It’s always a little touch-and-go around West Hastings and Carrall, but a number of great places have opened up to draw in the adventurous foodie. One such place is the ACME Café, a relatively new place that serves up some killer breakfast fare.
My wife and I went here a week ago with some friends and didn’t really know what to expect. At first the minimally decorated, white-walled café didn’t give much up. Despite its understated décor, however, the place has an old soul, with a lovely counter that gives onto the open kitchen; the thick, white coffee mugs of diners of yore; and that relaxed early morning feel I like so much in a city waking up on a weekend to the murmur of quiet conversations.
Our bearded waiter – who was outfitted with the plaid clothing and jeans that are de rigeur for a hip new diner/restaurant – was friendly, prompt, and very knowledgeable about the menu and the morning’s breakfast specials. Today’s specials were (1) a bratwurst sausage with pierogis, onions, eggs and toast; and (2) cornbread crowned with Guinness-infused cheese, spinach and other goodness (I admit I have a terrible memory for the uber-long list of specials’ ingredients). I stared into his eyes and thought: “You had me at ‘bratwurst’.” We ordered both specials and we would not be disappointed.
The sausage special was cooked perfectly. The sausage was moist, juicy and tasty, and the eggs were cooked to just right. I note that ACME does not have a grill, so all eggs (and all food, I presume) are cooked sunny side up in the oven. As such, if you’re an “over easy” kinda gal (or guy) you may feel somewhat limited. I was not bothered at all by this quirk, especially since the quality and taste of the egg was good.
My wife’s cornbread special was a similar success. The cornbread was not at all dry and the Guinness cheese was a revelation. This is what people talk about when then use terms like “honest food” or “comfort food”.
The specials were enjoyed with ACME’s lovely bottomless coffee; our cups were filled about 3 times in 30 minutes. This may explain why we were unable to find room for a generous slice of ACME’s many sumptuous-looking pies. I guess we’ll just have to come back.
Breakfast, done right, is a noble meal: simple, unpretentious, and enjoyed at a leisurely pace. In that sense, ACME Café is a lot like the meal it does justice to, and I highly recommend you wander down one lazy Saturday morning to experience this wonderful place for yourself.