I’ve mentioned before that I LOVE brunch, so checking out the Brunch Affair was only natural! The inaugural event was held at the Pipe Shop at the Shipyards in North Vancouver. My good friend, Alvin, attended the event with me. We had a hard time choosing from the featured food vendors: Arc, A Good Egg, El Coroto, Finch x Barley, J, N & Z, Rosemary Rocksalt and Thomas Haas. To start, I landed on El Coroto and he chose J, N & Z.
The Reina Arepa from El Coroto
El Coroto offers Venezuelan fare, with a West Cost flair. They make Arepas, which is like a bread, but is made from white cornmeal, water and salt. The dough is formed into a patty, grilled, split open and stuffed with a variety of ingredients. The one I tried was called the “Reina” (which I chose because it means “queen” in Spanish). This Arepa was filled with zucchini zoodles, creamy avocado, green pea smash, cilantro, lime, green onions and a touch of olive oil. This was one of three vegan and gluten free offereings on their menu. What makes their Arepas especially different is that they are grilled, and have hemp and flax seeds in the dough. The Reina was refreshing and tasted healthy, with a slight citrus flavour from the lime. My only critique was that it needed a touch of salt, as all the good green ingredients are very subtle in flavour.
J, N & Z Deli
Charcuterie Board from J, N & Z Deli
Alvin and I then shared a charcuterie board from J, N & Z Deli, which is a family owned and operated deli on Commercial Drive. This board included smoked Italian sausage, smoked Polish cheese, aged cheddar, Kransky, Serbian garlic sausage and back bacon. We really enjoyed this charcuterie board. The sausages were all so tasty, and the cheeses were amazing! Despite being lactose intolerant, I have a hard time avoiding dairy. It’s cheeses like these that remind me to pack lactase so that I can enjoy every smooth, creamy, salty bite.
Finch x Barley
A Breakfast Burrito from Finch x Barley
Alvin was hungrier than I was (which is unusual), so he wanted something filling. He tried the Breakfast Burrito from Finch x Barley, which was packed with scrambled eggs, bacon, salsa, cheese, guacamole, pesto and sour cream. He enjoyed it not only because it was tasty, it also hit the spot. I had a bite and liked how it was simple but elevated, thanks to the addition of guacamole and pesto.
A Lemon Lemon Tart from Thomas Haas
To be honest, when I saw Thomas Haas as a vendor at the Brunch Affair, I was excited and almost skipped out on trying anything else. But we came for brunch, so we saved dessert for last. To round out the savoury food we had, we finished off our brunch affair with a Lemon Lemon Tart. This tart had a shortbread crust, fresh zesty lemon cream and lemon custard, hence the two lemons in its name. It was topped off with a raspberry and a small white chocolate square, branded with Thomas Haas. The Lemon Lemon Tart was delicious! It was creamy, and the lemon flavour was not overpowering. I especially enjoyed the texture of the shortbread crust, which was a welcome contrast to the creamy lemon custard.
Overall, the Brunch Affair was an enjoyable event. Alvin and I enjoyed some live music while we ate, and he even had a mimosa from the bar. However, my friend and I found that the average price for food was somewhat pricey, (two tokens, with one token equal to $4). Then again, I guess it isn’t such a bad thing, since partial proceeds go to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. The next Brunch Affair will be on August 12th and 13th, from 10am-4pm. Some of the vendors I mentioned will be there, plus some new ones. You can grab advance tokens on the website, which includes entry (otherwise admission is $5, plus what you spend on tokens). If you believe that weekends are meant for brunch(ing), then check out the next Brunch Affair.