While on our Comox Valley family vacation we found Atlas Café in Courtenay, and WOW! Do they know how to do breakfast right! See why.
I love reviewing travel and dining experiences.
Call me crazy, but even before I was a travel blogger I had this voice in my head analyzing and reviewing dining experiences. I know, I know. That’s weird. But at least I now have a good place to share what I think and help inspire and enhance my readers’ travel experiences!
It’s a good thing too, because Gretta, the ultimate optimist, can only handle so much of me.
On a recent family vacation to the Comox Valley, we found ourselves in the mood to dine out together for breakfast in Courtenay.
We are tired of the typical chain restaurants, and are committed to finding the local hot spots.
But how do you know where to spend your hard earned money and get a “hit” instead of a “miss” when going out as a family?
No one likes a “miss”. I HATE “misses”.
Well, the first thing I do is start asking around and checking out reviews.
We kept hearing about Atlas Café in Courtenay time and time again in our research. As it turns out, it is a big favourite among locals and many visitors to the Comox Valley area.
But does Atlas Café deserve high reviews from the Traveling Islanders? Can we recommend you follow in our footsteps?
Well, you can trust us when we say our breakfast in Courtenay was exceptional. When we leave a restaurant wanting to go back, we know that’s a good sign. And that’s just how we feel about Atlas Café.
Here are a few of the reasons why Atlas Café makes us want to return:
The local ingredients really did make a BIG difference. Farm fresh eggs, cheeses, meats and vegetables from the local Vancouver Island producers (or the ocean) were unmistakable.
It was obvious that Atlas Café truly cares about it’s customers’ dining experience by choosing local ingredients.
Our server could easily be in contention for “best server of the year award”. He wasn’t just friendly, he made our whole dining experience better because of how easily and comfortably he interacted with us. We could tell he truly loved his job.
I learned he has worked at Atlas Café for 18 years! In fact, many of the servers and staff are long-time employees…some are even second generation staff. I don’t care who you are, if a restaurant can have staff who truly love their job and make a career out of it, you know there is something very special happening.
Onto the FOOD.
Have you had capers before? Oh. my. word. Capers on Eggs Benedict make all the difference. I had the “Atlas” which was eggs benny with smoked salmon, capers, and house hollandaise. It was right up there as one of the best eggs benny I have ever had. In fact, it may just tie with the eggs benny at Aura Restaurant in Victoria.
Gluten Free Gretta is one of those difficult gluten free and lactose free people and finds it hard to order…especially breakfast. She often just ends up eating a boring, fairly tasteless egg. But Atlas Café seamlessly offered several delectable options. She said the “Goat Cheese” was amazing. I don’t get why she can eat goat cheese and not cow cheese, but oh well.
Anyway, who wouldn’t love perfectly poached eggs on red pepper polenta with sautéed leeks, oyster mushrooms, fire roasted tomato salsa and smooth goat cheese?
Maybe I should pretend to be gluten free next time.
And it wasn’t just us grownups who enjoyed our breakfast.
The kids all ordered what we thought was a simple yogurt and granola, but when it arrived their eyes just about popped out of their heads to see a beautiful display of breakfast goodness.
Happy Travels and Happy Dining!
While our dining experience at Atlas Cafe was complimentary, you can rest assured that my thoughts, opinions, and findings are my own as always. For more information on Atlas Café, visit them online at www.atlascafe.ca