Newly married and the launch of #summerbrunchklub

Hi friends,

I’m back on the blog after a whirlwind two-week trip to Iceland and Copenhagen for my wedding and honeymoon!

It was 2.5 years ago that the boy proposed to me on a secluded black sand beach in the south of Iceland and ever since then, we’ve been dying to go back to this beautiful country to experience the raw beauty and explore areas we hadn’t visited before.

We had an intimate ceremony on a grassy meadow above the beach at one of the most remote hotels in the world in West Iceland. We were married by a good friend of ours that had known us before we became a couple (8 and a half years ago) surrounded by our closest family and friends.

We enlisted the help of an uber talented photography duo from LA to help us document our wedding and come along with us on our adventure up north to the West Fjords to capture some epic photos of the breathtaking landscape.

They were kind enough to send us a few low res previews…stay tuned for more to come..

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In other news, I am so excited to be chosen as one of two local bloggers to review and share some of the hottest summer brunch spots (both new and old) in YYC on CBC’s Homestretch!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I am a HUGE brunch person. It’s the perfect remedy after a night of summer patio drinking with the co-workers, an excuse for a catch up session with the girls post spin class, or a nice day date with the ol’ husband (wow! that’s weird to say, haha)

The first spot I wanted to review is a personal favourite of mine – Monki Breakfast Club and Bistro.

It’s located in an old heritage building on the corner of 10th ave and 12 street SW. It’s a cozy 24-seat restaurant with a small patio adjacent that they open up in the summer time.

The interior is eclectic and cool, the space is filled with small wood tables with funky orange retro chairs surrounded by exposed brick walls. In the center is an open kitchen with a wrap around bar with stools where diners can watch the chefs busy at work while they eagerly anticipate their meal. The bar itself is decorated with a row of different hot sauces, which is a signature of this restaurant, so diners can add that extra kick of spice to their meal.

What I really love about this place is that it features some unique items that are outside of the typical pancakes, eggs and bacon that you see on a brunch menu. They offer a variety of the classic eggs benedict – my personal favourite being the smoked salmon with asparagus, topped with a rich prosecco hollandaise and crispy fried capers. It’s served on top of gluten-free biscuits which is great for those with sensitivities.

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Their frittatas are served up in a piping hot cast iron skillet alongside their deliciously addictive crispy potatoes which are coated in a savoury spice blend reminiscent of bbq chips and a small bowl of seasonal fruit. For something lighter, I recommend the wild mushroom, red pepper and spinach option, which is topped with gooey chunks of creamy feta. I find the portion smaller than your typical diner omelette, but for me it was the perfect amount where I finished the whole meal without feeling overly stuffed.

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The menu also has a selection of grilled paninis, salads, a couple sweet options with a morning sundae made up of coconut granola, fresh fruit and lavender honey sweetened yogurt or the decadant banana Frangelico cream cheese french toast topped with nutella and condensed milk (yum!)

If you are into burgers, I highly recommend their ground chuck burger. It’s topped with a couple of strips of maple bacon, 3 cheeses, chipotle aioli and a gooey fried egg. As a side note,  I don’t recommend this one as a first date meal as it’s pretty messy to eat, but it’s totally worth it for the flavour!

For drinks, you can’t go wrong with the Monki Mimosa with OJ and bubbles and sweetened with a splash of Aperol, an italian bitter orange apertif. If you are a caesar fan, be sure to order their Bad a** Caesar – one of the best ones in the city, topped with a spicy hot pepper.

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They don’t take reservations and lineups can get crazy, especially on the weekends, but you can leave your name and number and hang out on the chairs out front or go shop for some groceries at Community Natural Foods across the street and they call you up when your table is ready. If you’re not into the wait, try to go on a weekday morning before 10am when it’s not so hectic. Also, I do not recommend this place if you have a group larger than four since its a small space.

The service was efficient and friendly and the prices are on par with other brunch spots in YYC.

You can listen to my review on the Homestretch on CBC at 5:50pm tonight, or catch me every second Thursday at the same time to see where I head to next! Or follow me @eatrundesign on Instagram where I update more frequently to see some more delicious eats with #summerbrunchklub.

Monki Breakfast Club and Bistro  |  1301 10 Ave SW  |  Open Tue-Fri 8am-3pm, Sat-Sun 9am-3pm, Closed Monday

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