Calgary’s brunch scene is booming.
With spots like Monki, Blue Star, Buttermilk, Yellow Door Bistro, Galaxy, and now Beltliner, folks have quite the array of options whether they’re looking for that greasy hangover recovery meal or a fancy, upscale brunch experience.
Now in my mind, brunch isn’t reserved for a specific period of time. Thankfully, the team at Beltliner agrees.
We headed down for “brunch” around 2pm on a Saturday, hoping for a good meal without the hustle and bustle of Calgary foodies. You are more than welcome to brave the morning rush – a tell-tale sign that it’s worth popping into – but that just isn’t my scene.
Besides, it’s much less embarrassing to take picture after picture of your meal when you aren’t sandwiched between two other full tables…
The Beltliner is old-school-vintage-diner meets industrial-modern-trend-setting foodie. The food is artisanal, local, and fresh. Serving staff bustle between the rows and booths, pouring refill upon refill of coffee and chatting with patrons.
The all-day breakfast menu is pretty stellar, with options like crème-brulee French toast, PB&J pancakes, eggs benny, grilled cheese and fried chicken and waffles.
Plus, they’ve got a few other dinner options for when that time arguably comes, such as fish and chips, burgers, lasagna, and mushroom gnocchi stew.
Having a bit of a late start, we were happy to tuck into the buttermilk waffles and French toast.
The crème brulee French toast came out smothered in vanilla cream and topped with fresh fruit. Crisp on the outer edges and gooey in the centre.
The waffles were quite similar – a crisp and crunchy texture on the toasted bits, but light and fluffy inside. Topped with a generous portion of house-churned butter and a variety of fresh fruit.
The Quebec maple syrup was anything but your average Aunt Jemima grocery store brand. It was bursting with maple flavour, strong, and sticky. I took every chance I had to douse my waffles in it and watch it pool into each tiny square.
It was so good, I thought about stealing a jug..
Originally I thought the butter was ice cream, so you can imagine my shock when I took a big hunk of it… I will admit, I did miss the scoops of ice cream or whipped cream that I usually layer on at home.
By this time we were both totally stuffed, BUT I couldn’t allow myself to leave without trying at least one slice of pie. I carefully debated between the apple and lemon meringue – the apple winning out.
In no time a warm piece of apple pie arrived at our table, accompanied by the finest vanilla bean Fiasco Gelato drizzled with caramel sauce. The apples were soft and moist sandwiched between what was more like a dense cake topping than a pie crust. Definitely the kind of slice you share with your dining mate.
Beltliner is located in the beltline (duh) just across from Central Memorial Park. They are closed Mondays (boo, Mondays) but are open the rest of the week 7:30am-10pm – you can check out the website here.
If you’re in a hurry, they’ve also got a grab-and-go coffee and pastry bar.