OEB (Over Easy Breakfast) – Renfrew

To start our second day in Calgary, we decided to go to OEB (Over Easy Breakfast), on tfung’s researched recommendations. We had looked at the menu before, and boy was it extensive! Since I live in Montreal, I wasn’t too excited about the brunch in Calgary. I’ve just had such good experiences in Montreal, and I didn’t want to be too disappointed at OEB.

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When we got there, the line seemed fairly tame. I estimated that there were about 3-4 groups ahead of us. Was I wrong! They actually take phone numbers, and will call the people on the list by order of when they arrive to put their name down. Both tfung and I thought this was an awful system for such a busy place. They waste 15-20 minutes calling people, and having them drive back over, or perhaps they don’t even show up at all. And that’s exactly what happened. We saw a table that was free and set up, thinking we were likely close to getting seated. We then saw that one of the waitresses who was previously serving get phone duty to call the people who had left their numbers. We were standing near her, so we were able to see that she dialed a total of 4 numbers, all who had said they will not be coming. This took roughly 20 minutes. Then another 10 minutes later, we were seated. It just feels a little unfair to the people who wanted to stay there to wait because we value the food there. Either way, we only waited an hour, which was significantly shorter than the subsequent couples that came just after us (1hour 45min wait).

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After taking many photos around the restaurant while waiting, we were finally seated. Obviously, I was starving at this point, and felt that I could take on a good amount of food. As a result, we ordered the Gold Digga, which is part of the box’d menu, and the 2 cracked hen breakfast with the maple banger.

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Gold Digga

Gold Digga is essentially a Eggs Benedict and poutine mix. It comes with a poached egg, herbed potatoes, cheese curds, pork belly, black truffle and brown butter hollandaise sauce. The egg was quite nice, although I thought that the way they did it left a rubbery texture on the egg whites. The yolk held an orange colour, clearly indicating the fresh feed that the chickens were fed. OEB advertises for their eggs coming from their own hens, which is wonderful and fits the farm-to-table category of restaurants. It was clear in the colour and the richness of the yolk that this was true, and that it certainly paid off. The pork belly was a little on the dry side, which might have been better anyway, as the dish itself was already very fatty. As such, it provided a nice meaty buffer to the oily goodness of everything else. The herbed potato wedges in place of fries in the “poutine” made it quite interesting, and less saucy. The black truffle obviously added a richness and classiness that only truffle can add (even when eaten out of a chinese takeout box!).

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2 Cracked Hen Eggs with maple banger and honey oat toast

The toast was a little thicker than what I’m normally used to, which may be because you get one piece of toast. I had the honey oat option, and also asked for some jam. I thought that the fried eggs with black pepper on them were absolutely delicious, exactly as I like them. They were not fried to the point where the thin crust is created, but instead, well-oiled so that the egg whites remain white. The yolk was perfectly runny, and again of golden orange colour. The maple bangers were very delicious according to tfung. I’m not a big fan of sausages, so I won’t comment on that. As a whole, this dish is very traditional, which is sometimes exactly what you want.

The fact that we had to wait an hour really made the brunch less enjoyable. There was barely any waiting space, so I was constantly smelling someone else’s hair, which was very disgusting. Furthermore, any time you want to speak to any of the waiters/waitresses while waiting, they make you feel like the most annoying person ever. Though I understand it must be stressful to deal with so many people waiting, They really need to calm down and realize that everyone there is quite civilized. No one is trying to weasel their way into jumping the line, and we all just want to be informed. The food overall was quite good and very fresh. The price was a little on the pricey side, because honestly, I can make this if I was given the same ingredients. But either way, it was a fairly enjoyable brunch  and I enjoyed the fresh foods, but thought it didn’t quite hit the spot. Perhaps it was the unsatisfactory service.

Service: 3.5/5
Food: 8.3/10
Atmosphere: busy, bright, fresh
Price: $10-16

OEB Breakfast Co. on Urbanspoon

~ kehwon

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