It had been a while since I last met up with Kiyo and a few others from school. We had a dim sum lunch all planned out and for one reason or another, people ended up not being able to make it and it turned out to be just me and Kiyo left. Rather than going to dim sum with just two of us, we decided to do something else for lunch instead. I had really wanted to check out Bel Cafe and since Kiyo had never been there either, we decided to meet there for lunch.
We arrived shortly after noon and although it was bustling inside, we were able to snag a table from a group who was just leaving. We decided to order a couple of sandwiches to split and luckily for us, Darren happened to be dining there as well and he gave us a couple of recommendations to try out. The spiced pulled chicken sounded interesting so that was the first sandwich we ordered. The sandwich came on some toasted ciabatta and was only slightly spicy with some lettuce, peppers, caramalized onions, and provolone cheese. I liked the non greasy but crispy exterior of the sandwich and the sweetness of the onions actually went quite well with spicy chicken.
Of the two sandwiches, I liked the roasted berkshire pork sandwich more. The pork was flavourful and tender, which contrasted really well with the crunchy red cabbage and tangy house mustard. The menu indicated that there was jalapeno in the sandwich but it was really quite mild overall. I’m not sure if it was the mustard flavour that I picked up but the cabbage seemed to be slightly pickled as well. Both sandwiches came with a lightly tossed green salad with a very mild vinaigrette and some gerkins.
Although really tasty, the sandwiches were a tad small and both of us were quite hungry that day so we also indulged in some dessert. As a huge lemon dessert fan, I was really intrigued by the double lemon tart and Kiyo decided to try the same. This was one of the best lemon tarts I’ve ever had, with a deliciously crispy but not-too-sweet crust which surrounded a smooth, tangy, and very lemony filling. The lemon flavour was tart but slightly sweet, which leads me to think that Meyer lemons may have been used. If you are a lemon fan, this is definitely a must try.
Bel Cafe is a great little cafe with a wonderful selection of lunch options. I’ve been back quite a few times to try their hot chocolate selections during the recent Hot Chocolate Festival and thoroughly enjoyed each weekly hot chocolate offering they had. I definitely want to come back to try some more sandwiches as well as their delicious selection of pastries and macarons.
801 West Georgia Street, Vancouver