Brunch at The Ballyhoo

Brunch is THE BEST. 

It’s my favourite thing. Friends, coffee, and waffles. What more do want from your weekend? 

There are several categories of brunch in Vancouver; you’ve got the everyday brunch (for those days when you’re on vacation or playing hooky), you’ve got the weekend brunch (arguably the best) and then you’ve got your non-eggs brunches (like dim sum). 

I am a fan of them all… but what I need from any brunch place is decent service, bottomless coffee, and some good variety on the menu, because sometimes I feel sweet and sometimes I feel savoury. a bartender preparing a drink behind a bar

The Ballyhoo is new, brand, spankin’ new. It’s only been open a month, and they’ve been serving brunch for a couple weeks only. 

It took over the space where The Winking Judge used to be on the corner of Burrard and Nelson. The location is great, but The Winking Judge was… um shall we say… dark and sticky. Yup, it was a convenient place to grab a pint and some nachos after a movie, but it wasn’t the kind of place you would seek out. It was convenience-based patronage only. 

Donnelly took it over, redid the inside, and have now relaunched it as The Ballyhoo. 

A line of beer taps

The decor is English Pub-esque, but lighter and more fun. There’s still a big pool table in the back, but it’s brighter and feels more like a place you’d actually like to stay and chill at, rather than scuttling away. 

They have quite a few local beers on tap, so perhaps you’d like to hang and sample a few? 

The brunch menu shows lots of variety. There’s healthy options, like a power bowl, or yogourt, fruit and granola. But then there’s also the “I’m super hungover–give me deep fried goodness” options, as well. cookies, a cup of coffee and a menu

Donnelly has this thing that they do where they offer you a sweet treat before your meal. I’ve had donuts, I’ve had banana bread; but here it’s warm chocolate chip cookies. (heart eyes emoji). 

Avocado ToastOkay, let’s start with the healthy options: Avocado Toast? Yes please. I’m not ashamed to admit that I love it. This one is perfection: nicely toasted bread, acidic avocado, pickled onions, sweet tomatoes and a drizzle of balsamic. 

They also do a thing called The Westcoast Bowl. We didn’t eat it, but we saw it going by and drooled. It’s a rice bowl (brown, extra healthy), topped with avocado and a sunny-side egg. 

a plate of bacon, scrambled eggs, potatoes, salad and toast

Okay, now we get to your traditional brekkie. Bacon, scrambled eggs, sourdough, potatoes, salad. The real star of this plate are the potatoes. Fingerlings are cooked perfectly: fluffy and creamy on the inside, with crispy textural bits on the outside. Whatever you order for breakfast, be sure to get some of these potatoes, you’ll thank me. 

I also want to shout out the salad. Arugula is tossed in a tahini dressing, but it’s also garnished with these crouton-like crispy chickpeas which took it to the next level. 

There’s also Eggs Benny for you purists. 

a dish of chicken and waffles Okay, now let’s go full-on, all-out, hungover indulgence. This is the Chicken and Waffles. Savory, country-fried chicken thighs (boneless) meet sweet liege waffles. The whole thing is tied together with a seasonal fruit compote and maple syrup.

If you’re really, really hung over, you might want to consider the Ballyhoo Burger. Just sayin. 

A bowl with yogourt, strawberries, mint, blueberries and granola If you’re looking for something lighter, or maybe to finish your meal, they have a lovely yogourt/granola bowl with seasonal fresh fruit, mint and honey. Simple happiness. 

As for the hair of the dog that bit you, The Ballyhoo has tons of local beers on tap, or you can try one of their Aperol-based cocktails. Aperol is known to be  good for settling your stomach. There are also fresh-pressed juices, including one that has orange, grapefruit, lemon, ginger and turmeric. Guaranteed to kill what ails you. 

The Ballyhoo Public House

103-888 Burrard St

Open for brunch from 10am Saturday & Sunday. 

Instant Pot Cherry Clafoutis

The French, man. When it comes to desserts, they got it going on! 

Croissants, macarons, creme brulee, crepes… these are a few of my favourite things. 

Clafoutis is another winning French dessert. The basic concept is that it’s a kind of custard or flan, baked with fruit inside. You can basically use whatever fruit you like, though stonefruit seems to be the most popular option. Cherries are classic. Cherries

It’s cherry season here in the B of C, and the orchards in the Okanagan are bursting with rich, ripe, red stonefruits. I might have to drive up there and come home with a back seat full, but in the mean time, they are easily procurable at the local Farmer’s Markets. 

The French don’t usually bother to pit their cherries before burying them inside this dessert, but I like to. For this job, you’ll need a good cherry pitter (I love this one)–though be prepared for your kitchen to look like a crime scene, no matter how careful you are. 

Normally, this is made in a cast-iron pan in the oven and baked, but after making cheesecake so successfully in the Instant Pot, I was curious to see how it would turn out. 

It turned out great! 

There’s something about baking in the Instant Pot that gives a more even result. Plus the presence of water in the cooking process makes it less likely to be a dry final result. 

Of course, the downside of cooking in the IP is that you don’t get any browning or caramelization. I fixed that by sprinkling the top of my clafoutis with icing sugar and bruleeing it a little with my torch. You don’t have to, it’s completely optional, but it does add that finishing touch. Instant Pot Cherry Clafoutis

Instant Pot Cherry Clafoutis

Ingredients

  • Enough whole, pitted cherries to mostly cover the bottom of a 7″ round springform pan 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flour

Method: 

  • Wash and pit cherries. 
  • Spray or brush the inside of your 7″ round springform pan with neutral vegetable oil. 
  • Place the cherries in the bottom of the pan and spread them around evenly. 
  • Place the rest of the ingredients in your blender, and blend on high for about a minute. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and blend again. 
  • Pour the batter overtop of the cherries in the pan. 
  • Cover with aluminum foil. 
  • Place the trivet in the bottom of your Instant Pot, and then pour in about 1-2 cups water, just until it reaches the top of the trivet. 
  • Place the clafoutis on top of the trivet, put the lid on the Instant Pot and seal. 
  • Cook on the manual setting for 20 minutes. Allow for natural pressure release (about 10-15 minutes) after the cycle is completed. 
  • Remove the lid and carefully remove the pan. Remove the foil and remove the sides of the pan, sliding the clafoutis out. 
  • Dust the clafoutis with powdered sugar and serve. 

 

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