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Earlier this year, a new diner, Beltliner opened up on 12th Ave SW, near Victoria Park. Delighted with the addition of a brunch spot in our neighborhood, Kev and I dropped by for brunch soon after its opening.
Featuring a roomy dining space, the restaurant transformed the establishment into a modern interpretation of the classic diner. Embellishing with rustic furniture, steel bar stools and retro lights, the diner was reminiscent of the old days.
To our surprise, we ran into our friends who also live nearby. Immediately, we seated ourselves comfortably in one of the sofa booths.
I went with the brunch staple- eggs benedict. The spicy salami benedict ($11) was topped with caremelized onions, banana peppers, hollandaise sauce, with thinly sliced deep fried potatoes served on the side. Disappointingly, the hollandaise sauce was quite bland and the salami a bit burnt. As a whole, the benedict tasted overly salty. I liked the thinly sliced potatoes though, which were unlike the ordinary hash browns. They were marvelously moist and buttery, paired perfectly with their housemade hot sauce.
Kev couldn’t resist the thought of deep fried oysters and ordered the hangtown fry ($18). Served in a cast-iron skillet, the dish came with soft scrambled eggs, crisp bacon, deep fried oysters, arugular, creme fraiche, caviar and toast. What a luxurious dish!! Compared to the eggs benedict, hangtown fry had a stronger, heavier taste, with all the eggs, bacon and oysters. The thick, dry coating of the deep fried oysters was a huge let down. To prevent ruining the fresh oysters, I would recommend the chef change to a different type of batter.
One thing I would like to point out was their inconsistent service which demanded the owner to re-train the staff. The hangtown fry came with a toast. At first, Kev got the toast without any jam. His friend who also ordered the same dish received the jam without any toast. We had to called the staff over to fix the mistakes. No big deal, but consistently making errors in these small tasks can create big annoyance for customers.
Even though we were glad to have more dining options around our neighborhood, Beltliner failed to distinguish itself. It would be long before we visit here again.