Patio brunch beckons in summer's last days

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      It may well be the most civilized meal of the week. The hour of service affords the chance to sleep late, the menu offerings always include light fare as well as something more substantial (often both sweet and savoury), and the weekend time slot promotes dining at a slower pace. This makes it especially popular for get-togethers with family and friends who wouldn't otherwise have time during the week.

      Brunch does indeed have a lot going for it.

      When the weather's warm, it seems like a waste to eat indoors; fortunately, some of Vancouver's most popular brunch spots also offer alfresco service to soak up those last rays of summer. Reservations are recommended, especially if you insist on having a seat with a view. Here are a few brunch places to consider.

      The bounty of the local food scene inspired the Milk & Honey brunch at Yaletown stalwart Glowbal Grill & Satay Bar

      it's easy to imagine you're taking brunch at a sidewalk bistro in the south of France. Weather permitting, a patio seat is an absolute must for the brunch crowd here. “If you don't come before 11 a.m. or after 1:30 p.m., you'll be out of luck,” warns general manager Lisa Baldwin.

      While the view is enticing, the food is the big draw. Chefs Alessandra and Jean-Francis Quaglia translate eggs Benedict into unexpected creations by substituting crab and shrimp cakes in place of the usual English muffin ($18). At $13, the smoked salmon version on corn pancakes is equally popular. Sweet or savoury crepes ($12 to $15.50), the logical flapjack option for a French restaurant, are faves of the younger set, as is the baguette-based French toast ($11).

      Given the vast array of offerings, it's little wonder that brunch alfresco is a favourite midday dining option.