Tucked away in the heart of the Strathearn, there's a new kid on the block and that kid serves up the best darn brunch in YEG. Okay, disclaimer: this isn't just a family restaurant it's OUR family's restaurant! I'm sure there's bound to be some bias in our opinion but that's okay - we've seen this from the initial visioning process, through the laborious renovations, through the rigmarole of licensing (etc.). We've volunteered as guinea pigs to test the menu (tough job, I know). So we can say first hand that it is truly a labour of love.
So what's the vibe? It's casual, it's inviting, it feels like home. There's a play area for kids with a bar on one side. You can actually sit and have a beer (or glass of wine or gin cocktail), do some work and peek over the bar to make sure your kid isn't pulling someone's hair.
And the food? Truly delicious. We're suckers for all-day-breakfast (and there's a serious lack among Edmonton restaurants) but dinner is also really exceptional. Here's the thing - there's a focus on fresh, local and seasonal ingredients but ALSO they make almost EVERYTHING from scratch! Ketchup, aioli, sausage, steamed buns, amazing baked goods (always ready for grab and go), and the list goes on.
Best menu item? Impossible to answer but the Handheld Bennie seems to be reaching a certain level of fame. (From their website: "A masterpiece built on a Portuguese bun. A perfectly poached egg with your choice of bacon, spicy pulled pork or roasted vegetables. Topped with arugula, homemade hollandaise and either chipotle or lemon-garlic aioli.")
Is there coffee? Yep. Brewed or french press. If there's ever an opportunity to have an entire french press brought to your table, heck yes we'll take advantage of it.
I guess this seems a bit like a pitch but it's not. It's an ode to a place that has come to mean so much to us - the heartbeat of a community - a place to gather.
Visit Juniper Cafe + Bistro's website here, and drool over some of the photos that we snapped for them.