Edmonton Tourist: Little Brick

After enjoying the Café Bicyclette winter patio last week, I wanted more. So, I invited a friend to try out the Little Brick winter patio.

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It wasn’t ready for patio lovin’ and I wanted a fire so we went inside and found a spot next to the fireplace.

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It was very nice and extremely warm. It was lovely!

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I decided not to have eggs, that is my go-to breakfast. I chose french toast and this version was so pretty! It was bread pudding topped with swiss meringue sitting on a berry compote and topped with pretty flowers. Seriously, flowers on any plate make it so appetizing for me and I sit there looking at my food as if it is art.

My friend had the eggs benedict, also incredibly beautiful.

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Their eggs are always perfection, done with the sous vide method. We each had a hot beverage, me with a latte and her with a chai.

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Breakfast was lovely and we lingered for two hours nursing our food and our drinks. The conversation turned to travel and we spoke about where we’ve been and where we are going. There was a tiny bit of career talk – not work but chat about our careers and how we got here. Honestly, it was one of the more interesting conversations that is only usually saved for my university buddy. It was a complete delight! Finding people you can connect with over food and coffee is such a treat. As an introvert, I fear long conversations will exhaust me, but that wasn’t the case. I think the key is to find someone who is interesting and isn’t emotionally depleting is the key.

We only left because she had an appointment at 12:30, and they needed the table but not once did we feel rushed. The atmosphere, food and conversation made Little Brick a complete delight. I recommend bringing your bestie or someone you want to get to know better and enjoy breakfast by the fire. Hopefully, the patio will be open. If it’s not, there are several different rooms to choose from, each equally charming.

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Get out and explore your city!

Edmonton Tourist: Winter Patios

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There are a couple of places in Edmonton that offer winter patios. Two are standouts for me, Café Bicyclette and Little Brick. Both offer roaring fires and delicious coffee. I am more of a coffee girl than a cocktail girl, so the winter patios that offer alcoholic libations are off my list. If you happen to know of other yeg winter patios, please drop a comment in the box below or shoot me an email and let me know.

I had a medical appointment early in the day that required the hubs to drive and chauffeur me around. After I finished I suggested we head to a winter patio because it was only -14C and was warming up! He is always game for any of my hair-brained schemes so he obliged.

We arrived just after 11:00 am and the thermometer had risen to -10C, perfect for a fire but when we looked at the patio it was empty. He asked me if I still wanted to go or did I want to try Little Brick? I had not had coffee yet and I said, let’s get some coffee and maybe a bite to eat.

We walked into a jam-packed house of people speaking French and eating brunch. Café Bicyclette is located in Edmonton’s French Quarter and as French as the hubs is, I speak more of the language than he does and my French is limited to cereal box and hockey French.

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He looked at the menu and said I think the Pain Perdu French Toast -I agreed as I usually do. Rarely we have different things and I suppose that is what happens to couples to live together for a quarter-century, you kind of morph into the same being with the same likes. Their coffee is some of the best in the city but I noticed they get it from Ace, a local coffee roaster. I really need to get there and have it live and in person. (Hey Dad…we need to have a date!)

We placed our order at the counter and they gave us a number so they could bring our meal out to us. I asked them what are the parameters for the patio to be open because I always seem to miss it. Francois replied, oh, I can open it up for you! So he went in the back and send out someone else to start the fire and get the sofa cushions for us. We stood at the high bar while we waited. Our coffee arrived and I sipped and watched.

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When the cushions were out, we grabbed a few wool blankets from the box at the door and joined the fellow outside. The woodsmoke was lovely. I am not a rookie to outdoor winter fires. Insulation is the key. Place a blanket under your bottom, one behind your back and neck and one over your legs. We stayed there until close to 1:00 p.m.

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I drank my coffee and the french toast arrived. I cut it all at once like I am 3 so I wouldn’t have to fuss on my lap, springing my dinner all over the floor. I love eating here. There is a lot of traditional French Candian fare, their poutine is some of the best in the city. I have had crepes and croissants but this french toast was likely the best thing I have ever eaten here. If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, this would be it. Event the watermelon mint salad was over the top delicious.

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The patio is charming with old wooden windows defining the space. We sat alone by the fire until the end when a gal and her dog stopped to enjoy the fire. You could see the remnants of the Flying Canoe Festival, (the ice slide and ice sculptures on the outdoor bar.).  I was content to stay longer but the hubs was cold. He caught a chill and became hypothermic…. reluctantly I agreed to go.

I was so pleased to know the staff was happy to open the patio just by asking. I will make sure I ask the next time it appears closed. I think I will make my way to the Little Brick next and invite a friend who just celebrated her 50th birthday. She seems the type who likes to sit outside and enjoy a fire.

There is a website that lists local winter patios. Check out Winter City Edmonton for all the info. Here is what I found. Maybe I will explore more patios before spring comes.

Winter Patio Locations

Get out and explore people!