A Good Egg on Howe Street
A Good Egg on Howe Street
This past summer my wife and I decided to travel to someplace exotic or unusual, while at the same time spend our money in the United States. We chose Alaska, in particular its southeast coast known as the Alexander Archipelago. Our research convinced us to cruise our way up, leaving either from Seattle or Vancouver, British Columbia.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon, we took off on a 6 hour flight to Vancouver. Passing through customs was easy and partly automated. Before we realized it, we were in a taxi cab and headed for the Metropolitan Hotel on Howe Street. Fifty minutes later we were in the city, amazed at the busy nightlife. People seemed to be flowing into the streets. At the hotel, a uniformed man in his early thirties took temporary command of our luggage while we registered, and then he led us to our room on the 17th floor, which looked out at office buildings still lit. As bell boys are prone to do, our new guide pointed out the finer aspects of the room and mentioned the hours of the dining room for breakfast. Then he, recommended we take our breakfast where he does at least once a week, Scoozis right down the street from the hotel. He said the hotel serves breakfast, but we would get a much better one at Scoozis. I tipped him and said goodnight. It was now midnight, and we were hungry and tired. We ate junk food from the room’s bar/refrigerator.
The next morning, Sunday, we woke up famished. We were eager for a good breakfast so we slowly made our way down Howe Street, which was empty of pedestrians and vehicles. We stopped to peruse other possible breakfast venues. One was just setting up for breakfast; others were still closed. We continued down the street until we came upon Scoozis, a pleasant and appealing Mediterranean style restaurant, its small courtyard filled with tables and outdoor umbrellas. The air was still a little chilly so we chose to eat inside the simply decorated dining room.
The owner, Michael Stamoulis, greeted us and told us to sit wherever we wanted. We sat in a booth with a view of the kitchen and perused the breakfast menu. We were surprised and amused by the first item on the breakfast menu, Famous Scoozis Breakfast Pizza; a mixture of scrambled eggs, spinach, lean ham, fresh tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. A similar dish called Breakfast Deep Dish had the same ingredients baked together in a deep dish covered with a pie crust. We were impressed with the other selections, but our eyes settled on Traditional Eggs Benedict. That was going to be more satisfying to us as we contemplated the beginning of our voyage north through the inland waterway.
The waitress soon came to our table, we gave our order and then sat there anticipating our poached eggs covered in hollandaise sauce in the same manner that we always did over the years at other restaurants. Within ten minutes, our eggs arrived sitting on top of a slice of lean ham which of course was resting on toasted, warm English muffins, most of the plate covered profusely with the hollandaise sauce. On the side were well roasted sliced potatoes, as well as a small glass dish with bite sized, delicious, fresh and exotic fruit. We dug in. The eggs were cooked perfectly: not too runny, but definitely hot and slightly firm. The sauce was faint yellow, lightly spotted with red pepper.The flavors mixed together in that first bite for an excellent culinary experience. The sauce was extraordinary, with the red pepper giving it a slightly soft and piquant bite. We looked at each other and exclaimed that the eggs were excellent, no outstanding. In fact, I said to my wife that this was the best eggs benedict that I’ve ever had. Sue quickly replied that she was thinking the same thing. We savored every bite, wallowing in it’s umami. This was epicurean bliss. The potatoes were perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. There was nothing left on either of our plates. Well, maybe we left a little fruit salad.
On the way out, we thanked the owner for the experience and noted our thoughts about the eggs Benedict. He thanked us and pointed to the chef at the stove, Alex Perez. “He’s the one that needs to be thanked. We did, and he looked embarrassed. The owner asked us to come again, and we promised we would. The menu offers a good selection of food for lunch and dinner including Mediterranean entrees such as lasagna, cannelloni, spanakopita, and moussaka. The next time we are in Vancouver, we certainly will dine at Scoozis.
Scoozis has been in the same location since it was opened by Michael Stamoulis in 1986. Its current chef is Mandy, who was trained by Michael. Mandy has been cooking there since its opening. Alex has been on board for the past twenty years. Scoozis is at 445 Howe Street, Vancouver, British Columbia. Its website is www.scoozis.ca. It is open daily from 6:30 A.M. Dinner is served until 10:30 PM with the bar remaining open until later. On Sundays, only breakfast and lunch are served. Go there for breakfast, but go also for dinner. You will not be disappointed.
ARNOLD CLICKSTEIN is a traveler, as well as an executive, career, and life coach foucused on positive results. He happens to be father to few great children as well…one of whom is a sous chef for Juliet + Company.