What do pregnant ladies smoking cigarettes, nude women in canoes and bearded Italian men have in common? They can all be found either on the way to or inside of the all new Prado Surrey.
Vancouver’s powerhouse of the community coffee scene dips its toes into the rough and ready land of Surrey… and it’s awesome.
If you’ve read any of my reviews you’ll already I know I think 49th Parallel have probably the most accessible and consistent beans of any roaster in Vancouver, so it’s no surprise that Prado Surrey have mastered the art of using them… it also helps that 49th is owned by the brother of the owner of Prado!
Latte – $4.30 Beans: 49th Parallel
Luxuriously smooth, perfectly balanced espresso to milk ratio, made all the tastier because I actually got to heckle the aforementioned owner, Sammy, whilst he was doing it! Turns out a multiple award-winning barista can’t be rattled, as he managed to knock out some pretty decent latte art!
Americano – $3.00 Beans: 49th Parallel Just the right amount of toastiness to this Americano. It was rich and bold with a caramel finish to it. Turns out there’s actually some pretty awesome science behind their drinks, as they use a TDS reader to work out the particle density of the coffee each morning. It shows in this delicious beverage.
Quinoa Power Bowl with extra poached egg – $8
All right you stupidly healthy Vancouverites, I heeded your advice and I thought I’d try something a bit more healthy for breakfast, a quinoa power bowl! I’m happy to report that I’m now, begrudgingly, a fan of health food, because my god this was delicious.
Best I could tell was that this was a salad and quinoa mix, with some sort of light and tasty savoury/citrus dressing on it, beefed up with some chopped tomatoes, peppers and other veggies. I took the baristas advice and got a perfectly poached egg on it, which added a rich, savoury layer to the whole thing. Honestly the best quinoa dish I’ve had in ages.
Along with the above, there are numerous lunch and breakfast options, as well as some fantastic pastries and sweets, such as this cinnmon scroll ($3.25):
Remember the bearded Italian man I mentioned in the Intro? Well, that’s Sammy, the owner of Prado Surrey and the recipient of endless questions and queries from me whilst I was there. He knows his shop inside out and has loads of great recommendations on what to eat.
The rest of the staff were enthusiastic, laughed at my crap jokes and seemed to be having a great time working the bar. I asked them a few questions about their pastries and sweets, which were all answered in a friendly way, showing knowledge on their products and prices.
Holy enormous ceilings, naked women in canoes and beautiful shiny surfaces, Batman, this place is stunning!
The three-story high walls have beautiful geometric wooden murals up them, the countertops are light wood and white stone, accented by stylish and comfy seating.
The piece de resistance in the whole place is the naked woman in the canoe hanging off the ceiling though. I’m expecting all coffee shops to follow suit with this look. Seriously though, it’s awesome.
The location of Prado Surrey is both good and bad. On one hand, you’ve got the SkyTrain close by, dozens of bus stops, more parking than you can shake a stick at (although I couldn’t find free parking close by), which is fantastic.
On the other hand, if you’re like me and are the VANCOUVER coffee snob, you don’t live anywhere nearby and Surrey scares you.
But if you’re happy to keep your wits about you for the inevitable drive-by shootings that you’ll be privy to, as well as not judge the smoking pregnant ladies you might see (seriously, I saw that on one of my trips), you’ll probably enjoy a jaunt outside of the City.
This area of Surrey has desperately needed some sort of specialty coffee shop for ages now, so honestly, it’s surprising it’s taken this long to appear… but it has and it really is a great space. It’s a Prado, so of course it was going to be good, but this exceeded my expectations.
Go for the great coffee and food, stay for the naked ladies.
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