Summary: a mediocre brunch experience that left me wanting for more.
I love Inglewood, especially all the boutique restaurants, art galleries, and stores that have opened up in that area of the last 2-3 years. I always knew Inglewood was cool, but it wasn’t until my field assignment – where I would rotate in and out of Calgary on a two on, two off basis – that I truly got to explore one of our oldest neighbourhoods. Having finally gotten the chance to explore that community in greater depth, I “discovered” all the cool restaurants like Nectar (now Without Papers), Sugo, Bite Groceteria, and of course, the subject of the current blog post, Jacqueline Suzanne’s.
I had managed to secure a brunch-for-two groupon a couple of months ago, so figured a lazy Saturday morning after the company Christmas party would be a great time to check out Jacqueline Suzanne’s brunch offerings. The usual deal is a three course brunch for $25 that you can get anytime, but in this case, the offer was $25 brunch for two people.
JS is a bistro, but the ambiance inside is quite different from all the bistros I have been to in my life. Most bistros have a light and airy feel, with plenty of windows to let natural light in. However, JS was quite dark; the interior is perhaps more suited to a romantic evening dinner than a weekend brunch. It was a cloudy but bright day outside, so the contrast was even more jarring. Honestly, I personally felt that I had inadvertently walked into a gypsy fortune teller’s lair. My gf better described it as “charmingly antiquated”…
Nevertheless, we were here for the food, not the ambiance. Although we didn’t have any reservations, we were seated pretty quickly and without much fuss. As we had a groupon, we had to choose from a pre-set three course breakfast menu. M. and I got the “Breakfast Martini” for our first “course”, which ended up being a delicious choice. I am a big fan of boozy starts to the day…something I picked up in NYC this year where bottomless mimosas seem to be de rigeur during weekend brunch.
We then headed straight to the main course, which consisted of typical fair such as eggs benny, crepes and/or French toast. Our server seemed pretty new/inexperienced, so he had a hard time time with the menu – he either didn’t know or wasn’t sure about what was in the dishes. We just ended up ordering the vegetarian eggs benedict with hash-browns on the side. Our plates came out without much delay and looked pretty tantalizing. I have never eaten eggs benny before, esp with Hollandaise sauce, so I was looking forward to it.
The dish was adequately plated. It also tasted quite adequate; to be honest, I don’t remember much about it. It came with a slice of watermelon, which in retrospect, was out of place and AND season. All in all, it was tasty, but nothing overtly memorable.
At about this time, the place began started filling up rapidly, and subsequently, the service level started dropping rapidly. After what seemed like an inordinate amount of time, I finally managed to wave down our server to ask about their dessert offerings. M. got crème brulee and whereas I went with a chocolate cheesecake. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos in my excitement as this was probably the best tasting part of the meal. It was positively heavenly. I had a taste of M’s brulee: silky, smooth, and just the right amount of sweetness. The cheesecake was also pretty delicious, but once again, unmemorable.
At right about this time, we made the executive decision to pay our bill and get the hell out as we didn’t want to get stuck at brunch rush. I had to pay $10 for both our coffees in addition to the groupon – I guess that’s pretty standard nowadays for unlimited refills. It just hurts when it’s mediocre coffee.
I had been meaning to check out JS for a long time but was left a bit disappointed. I had had high hopes for this place but was left unsatisfied, especially with the food. It was a pretty great deal IF you had a groupon, but otherwise, $50 for brunch for two is a bit pricey in my opinion. To be fair, the ambiance and decor is a personal preference, so you can’t really fault them for that. F-log-for-thought, for instance, really seemed to have enjoyed and appreciated the space as well as the food. Anh Chu, over at icameforthefood.com seemed to have similar thoughts as myself regarding the food, although she was more apologetic in her tone for having knocked on a local, independent restaurant. Vincci over at Ceci nést pas un food blog has much better photos than my shitty smartphone ones and a much more intelligent critique of the eggs benny. At the end of the day though, the proof is in the pudding, and in this case, the pudding was only mediocre at best…
The only caveat is that my opinion is relegated to the brunch menu – the lunch and dinner offerings could be much better, but based on other bloggers’ reviews, I wouldn’t expect anything drastically different from what’s been said before. However, I don’t really plan on visiting this place again, so if you have eaten there for lunch or dinner, feel free to comment below!
||22.5/36 = 61%