According to Joy Skipper’s Brunch, published by New Holland Publishers in 2007, brunch originated in Britain at the turn of the 19th century. It was originally coined by Guy Beringer in Hunters Weekly in 1895. Then, brunch would have been served after a morning or before an afternoon event. The morning event was most often a spot of hunting. American adoption occurred in the 1930s. It started as a Mother’s Day celebration, serving mom a lavish meal to replace breakfast and lunch.
To celebrate Mother’s Day this year (May 9th), foodiePrints has been running a three-part series on great restaurants to take your mom for brunch. Our first and second recommendations: Canvas and Stoneface Dolly’s. We shine the third spotlight on Fraser Cafe in the heart of New Edinburgh.
Despite being tucked away on a quiet residential street just off of Beechwood Avenue, Fraser Cafe is always filled with hungry patrons, regardless of the time of day. It is so busy in fact reservations are highly recommended. Brunch is especially popular with Fraser Cafe plating simple, but delicious foods.
When Don and I popped by for Saturday brunch a few weeks back, we just barely got seats. Had I not suggested we sit at the bar, we would have had a long wait for a table. On the bright side, sitting at the bar allowed us to watch the brigade in action. It also gave us a wonderful view of the entire restaurant.
Shortly after we were seated, our host handed us a one page menu for brunch and… a cookbook?!
In actuality it was a drink menu disguised as a cookbook!
Smiling, Don and I made our selections. Don, an eggs Benedict ($13.00) and a banana orange mango smoothie ($6.00). Me, scrambled eggs ($12.00) and a cranberry juice ($2.25).
As we waited for our food to arrive, we discovered that the bar has the best seats in the house for food enthusiasts, especially at our end, adjacent to the cash and till. Up against the wall sat shelves of liqueurs and wine, various cookbooks, and toys.
Playing on the television, the Food Network.
Peering into the kitchen, Don was mesmerized watching one of the line cooks poach eggs. Even from a distance, we could see each egg had been poached the same way, with the yolks jiggling about.
With drinks first to arrive, Don’s smoothie looked delicious. Made to order, its component fruits produced a fresh and sweet smoothie. It arrived pleasantly thick.
By the time our plates arrived, we were famished. Everything looked fresh, down to the last leaf of peppery greens.
My selection: Scrambled eggs with potato, house sausage, grilled tomato, and Worcestershire mushrooms topped with a peppery green (sans cheese curds). The scrambled eggs were stunning. It was light, fluffy, and creamy, just perfectly done. These scrambled eggs were the best I had ever eaten at a brunch. The only place I can think of that could rival these eggs would be Benny’s Bistro. The tomatoes were beefsteak tomatoes. They were incredibly juicy and meaty, a rare treat this time of year. The only drawback was the sausage, which I found somewhat dry and a tad overcooked. Otherwise, my meal was delicious.
Don’s selection: Eggs Benedict with peameal bacon, grilled tomato, English muffin, hollandaise sauce, and fresh greens. Don, who kept going on about how well Fraser Cafe does its eggs, was strangely silent as he dug into his eggs Benedict. Afterward, he told me he was stunned by how well they were made: incredibly fresh and runny hollandaise (no more than minutes old), delicately poached eggs (wobbly upon arrival), and freshly toasted English muffin. The griddled peameal bacon added salt and savoury to the mix, the hollandaise and egg yolks, carrying the flavours. To contrast, sweet grilled tomato, just cooked. Eggs Benedict is a regular for Don when he brunches. He says Fraser Cafe does it best.
After finishing our plates, Don and I were literally bursting at the seams. Yet, somehow our server managed to convince us to give their famous doughnuts a try. How famous are they? Well, according to the September 2009 issue of Ottawa magazine, Fraser Cafe’s homemade doughnuts rank #67 on their list of “101 Tastes to Try Before You Die.” Although their brunch menu list doughnuts as a main dish ($9), they are also offered as a dessert ($7). As a brunch plate, they comes with bacon.
The doughnuts were quite a treat. Served hot, freshly deep fried, and sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, it came with in-house made apple sauce and a lovely mug of vanilla ice cream and chocolate ganache.
Every bite was sinfully delectable. The doughnuts seemed to drape themselves in the ice cream and chocolate. They were warm, crunchy, fleetingly cool, sweet, and rich. Don was unable to eat more than a few bites, leaving me to happily finish the rest. As for it being on the list of 101 tastes to try? If you haven’t tried them yet, make plans to!
Fraser Cafe is a fabulous place for brunch, especially this Mother’s Day.
Total: $45.48 (after taxes before tip)
7 Springfield Rd.
Tags: 101 Tastes to Try Before You Die, breakfast, Fraser Cafe, Mother's Day, New Edinburgh