Central Revisited
We had not been to the Central Bistro on Denman for breakfast for quite a while – I am guessing about 2 years. Our last experience was not that great and with so many other options we hadn’t even thought about it. However, last Saturday we had made a plan to head to Joe’s Grill (see past blog) where we go about once a month for breakfast before errands. Joe’s is always busy on the weekends and we are used to waiting up to 10 minutes or so but on this day the line was out the door with at least 4 or 5 groups in front of us. It was cold and we were in kind of a hurry so we walked the 2 blocks to Central Bistro instead.

Menu and Food
I was really impressed with the menu from both the wide variety of brunch items and the large tea selection. Jeff however, was not, as most of the items were not something he would enjoy so he ended up with the standard Free Run Eggs and Meat Any Style breakfast. He chose the Red Truck maple sausage. The eggs were cooked well (correctly to over medium) but neither of us really liked the texture of the sausage. I had a pink grapefruit tea served in a cast iron pot and the Pancetta and Sun-dried Tomato Frittata. It also had basil, peppers and onions mixed in and the flavors were great. The potatoes served with meals are real potatoes, cut and pan fried. They were tasty but a bit on the cool side. The service was very good, and I was impressed with the cutlery and tea pots. A bit upscale from what I expected. The service was good and overall our experience would bring us back again.

Central vs. Joe’s
Joe’s provides good food at good prices and is usually very quick. It offers value and speed which on some days is exactly what we are looking for. It is not a place to lounge over a weekend brunch. Central provides a more interesting menu with some higher quality ingredients and a more upscale ambience. However, the prices at Central are close to those in most of the hotels that we have had breakfast at in the area. Instead of being $1 or $2 more per item than Joe’s which we would expect they are $3 or $4 more except for the specials. Central does use Free Run eggs which I do not believe is the case at Joe’s.

Bottom Line
It all depends what mood we are in and how long we are willing to wait in line. Joe’s style of value and speed seems to be very popular in the neighborhood (hence the line up) but Central is a nice alternative.