Legend has it that it was prominent New York yachtsman Commodore E.C. Benedict who, in the late 1800s, was first inspired to take an English muffin and top it with a poached egg, ham and a generous slathering of Hollandaise sauce. Eggs Benedict was born.
Today, Eggs Benny is a staple at restaurants in Vancouver and across the country. Now, to pay homage to the dish’s formidable contribution to breakfast culture, Canada has set aside a day in its honour: National Eggs Benedict Day, April 16.
It’s not clear what exactly you’re supposed to do on National Eggs Benedict Day, apart of course from eating Eggs Benedict. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of restaurants in Vancouver serving the dish, both the classic version and adventurous new takes on the original.
In fact, throughout the next month, eateries across the city will be facing off in the first annual Vancouver Eggs Benedict Challenge. Participating restaurants will showcase their best Bennies as part of the challenge, organized by Vancouver Foodster. Its then up to the city’s Eggs Benedict fanatics to stop in, sample the creations and vote for their favourites online.
From the looks of it, there’s some pretty stiff competition out there:
Darby’s Eggs Benny: The classic Kitsilano pub offers a boozy take on the Benny, made with beer-glazed, Fraser Valley beef brisket ($12.95).
Short Rib Eggs Benedict from Lift Bar & Grill: The chic Coal Harbour restaurant offers a carnivore-pleasing variation on the original, with bison beef short ribs, wild mushrooms and brioche ($16.50).
The Dockside Benny: Granville Island’s waterfront sanctuary offers a decidedly gourmet take. A smoked cheddar potato cake is topped with ancho chili pulled pork and fire-roasted pepper sauce, poached eggs and charred lemon Hollandaise ($17).
Lobster and Prawn Saucisse Benny from Catch 122: This rustic bistro in Gastown pulls out all the stops for its over-the-top Benny. A croissant is topped with lobster and prawn mousseline saucisse, poached eggs, whipped cream and even a sprinkling of tobiko ($14).
The full list of participating restaurants and their respective Eggs Benedict is available on the Vancouver Foodster website. The challenge runs from March 22-April 21. Online voting takes place April 19-April 23.
Have a favourite spot for Eggs Benedict in the city? Let us know below.
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