Deer and Almond: Divine Diner - Lunch for a king

Lunch for a king

By: PegCity GrubMay 7, 2012 //


Deer and Almond's uptown version of Eggs Benedict is a decadent, yet fresh delight. Benny and the Jets boasts deep, yellow yolks and creamy Hollandaise sauce, which are a perfect foil for lightly toasted yellow bread and thick-cut, smoky and crisp bacon.

Deer + Almond
Address: 85 Princess Street
Phone: 504-8562
Website: none
Neighbourhood: Exchange District

The architecturally stunning Exchange District, just north of Downtown is home to amazing restaurants, pubs and coffee shops. The newest kid on the block is Deer + Almond, a new 65-seat upscale diner on the corner of Princess and McDermot. Upscale doesn't mean expensive—prices range from $5 to $14 per lunch dish.

Located in the former home of the old-school diner Princess Grill, Deer + Almond is the work of local chef Mandel Hitzer, formerly of Fresh Cafe and Gluttons, among other restaurants.

Deer + Almond's menu is a bit of a puzzle. The cuisine defies labels and can't be pigeonholed into a nice, neat category of cuisine. Its Asian-influences are clear with miso, sesame and kimchi listed on the menu.

With just 10 items, the lunch menu is a lesson in brevity. Dish descriptions are brief and basically a list of ingredients with no elaboration. Choices include cucumbers (with miso and sesamez); greens (with dry fruit, goat cheese, almonds and sherry vinaigrette); and reuben (smoked corned beef, kimchi, American cheese and thousand island dressing), among other plates.

Chicken is a bamboo basket loaded with crispy-skinned, bone-in chicken pieces with rock salt and a side of tart Chinese vinegar with toasted chiles and cilantro for dipping providing zippy flavour.

Benny and the Jets is Deer + Almond's dynamite version of eggs Benedict. A slice of slightly toasted brioche is topped with crispy smoked bacon and two

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perfectly poached eggs. The works are topped with citrus-spiked Hollandaise. When pierced, the dark yellow, creamy rich yolks spill out on the plate and mix with dreamy Hollandaise. “Oh my gosh that’s good” doesn't even come close to describing it. Benny and the Jets is worth a visit alone.

During lunchtime, tables are populated with business folks, couples and groups of well-dressed 30-something urbanites. Insider's tip: There are no kids to be seen. Decor is simple and sophisticated with on-trend grey as the colour palate. The eatery is lined with large windows on two sides and original art hangs on the walls. Look up in the vestibule for a peek of the wacky and wonderful grass-lined ceiling.

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