Mar. 13, 2013 - Issue #908: In Your Face
Don’t let the construction deter you
DeDutch serves up hearty lunch and breakfast fare
Once you've discerned a route to DeDutch's bright, spotless premises, the challenges become less aggravating—you may even be able to credit the chanceless disarray of the street outside with your ability to find a seat in a place that would likely be lined up out the door under better circumstances. Edmonton loves its breakfast, as the foyer-clogging popularity of the various Cora's franchises must attest, so it feels safe to say DeDutch may soon enjoy the kind of success that makes dropping in for a quick bite on a Saturday morning all but impossible.
I first experienced DeDutch Pannekoek House's unique set of breakfast comestibles about two decades ago in Vancouver, where the trusty franchise has proliferated like mushrooms in the coastal damp. My west coast friends had all fallen for the eponymous menu item, a thin, giant pancake filled with your choice of sweet or savoury fillings and served with stroop, syrup's thicker, darker Dutch cousin. More of an egg man myself (coo coo cachoo), I appreciated the fact that their hearty omelets and benedicts were accompanied by a garden salad. We all agreed that they poured a decent cup of coffee.
Twenty years later, DeDutch has finally alit in the City of Champs with what appears to be a more extensive selection than I remember from history. In addition to the bewildering selection of pannekoek permutations, the new restaurant is fluent in lunch and offers burgers, toasted Dutch sandwiches (tosties) and a few other geographically evocative delicacies. Consistent with the bar set by Cora's, the prices at DeDutch skew a little higher than the average greasy spoon, but you should know that if you decide to spend $17 on a breakfast entrée, you'll probably need a handcart to wheel you out the door afterward. Each of my meals there came in around $20 for entrée, hot breakfast beverage, tax and tip.
More than just the sparkling interior—with bright colours and cute touches like bicycle silhouettes and folk-art maps of Dutch cities on the wall—evinces the newness of DeDutch's Edmonton operation. There's a rigour in the efficiency of customer service that is thus far undimmed by protracted exposure to the finicky, sometimes unreasonable character of the general public, a rigour that verges on apologetic if it's discovered you've had to wait more than five minutes to place your order. This was confirmed on three separate visits where the attention was consistently doting, even toward that undesirable specimen—the solo diner.
On my first visit to DeDutch, I renewed my acquaintance with their marquee dish, the pannekoek, which I opted to have filled with apples, red onion and DeBakon, the house's back bacon variant ($12.50). There was no question it was a generous portion of my chosen ingredients arranged across a platter-filling flapjack that I gamely struggled to fold in thirds before lavishing it with authentic stroop, which struck me as less sweet than North American table syrup. I do love the combination of sweet and savoury, so I found apple, lightly sautéed onion and bacon a winning combo with the stroop, but a perplexing array of fruits, vegetables, meats and other breakfast foods are offered as fillings for those otherwise inclined.
I broke away from breakfast on my next visit and decided to give the "Geniune Dutch" beef croquette lunch ($12) a try. Apparently the Dutch fear no carbs, as my meal came with both fries and toast, as well as a standard-issue green salad. These sides surrounded three golden-brown, oblong fried dumplings, one of which flew a little toothpick flag of the Netherlands, expertly prepared and plated to elide their tenure in a fryer basket. The crunchy exterior gave way to a steamy, fluffy interior of shredded beef exhaling just a hint of nutmeg, while mayo and Dutch mustard lurked nearby to add further flavouring. Along with a bowl of the thick Dutch pea soup ($5), this was one substantial lunch that boded a logy afternoon.
For my third visit, I reverted to breakfast in the form of the Boer's breakfast sandwich ($13.50), a triple-decker layering scrambled egg, sausage patties, back bacon, Edam cheese and sautéed mushrooms. Side fruit (chunks of green and red apple, orange, pineapple, melon and a quarter of strawberry) offered a patina of healthiness. I usually avoid toasted three-layer sandwiches owing to the tatters of flayed skin they abrade from roof of the mouth, but somehow the Boer's breakfast sandwich spared me that indignity while more than filling my craw, though a side of hot sauce was required to help it attain its full splendour.
So hear me, fast-breakers of Edmonton: if you're sick of getting turned away from the over-patronized, gleaming, chain-style breakfast nooks on the city's outskirt—or waiting in their drafty foyers for a table to come open—DeDutch is a more than viable alternative that's poised to remain an open, if not easily accessible, secret until the heart of Edmonton becomes unclogged, possibly in 2017.
DeDutch Pannekoek House
10030 Jasper Avenue
587.520.8841 vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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