CBC Homestretch Brunch Club: Ox and Angela

For my final destination in the CBC summer brunch club series, I stopped by Ox and Angela, a restaurant and bar located on bustling 17th ave serving their take on traditional cuisine from Spain with a twist of modernity.

We arrived at our 1pm reservation on a Saturday and requested a seat on their sunny 20 seat patio which was a prime spot for people watching. The restaurant itself can accommodate 70 guests including an additional 12 seats at the bar (which is a favorite spot for industry staff on the weekend).

The interior is bright and open and feels inviting when you first walk in. The decor is a mix of black and white chairs and tufted black leather banquettes surrounding wood topped tables. The restaurant is split into two distinct rooms divided by a wall and a wrap around bar in the center, the left acting at the dining room space and the right having more of a bar/lounge vibe. Eclectic Latin accents like the collection of mismatched mirrors that line the long wall in the dining room adds unique character to the space.

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The menu features a variety of dishes that incorporate Spanish ingredients mixed with local and artisanal produce. Some of the more popular entrees include the Hueveos Benedictinos ($14) which is their version on the traditional eggs benny. Eggs your way are served on house made English muffins, local greens and slow roasted cherry tomatoes with your choice of Serrano ham and tomato or the mushroom kale variation.

Another popular choice is their Patatas de Manana which is commonly ordered as a side dish to the Benedictinos. It’s a variation on the classic Spanish friend potato dish, made up of baby creamer potatoes, housemade sausage, organic cheese curds, Bravas sauce (spicy and smokey housemade ketchup) and topped with aioli and a Spanish fried egg.

For something sweet, their dark chocolate flecked olive oil pancakes are perfect as a dish on it’s own or to share with the table, drizzled with dulce de leche and a spoonful of whipped cream.

This was our first time here for brunch, so we decided to go with their “Brunch Table” which features a variety of dishes served tapas style ($21/person – minimum 2 people) which is great when you want a little bit of everything.

We sipped on a couple of drinks while we waited for our meal, I went with a glass of their Sangria Roja ($7), a blend of red wine, brandy, lime, raspberry puree, cranberry juice and chunks of seasonal fruit. Refreshing and a nice balance of flavours, perfect on this hot sunny day. My husband had the Wizard’s Michelada ($7)which is essentially like a bloody Mary mixed with a Spanish beer.

oxWe started off with a few small bite dishes, the first were the Tortilla España, an omelette made up of layers of potato, red pepper and onion, topped with sour cream for a bite of tang. Alongside were the salt cod and potato croquettes which were served atop a generous dollop of aioli and housemade chili oil.

Next up was the Huevos Benedictinos – soft poached eggs topped with crispy Serrano ham and blood orange hollandaise. To be honest, we thought the flavour of the hollandaise really overpowered the whole dish and will probably order it on the side next time. The Basque tomatoes were sweet and juicy and the grilled Aragon style mushrooms had a delicious richness from the lemon, garlic and chili marinade.

One of our favorites items were the Patatas Bravas, super crispy deep fried potatoes coated in smoked paprika ketchup and topped with garlic aioli. A very rich dish so you only need to eat a couple spoonfuls, so its perfect as a sharing dish.

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We ended our meal with a couple of housemade empanadas, a spanish hand pie  (one of the various baked pastries that they bake fresh daily). Golden pastry wrapped around seasonal fruit fillings. Today’s flavour were peach + cheese and raspberry + cheese. The exterior was crisp while tender on the inside and the filling right amount of sweetness.

Overall: The service was excellent. Our server was attentive and friendly and our meals and drinks came out in a timely manner. The only drawback would be that the price per person for the meal was on the higher end ($21 per person as opposed to the average $15 entree). The benefit of ordering this particular feature would be that you get to try a little of everything.

Beverages: The cocktails were the highlight of our meal, they are reasonably priced and really delicious. We were also happy to learn that their still or sparkling Q water is complimentary. They offer a selection of teas, which are all organic and looseleaf from the Naked Leaf tea shop in Kensington and for coffee they serve local Cafe Rosso.

Ox and Angela  | Brunch is served from 10am to 2:30pm on Sat + Sun  | Reservations can be made online or calling 403-457-1432

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