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99th Avenue Cafe: great YYC breakfast spot

n
nonlinear Jan 3, 2010 09:09 PM

I've been complaining about YYC's breakfast scene for years now. sure, we have a handful of gems like the edmonton trail options, eat eat!, dairy lane, lazy loaf, etc., but these are few and far between, and for me require a 20 minute drive or so from my condo on Heritage and MacLeod. The south has basically nothing in the way of breakfast cafes/diners, aside from Nellie's (blech) and Cora's (fancy fruit isn't my thing). A few weeks ago, however, I was driving on Bonaventure Drive and noticed a little cafe attached to the Stetson Village Inn on MacLeod and 99th Ave SE called, appropriately, "99th Avenue Cafe." It doesn't look like much from the outside, being attached to the motel and all, but given the paucity of breakfast cafes in the area, I made a mental note to try and visit sometime.

This morning, we were looking for a nice breakfast but didn't want to endure a 20 minute drive plus wait for one of the more popular options in town, so we decided to give 99th Avenue Cafe a try. When we arrived, we were surprised to see a full parking lot outside, in spite of a empty motel parking lot! It appeared as though the cafe was actually a destination in itself, and wasn't simply operating off of the motel clientele. Inside, the cafewas bustling with activity. i would say the tables were about 80% full, occupied primarily by a senior after-church crowd. We were seated immediately, though, and had coffee within a couple of minutes.

The breakfast menu is a standard 'bacon and eggs"-type cafe menu, although I am happy to report that the prices are much lower than is found on the other breakfast hot spots around town. e.g. breakfast sandwiches $7.99, omlettes $6.99-$8.99, etc. etc. I think the most expensive item was eggs benedict at $10.99. These prices are very refreshing and welcome in the otherwise overpriced Calgary dining scene.

I had a 3-egg "Loaded Omelet" (ham, cheese, mushrooms, green peppers, onion) with hashed browns, rye, and an extra side of hollandiase (wanted to see how they did it). It was a SUBSTANTIAL omelet made with high-quality, fresh ingredients... very impressive. For only $8.99, it was an AWESOME value, and I have to admit the food itseld was superior to the $12.99 omelet I had at Eat Eat! yesterday. And although I'm not an expert, the hollandaise was excellent as well. very rich and creamy. i'll be getting the eggs benny next time.

my partner had 2 eggs, bacon, tomato slices (option of fritters, hashed browns, or tom slices), and toast. The egg yolks were rich and dark; you could tell these were premium eggs, not the cheap, pale ones you see at most cafes around town (ahem, 1889!). My partner is VERY picky about bacon, but she said this was perfect; thick cut and crispy, with little fat.

with tip, our meal and coffee came to about $23. awesome food, awesome value. service was great too. we will be going back often.

BTW, found their lunch/dinner menu here: http://www.stetsoninn.ca/cafemenu.pdf we didn't try any of these, but based on the awesome breakfast we had this morning, i would recommend this to anyone looking for comfort cafe/diner food.

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  1. l
    Lainey1978 Jan 4, 2010 04:28 PM

    Sounds good, thanks for the review!

    I tried the Belmont Diner in Marda Loop not too long ago, and thought it was really good. It was really expensive, though. Just thought I'd mention it to give you another SW option.

    1. n
      nonlinear Feb 9, 2010 10:11 PM

      is everyone still sleeping on this secret????

      2 Replies
      1. re: nonlinear
        maplesugar Feb 10, 2010 11:02 AM

        Could be it's out of the way for those living north of memorial... It's on my list for my next trip to yyc :)

        1. re: nonlinear
          h
          hclass Feb 10, 2010 12:16 PM

          I'm not really an omelet person but have to say Cafe 99 does them very well. NLs review is right on about it.

        2. h
          hsk Feb 27, 2010 09:17 PM

          Thanks for the info. I'd never have considered this place. The benny was really good, the hollandaise was a lot better than some other places where it tastes like plastic. Nice thick ham, and they asked how you wanted your eggs done (I'm not hugely picky but since they asked, I told them and it came out perfectly - firm whites with runny yolks). I had them with fritters (just because I didn't know what they were), pretty tasty but I think they were the frozen bought kind. But for $10.99 who's complaining - I took a pic just to check out my iphone camera.

          Service wasn't fabulous - "sit anywhere you like" but 10 minutes before anyone came with menus. After that it was quick and efficient, but when we wanted to leave, again nobody around for at least 5 minutes. Strange - almost like our waitress was helping with the cooking. But we were in and out in just under an hour, with a lot of newspaper reading between bites, so not bad service.

          It's a great place for decent breakfast, cheap with no lineups.

          -----
          99th Avenue Cafe
          10002 MacLeod Trail SE, Calgary, AB T2J 3K9, CA

           
          4 Replies
          1. re: hsk
            maplesugar Feb 27, 2010 09:27 PM

            Their fritters look suspiciously like Ore Ida Tater tots. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ore-Ida-Tat... :o)

            The bennies look great though - still planning to go next time we're in town.

            1. re: maplesugar
              h
              hsk Feb 27, 2010 09:36 PM

              LOL that's what she said when I asked what fritters were "they're like tater tots". Since I wasn't sure what tater tots were (and didn't want to ask) I ordered them with fritters. It also comes with hash browns and something else that I can't remember (maybe fries).

              1. re: hsk
                maplesugar Feb 27, 2010 10:01 PM

                I've had fritters that were like shoe leather in some places... I'd take tater tots over bad fritters any day :)

            2. re: hsk
              f
              foodkarma Feb 27, 2010 09:37 PM

              "Fritters"? Maybe I'm off my rockers. I know those things as tater tots or mexi-fries. Ate a ton of them during my high school cafeteria lunch days.

              I know fritters as the deep fried doughy balls of yumminess - basically heavy batter over any combination of food then deep fried. Like the crab and parmesan fritters at Dadeo's in Edmonton (soo yummy).

              But def agree the bennies look good.

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