When I say Burnaby, I can pretty much guarantee the first thing that pops to mind is anything other than “great coffee”. Sure, you have Single V, La Foret and Caritas 9, but compared to the sixty-two coffee shops in Gastown alone, you’ve got a very neglected city.
Recently, I’ve been telling anyone that’ll listen to me that the great untapped location in the lower mainland is the Brentwood area of Burnaby.
So I’m happy to announce that Prado has opened a new cafe, in the middle of nowhere, really far from Brentwood, deep in Cobra Chicken territory.
And it’s one of the most beautiful coffee shops I’ve seen in years.
Beans: 49th Parallel Old School Espresso
Prado Burnaby chose a darker bean for their espresso, so I was expecting a bite from them in my flat white. However, it was actually balanced perfectly. Creamy milk, with some nice sweet caramel notes from the espresso, a lingering chocolate finish and all served at the ideal temperature. Honestly, Prado might be the only place that pulls a better shot of 49th espresso than 49th themselves!
Beans: 49th Parallel, Honduras Medium Roast
While they do have a dark roast, I didn’t want any part of that, so I opted for medium. I’d actually say that this was a darker medium roast, as it had some toasty characteristics. It was nicely balanced and had a really full body mouth feel to it.
They also have a large selection of teas, juices and specialty drinks available.
The review continues in a sec, but I wanted to quickly shout out Siply, who have made this review possible by bringing me in money to pay for the cost of running this site. I often get asked how people can support this blog and this is it!
Siply is an app that curates and promotes the best coffee shops in Vancouver and then saves you cold hard cash on your drinks. Have a play with the calculator below to see what I mean about savings.
If you’re keen to find out more, click the button below to check out the website.
Thanks, back to the review!
West Coast Toast
West Coast Toast is two slices of bread, a slathering (sorry Canadians, I refuse to butcher the English language and say schmear) of cream cheese and some nice smoky salmon and dill perched on top. All the flavours worked well together, the salmon was especially enjoyable. Also, the whole thing was surprisingly filling.
It’s Prado, they invest a shit tonne into their training. They actually have a dedicated employee just for that task.
You’re immediately welcomed into the venue by smiling baristas… wait, what? Is that Stacey Lynden I see behind the bar? I thought she was off winning awards in Seoul?
Anyway, the staff are incredible. They laugh and joke with the customers but are also very professional. After all, this IS an office building. Which brings me to…
Prado Burnaby is located in the lobby of an office building. It’s an absolutely stunning venue.
The bar area is so massive it makes the three group White Eagle espresso machine look tiny.
There’s a huge selection of seating, all arranged in a stylish and functional way.
Take for example the bench seating. Each table has it’s own dedicated powerpoint.
Then there’s the huge, erm, well I’m not exactly sure what to call it. I guess it’s a chandelier? Anyway, really it’s a piece of art that has lighting in the middle of it. Here, look at the picture:
It’s just one of many examples of beautiful design that runs throughout the room.
A really nice touch are the individual ‘private’ booths you can use for meetings, as well as a separate room in the lobby.
And finally a mezzanine level with a few seats overlooking the entryway.
Like I mentioned in the intro, Prado Burnaby is in the arse end of nowhere. But that really just depends on your perspective. There are LOADS of office workers in the many, many buildings around the area, which means they’re going to mobbed with people every day. But as a non-office worker, it’s a bit of a pain. There is no free parking in the area. In fact, it’s $2.75 per hour. I’m reliably told that they don’t check cars after 10 am though. There are no buses that stop nearby and the SkyTrain is about an 8-minute walk assuming you don’t come across a 15-minute long train at the crossing. It’s also out of range for Mobi and car-sharing.
The building does offer a free shuttle to/from Gilmore SkyTrain throughout the day. It’s a nice service, but I’m probably just going to suck it up and pay for parking, to be honest.
My biggest hate in the area is a very personal one though.
I. Hate. Canadian. Geese.
AKA the Cobra Chicken, the Canadian Goose was forged in the fires of hell and was fed a diet of the blood of serial killers until it was old enough to go out into the world and cause as much misery as possible. Still Creek is ground zero for them. It smells like Geese crotch all year round and in the summer you run a 101% chance of being chased by a coordinated strike force of these hissing fuckwits if you venture into the trail behind the building.
Goddamn, I hate Canadian Geese.
Prado has nothing to do with running the bathrooms, so no rating here. I will tell you that they’re big as well as nice and clean.
Here’s the plan. Head to Amazon, buy a full suit of armour and a weed whacker for the Angry Birds. Raid your mug of quarters for parking money and get yourself over to the new Prado Burnaby location, stat.
This is, without doubt, the best looking, best designed and sleekest version of the Prado family yet. It’s a sprawling and welcoming room, with a nook or cranny that will suit an office worker to a regular coffee drinker all the way to an evil bond villain. See the picture below for what I mean. MuhahahahaHAH.