One of the things I learned this year was that everything tasted better with eggs: ramen, rice, pizzas, burgers. Together with cheese, another rich ingredient, these guys just took that concept to the next level. Just beyond the reach of the Downtown Eastside, on a quiet stretch of Hastings, lies Au Petit Chavignol…one of the best hidden gems of the city.
Au Petit Chavignol has a small, uniquely designed room in an area devoid of any restaurants. Flanked by dull looking retail stores, it is a quiet area where a good restaurant might be located seemed unlikely. Good for us diners, as there were plenty of parking. Its neighbor, Les Amis du Fromage, which sells a large assortment of fondue sets, cheese, and foie gras, complements the restaurant nicely.
My friend got the Breakfast Poutine. Basically your everyday poutine: pommes frites, cheese curds, peppercorn gravy, plus little bacon bits and a seasoned egg – sunny side up. This was superb. The fries were cooked perfectly with a nice browning on the outside, and the cheese was melted just right so it blended well with the gravy. With the yolk of egg, this was indeed a very rich dish.
I just couldn’t stop having a big grin on my face as I ate this because I just thought egg on poutine was such a brilliant and ingenious idea. Here’s a shot of my friend breaking the egg so everything was melted into an orgy of foodgasm.
I had the Croque Madam, a popular menu item as well as being featured on Best Things to Eat and Drink in Vancouver 2011. In essence, an egg on top of a classic ham and cheese sandwich. Again, another brilliant (and rich) dish. I loved the yolk of the organic egg just spilled over the fresh cheese and ham, and I could taste the individual ingredients. The bread was soggy from all the mixture, but obviously you wouldn’t eat it with your hands.
Since the cheese store was just right next door and they did have several cheese items on the menu, I decided to come back and try their Four Cheese Macaroni. I started off with the Tomato Soup. The soup balanced the flavor of cream and tomatoes quite well with the correct consistency. I wasn’t feeling very well that day so that cup of soup seemed godsend.
The star of the show arrived, and that was the Four Cheese Macaroni. First impression was that I loved that crispy top layer of cheese that seemed to have brown and had the texture of being caramelized. I could immediately taste the unique flavors of the cheese that distinguished this between other substandard mac and cheese. Once again, the cheese flavors were just right and they weren’t too overpowering. Together with the creamy macaroni, this was another rich and sumptuous dish.
FinestDish.com rules states I have to take pictures twice for something that’s delicious. Here it is.
I love eggs and I love cheese, so it’s no wonder that Au Petit Chavignol is fast becoming my favorite. Being a person that loves food in Vancouver, it’s often easy to get bored of all the Pacific Northwest fare. This restaurant proved that it could be something unique and still be able to use fresh ingredients in its arsenal. The waiter also recommended coming back for dinner fondue and boasted they have an extensive wine list, so that’ll be something marked in my task list. Twice I went here for brunch and tables filled up quick in the small room, so either beat the lunch/brunch rush or called in for reservations.