Well, this is embarrassing. In my last review I went off on one about the smelly hippies of Commercial drive, only to have egg immediately thrown on my face when the brainiacs behind Prado opened up their newest business. Spade has totally levelled up The Drive’s coffee and food scene, with its awesome drinks selection (booze included) and an ever-changing high-end food menu, all served at decent prices.
Spade has partnered with the mighty 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters to develop a custom blend of coffee to suit their brewing devices.
It’s definitely a more Italian, dark roast style espresso, with notes of chocolate, some syrupy caramel and molasses. The milk was perfectly steamed and I’d bloody well hope so because the place is owned by Sammy Piccolo who’s won a slew of barista championships and latte art competitions! A great touch was that the milk was traceable, meaning you’re able to find out the specific local farm it came from.
Pour Over: $3.50
Beans: Bastone Blend (Ethiopian) by 49th Parallel
First off – damn, that’s a great value pour over! It’s made with a Kalita Wave and their sexy Seraphim auto pour over device, that’s been calibrated exactly for their beans using a freaking TDS refractometer (a device that measures coffee solids in the water). What you get is an incredibly smooth and well-balanced cup, that went down a treat with their giant Oreo, which I’ll get to later.
Vegan Egg Nogg Latte: $6.00
Almond Milk, vanilla, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon and turmeric make up this sweet Christmassy drink. The Missus liked it, but it was a bit too sweet for my palate. Definitely well balanced and tasty though.
In addition to the above, they also have a full drinks menu, including a delicious Prosecco Margarita.
The Breakfast Sammy: $8.50
“Holy $%^@ this is $^**ing incredible, holy ^#@! is this onion jam, it’s $^%!ing delicious” – This was the reaction from Vancouver Breakfast Sandwich Snob, aka Mrs VancouverCoffeeSnob, who rarely swears. I agree with her, it is an incredibly delicious breakfast sandwich, with a ham base, jam, cheese, greens, mayo and an egg, all served up in a soft brioche bun. I was a bit concerned she was making out with it rather than eating it at one point.
Eggs in Purgatory: $10
Now we’re talking! Two perfectly poached eggs to order, set on a bed of spicy tomato sauce, covered in melted cheese. Holy crap was this good, made better by some toast to dip into it.
Big ass Oreo looking thing: $3.90
This monster of a cookie was the reason I ran an extra 5KM that night. It is an incredibly rich and delicious chocolate cookie with a Dulce de Leche cream filling. Lift this thing with your legs to avoid a back injury.
Spade doesn’t just have coffee shop food, they also have a high end dinner menu in the evenings, with items you’re more likely to find in a swanky restaurant than a coffee shop. I’ll not be reviewing that part, as this is a coffee blog, but trust me, you need to experience the dinners at Spade. Here are some photos to get your taste buds going:
Gnocchi and squid ink garlic cream
About as good as you can get. They’re knowledgeable and friendly, going the extra mile to answer some of my stupid questions. The evening servers especially have a great sarcastic sense of humour when dealing with us drunkards.
Sleek white and wood look, but with some great colour accents added to the massive communal table, as well as the greenery on the wall. There are lots of single tables to add to this, with huge windows to see the world go by.
NOTE: Don’t try the giant mossy Spade on the wall, it tastes awful no matter how much it looks like microgreens.
More or less in the centre of Commercial Drive, so it’s really easy to get to on the bus or skytrain (with a 5-10min walk) or by driving. It’s The Drive so parking can be a pain, but if you’re happy to park a block away you’ll find loads of spots near Victoria Street.
Two of them, well designed and appointed. If I had to have one grumble the bottom of the loos were a bit grubby.
It’s only been open a month or so, but Spade already has the makings of something really special. Go because you want a solid, balanced cup of darker coffee, stay for the ridiculously great brunch, stay even longer because they serve booze and outstay your welcome in the evening after their great dinner menu is finished. Guys, will you just leave already, it’s 1am.