We already knew before we arrived that this was going to be a long wait. And yet, everyone stood patiently in the cold, waiting for an opportunity to enjoy a nice lunch at Café Medina in the heart of downtown Vancouver. After putting our names down on the epic list (please make sure you don’t just stand there and wait behind the crowd while everyone else gets called), we were ushered to our table after a whopping 45 minutes.
Their drink menu is precious. Had we come for an afternoon coffee, I probably would have ordered a lavender latte with one of their famous waffles, but alas, the mint-infused lemonade with gin was more appropriate for the occasion. Lelia followed suit by ordering their Moroccan Mimosa, which was a spin on the regular, infused with star anise, sumac, and fig. Both were absolutely lovely.
My-friend-Lelia-the-hardcore-athlete had her eye on the Roti de Boeuf ($16) which was a raw beef salad that would have satisfied any protein craving. Despite the intensity of the flavours and the magnitude of the beef, it was still rather light and refreshing–truly a “rare” feat.
I had a difficult time deciding between the Cassoulet ($15), which is a baked bean and sausage casserole that I enjoyed greatly when I was in France, or the Fricasse ($16), which was here, a braised short rib. On the recommendation of our fairly charming waiter, I went with the latter, and was very, very happy with my decision. I have never had short ribs done that well, and the applewood cheddar really tied the roasted potatoes and caramelized onions in with the meat. Brightened by watercress and little sticks of granny smith apple, there wasn’t a speck left that didn’t get soaked up by their homemade foccacia.
Final Notes: There is a reason this is one of the hottest restaurants in Vancouver. Open only for breakfast, lunch and brunch, this is a place that you must try atsome point in your life.
Location: Downtown Vancouver (556 Beatty St)