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Mike and I arrived at Gilead Café on a rainy Sunday morning for brunch. The building is quite unassuming on the outside and is tucked away on Gilead Place, a small street that resembles an alleyway. As we entered, we noticed that there was an area catered to the take-out crowd. The vitrine was filled with prepared foods, cheeses, pates, salads and desserts. I was afraid we’d be in for a long wait without reservations but, surprisingly, we were seated immediately after our arrival just before 11:30, right along a wall lined with mason jars containing what looked like preserves and pickled vegetables.

Gilead brunch pastries with crème fraîche & jam

There’s a menu written on the chalkboard for lunch and dinner, but for brunch we were brought our menus on mini clipboards. We started with the Gilead brunch pastries with crème fraîche & jam ($5 per person). We only ordered one serving, since we also wanted to order entrees. It was a good thing we ordered only one serving, as it was the perfect amount for us to share. It came with two pieces of dense cakey bread, two pieces of brown bread, one small croissant and one small raison scone. The croissant certainly tasted a lot better than it looked (especially with the condiments), as when the plate was first served to us, I thought the croissant looked like one of those mini croissants you can purchase in a bag at the grocery store! Overall, the combination of the pastries with the crème fraiche and jam was just delicious! For a lighter brunch option, you could certainly get away with just ordering the pastries with a coffee and leave feeling satisfied.

Bacon rosti with cheesy scrambled eggs

For my main, I was thinking of ordering the poached eggs benedict (my go-to brunch dish!), but thought I’d try to be a bit more adventurous and ordered the bacon rosti with cheesy scrambled eggs ($13). The eggs contained traces of diced onions and were lightly scrambled, just how I like them (I really can’t stand overcooked, rubbery scrambled eggs). I actually expected the eggs to be more cheesy, but they still tasted pretty good. As for the rosti, it wasn’t very crispy since the scrambled eggs were sitting right on top of it, but I still enjoyed it. There were thick pieces of bacon in it, which I believe was pancetta. You really can’t go wrong with bacon!

Hash with sunny side up eggs & greens

Mike ordered the hash with sunny side up eggs & greens ($12), which was served in a small cast-iron pan. The eggs were nicely cooked (and heavily peppered!) and were presented on top of chunky potatoes, beans and some cooked greens. I had a few bites and thought the dish was just okay, but Mike enjoyed it, although he said the dish had too many beans. He also said it was pretty filling since it contained a lot of potatoes. The hash also came with a side salad, which was kind of boring. While we were enjoying our brunch, I noticed a lot of people had ordered the poutine, which looked amazing. I also thought about ordering it, but reconsidered, seeing as it would be a bit too heavy for brunch.

Shelves of preserves!

The atmosphere of the restaurant was very relaxed and the servers were very pleasant. It wasn’t too noisy and we certainly didn’t feel rushed while enjoying our meals. Although the food was served fairly quickly, it did take some time for someone to come by to take our orders, and none of the servers came by to offer us refills on our coffee. Overall, the food was decent, but nothing special. If I were to come back, I’d definitely try the poutine!

At a glance:

  • Decent food, but nothing special
  • Customers can just drop by to pick up pastries to go
  • Relaxed, casual atmosphere
  • Gilead Cafe on Urbanspoon

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