The Best Brunch in Whistler
Whistler is not known as a brunch town.
Following a new snowfall, locals and visitors alike spend their brunching hours on the mountains to catch fresh powder in the morning. A quick utilitarian lunch mid-mountain and then apes ski at Dusty’s or the GLC once the lifts are closed for the day.
Sadly the 2014-15 season didn’t yield much snowfall and warmer-than-usual temperatures left many wondering if spending both weekend days on the mountains was worth the time, cost and effort. Enter Plan B.
My youngest son was already registered for ski school for the season and had no choice but to hit the slippery slopes each Sunday. As a single parent, his preoccupation gave me the opportunity to spend quality one-on-one time with his tween-age brother who had graduated ski school the previous year.
Earlier in the season when there was actually snow at lower elevations, we would hit Callaghan Park for a few hours of cross country skiing then go for brunch or a swim afterwards. One of our favourite brunch spots in Whistler is The Wild Wood Pacific Bistro. With two locations, this no-frills-big-fills bistro is run by locals, for locals and is consistently voted Best Brunch by readers of the local newspaper, The Pique.
Of the two locations, our favourite location is in industrial neighbourhood Function Junction. Before brunch we usually take a quick tour of the REUSE IT Shop where both treasure and trash can be found in equal parts. Farther into Function Junction, at the end of an unassuming cul-de-sac, The Wild Wood offers an unpretentious, laid back and friendly atmosphere for brunch. On our most recent visit, Thing 1 and I decided to step out of our comfort zones and try a few new dishes.
I usually keep things clean for brunch and order poached eggs on multigrain toast with baked tomato and fresh fruit. but today I was egged on by my son to order the Sampler Benedict. The Wild Wood offers 10 (that’s not a typo) different types of Benedicts with a number of vegetarian options. I decided on the Classic, the Natural and the West Coast Benny Sampler and Thing 1 went for a full order of pancakes, double bacon and a slice of French Toast Banana Bread.
After ordering at the counter and getting our drinks – green tea for me, O.J. for the tween – we grabbed a recently vacated table near the window and perused The Pique. Our food was delivered in a timely manner and we tucked in. Each Benny was served on a toasted English Muffin with a generous helping of Hollandaise on top. Of the three, the Classic with Black Forest ham was my favourite. I found The Natural with a fresh slice of tomato and a very large scoop of guacamole jarringly chilled against the toasted bun and warm egg. The Salmon Benny was well presented with a heaping of smoked salmon but it also left me cold. The Benedict Sampler came with pan fried potatoes from nearby Pemberton Valley. I had a few bites but was sufficiently satiated by my Benny Sampler so the tween was left to happily devour the remainder of my salty spuds in addition to his own brunch and my leftover Benny Sampler. I think he grew three inches in height that day.
But back to brunch…The tween’s pancakes were large and fluffy and the bacon was smoky, crispy and plentiful. Despite such deliciousness, his favourite dish was the French Toast Banana Bread. Freshly baked banana bread dipped in egg and grilled to golden, I coaxed a bite out of him and it was so good that we ordered a second slice.
Service is laid back and friendly and the crowd at The Wild Wood is as unpretentious and authentic as the food. After brunch, you can linger at The Wild Wood with a bottomless cup of coffee, take your happy tummy to the healing pools at the Scandinavia Spa or go for a leisurely hike before heading home. Even in an off year, Whistler has more to offer than just skiing.
#3 4154 Village Green
Open daily for brunch, 7 am to 3 pm.
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.