February 19th, 2017
We’ve been fortunate that the weather has been so cooperative that it seemed prudent to take advantage of it this long weekend. I’d been wanting to try Dogwood Cafe at the Victoria Golf Course for some time, so Mack and I headed down the valley on foot this morning to build up our appetite and revel in the current state of Edmonton’s winter.
This is the second year the Culina family of restaurants has operated Dogwood Cafe, serving brunch in the winter months out of the Victoria Golf Course. This year, Culina added a second brunch option at the Riverside Golf Course, in addition to dinner service at the Victoria location. It’s a great way to increase traffic to centrally-located city-owned facilities in the off-season, and because they’re situated adjacent to prime parkland, there’s the hope that diners might take the time to explore their surroundings before or after a meal (we walked over to Hawrelak Park after brunch for the Silver Skate Festival).
By the time we arrived at 12:30pm, most of the peak brunch traffic had dissipated. We were able to snag a window seat in the dining room, lit with abundant natural light. Located on the second floor of the clubhouse, Dogwood Cafe overlooks the snowy fields. The blonde wood furnishings are reminiscent of an outdated cafeteria, but small touches in the room – antique lamps, a rustic cabinet showcasing Jam Lady products – added some understated refinement.
Mack at Dogwood Cafe
The menu at the Victoria location, offered on weekends between 9am-3pm, is straightforward, with many brunch favourites to be found, including French toast, eggs benny, and a breakfast sandwich (there were a variety of tempting baked goods available as well). I was swayed by the mushroom-cheese omelette ($12), served with rye toast and tomatoes. Mack selected a dish that could have been served at the now-defunct Culina Highlands restaurant – fried eggs with Fuge Fine Meats kielbasa and potato-cheddar perogies ($15). We added a side of potato hash to share ($4).
We ordered at the counter, and waited less than ten minutes for our dishes to be served. My omelette, crowned with a creamy mushroom sauce, was comforting without being heavy. The tomatoes provided a pop of freshness (and colour) to the plate, and the crispy potatoes rounded out my meal nicely.
Mushroom-cheese omelette and side of potato hash
Mack was initially underwhelmed with the portion size, but commented after that because his dish was fairly rich, it ended up being the right amount of food. He found that the Fuge-made sausage had been cooked to snappy perfection, and really enjoyed the perogies (made at St. Basil’s Church) topped with sour cream and crispy bacon.
Eggs, kielbasa and perogies
While some tables were in and out of the restaurant, Mack and I chose to linger a little longer over our bottomless coffees. Staff didn’t mind at all; the relaxed atmosphere befit the natural setting just beyond the windows. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend brunch at Dogwood Cafe – the great food and efficient service is a welcome addition to Edmonton’s brunch scene.
Dogwood Cafe at Victoria Golf Course
12130 River Valley Road
Saturdays and Sundays, 9am-3pm