for the Southern-Inspired Biscuit Waffle: a waffle smothered in white country gravy (with sausage), and then topped with a couple of sunny eggs. I didn’t taste it, but it went down in a hurry, and was enthusiastically praised.
I went for the Avocado Toast. This is a gussied-up version of the original: sourdough toast topped with avocado, a sauteed mushroom/chard mixture, and goats cheese. You can add eggs if you like; I liked. The egg was beautifully poached, exactly right, and the chard and the chevre added a nice sharp acidity to the dish that was refreshing and bright.
The dish comes with a side salad, and this one is not your generic mixed greens. It’s kale, with red pepper slices and mandarin segments, tossed in an orangey vinaigrette. Very tasty.
Preston’s also is one of the few places in town that offers a breakfast buffet. For $28, it’s quite a spread, including fresh pastries, fruit and hot items as well.
The prices are a bit higher here, as the food tends to be a bit more upscale, and their main clientele is tourists and business people. But if you’re looking for a private little getaway in the middle of your day… this is the place to go.
1177 Pender St
Open daily from 6:30 am, Weekends from 7 am