Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The Village - now feeding Royal Oak

The Village Cafe has now opened its second location. The original is located in the Estevan village, in Oak Bay, just a hop, skip & a jump away from Willow's Beach. Location number two is in Royal Oak - in the Shady Oak Plaza (a small set of stores across the street from the Royal Oak shopping centre). It's just past the Petro-Canada gas station, if you're driving north on Royal Oak Drive.

Another revolving door of a location (who remembers Cakes by Mary-Ann? Man, those were great cakes!) - but I'd lay bets that the revolving ends now. The inside has been renovated and is bright, modern and open....

There is table seating, a counter running along the windows and nice patio out front, encircled by a fence.

Breakfast and lunch is served up everyday, from 8am-3pm - and both menus are served all the time. So if you're in a blintz mood but your buddy is needing a burger - they have you covered. The menu has several traditional Jewish dishes like blintzes (cheese crepes with blueberry compote), latkes (potato pancakes with apple sauce) and shakshouka (thick tomato/veggie stew with poached eggs & toast) as well as other standard fare: omelets, bennies, sandwiches and salads. Selection is great, without being cumbersome.

After a recent bike-ride at the the Dump (aka, Mount Work Park, if you want to be all 'official') we stopped in to refuel at The Village (who send out handy tweets on whether it's a wait/no wait for seating - @royaloakvillage - and it was clear sailing for us).

We focused on the breakfast offerings of the menu and chose the Village Hash, the Mt. Doug Omelet, and the Benicio del Toro Benny. The Hash (half-portion pictured) is a bowl of roasted potatoes topped with cheese, Montreal smoked meat, green onions and two eggs (served any style) with rye toast. The half portion was perfect - we assume you should be pretty hungry for the full size. The Mt Doug Omelet is filled with roasted butternut squash, yam, goat cheese and red onion. Served with multi-grain toast and an great selection of fruit (check out the gooseberry!). It was fluffy and nicely filled from end to end with cubes of squash & yam....and this is important...I like a bit o' filling in every bite, call me crazy...

Village Scramble with Montreal Smoked Meat (1/2 order)
Mt. Doug Omelet with Roasted Butternut Squash

And the Benicio del Toro (who wouldn't want to order a breakfast with that moniker!) was definitely a stand-out. Ordered with the latkes as a base (or opt for the Mount Royal Bagel, if you want), all the toppings (pico de gallo, feta and avocado) worked together great - and the eggs were nicely runny. Also served with the same great fruit selection.

**Entree update! Since this review - we were at The Village on our 3rd return visit, and finally ordered the Green Shashouka - poached eggs on a soft stew of leeks, spinach, zucchini and oregano - served with rye toast and grilled tomatoes. I added a "mix-in" - roasted butternut squash & yam (yes, same as the 1st visit tasted like some-more to me!). Very good and hearty.

We quite enjoyed our meal here and will be slotting them into regular rotation as a breakfast destination. A great menu mix, tweets about table openings, a patio for the warm weather....and excellent food - can't beat that.

Bring on the blintzes!

The Village Cafe, Royal Oak
4517 West Saanich Road
Wednesday-Sunday, 8am-9pm (yes, dinner too!)

The Village Cafe, Estevan
2518 Estevan Ave
Daily, 8am-3pm

The Village - Royal Oak on Urbanspoon

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