Eats, chews and leaves: Food and fashion at Mo:Lé

You can tell a lot about a person based on what they’ll wait in a line for. Midnight releases of novels, films and video games usually garner a large fandom queue, thrill-seekers can be found waiting for the next chairlift and the musician in all of us can’t help but fall in for a good festival. But what about food? More specifically, brunch? Would you wait upwards of an hour for a meal? If you want to become a true Victoria local, the answer better be yes.

Recently, a friend and I tested out our capital-city street cred at Mo:Lé Restaurant. Undeterred by an estimated 45-minute wait in line, we knew we had become #yyj citizens. (This transition can take anywhere from 12–24 months, so be patient!)

I advise using the wait to study up on the regional fashions of weekend brunch-goers. Outfits may include, but are not limited to, raw denim, prints and/or patterned shirts, vintage eyewear, tapered pants, leather—in some capacity—an ironic nod to the ’80s (or ’90s) and unisex footwear. If time allows, may I suggest ducking into a nearby vintage store for a quick costume change?

Once seated, bask in the glory of your victory.

Getting back to the food, my friend ordered the red pepper polenta with eggs and fruit salsa ($13) and I selected huevos rancheros ($13.50), both of which happened to be vegetarian and gluten-free. At Mo:Lé, most dishes can be ordered vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free. (Victoria is cool like that.)

At this point, pull out your smartphone, check-in on Foursquare and then tee up your camera. The best food porn shots happen when your meal is piping hot. When the food arrives, grab a quick snap. I always post to Instagram, share to Twitter and then push to Facebook, but do what feels right for your social media footprint.

Mo:Lé went the extra mile with each element of the huevos rancheros. The corn tortillas are made in-house and resemble a thick cracker more than a floppy wrap, which works well to soak up the slow-cooked beans and goat feta cheese. On top, egg yolks shine auburn orange. House-made salsa and pesto hash browns round out the plate. Unlike at many breakfast restaurants, the hash browns aren’t deep-fried. Tossed in basil pesto, they’re as trendy as those clothes you’re wearing.

The polenta was less of a hit. All great on their own, the combination of soft polenta, soft roasted red pepper, soft havarti cheese and, you guessed it, soft eggs, left my friend desiring more. While I opted for the pesto potatoes, my friend tried out the fruit plate. Sure, it included the required melon, but also had slices of thick grapefruit and granny smith apple, which made her smile.

We’d both return for another Mo:Lé experience, but did gripe that the food was under-salted.

Before departing, soak in the atmosphere of Mo:Lé one last time. You’ll probably be impressed with all the exposed brick and urban art. Cherish that feeling. A large number of Victoria brunch places share the same aesthetic.

Best of luck in your next brunch quest. Remember, just this once, it’s okay to fall back in line.

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