Eats, Chews and Leaves: Shine Cafe: a glowing brunch review

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I’m a total night owl. I’ve always been drawn to the stillness that only 2 a.m. can achieve. Those close to me know mornings don’t provide my finest hour. This is why rolling out of bed at a leisurely pace and wandering into town for brunch is a much-loved pastime of mine.

I made sure to stay up late Friday so I could visit Shine Cafe in an appropriate state of mind on Saturday morning. I’m so glad I did.

While our group of four had to wait almost half an hour to snag a table at the Fort Street location, I’m going to let it go unnoticed. I’ve always had to wait at any brunch establishment in town. Victoria folk love their eggs — it’s a fact.

Despite the overcast sky outdoors, Shine Cafe lived up to its name. Every wall emits a jovial glow due to the bright yellow paint coating the small dining space.

All four of us dove into decidedly different plates, but none were disappointed. One friend satisfied her sweet tooth with raspberry pancakes ($9.95 for two). Whole berries dotted the cakes, which were fluffy and not too sweet.

Another ordered the full breakfast ($12.95), which is a smattering of three eggs, two pieces each of bacon, ham and sausage, grilled tomato and a choice of two sides. Over the course of the meal, the hash browns (one of her side options) were crowned the best she’d ever had.

I got creative, choosing to make my own omelette ($12.95). For you copy-cats out there, I picked avocado, brie cheese, bacon and mushrooms. The amount of avocado stuffed in those eggs really impressed me. I chose cornbread and fruit salad to accompany my omelette. The salad included kiwi, pineapple and pear, a nice alternative to the melon-fest usually associated with the dish.

Because we weren’t seated until almost noon, our fourth member went straight to lunch. Her “sophisticated green wrap” ($11.95) completely held its own at the table. Filled with avocado, brie, chickpeas, pesto mayo and plenty of vegetables, it was both creamy and crunchy. When I dine at Shine for lunch, I’m ordering this wrap.

A note about service: an ample number of servers scurried around the restaurant, but water and coffee refills were difficult to come by, and my friend’s order of fruit salad wasn’t delivered until we finally inquired as to its whereabouts.

The next time your nighttime activities keep you up late, consider Shine for the morning after — or even for the afternoon after, if you really sleep in. Shine Cafe serves breakfast all day.

4 out of 5 stars

1548 Fort Street
8 a.m. – 3 p.m. every day

1320 Blanshard Street
7 a.m. – 4 p.m. every day 

Twitter: @Shinecafeinc

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