A Geek and a Nerd Walk Into a Bar…..
Pssst…Wanna hear a secret?…I am a bit of a geek.
Zombies, old school video games and sci-fi movies? Totally my jam!
With that said, you can imagine my excitement when the brunch-blog-boss gave me the thumbs up t0 head over and check out the scene at the new Storm Crow Alehouse on West Broadway.
Despite having rolled for many-a-shot at the Storm Crow’s original Commercial Drive location over the years, I surprisingly have never made it there for anything earlier than a late lunch. So, with its sister location setting up shop on my side of town, I was stoked to see what this much anticipated (and reportedly more refined) Storm Crow family sibling was conjuring up for my favourite meal of the day!
And even better? The brunch-blog-boss (a card-carrying nerd herself) decided to come with!
At the end of last year I quickly became aware that rumour was becoming reality when the Academic Public House closed and hints started appearing on social media that the Storm Crow was setting up shop on the West side.
When I entered the newly renovated space it was immediately apparent that the dramatic demolition pics offered up as teasers during that time were definitely not hyperbole. The old Academic space has basically been gutted, and in its place is a venue so shiny, slick, and perfectly curated that those familiar with the darker (and slightly more dingy) vibe of the original Storm Crow may be slightly taken aback.
Based on a recommendation I had made a reservation, but really there was no need. When we walked in at 10:30 am on a Saturday there were a few brunchers already setting the scene, but we had our choice of tables. The “big-table” can be reserved and is perfect for mid-morning D & D games or large group events.
The brunch menu itself is a stand-alone sheet, and while the selection is small, the brunch-blog-boss and I had a difficult time deciding what to tuck into. Admittedly, we were a bit distracted by the regular, full- service menu which in itself is a work of art. Filled with cleverly named alcohol laden offerings (a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster anyone?) and instructions on how to roll for the “most randomly generated burger of all time”, the illustration work on the Alehouse’s menu is extraordinary.
While our hearts desperately wanted to order the Benedicts Cumberbatch (swoon), we eventually decided to share a Crow Classic Breakfast and an order of the Stuffed Banana Bread French Toast.
The Crow Classic Breakfast is everything you would expect from a basic breakfast plate, only, well, better! I am not sure if it was because we were flanked by Han Solo frozen in carbonite, a pillar wrapped in an intoxicatingly glorious image of Tank Girl, and televisions playing an endless loop of enchanting anime adventures, but damn! Those scrambled eggs tasted good!
And the breakfast potatoes? Soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, and coated with a zesty mix of seasonings so delish that the brunch-blog-boss was intent on pinpointing just what the heck was making them taste so divine.
But wait…there’s more! As our side we chose the one piece of Spolumbos Sausage and I cannot impress upon you just how perfect that decision was. As foodies who both quite happily choose meatless dishes on a regular basis both my companion and I gave thanks for our carnivore tendencies after just one small bite of that sausage. Spicy, yet not overpowering, the locally made chorizo was a perfect complement to the not-so-basic scrambled eggs and potatoes.
The Banana Bread French Toast was the stuff that dreams are made of. Thick, chocolate drizzled, egg- dipped dreams, all held together by a generous layer of Nutella cream cheese.
The banana bread base had that unmistakable home-made flavour which I feel was necessary for this dish. Without it, the decadent combination of toppings may have put this it over the top as a main for most folks.
Served with a side of thick, perfectly prepared bacon and some seasonal fruit, this generous serving was perfect for sharing (even though you may not want to).
While we were too busy enjoying our meal to dive into the Alehouse’s huge collection of table top games, we did take some time to look around and take in the carefully curated collection of nerd, geek, fantasy, and sci-fi memorabilia that makes the Storm Crow family of venues so unique.
As a regular of the Commercial Drive location I immediately detected that the décor of the new Alehouse is a bit more curated and contrived than the original Tavern. I suspect that this location may be geared toward expanding their customer base beyond their original niche demographic, which is probably a smart move.
Will I go back to the Alehouse for brunch? Most definitely! The food was delicious, the service fantastic, and the gorgeous collection of memorabilia and niche-market art is enough for me to recommend the Alehouse to anyone who digs the venue’s target genres and good food.
In the end though, I do I feel I must admit something. While the refined younger sister may be the perfect hostess for the nerds-who-brunch-set, when it comes time to slip on my Converse and roll for some shots during a raucous round of Cards Against Humanity, the more authentic older sibling with her address on the Drive and a 20-sided die in her pocket will most likely be the girl for me.
1619 West Broadway, Vancouver
Brunch hours: Saturday and Sundays from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Nicole Westcott is a Vancouver dwelling, Fluevog wearing, happiness advocate. When not brunching or blogging she can be found frequenting wine tastings, diligently engaged in her quest to find the world’s best grilled cheese sandwich, or whipping around the Vancouver Seawall on her beloved bicycle, “Elwood”.