Vendome Cafe is an old cafe with a new design, now located in the heart of Sunnyside (close by to the Sunnyside C-train station). They recently opened their doors last month after finishing renovations. It is a quaint corner cafe which as described by one of the employees is “a hybrid between a coffee shop and a restaurant” which is perfect as I was looking for a place where I could get some work done while enjoying some food and a tea. As a guest, you order and pay for your meal at the counter and then find a table yourself and the servers bring your food to the table when it is ready.
Vendome does get busy around lunch time as they serve their breakfast until 3pm however, there is still plenty of seating, especially when the patio is open on those nice summer days. It does quiet down around 3pm but even during busy times, it is not very noisy in the cafe.
The staff at Vendome are very polite. I had called ahead to find out if they have gluten-free menu items (since their website is still under construction) and one of the staff kindly mentioned that they can make gluten-free substitutions for some things. The service was very efficient, considering that I went at a peak period (around 2pm); I received my meal in about 20 minutes. My server took the time to speak with me and assured me that they do not deep fry any of their menu items, so there is not a concern of any gluten cross-contamination that can occur through deep-frying.
They serve sandwiches and salads for lunch but if you go before 3pm, you have the option of selecting something delicious from their breakfast menu. While at first it may seem that they do not have very many gluten-free options aside from their salads and gluten-free macarons, I was ecstatic to find out that their Eggs Benedict can all be made gluten-free by substituting the english muffin for either potato hash (baked potato wedges), tomatoes, or avocado! They also can make the soups of the day gluten-free if they are not already. Since I moved to Calgary only a few months ago, I haven’t had a good “Eggs Benny” yet so without a doubt, this is what I chose and it sure satisfied my craving! I was so glad I got to the restaurant before they stopped offering their breakfast menu.
I ordered the “Salmon Gravlax” which features smoked salmon, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, sprinkle of paprika, capers, and dill cream cheese. You have the option of selecting a half order which is one egg for $11 or a full order consisting of two eggs for $15). I chose to have my Eggs Benedict served on a bed of potato hash and while I loved the potatoes as they were crispy, warm, and baked NOT fried, next time I will opt for tomatoes or avocado as all the Eggs Benedicts come with a side of potato hash already. The portion size was great and I was impressed at the very generous amount of smoked salmon the chefs included. In terms of the poached eggs, you have the option of picking a soft, medium, or hard consistency. I selected the medium consistency, however, I ended up with one egg that was medium and one that was soft. If you like your poached eggs super runny, go with soft but if you like it with the yolks bright yellow but solid, go with the medium. The hollandaise sauce was tasty because it was not very lemon-y and had more of a light, buttery mouthfeel and did not drench the eggs and salmon completely.
Other cool features of this “Parisian-style” cafe are that they have an open concept kitchen and free WIFI. This makes Vendome the perfect place for a weekend brunch or a weekday casual breakfast/brunch/lunch with friends and family … or go solo and order a nice meal, take your laptop and work on some exciting projects!
940 2 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2N 0E6
Suhani Shah is a licensed naturopathic doctor practicing at Naturally Balanced Chiropractic Clinic. She is a “foodie” and loves trying foods from a variety of different cultural cuisines. She also enjoys experimenting with different ingredients in the kitchen and on her spare time, she can be found cooking an interesting meal. For more information on Suhani Shah, please visit www.suhanishah.ca and follow her on twitter (@SuhaniND) and instagram (@suhanind).