Homer Street Cafe and Bar Brunch-6

Homer Street Cafe and Bar’s been busy ever since opening a year and a half ago. I remember the Rotisol commanding attention in the center of the back open kitchen, and those smells each time the glass doors opened!

Ah, those intoxicatingly gorgeous whiffs of chicken brined in their own juices for three days, then slowly turned on the racks of the French-made rotisserie. We dined here last weekend with the intention of digging into the rotisserie dishes.

Homer Street Cafe and Bar/Fried chickpeas, plantains, taro root, fried chicken skin crisps
[Fried chickpeas, plantains, taro root, fried chicken skin crisps]

Starting off with a couple of craft beers (a bottle of Elysian Brewing’s Men’s Room Red and Four Winds’ Saison, on the current guest tap), we ordered a salad and the fried chickpea starter, served with a trio of yummy dipping chips: plantains, taro root, and fried chicken skin. A great choice for the Elysian, especially with the saltiness of the chicken skin combined with the chickpea’s smooth, soft flavour.

Other starters on the menu include cheese and charcuterie platters (all-BC cheeses and meats, served with seasonal pickles, nuts, and fruit), Albacore tuna carpaccio, duck liver parfait and harissa quail with roasted beets.

The drinks menu offers draft and bottled beer as well as classic and house cocktails, and red and white (BC and international) wines.

Alongside slices of homemade focaccia with olive oil, we sampled some of the heritage lonza from North Van, a less-salty, more delicate version of a classic prosciutto. The lonza can be ordered on a charcuterie board.

Before long, our rotisserie entrées were brought to the table.

Homer Street Cafe and Bar/Marinated suckling pig with apricot jus, parsnip done three ways (puréed, boiled, and chips), potatoes, and leeks
[Marinated suckling pig with apricot jus, parsnip done three ways, potatoes, leeks]

My husband ordered the roast of the day: marinated suckling pig with apricot jus, parsnip done three ways (puréed, boiled, and chips), potatoes, and leeks ($25). The pork was very tender and not too seasoned, allowing the pure pork flavour with its crispy crust to nicely come through. The vegetables were well-cooked and complimented the dish.

Homer Street Cafe and Bar/Rotisserie half chicken, pee wee potatoes, jus, grainy mustard slaw
[Rotisserie half chicken, pee wee potatoes, jus, grainy mustard slaw]

As mentioned earlier, the chicken is brined for three days in salt, pepper, and sugar, before being placed on the rotisserie, resulting in moist, flavourful meat. I really enjoyed the side cup of jus to bolster the flavour alongside a small portion of roasted pee wee potatoes and grainy mustard slaw.

Homer Street’s Fraser Valley-bred rotisserie chickens are priced per quarter ($20) half ($28), and whole ($34), including all the fixings mentioned above. All ingredients used are locally sourced whenever possible, aiming to showcase Homer Street as a farm-to-table dining experience.

Homer Street Cafe and Bar-10 Homer Street Cafe and Bar-19

The historic restaurant space has classic ceiling mouldings, coupled with black and white tile adding a lovely ambiance to one of the city’s go-to comfort food restaurants. Over a century of dining has taken place here: past occupants include the former Homer Café, the Stratos Café, and Rose’s Coffee Shop (the original Homer Café opened in 1952 and was originally called the Smithe Coffee Bar).

Chef Tret’s menu has something on offer for everyone. If rotisserie is not your thing, there’s seared scallops, grilled pork steak, steelhead trout, and stuffed ricotta gnudi to whet your taste buds.

Dessert didn’t disappoint. After a filling meal, we had a hard time choosing between chewy peanut butter cookies with Nutella cream, chocolate pudding with Maldon sea salt, cocoa nibs and honeycomb, cheesecake with poached pear, drizzled with caramel sauce, or the current feature: baked bread pudding with caramel sauce.

Homer Street Cafe and Bar/Cheesecake with poached pear, drizzled with caramel sauce

We finally decided on the cheesecake. The portion is perfect for sharing; the cheesecake has a nice texture and the pears make a delightful flavour companion; nothing to complain about when a drizzle of caramel and sprinkling of icing sugar gets added on top. Oh yeah, and mint-topped fresh whipped cream on the sides.

Desserts range from $8 to $9. Alternatively a three-selection cheese plate is available for $14.

Homer Street Cafe and Bar Brunch-7

This Yaletown eatery was constantly busy on our weekend visit — couples, groups of friends chatting away with classic and modern rock playing on the sound system. Service is attentive, waiters friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful in suggesting food and drink pairings.

Homer Street Cafe and Bar is located at 898 Homer Street in Vancouver. Dinner’s served Monday to Thursday 5 pm to 11 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 5 pm to midnight.

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