A few weeks back, me and my brood (“Monk”, “Jazzy” and “Lexicon”) hopped in the hybrid, headed out for breakfast at Cora’s [3025 Lougheed Highway, #390, Coquitlam, (778)285-8577 ] and to do a little Christmas shopping. Unless you are from back East you might not have heard of Cora’s before, but I’ve had a long time love affair with this old lady and though this Coquitlam location is less than a year old, I’ve been eating at Cora’s in Quebec since the late 80′s.
I’ve got fond memories of Cora’s for many reasons, but the primary reason is I love breakfast. A big “brefix” (it’s how me and the “The Undertaker” say breakfast) of eggs, meat and potatoes is like heaven to me. Salty fried “brefix” meats and runny egg yolk to dip your toast into; I’m salivating as I type. Sure, I like pancakes, french toast and other sweet delights every now and again, but I love a big, greasy savory breakfast more than you can imagine and these days, I crave it often. I never order the sweet items for “brefix”, I’ll let “Monk” order the “fruity waffles” and “nibble a little” off of her plate. I think my passionate relationship with breakfast primarily boils down to my long-term romance with bacon. I love bacon, who doesn’t, but my love for bacon runs deep and it’s a liaison that only bacon and I understand. I won’t go further into my bacon affinity and will save that tale for another time.
As a kid, my first signs of cooking talent appeared when I would cook breakfast for my family on Sunday mornings. As I got older, I stopped eating breakfast consistently and maybe that’s why big meaty breakfasts are such a treat for me. My first experience with Cora’s was some time in the late 80′s, when we were in Montreal on a ski trip. Ever since that amazing experience, I insist that each time I visit “La Belle Province,” we pay Madame Cora a visit. In university, weekend party trips to McGill or ski races in Quebec, meant the occasional visits to Chez Cora continued. Not only was it a decent “brefix,” but it was also the best hangover cure one could imagine. In the mean time, “The Undertaker” and I searched high and low for the best and most value-priced greasy spoon breakfast and one of our highlights was the 333 at the Wooler Road Diner. We were on route to a secret fishing hole in rural Ontario, chanced upon this diner and for $3.33, we got 3 slices of bacon, 3 sausages, 3 slices of ham, 3 eggs, 3 slices of toast, 3 pancakes and hash browns. Unbelievable! I know I’m getting a little off topic, but all these “brefix” memories are flooding my brain and I can’t help myself.
OK, I could sit here and tell you “brefix” story after “brefix” story; trust me, I’ve got a ton, but let’s get back to the meat and potatoes of it. So what is the Gargantuan Feast? It’s a breakfast offering at Cora’s consisting of two eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, creton, home fries, a crepe, toast, baked beans and fruit. It’s a big plate of “brefix” and at $13.55 it sure lives up to its name. A quick side note, I can’t believe at my age and as a relatively well-educated human being, I still don’t know how to use a semi colon properly, mis-use quotations marks frequently and interchange “it’s and its” like it’s going out of style. OK, enough grammatical self deprecation, back to the topic of “brefix.” It’s a tasty brefix, with lots of protein, lots of fat and lots of carbs. For me, the star of the dish is the creton. Cretons is a Québécois breakfast item which is essentially a spiced pork pate which you spread on toast. Basically ground pork is cooked with spices in milk and formed into spreadable meat cake. Maybe that isn’t the greatest description; think of cretons as a spreadable pork rillete, but with ground pork. The key to cretons for me is the yellow ball-park mustard accompanying it. I don’t use yellow mustard for much; hotdogs, smoked meat sandwiches, warm pretzels and a few other things, but it’s just perfect with cretons.
Is it the best breakfast around? No. Is it the best bacon, sausage and ham I’ve ever had? Heck no, not even close; it’s a chain restaurant that does what it does, is relatively consistent , but most importantly, it satisfies my “brefix” cravings and brings back so many fond food memories for me. That’s why it’s my Yowza Moment #3.
Until my next Yowza! moment, peace be unto you.