I’m a big Café Medina fan, and have been several times for brunch. In fact, it’s my golden brunch standard that I compare other brunch spots to when traveling. And since I recently had an opportunity to visit during their weekday lunch, I thought it was about time for an update.
The only thing I dislike about Café Medina is the ridiculously long line-ups. But a) they’re lined up for a reason and b) when I was there for a weekday lunch, there was no lineup!
The sole reason for my visit was their burger, which sadly is not on the weekend brunch menu. What is so special about Le Burger du Chasseur? First of all, it’s venison. The meat is incredibly flavorful and juicy, and formed into a nice, thick patty. And then there are the accompaniments: red wine and black pepper mayo, gruyère cheese, mushroom ragout, roasted yams. The mushrooms were great, the cheese was yummy, and I loved the sauce and the golden beets underneath the patty.
What I loved even more was the presentation, especially when I requested my burger to come bunless. There was a faux bun made of radicchio, and the whole burger was lovely to look at. The watercress side salad with roasted yams was also delicious. This was one of the best burgers I’ve had in Vancouver, and I highly recommend trying it.
As for their brunch dishes, my favourite used to be the phenomenal fricasse (2 fried eggs, braised short ribs, roasted potatoes, balsamic onions, watercress and smoked applewood cheddar). But then I found out it’s not gluten free. So, I’ve since had Les Boulettes (Spicy Moroccan lamb and beef meatballs, roasted vegetables), which were good, but not as incredible as the fricasse and the burger. And I’ve also had the very tasty Roti de Boeuf (Balsamic marinated AAA roast beef, five herb pistou, potato, arugula, watercress salad, vincotto), which is now only available on the lunch menu.
Café Medina is a hip spot regardless of whether you go for lunch or brunch, and I’ve had a great experience every time I’ve visited. The service is friendly, the coffees are superb, and the food never disappoints. Just brace yourself for the line-up, or try coming during the weekday lunch service. And if you do have to wait, keep reminding yourself that it’ll be well worth it.