Let’s start by stating the obvious: Fraser Street is the new vegan hot spot in Vancouver. First there was Nice Shoes (3568 Fraser Street), then came Fairy Cakes (3586 Fraser Street), and now we have Graze (3980 Fraser Street).
A month after its highly anticipated opening in May, we paid our first visit to Vancouver’s new vegan casual-fine-dining restaurant. It was a Saturday morning, so we ordered off Graze’s brunch menu, which features savoury and sweet items. Dishes range in price from $10 to $15.
I picked the French toast ($13) and opted for the smoky eggplant and mushroom strips add-on ($3). The three thick slices of spelt bread were covered in a flax polenta batter and topped with a smoked salt caramel sauce (more of this, please) from In the Oven. The dish also included a seasonal fruit skewer of cantaloupe, strawberry, and watermelon.
Although the French toast was quite dry, the agreeable bourbon banana whip provided on the side offset this somewhat. I suppose I should have ordered a side of organic maple syrup for an extra $2. As for the eggplant bacon and mushrooms, they were delicious; I just wanted more.
My party also tried the full English breakfast ($14) and a half-order of the waffle sandwich ($11). The sandwich featured pulled seitan marinated in a bourbon pepper barbecue sauce, while the highlight of the English breakfast was probably the housemade rosemary fennel sausage links.
Graze serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. (The restaurant is open for dinner every day except Tuesdays.) The brunch menu also includes a smoked tofu stack, a BLTA sandwich (B is for beet bacon and A is for avocado), buckwheat pancakes, granola, and a pastry board. The pancakes and granola are gluten-free.
Started up by Michael Lyons and Bridget Burns—with executive chef Karen McAthy in the kitchen—Graze has a classy but comfortable interior, and its food has a lot of potential. I keep hearing about how fantastic the gluten-free perogies are, so I’m looking forward to trying out the dinner menu sometime.