Hanging with Brad and Paris

Lady Marmalade Victoria B.C. Canada Good EatsIf you are visiting Victoria B.C. Canada for the 1st time and want to get some breakfast (lunch or dinner for that matter too…) without leaving with that empty feeling – then maybe, just maybe Lady Marmalade is for you.

Tucked in at 608 Johnson Street near Government Street, Lady Marmalade appears to be little more than a hole in the wall – but do not be deceived. There is space aplenty within – and once past the front door and the seat yourself sign, you will find 30+ tables. No, I didn’t count them all — but this particular Saturday morning, all of them were filled except one.

I have always thought that the secret to a successful cafe (or diner, bistro, restaurant, etc) is taking the tried and true and putting a quirky spin on it.
You know – flirt with the outrageous without going that catastrophic one step too far that leave diners bewildered.
Lady Marmalade is also that place.

Take the Eggs Benedict – perhaps the best in town.
Take the old recipe you know and trust… and throw it out the window.
Add wild salmon… and sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and arugula… well, you get the idea. It was good. Very good.

Lady Marmalade is popular with the Grunge meets Oceans-11 crowd. Slacker dude Vince Vaughn, Brad Pitt wannabees show up in muscle Tee’s and homemade costume jewelry… big sunglasses… the works.

Girls outnumber the boys in Paris Hilton form; pizza sized sunglasses, mini-skirts/shorts and lululemon is de riguer…

Young people with lots of apetite for carbs after a nasty night out.

Our first visit to Lady Marmalade was during a full house kitchen slam – everything was flying.
The only downside to my experience was cold food.
Ok. So the Benny was room temperature. I can excuse this totally because the place was busier than a train station.
The hollandaise on the Benny was perfect – I have never had better.

My other bone to pick was the bread with breakfast – it was a kind of rye bread from a local bakery “Wild-Fire” that was sliced too thin – as a result it came across more biscotti or melba-toast than real toast.

Oh yea – and who serves a teeny bowl of salad with a breakfast plate?

All in all, I would rate Lady Marmalade on Johnson Street a solid 8 out of 10.

Colin Newell lives and eats in Victoria – He wanders the streets of many Canadian cities looking for genuinely good eats. In this continuing series on food and drink in Western Canada, Colin stresses the point that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.