To me, it’s no surprise that Cora’s Breakfast and Lunch creates more than its share of intense weekend lineups. In a city like Edmonton, good breakfast joints are tough to come by. Not one to stand in line for hours for breakfast, this situation has caused me on a few occasions to avoid going altogether. Especially in the beginning when Edmontonians were getting their first taste of goodies from Madame Cora. Not yesterday though, up and at it, Sarah and I headed off and arrived at 9 AM sharp.
Well, not exactly early in the big picture of things I suppose, we figured the 9 AM time slot wouldn’t be as busy as the more common brunch hours of 10-12. Wrong and right at the same time. Wrong in that we arrived to find a line already formed out the door. Right in that after we were seated, the lineup started snaking down the building. Phew!
Walking through the final set interior doors, I was for whatever reason, surprised to see that Cora’s was actually pretty spacious. Occupied by a large assortment of tables and booths, the windows provide a healthy dose of early morning sunshine while the walls are full of breakfast artwork. The kitchen itself runs the length of one side, and looks well set up with each station putting out copious amounts of food during our wait in line.
Once seated, we popped open the large, colourful menus. While the size of the menu could be daunting, each page is actually broken up into a category and only holds a few items. Savory crepes one page, waffles on another etc.. Ordering coffee to start, our server arrived and spilled coffee on the table and my seat. Rushed or not, she didn’t seem to notice any of her sloppiness which remained constant during the meal. She did however, provide great refill service, never letting the cups drop past half. Wanting to sample the bennies, Sarah ordered the standard Eggs Benedict which comes with ham, while I went with the Peggy’s Poached on multi-grain.
Priding themselves on offering mounds of fresh fruit, it was no surprise to see slices of banana, grapes, melon, kiwi, watermelon, pineapple, and strawberry. The cottage cheese, was well exactly what you would expect. I happen to enjoy cottage cheese a lot, so I was happy. The poached egg arrived on a piece of toast, which seemed to actually lack any toasted crispness. Poking my fork into the egg, I was disappointed to find the yolk cooked solid. Hoping I could use the toast to soak up a gooey interior, this just wasn’t an option. *shrug* The dish also included a full side of toast as well, something I didn’t realize when I ordered. Seriously people, who needs 3 or 4 pieces of bread on top of the order!
Sarah’s eggs sadly enough, suffered from the same fate that mine did, while we both thought the sauce was quite salty. The English muffin and ham were average, making a decent, but not great version of this breakfast classic. The hash was interesting. Looking as if all the pieces would taste similar, some chunks offered a kick of spice while others were merely charred from the flat top. Fruit was even more plentiful on this plate with Sarah getting a different take on sliced apples, kiwi’s, orange, and cantaloupe.
As someone who isn’t a big brunch guy (usually you end up over paying and over eating), I quite like Cora’s menu. While you can still have mile high pancakes or banana crepes slathered in enough nutella to give Slimer a run for his money, there is also plenty of lighter choices and everything includes a solid serving of fruit. I can’t help but think it’s only a matter of time before another franchise opens in the city..something that may help the line ups.