Saturday, October 29, 2011
Chez Meme - a hidden gem in Burnaby
Chez Meme is a really well-hidden gem. I know people who live/work in the area that don't even know about it. The awning isn't splashy, just a beige covering with Baguette Bistro in red. It's easy to miss. It's located between Gilmore and MacDonald Ave. There, no way you'll miss it now.
All sandwiches come with either their Soup of the Day (usually a vegetable-only soup) or a Green Salad. On the day we went, the soup being offered was the carrot or squash soup, neither of which are my favourite. However, they also offer you the option of upgrading to a French Onion Soup. I love FOS so the upgrade was a no-brainer. The soup was nicely done, with a rich broth and tons of caramelized onions! I also liked the gruyere mozzarella topping but felt that it could have sat under the broiler for just a touch longer.
We paired the French Onion soup with their Bourguignon, a boneless beef short rib, caramelized onions and horseradish sub. First off, these baguettes are huge. I could barely finish my half of this one, in fact, I didn't. I think I only tackled a quarter of it, wanting to save room for my Jarret sandwich (more on that later). The Short Rib was meltingly soft with the fat slow-cooked into the meat. It was super tender. And the bread, just crusty enough on the outside, and moist enough on the inside so that the juices from the short rib actually gets absorbed by the bread.
For our other sandwich side, we went with the Basic Salad with a homemade creamy balsamic dressing. Nothing spectacular about the salad, but at least it was fresh, leafy and quite plentiful. Good complement to the sandwich.
The other sandwich we ordered was the Jarret, made with slow cooked lamb shank, roasted garlic jam and grainy mustard. This was meatier than that short rib one, but I don't know why? The lamb shank held together better than the very tender short rib, so the meaty mouth feel advantage went to the lamb. Honestly though, both sandwiches were amazing and I'll definitely be back to try brunch (omelettes!) soon. Service is excellent too. We had one half sandwich leftover, and got it packed to go. Unfortunately, we were five blocks away when we realized we had left it there. We called an they remembered us, and said they stowed it in the fridge for us. How nice! Usually, most places just toss anything that is left behind. I guess they knew we would be back for it, that's how good it was! Beware, they are only open for breakfast and lunch, so don't be heading that way for dinner. And weekends? Well, call ahead because they are only open every other Saturday, and not at all on Sundays. So given this very limited opening range, it was hard for me to give this place a try. In fact, it wasn't until I had to work from home after my car accident that I even got a chance to be in the area when it was open!