Dine Out Vancouver: Commercial Drive Brunch Crawl

the kitchen at Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria

Pizza-making in progress at Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria. Photos by Benjamin Yong.

Dine Out Vancouver 2015, Canada’s largest dining festival turning 13 this year, wrapped up today after two weeks featuring hundreds of restaurants all over the Lower Mainland. Vancouver Foodster hosted a series of brunch crawls coinciding with Dine Out in six locations around town, also ending today with one on Commercial Drive.

From a Lebanese eatery to a pub specializing in American craft beer and cuisine, nine establishments participated in the event that allows patrons to sample small plates of handpicked items at the different businesses. And despite the wet weather, lots of hungry people showed up with umbrellas in hand to try some of the unique food only The Drive can offer. See below for a few of my favourites.

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria Brunch Crawl

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria (1380 Commercial Dr.)

A franchise with locations across Canada, you wouldn’t know it when you sit down inside the quaint pizzeria. Famoso served up a choice of three different slices: margherita, cavoletti, or the surprise entry Korean BBQ pork pizza.

Stateside Craft Brunch Crawl

Stateside Craft (1601 Commercial Dr.)

Tucked away in the corner of a building in the heart of The Drive, Stateside Craft offers over 40 taps of beer, cider and culinary classics from the US. Almost equally as awesome was the cartoons playing on a projector screen and an assortment of pinball machines at the back. Brunch Crawl offerings included a cornbread waffle topping with fresh fruit, homemade whipped cream and a slice of bacon, as well as a deliciously greasy braised beef brisket corn has with roasted red potatoes, peppercorn sauce and an egg poached just right.

JamJar Brunch Crawl

JamJar (2280 Commercial Dr.)

Open for about four months, JamJar was the lone Middle Eastern restaurant in the lineup. Started by two restaurateurs from Lebanon, their entry of the day was a vegetarian affair involving mint labneh (pressed yogurt, garlic, dried mint), foole (fava beans and chickpeas) and manoushet zaatar (thyme, oregano, sesame on top of traditional flat bread). Everything was made in house.

Turks Coffee Lounge Brunch Crawl

Turks Coffee Lounge (1276 Commercial Dr.)

A perfect way to finish the crawl was a visit to Turks Coffee Lounge. Thinking it was a new trendy spot to get a caffeine fix, I was surprised that’s it’s been operating for over a decade. I warmed up my palette with a cup of butter espresso, and then enjoyed a smooth and creamy velvet cortado. The drinks were accompanied by small bite-sized lemon squares provided by local company The Lemon Square.

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