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Surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of restaurants opened early in the morning on weekends. When I said “early”, I mean 8 am. (Most restaurants in Calgary opens at around 10 or 11 am on Saturdays and Sundays). 2 weeks ago, before our trip to Banff, we were looking for places for a quick breakfast, but discovering that our favorite breakfast spots doesn’t open till a later time dashed our hopes. Only one place opens its door to early birds, Vendome Cafe.
Conveniently accessible by LRT, the contemporary, chic cafe offers a culinary variety throughout the day. No matter what time you drop by, you will be able to find something to please your tummy. When we arrived at 9am, the restaurant was already swarming with early risers. We waited in line for 15 minutes to place our order at the front cashier before getting ourselves seated.
With only two staff waiting tables on such a busy day, dirty tables were left unattended. We had to call the staff over to clear out the dirty dishes before our food has arrived.
The bright white walls bounced against the dark hardwood flooring, creating a feel both modern and clean. Despite the cloudy sky outside, the room was lit up brightly. Tables were spaced closely together, making it an extremely intimate atmosphere (also super easy to eavesdrop on neighbors).
To power up before the hike, Kev and I each got a full order of eggs benedict. Kev’s classic benedict ($15) was served with cured ham, sprinkling with a little smoked paprika and green onion. The hearty dish was satisfying with perfect drip of runny yolk. Nothing too special about the benny that made us want to come back for another plate though. The only unique thing was the use of focaccia toast instead of english muffin, giving it a more crispy texture.
Serving with house cured salmon, my salmon gravlax eggs benedict ($15) had a clean, mildly salty flavor and a silky texture. The delicate dill cream cheese nicely complimented the savory salmon.
Accompanying the eggs benedict was a dish of potato hash. All too soft and slightly cold, it’s a complete disaster.
When we left, there’s already a line forming outside the cafe. It was a mystery to me why these people came here and waited in the rain. For the food or for the atmosphere? I knew one thing for sure: I would definitely not come back for the over-priced, mediocre food.