Nearly three months after opening in Yaletown, Homer St. Cafe (898 Homer Street) is set to launch a weekend brunch menu on Sunday (October 6). For a restaurant that specializes in rotisserie chicken, you may be wondering what fragment of fowl would be served before noon. Surprisingly, during brunch service—which runs from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays—there’s hardly a feathered friend on the menu. Where there is chicken, however, might surprise you.
At a recent media preview, I had the opportunity to sample several brunch menu items. Main dishes are priced between $10 and $14, while side plates are $4 to $6. A few of the menu items are borrowed from Homer St. Cafe's lunch. The pork and hazelnut terrine, topped with an assortment of pickled vegetables, and served with house-made apple mustard and toasted cranberry-nut bread is good for sharing; so is the chicken and radicchio salad (but really, who wants a salad when out for brunch?).
No, brunch is meant to be indulgent and hangover-curing, and to that degree, I’d recommend the fried oysters (three large Fanny Bays) over a bed of frisée, slices of pickled cucumber, and mustard aioli. Also for diners not counting calories is the fried Nutella and banana Monte Cristo sandwich.
In terms of classic brunch dishes, Homer St. Cafe offers a hearty eggs Benedict, topped with bacon, roasted tomato, and hollandaise sauce. There is also an omelet folded with Gruyère cheese and kale for a lighter option.
By far the most interesting menu items come from the restaurant’s shiny red rotisserie. A choice of pork sausage or pork belly comes with eggs, roast potatoes, and bread. I tried the pork belly, and while it could use a little more fat, its crackling was perfect. Another fun menu option: the maple chicken cobbler. Part-chicken pot pie, part-sweet pastry cobbler, this original dish was tasty and hearty—topped with a poached egg—and a good choice for diners hoping to taste the restaurant’s signature item.
Speaking of chicken, I least expected to find it in my drink, but bar manager JS Dupuis’ playful take on a “chicken Caesar” surprisingly worked. Not to worry, there aren’t actual pieces of chicken in the cocktail—the spirit’s simply been infused with its flavour. Brunch cocktails, which are $10 to $14, include a classic mimosa and a beer-gin-grapefruit mix called the Port of Mumbai.